With the up and coming federal election just around the corner, it is crucial that Canadians are receiving accurate information when it comes to our political parties and their platforms. This will hopefully allow Canadians to make informed decisions when they cast their ballots later this year.
On July 30th, CBC Politics released a “fact check” on the recently released Conservative Party of Canada’s climate change plan entitled “A Real Plan To Protect Our Environment”. The fact check was aptly named “Why Andrew Scheer’s climate plan won’t hit Canada’s Paris targets”
The author of the article immediately starts off by stating that the CPC Climate plan does not set any emissions targets. That is plainly false. On page 6 it clearly states that the 30% reduction in GHGs by 2030 is what the plan will aim to achieve.
A part of the “fact check” is based off a report from the environmental group Clean Prosperity which claims to seek market-based approaches to tackle climate change.
The report estimates that the Conservative climate change plan will increase emissions instead of decreasing them, based on different policy platforms in the plan. While the report does make economic arguments related to an increase in costs to consumers, many studies have noted that the carbon tax will still harm Canadians more. The report also does not take into account the investment into private sector initiatives that have arguably done more research and advancement in emissions reduction.
As noted previously by the Canadian Energy Network, companies are at the forefront of innovation. This focuses primarily on investment in technology by companies and the government to produce cleaner technology. One of the methods of how it will achieve this is through leveraging a $1 Billion investment fund for the green tech sector. This could have a host of benefits for projects like the one at Imperial Oil’s Cold Lake site which slated to reduce emissions around 60% from traditional steam recovery. This will no doubt help reduce emissions.
The report that is also cited, misuses the life cycle estimates of natural gas vs. coal fired power, they claim from this 2014 report that life-cycle GHGs of a gas plant will only remove .374 kg per kWh of generated power, however this graph from that 2014 report states differently.
As shown, natural gas still maintains a significant advantage over coal, which is China’s main energy source.
The CBC article and Clean prosperity report both note that they believe that the plan to gain emissions credits would not work because Canada would need to renegotiate previous treaties. However, the article for this mechanism is clearly under the Paris Agreement. Which begs the question of why would Canada need to renegotiate the past, when there is a present-day agreement?
While it might be hard to get China to the table for exchanging credits, they already clearly are in the market for our natural gas. There is also a provision in Article 6th of the Paris Agreement(6.8) which sets aside potential measures where countries can engage in technology sharing among other things. This is an avenue Canada should also be pursuing as a global leader in energy.
If climate-change is a growing global problem, then doesn’t it make sense to try and take a global approach in reducing emissions? At this point, we should be looking at all options to prevent the climate disaster, instead of pushing others out and misinforming the public.