Canada’s “Best Chance”?

Yesterday Andrew Scheer made public the platform of the Federal Conservative Party on climate change. This platform is  all about the really big emitters . . . and “green technology”. There is nothing in the platform to encourage individual Canadians to contribute to limiting Canada’s emissions.

Scheer claimed that the platform promotes “green technology, not taxes” by setting strict emissions standards for major greenhouse gas emitters.  Depending on the magnitude of its emissions, a company would be required to  pay into a fund that would in turn be invested in government-certified clean tech companies.  Scheer anticipates that over time this standards policy would necessitate emitters to reduce the level of their  emissions as part of their business models.

Scheer did not identify what technologies would be encouraged by a payment from the fund.  But there is one technology that has been developed to remove emissions from the atmosphere :  carbon capture and storage (CCS).  Carbon emissions from a source are sequestered and transported to another location where they are stored well underground.

CCS was first employed by Statoil, a Norwegian Government Corporation in 1996 and it is still being deployed in that country.  The Saskatchewan Power Corporation used CCS to remove 2 million tons of emissions from two smaller coal-driven electricity generation sites. Despite these successes there has been little re-deployment of this technology elsewhere in Canada.

The point is that technology is uncertain, and the prospects of using technology to meet Canada’s emissions targets is very uncertain. Naturally Andrew Scheer was not prepared to recognize this uncertainty.  In his remarks introducing the issue, he claimed that the Conservative policy is Canada’s best chance for meeting the standards agreed to at Paris.  There is no support for this allegation in the Conservative platform

Canadians should be highly sceptical until Scheer and the Federal Conservatives substantiate their claim that the non-existing Green Technology is the best chance for Canada to meet its Paris emission targets.


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1 thought on “Canada’s “Best Chance”?”

  1. Thanks to Brian Young for this comment:

    About sequestration: recentlyCanada’s CO2 emissions were about 716,000,000 tons per year (Mt of CO2 in 2017) .
    The desired consensus on emissions was net-zero by 2050 but this is impossible.
    The pace of change, even if exponential, would take decades longer.
    If we’d started greening 30 years ago, we’d still be way off the goal.

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