Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Thursday that the fossil fuel industry will have to slash emissions by 35% to 38% below 2019 levels beginning in 2030 has led to an industry backlash warning that this policy will result in a significant reduction of output and high energy prices for consumers.
“No sector of the economy should be allowed to emit unlimited pollution–not when we are all driving toward the same goal of net zero by 2050 to ward off the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The proposed emissions cap sets a limit on pollution, not production,” reads a press release from Ottawa on Thursday.
“All sectors of our economy need to reduce their emissions and that includes oil and gas companies,” the statement read.
The Canadian oil and gas industry immediately responded,
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has referred to the federal government’s emissions cap policy as a de facto production cap. The group has criticized the plan for being too ambitious and emphasized that the industry is working hard to reduce emissions already.
"At a time when the country's citizens are experiencing a substantial affordability crisis, coincident with record budget deficits, the federal government risks curtailing the energy Canadians rely on, along with jobs and government revenues the energy sector contributes to Canada," reads a CAPP statement.
The proposed emissions cap would involve a cap-and-trade system that provides for some flexibility in reaching targets by allowing emitters to purchase offset credits or pay into a decarbonization fund to lower requirements to 20-23%, according to CBC Canada.
Speaking to CBC Canada, Janetta McKenzie, acting director of the Pembina Institute think tank, rejected the fossil fuel industry’s stance on the emissions cut policy, suggesting they are not impossibly ambitious.
"Given the technology solutions that the industry has, this is a realistic target on a realistic timeline," McKenzie told CBC.
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com
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