GOLDSTEIN: Stop taking Trudeau’s farcical climate targets seriously

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In Ottawa, the Trudeau government continues its ongoing farce of claiming Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by 40% to 45% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

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In the latest development, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told CBC Radio’s The House that Canada’s oil and gas sector may be given more time to achieve the government’s target of reducing its emissions to at least 42% below 2005 levels by 2030.

He appeared to suggest the new date would be 2032, but that’s absurd.

For the oil and gas sector — which generates the most emissions of any sector of the Canadian economy — to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2030 target, it would have to reduce its annual emissions in 2019 by at least 85.5 million tonnes and ideally by 93.5 million tonnes in less than eight years.

A spokesman for 95% of Canada’s oilsands production told the CBC it’s working to reduce its emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2030 and extending the deadline to 2032 might add another two to three million tonnes of cuts.

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If the oil and gas sector — which generated 203.5 million tonnes of Canada’s emissions in 2019, or 27.6% of total emissions of 738 million tonnes — isn’t going to meet its 2030 target, then Canada isn’t going to meet Trudeau’s 2030 target.

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Guilbeault said the government can provide the oil and gas sector with greater flexibility while “ensuring that Canada still meets its 2030 goals.”

But the only way that could happen, in theory, would be to increase emission cuts for 2030 by the six other major sectors of the economy.

Those are transportation, 185.5 million tonnes of emissions or 25.1% of total emissions in 2019; buildings, 92 million tonnes (12.5%); heavy industry, 77.4 million tonnes (10.5%); agriculture, 66.7 million tonnes (9%); electricity, 61.8 million tonnes (8.4%) and waste and others 51.5 million tonnes (7%).

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But again, all of the Trudeau government’s targets are nonsense, including its 2050 pledge of net zero emissions since they’re based on projects that haven’t started and technologies that haven’t been invented.

That’s true of every target Liberal and Conservative governments have set to reduce emissions for 34 years, not one of which was ever met.

Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government set the first one in 1988, then a different one in 1990, followed by Jean Chretien’s Liberal government setting a new target in 1993, followed by more targets by Liberal and Conservative governments in 1997, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2021.

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When Chretien signed the Kyoto accord in 1997, the Liberals knew they couldn’t hit the target they’d set (an average of 6% below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012), according to Trudeau’s top political aide at the time.

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In April, federal data showed the Trudeau government missed its 2020 target to cut emissions by 57 million tonnes in the first year of the pandemic, the equivalent of all emissions from Canada’s electricity sector that year.

In that case, not even the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic did enough economic damage for Trudeau to reach his 2020 target.

Using more reliable data from 2019, when emissions were consistent with historical norms, Trudeau missed his 2020 target by 123 million tonnes — the equivalent of almost all emissions from the agricultural and electricity sectors that year.

The only difference from past practice today is that ever since 2019, when Trudeau imposed his national carbon price, Canadians have been paying for the federal government’s missed reduction targets.

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