October 1, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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What would activist Gilbelt have thought?

I wonder how environmental activist Steven Gilbelt would have welcomed a project like the one he put forward. Maybe some compliments, many questions and even a bit of disappointment.

Released at 6:00 p.m.

His plan is hard to qualify. It all depends on the expectations and the level of reading.

This is the best climate plan put forward by the central government⁠1. Every industry achieves goals. And for the first time, the oil and gas sector was not left out. Finally, it must reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 31% in 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

But Mr. Gilbelt’s document is not complete The cost and effect of the measures have not been calculated. It is difficult to know how each department should achieve its goal. Even if that were the case, it would still not be enough to heed the warnings of climate experts.

It is the result of decades of inaction, denial and hypocrisy.

While other countries have reduced their GHG emissions, Canada has increased its own levels. Since 1990, they have risen 18%. And they have been increasing every year since 2015.

With this delay, Canada is going a long way. So the efforts to be made are enormous.

Canada to play its part in efforts to control global warming to 1.5 C

As far as climate science is concerned, this is disappointing. But a political reading leads to a very subtle conclusion.

Environment is a jurisdiction shared between the central government and the provinces. To reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector without being prosecuted by Alberta and Saskatchewan, Mr. Guilbeault likes. He has two options: Go through Environmental Protection Act (Rather simple, but legally dangerous) or national carbon pricing (complex, but less controversial).

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Mr. Gilbelt was the first minister to seek such a solution, but he had not yet found it. Meanwhile, the climate emergency is on the rise.

I understand that some environmental activists are disappointed with this goal. But if it had been achieved, it would have already been a little miraculous. Emissions from the oil and gas sector should be reduced by approximately 40% compared to the current level. And in just eight years!

However, in the view of Alberta and Saskatchewan, simply controlling emissions is tantamount to declaring war.

It explains the declared tax credit for carbon capture. Whether the gift of modest help or peace will be known in a few more days in the budget.

For now, this technology is mainly used as an excuse to pursue the expansion of the industry. But it would be much better if the tax credit encourages its shareholders to reduce its track record instead of paying dividends.

The Liberals’ alliance with the New Democrats, Mr. However, he will be under intense surveillance. Conservatives are already proposing to export more oil and gas using the war in Ukraine.

The Liberals plan that Canada will transform the Russian market by raising its oil and gas exports to the equivalent of 300,000 barrels this year.

As a very short-term solution, it makes sense. But it has no reason to abandon the other struggle: climate change, which will lead to conflicts, refugees and deaths. And it will, unfortunately, last a very long time.

The Russian occupation is not an argument for betting too much on fossil fuels. According to Germany, this is proof that we need to get rid of it as much as possible. It has reduced its GHG emissions by 35% since 1990, and Putin has been pushing to accelerate its energy conversion.

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Oil and gas exporting countries are also reducing their emissions. Norway has been down 13% since 2013.

According to the International Energy Agency’s carbon neutral environment⁠2Demand for oil is expected to fall by 75% by 2050. The market will then be limited to low prices and polluting deposits. In both cases, Canada is in a bad position. It is no longer the energy of the future.

Apart from the ambiguity in controlling emissions from the oil and gas sector, there are some other shortcomings in the Liberal program.

Mr. Gilbelt has been a minister for only five months. Filing his plan quickly shows that he is not wasting time, but his order will be fulfilled soon.

He should soon explain how to achieve his reduction goals in transportation, buildings, industry and agriculture. There is not enough space here to parse them. In short, its strategy consists of tightening and upgrading existing programs.

In 2023, the Liberal government will have to make an interim assessment of the results. Since all of these principles are layered, it can be difficult to isolate the effect of each.

This problem is a problem. The visceral fear that makes voters dissatisfied is another. The liberal program maintains the magic of a smooth energy revolution. The title seems to come from the marketing industry: “Canada’s Next Steps to a Clean Air and Strong Economy”. As it almost happens without us knowing.

However, to rapidly reduce GHG emissions, a radical change in our lifestyle is needed. But no strategist wants to tell people that.

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There is also the problem.