Shutter every factory, close down the oilsands, lock up every business. Park every plane, train and automobile. Heck, stop every Canadian from breathing. If Canada were to do that, it would make no appreciable difference in the fight against climate change.
Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has admitted that.
But what if Canada could help the world’s largest polluters cut their greenhouse gas emissions by an appreciable amount?
That could be the equivalent of wiping many Canadas off the map entirely in terms of creating emissions that cause global warming. It would go a long way toward solving the so-called climate emergency.
This idea is the third policy principle of the Conservative Party of Canada’s long-awaited climate action plan entitled A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment, released Wednesday afternoon. It’s an initiative that should have been done a long time ago.
We’ve all heard the expression that when it comes to helping the environment we should “think globally and act locally.” That remains true. But when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, what really should happen is to think globally and act globally.
“Greenhouse gas emissions do not recognize borders,” Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said in a Wednesday evening speech in Chelsea, Que.
“Canada could stop everything tomorrow. Oilsands. Mining. Manufacturing. Agriculture. Everything. And it would mean almost nothing,” said Sheer, referring to Canada producing just 1.6 per cent of the world’s global man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
“We don’t do the world any favours by driving investment and jobs away from Canada — where energy is cleaner and environmental standards are higher — and into the welcoming arms of countries with dirtier sources of energy and lower environmental standards. Under that scenario, everybody loses,” he said.
“If you shut down Canada’s entire economy for a year, China would replace all of our emissions in three weeks.” China produces 27 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Coal makes up 59 per cent of China’s total energy consumption but produced more than 70 per cent of energy-related C02 emissions in 2018, according to Jan Ivar Korsbakken and Robbie Andrew, senior researchers in climate economics at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.
Scheer even quoted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as saying: ‘Even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow, and the other countries didn’t have any solutions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.’ “
That’s a fact.
“We have to look beyond our borders. This is the fresh new perspective Canada needs and as prime minister it will be mine,” said Scheer, who also announced initiatives to incentivize green technology, bring in a green home tax credit — since 12 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings — and to lower the tax rate from 15 per cent to five per cent on income earned from the patent of a new green technology.
Scheer pointed out that Canada’s liquefied natural gas, or LNG, could dramatically reduce China’s reliance on coal — the biggest and baddest of all fossil fuels in terms of CO2 emissions.
He also said Canada’s carbon capture and storage expertise, if outfitted on just 100 of China’s 3,000 coal plants, would cut 300 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year — which is nearly half of what Canada’s entire economy produces in a year.
This idea is music to the ears of University of British Columbia Professor Wenran Jiang, because it is a tune he’s been singing since 2011.
Jiang, the director of the Canada-China Energy & Environment Forum at the Institute of Asian Research at UBC, has been trying to sell this idea to politicians and policy-makers for a long time.
“China’s problem is it uses too much coal and converts its coal into liquid and gas, which lowers the amount of pollutants in the lower atmosphere but at the same time emits more CO2 into the atmosphere, so I’ve been advocating for almost a decade now for more environmental logic on the global level to say, look folks, before the renewables and alternative energy sources finally take over we need some transitional solutions. The transitional fuels — oil, heavy oil included, and LNG especially are needed — as a transitional solution to replace coal use in China. That will result in significant net GHG reductions globally,” said Jiang, who was interviewed Wednesday night in Calgary.
“If you really want to take care of climate change, this is the way to go in the short and medium term,” added Jiang. “This isn’t an opinion. These are the facts. This is the only way to go.
“I think gradually people are moving beyond narrow, parochial, regional, provincial and national borders. Finally people are beginning to realize how important it is if we are to combat climate change and reduce CO2 emissions, the only way to do it is through global means. Any local initiatives, as important as they are, need to be part of global efforts, otherwise it could be totally lost. If we don’t look at this problem globally, any incremental efforts Canada makes is a lost cause,” said Jiang.
It’s long past time to tackle climate change with a holistic global approach by thinking globally and acting globally.https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/colum ... rs-cut-co2
Sorry Liz May, your beloved carbon tax on working families will not move the climate needle one iota let alone save $91 billion.