Canada government seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

21 Novembre, 2020, 16:35 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Canada gov't seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

"We make hydrogen and we use it to make fertilizer", said Dan Wicklum, the Calgary-based CEO of Transition Accelerator.Wicklum said governments previously tried to reduce emissions by mandating certain sectors reduce their emissions to targeted levels either through regulation or taxation, but a hydrogen-based energy system could enable countries around the world to set and meet net-zero carbon targets.Despite the potential for Alberta and Canada to be a hydrogen supplier, worldwide competitors are already moving into the market."Our competitors so far are Australia and Saudi Arabia", Wicklum said, noting that both countries have already sold hydrogen of hydrogen to buyers in Japan.In September, Saudi Arabia sent a shipment of blue hydrogen to Japan, said to be the world's first shipment of the energy source.

Many environment groups and opposition parties praised the legislation as a good first step but nearly all are dismayed the government did not set an interim five-year target for 2025. The minister would have to report on progress made toward each target and, if the target was missed, explain how the government intends to get the country back on track.

The environment commissioner - an officer in the auditor general's office - would be charged with examining the implementation of the government's plan, while an advisory board would submit an annual report with advice for the minister.

The idea of climate change accountability legislation is not new.

"The opposition parties the Liberals need to pass this bill have a historic opportunity to amend the bill and turn it into a made-in-Canada Green New Deal", said Possian. This means that first target would be for the year 2030. For now, the first test of the new bill - and the next big test of the Trudeau government - will be the requirement to present a new and more ambitious plan for 2030.

Its Paris target is to reduce emissions by 30 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030. "It in no way responds to the fact that the next 10 years are the most important". It would also require the finance minister to report annually on what is being done to mitigate the financial risks caused by climate change.

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Partisans may never stop kicking around the details of climate policy.

Some provinces and cities, such as Guelph, Vancouver, Hamilton, Toronto, Halifax, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, have already committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"Reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is what the science says we must achieve, and this 30-year project will require every future government to take actions to grow our economy while reducing emissions in every sector", he said.

Global emissions will need to reach net zero around mid-century to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 Celsius, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In committing to it, Canada joins countries like the U.K., France, Germany and Japan.

"The climate accountability legislation introduced today unfortunately has major deficiencies that will, at best, hold future federal governments accountable for Canada's climate commitments", he said in a written statement.

Wilkinson's legislation will reportedly set mandatory emission reduction targets every five years starting in 2025 - well past the lifespan of the current Liberal minority government. The group said the bill contains some "key ingredients" for helping avoid a global climate catastrophe, but that climate action may be too delayed.

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