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Canada’s main oil province, Alberta, released on Wednesday a plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Missing from Alberta’s net-zero emissions plan are targets set for any time between now and 2050.
Canada’s federal government created its Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which became law on June 29, 2021, and serves as the framework for reaching Net-Zero by 2050. But part of Canada’s Accountability Act calls for “milestone years”—2035, 2040, and 2045—for which the country must also set interim national greenhouse gas emissions targets.
Alberta’s plan has no such interim targets, nor is there any legislative or regulations in place that would enforce this 2050 target. And Alberta’s current government isn’t looking to legislate it.
“Before we regulate or impose limits on specific industries and interim targets there’s more work to be done. We have to see what’s achievable,” Alberta’s Environment Minister of Environment and Protected Areas said, adding that “We’re not looking at legislating it, but someday another minister, or another government, may say...’let’s put it into legislation.’”
Alberta is also considering lowering the provincial cap on oil sands emissions from the current bar, set at 100 megatonnes—a major source of emissions in the province.
The plan was described by the government as “aspirational” and focuses on carbon capture, utilization, and storage, Savage told reporters on Wednesday, adding that “There is no path to net zero without carbon capture.”
Also missing from the plan are funding and infrastructure specifics for meeting the 2050 target.
Savage assured the oil industry that it was not moving away from fossil fuels, which would “continue to be a key part of the global energy mix in the coming decades.”
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.