On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a federal climate strategy that aligns with B.C.’s planned emissions reduction goals, even though the province doesn’t have some of the more aggressive goals for shifting to zero-emission vehicles.
“The goals for 2030 are basically the same,” said Tom Gunton, a resource expert at Simon Fraser University. The BC plan calls for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and the federal plan calls for a 45% reduction.
“What’s missing at the provincial[plan]is the federal level, and actually the province has a statutory obligation to comply with the zero-emission vehicle regulations,” Gunton said.
The plan, unveiled by Trudeau at the GLOBE 2022 Business and Environment conference in Vancouver and introduced in Parliament by Environment Minister Steven Gilbeau, is seen as the government’s general commitment to how to deliver at the United Nations so far. The most detailed explanation of the Glasgow and Paris climate summits.
The strategy uses economic and emissions modelling to measure the most affordable and feasible projects to meet Canada’s goal of reducing emissions to no more than 60 percent of the 2005 level by 2030.
That means Canada’s oil and gas industry will have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 42% from current levels by 2030 if Canada is to meet the new target, but Ottawa has pledged to offer tax credits to encourage new carbon capture and storage projects to encourage their adoption.
On the surface, the federal plan appears to be modeled on B.C.’s plan, reflecting B.C.’s multisectoral approach, said B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman.
“The federal government took a big step today and we look forward to discussing more details, especially regarding the support we want to see them provide for British Columbia,” Heyman said.
One topic of conversation was that $9.1 billion in federal spending includes money to help workers transition from the oil and gas industry. This part of the Ottawa plan appears to exclude workers from British Columbia, which has the largest natural gas industry in the country, Hyman said.
“We all know that transformation is extremely important to communities and workers in these areas, and we shouldn’t be left out,” Heyman said.
Several climate advocates have welcomed the plan, including Clean Energy Canada’s Merran Smith, who called it “great news for Canada”, transforming the government from a high-level commitment to an “ambitious and achievable” plan.
“This plan will help Canadian industry, (it) set clear targets, for example, that the oil and gas sector must reduce its carbon pollution by 42 per cent,” Smith said. “And it has milestones, so we’re not going to wait until 2029 to see if we’re on track.”
Missing, Smith said, are specifics on when some necessary policies, such as emissions caps for the oil and gas industry, will be in place.
“It still has significant gaps,” Gunton added. “They have targets, but they don’t have a legal mechanism to ensure these zero-emission vehicle targets are met. For the heavy-duty vehicle industry, they have no plans for decarbonization and electrification.”
Terry Abel, executive vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said in a statement that the industry “looks forward to consulting on elements of the plan and supporting Canada’s role in reducing global emissions while improving global energy security and affordability. sex”. .
Abel insists that Canada’s LNG export sector, which Canada is building at Kitimat, is “one of the greatest contributions Canada can make to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The debate has angered climate advocates seeking clearer commitments to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
“This plan is not a climate emergency plan,” said B.C. green leader Sonia Furstenau.
Trudeau’s plan includes “some good things” such as nature-based climate solutions, but “we have to get really serious about the fact that climate change is undermining food security, water security and global security,” Furstenau said.
“The time has passed when we made plans, we’re relying on some technology to keep going, and basically, the status quo is getting closer,” Furstenau said. “It’s not what you do in an emergency.”
The West Coast Environmental Law argues that climate plans include “unequal emissions reductions across sectors,” particularly in the oil and gas sector.
“It’s worrying that the abatement plan sees emissions from oil sands and plane travel actually rising,” said staff attorney Andrew Gage. “Not only that, but governments are overly reliant on unproven and expensive technologies like carbon capture and storage.”
— Documents from Canadian media and Bloomberg
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