Environmentalists welcome emissions reduction plan but say it will be vital to ‘hold politicians’ feet to the fire’.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled a $7.3 billion (C$9.1 billion) plan to help the country meet its carbon emissions targets, including slashing the oil and gas industry. Speaking in Vancouver on Tuesday, Trudeau linked Europe’s efforts to wean itself off oil and gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to a broader global push for renewable energy. “The leaders I’ve spoken to in Europe in recent weeks have been clear: they don’t just want to end their reliance on Russian oil and gas, they want to accelerate the transition to clean and green energy,” Trudeau told reporters.
“The world is focused on clean energy,” he said, “and Canada can’t afford it.” The plan announced Tuesday includes a $2.3 billion (C$2.9 billion) investment in zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure and a $2.9 billion investment in Canadian homes. And an $800 million (C$1 billion) investment in buildings. “green”. The government also said it would work closely with provinces and territories to develop an emissions control approach for the oil and gas industry to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 per cent by 2030.
Trudeau, recognized as an international climate leader, has pledged to reduce Canada’s emissions and invest in clean energy. But his liberal government has been criticized for supporting pipeline expansions, and other energy projects that critics say will exacerbate the climate crisis.
Last year, liberals set a new goal to cut carbon emissions by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2030. climate, leading to increased emissions. In November, Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco said that Canada ranked “the worst” of the G7 industrialized nations in terms of emissions reductions. Although Canada is responsible for approximately 1.6% of global CO2 emissions, it is one of the top 10 emitters globally and one of the highest emitters per capita.
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Trudeau’s new plan to cut emissions comes just days after his government announced last week that it would boost oil and gas exports to 300,000 barrels a day this year, about 5%.
Canada, home to the tar sands of northern Alberta, is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, and pro-oil Canadian politicians have been calling for more fossil fuel projects for weeks. to the Ukrainian crisis. On Tuesday, environmentalists welcomed the Ottawa plan but said they would closely monitor its implementation.
“The government’s new plan marks the first time that the oil and gas sector has been asked to significantly cut emissions, although this is still not enough and is more focused on public funding of risky technology solutions than a proven clean energy transition solution. said Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist at Greenpeace Canada. “With three decades of successful lobbying by the oil industry against the implementation of past climate change plans, it is imperative that people keep their feet under fire from all politicians to make sure they get the drive to do their part. This time we need real action.
The West Coast Environmental Law Association of Canada also said the plan does not show a “full path” for the promised cuts, but it was a good move that provides more accountability to ensure the government lives up to its commitments. “Canada has not been able to achieve all of its climate goals,” said Anna Johnston, the group’s in-house lawyer. “We hope to stay on track and even increase our ambition to achieve the 60 per cent reduction in emissions needed to keep our global share fair.”