The strategy preferred by fossil fuel producing countries in the era of decarbonization is becoming more evident every day. Encourage and enjoy the economic boom of a wholesale greening in their own economy as they plan to be one of the last producers standing and export the most of their reserves of fossil fuels and refined products.
Norway has been at this for years, and a recent balloon and mail editorial tells us that his strategy is the way of the future for Canada. “Norway aims to profit from oil and gas in the coming years, including through exports to Europe… But Norway has a green reputation because it is also committed to drastically reducing emissions throughout the economy. ..”
Let’s call this approach that combines greening a national economy and increasing fossil fuel exports the Norwegian model.
The US has become the largest producer of oil and natural gas on the planet, while achieving substantial reductions in carbon emissions since 2005 (the base year of the Paris Agreement), achieving a 20 percent reduction as of 2020. They have also emerged as a big exporter of oil and gas, for example, going from zero crude oil exports in 2010 to almost four million barrels per day in July this year. They have been very successful in implementing the Norwegian model.
Another example that fits the model is the much-ballyhooed US climate change action bill, the Reduce Inflation Act. It includes large subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and other tax credit measures designed to decarbonize the US economy. But one of the central pieces is subsidies for the oil and gas industry to implement carbon sequestration to decarbonize emissions during the production phase while producing products that emit many times more CO2 when consumed. In addition, the law opens access to new drilling in millions of acres of federal lands and offshore areas.
Our PM has also been trying to get Canada to emulate the Norwegian model. It has bought the old Trans Mountain pipeline and is building a new overpriced bitumen pipeline to the West Coast to supplement it. It also approved major expansions in our offshore oil and gas production, provided large carbon sequestration tax credits for our tar sands industry to greenwash our bitumen, and approved GHG emissions. LNG mod cons. Justin Trudeau’s actions say he meant it when he said, “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave it there.”
Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, when asked in interviews how he reconciles decarbonizing our national economy while promoting the production and export of high-carbon material from this country has an answer that is basically, “Hey, the UN IPCC doesn’t say we can’t.” What can remind you of this? quote by Stephen Harper on asbestos exports in 2011: “This government will not put Canadian industry in a position where it is discriminated against in a market where it is allowed.”
Despite being such a pro-fossil fuel administration, the Federal Liberals are portrayed as the opposite by Canadian fossil fuel advocates and receive no credit for these actions.
On the other hand, the Trudeau government has implemented a carbon tax too low to be effective and we took a Paris target that we couldn’t possibly meet by 2030 and doubled it. And despite all the green rhetoric, his record is lousy; there has not been emission reductions since they took office in 2015 (ignoring the effects of the 2020 pandemic).
To be fair, after seven years in power, the Trudeau government is finally taking climate change initiatives more seriously, with plans to raise the price of carbon to where it should be able to influence consumer decisions, implementing a low-carbon fuel standard. that could change the way fuels are supplied in this country and have serious talks about a cap on emissions in the oil and gas sector.
Opinion: The #Trudeau government is pushing the “Norway model”, greening the economy while profiting from fossil fuels. @rossbelot writes for @NatObserver. #norway #ClimateTargets #CarbonEmissions #cdnpoli
Unfortunately for these policies, a recent Ipsos survey found that 27 per cent of Canadians are not at all concerned about climate change and another 32 per cent are “somewhat” concerned, suggesting that more than half of Canadians are not that concerned. This suggests that aggressive and complex policies are not likely to be broadly supported by the public.
It’s a big opening for the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, and he knows it. He will continue the liberal policies of promoting fossil fuel production, but unlike the liberals, he will get credit for it. He will also accelerate internal action against climate change, since it is not considered a priority for a large part of the population.
For those of us who want substantive action against climate change in Canada, the last seven years have been a huge disappointment, and that disappointment is likely to continue well into the future.