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Canada’s new climate plan may be reckless, but there are better ways forward

Canada’s new climate plan may be reckless, but there are better ways forward

Image of a ship drawing oil from the sea bed via pipes.

Canada’s new climate plan is reckless. The federal government’s Plan to Reduce Emissions doesn’t meet the criteria of credible net-zero emissions plans, and it lacks any vision of a future capable of inspiring Canadians to change their lives.

The Emissions Reduction PlanThis is the first release under the Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Accountability Act. It aims to get Canada on track to reduce its emissions by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2020.

It will not do either.

More than 120 countries and 800 cities 1,500 companies have made net-zero pledges. Meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C above the pre-industrial average requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 and fall to net zero by 2050.

According to climate scientists, credible, science-based net-zero plans must:

  1. Reduce emissions as quickly as possible
  2. Reduce your dependence on removing pollutants from the atmosphere.
  3. Comprehensively address all greenhouse gas emission.
  4. Assure an equitable approach to reducing carbon emissions
  5. Align emissions reductions to larger socio-ecological targets like biodiversity and habitat conservation.
  6. Present an A visionary vision for a better future.

Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan fails to meet any of these criteria.

Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan falls short

The plan does not reduce emissions quickly enough. Instead, it sets an unambitious target for Canada’s Largest and fastest growing sourceCall for A 31% decrease in the oil and natural gas sectorIt is not binding.

According to A recent analysis, to have even 50-50 odds of meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 C target, Canada’s oil and gas output must fall by 74 per cent by 2030, with a complete phaseout by 2034.

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Canada’s plan was released just one week after it was first announced. The Bay du Nord offshore Oil Project was approved by the governmentThe, which will produce approximately 200,000 barrels per day of oil starting in 2028, Over its lifetime, 300 million barrels.

Image of a ship drawing oil from the sea bed via pipes.
Illustration of the Bay du Nord floating production storage/offloading vessel.

The government claims that offshore oil extraction produces fewer emissions per barrel than the oilsands, but that’s a dangerous distraction. Oil is naturally burned, which accounts approximately 80-90% of its emissions. In a world of increasing oil consumption, A shrinking global carbon budgetThe relative intensity of emissions is irrelevant. Absolute emissions are what really matters.

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Canada’s decision is far out of line with climate science. The International Energy Agency’s 2021 net-zero pathwayThe following is a list of the Government relies heavily on heavily, clearly explains that the world can’t afford any new oil and gas development after 2021. None.

Even so, The government projects that oil and gas production will continue to rise until 2050At which point? Canada will produce more oil in 2019 (1.9 billion barrels) compared to 2019..

The urgency of the latest warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is underlined by UN Secretary General António Guterres remarked: “The truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”

Canada doubles down on carbon capture bet

Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan bets heavily on Inefficient and costly carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS technology)To keep the atmosphere clean. The 2022 federal budget provides a subsidy to the oil and gas industry in the form of a $2.6 billion CCUS investment tax credit — the budget’s single largest piece of climate spending.

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The government has ignored this Advice from more that 400 independent climate researchers including myself about the risks associated with CCUS. Research over many decades has shown that CCUS actually captures very little carbon and stores it well.In 2021, energy-related emissions are expected to be less than 0.02 Percent), It remains prohibitively expensive To operate, requires more energy than previously thought. Electrification and renewable energy are more affordable and have been proven to be non-polluting.

Canada’s ‘set-and-forget’ carbon price

Canada’s plan doesn’t comprehensively address Canada’s emissions. Canada continues to rely almost solely on carbon pricing in order to reduce emissions.

The carbon price increased from $50 to $170 per tonne in 2022 to $50 in 2022. The plan does not close all its loopholes. Independent analysisIt was shown that large emitters paid an average of $4.96 per ton of carbon in 2020 due to exemptions and gaps.

Canada’s “set-and-forget” carbon price will not reduce emissions if it doesn’t apply to all of Canada’s emissions. The government’s own Net-Zero Advisory Body told the government thisHowever, the government ignored its advice.

Canada’s plan is unjust

Canada’s plan is far from fair. The Paris Agreement could not be achieved if every country adopted it. our dangerous approach.

Canada doesn’t consider its downstream oil and gas emissions. Scope 3 emissionsThey are generated by burning fossil fuels we export. Canada’s plan unduly shifts the burden of reducing emissions to other countries.

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Two fire crew members use axes to chop at burning roots on a charred desert landscape.

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Canada’s plan pays insufficient attention to broader socio-ecological objectives. It does not provide additional funding for land- and forest management initiatives, but that is insignificant compared to the investment in CCUS. The plan does not guarantee that nature-based solutions are developed and implemented in partnership between Indigenous Peoples or local communities that are most affected by climate change.

Better ways forward

Finally, the Emissions Reduction Plan doesn’t offer an inspiring vision of Canada’s net-zero future; it won’t motivate Canadians to fundamentally alter their lives to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Comprehensive demand-side strategies for all sectorsCan reduce emissions by 40-70% by 2050 Individuals, especially those with the highest wealth, have a crucial role to play in climate change. Nearly 50% of global emissions is caused by the top 10% of emitters.

A car charges on a snowy street at a public charger
Norway has more than 90% electric cars. In Canada, 3.5 per cent of new cars sold in 2020 were battery-powered or plug-in hybrids, with most of them registered in British Columbia and Québec.

This requires an EPIC approach for extreme positive incentives for change. Consider the substantial subsidization of electric cars in Norway, where 90% of cars are electric. The dramatic cost reductions in solar energy and wind energyThanks to generous government support.

We need much more of this: Massive mortgage discounts for owners who retrofit their homes, huge tax cuts for installing heat pumps, free — and electrified — public transit. Sector by sector, we require green options that are significantly cheaper.

But it is more than that. Canadians must imagine a future that is both sustainable and desirable. This means that we must re-imagine how we live, move, and play and demand that our governments make it happen.

There’s still time for Canadians to come together and create a future that’s not only liveable but worth living, but our window is closing fast.

This is an updated version from a story published on April 14, 2022. It clarifies the fact that Canada produced 1.8 Billion barrels oil in 2018.

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