Canada govt seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

Cheryl Sanders
November 21, 2020

Its Paris target is to reduce emissions by 30 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

The government of Canada unveiled its roadmap to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a commitment that follows up on promises made in the Speech from the Throne.

That means there either are no more emissions, or those still produced are absorbed by nature or technology.

In response, he confirmed that legislation was tabled on Thursday which sets binding targets to get Canada to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental law charity Ecojustice said the bill showed the government was "taking the climate emergency seriously", noting it was the first time a federal government introduced legislation to hold itself accountable for emissions. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to plant two billion trees.

For the remaining targets and plans for 2035, 2040, 2045, they have to be made public at least five years in advance of the goal. The assessment of whether or not the target was met would not come until after the annual emissions reports, which are two years behind, are released. The report released Monday expects the domestic and worldwide hydrogen markets have the potential to be worth "$100 billion per year or more."The report highlights five facilities immediately north of Edmonton that produce hydrogen, including Shell Canada Ltd.'s Scotford refining complex, the NorthWest Refinery and a Nutrien Ltd. fertilizer plant.In total, the province produces 2,250 tonnes of hydrogen per day from hydrocarbons such as oil and gas.

Amos said the bill's language is unambiguous: the minister "must" set national emissions targets, for example, and "must" establish emissions reduction plans that get tabled in Parliament.

NDP environment critic Laurel Collins said most climate experts say the next 10 years are critical for averting the worst consequences of climate change.

Collins said setting a 2025 target would show Canada understands that and is willing to do more to prevent it.

The rest of the hydrogen produced in Alberta is considered "gray hydrogen", because the Carbon dioxide emissions associated with its production are not captured."We already have a good hydrogen economy in Alberta". "It in no way responds to the fact that the next 10 years are the most important".

Green Party leader Annamie Paul quickly shot down the draft. However, the government did not provide any details on actionable items. He said accountability for meeting those targets would ultimately be carried out by voters, who increasingly support stricter climate change policies.

While environmental groups may celebrate the tabling of this bill, they will lobby for amendments to strengthen it. Catherine Abreu, executive director of Climate Action Network Canada, called this proposed legislation is "a big step in the right direction". But she says there is work to be done to ensure there is action in the near term "rather than simply backloading all of the work on climate change to decades from now".

But the measure contains no specifics, and successive Canadian governments have failed to reach the emissions reduction goals they have set.

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