Canada’s Carbon Targets Are Doable, Parliamentary Budget Officer Reports
Canada can meet its 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emissions without a huge cost to the economy, with technologies that exist or are under development, and with a carbon price below $100 per tonne, according to a report last month by Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette.
“This doesn’t mean climate policy will be easy,” warns reporter David Crane. “There are not enough measures in place to achieve Canada’s climate commitments, but that is largely an issue of policy design, regional burden-sharing, and just plain politics…We elect politicians to sort out these issues, though it remains to be seen whether our current crop is up to the task.”
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Crane cites the PBO’s estimate that three key sectors—electricity, transportation, and oil and gas extraction—could deliver 78% of the reductions required by 2030 to meet a carbon target that Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has described as “a floor…not a ceiling.”
Crane notes that “reaching our climate reduction target also represents an opportunity for Canadians companies to develop and demonstrate clean technologies that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.” The success of that effort will depend on Canada’s ability to define what qualifies as cleantech and make strategic investments in the country’s areas of greatest strength.
The numbers in the report show that tar sands/oil sands production will continue to be controversial, with projected emissions growth of 74% by 2030 “shifting more of the task of overall emissions reduction for Canada to other Canadians,” Crane writes. “But the main message from the PBO is positive—we can, with more work, achieve our emission reduction targets, and the cost of doing so is not that high. In other words, let’s get going.” (h/t to The Energy Mix subscriber Gary Martin for pointing us to this story)