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.