Canada Will Cut GHG Emissions by Oodles Vows PM!


Compared to their peers, the Brits have achieved fairly good results in cutting their greenhouse gas emissions. They not only promised - everyone does that - but they delivered.

On climate change, as in many other areas, the Canadian government has issued plenty of bold promises but all that shows is that talk is indeed cheap. Too often these promises end in a heap of "We tried. We can't. We're sorry."

Today is Joe Biden's "virtual summit" of 40 world leaders on slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Trudeau dutifully brought his offering. Canada will cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030 - somehow, maybe.

The Brits realized the only way to achieve targeted cuts is to make them mandatory. You have to bind the government to achieving specific results. That means details, concrete figures, exacting time tables.

Could Canada deliver the promised cuts? Maybe, but it wouldn't be easy. Cutting our GHG emissions by almost half within just nine years is more than ambitious. It would involve sacrifice from the already hard-hit energy provinces, especially Alberta, which seems to have other problems at the moment.

And what of Mr. Trudeau's glorious new pipeline to "tidewater," the steel tube he wants to use to flood world markets with the dirtiest, highest carbon form of ersatz petroleum of them all, bitumen. The pipeline he had to have so badly that he paid way over market for the project when no one in the private sector would touch it. You see, we don't take any responsibility for that stuff once it's in the hold of a supertanker. Then it becomes another country's problem. It's off our books. And that's a key to Canada's emissions performance, keeping the books tidy.

Nine years is an incredibly brief time in which to restructure an economy. Can it be done? Sure it can but it might entail going on something akin to a war footing and that can be very costly. With just under nine years, you have to hit the ground running. Waiting until the virus emergency is over is wasting time we don't have. Trying to do so much in such a short time with a minority government, that's a stretch.

Can the Liberals win a majority in an election fought over the climate emergency? Are Canadians ready for that? What are our priorities? Where do we draw the line?

It's been just over five years since Justin Trudeau and Catherine McKenna strolled the floor of the Paris climate summit and proclaimed "Canada's back." Now it's time to make good on that promise.

The Supreme Court, in a split-decision, upheld Ottawa's carbon tax but that hasn't tamed the unruly western provinces. They're masters at throwing tantrums and throwing up barricades at the intersections. 


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