Canada’s latest climate targets require us to reduce GHG emissions to 30% below our 2005 baseline by 2030. By 2018 we had managed just 2%, admittedly with a degree of population growth and a power grid that does not have easy gains.
As David Knight Legg1 points out “The recent Earth Day announcement to increase that 2030 target to a 40-45% reduction means that Canada, which has reduced less than 1 megatonne (mT) a year for 16 years, will now find a way to remove over 300 mT—over 30 mT a year—in the remaining nine years.”
Targets are easy, reality is not. The world greeted this new target with a loud laugh. May its an old Russian play book, when a target cannot be met, just announce a new one.
Legg goes on to point out “Electricity and heating account for one quarter of all global emissions, and the world’s consumption of electricity has doubled since 2000. The growing use of coal in electricity has driven global emissions higher every year.
Because coal burns at 100% higher carbon intensity per unit of energy than natural gas, the conversion of grids from coal to gas has been the largest single contributor to global decarbonization. The U.S. has led with a reduction of over 900 mT since 2000, and Europe and the U.K. are a close second, using gas imports from Russia, Algeria and Norway to drive the lion’s share of their reduction of over 700 mT. “
He does not mention that natural gas still emits C02.
It is clear that between now and 2030 the following pressures will be applied by business and pro business conservative governments of all stripes, [oops there are no non conservative governments in Canada or its provinces]:
1. Push LNG as being better than coal and expand LNG exports to Asia
2. Push carbon capture, utilization and storage – inject into oil and gas wells where possible,
3.Push hydrogen as the new white knight, and
4. Much fancy accounting, trade credits and slick puck handling to get carbon credits.
I used to think that the Hawaii carbon measurement was the only number that mattered, until I was enlightened that methane was not being measured …. go figure that one.
Stay tuned. We used to think that 2030 was a long way away.
1.Chairman of the ESG Working Group of the Province of Alberta and CEO of Invest Alberta Corporation
Source: Globe Series – Blog by David Knight Legg