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The Canadian federal government could give the oil industry more time to meet emission reduction targets that were supposed to be hit by 2030.
In an interview for CBC, the country's climate change minister Steven Guilbeault said that "[We] recognize that some of the measures that will be needed to achieve those deep emission reductions might require more time than what we have between now and 2030."
"I'm not saying today it's necessarily going to be 2032, but the companies have said it could be 10 years, which would bring us to 2032," Guilbeault also said.
Earlier this month, the Canadian government released a proposal for capping greenhouse emissions from the oil industry—the country's biggest emitter.
"True global energy security and affordability can only come with reduced emissions. With this cap, we will work with industry, provinces, Indigenous groups, civil society, and others to take action on drawing down the emissions from oil and gas production," the federal climate change minister commented at the time.
Now, however, it seems the government is willing to admit that the oil industry might need more time to hit these targets, and it is also willing to give it this time.
"There's a possibility that if the industry needs a bit more time, then we can provide some flexibility while ensuring that Canada still meets its 2030 goals, that we can allow the industry a bit more time if they need this time to deploy the necessary infrastructure that they need to reduce emissions," Guilbeault told CBC Radio.
The oil industry accounted for a little over a quarter of Canada's total emissions in 2019 and 27 percent in 2020. The proposal to cap emissions drew fire from Alberta's provincial government, which called it an attempt by the federal government to interfere in provincial affairs.
"Provinces are the owners of these natural resources, which have been responsibly managed on behalf of Canadians for decades," the Alberta ministers of the environment and energy said in response to the proposal earlier this month.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.