Another pie in the sky promise by Trudeau that will cost us all more than we can afford.
Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has adopted former prime minister Stephen Harper’s targets for reducing greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions linked to climate change, here’s why he’s not going to achieve them.
It’s called math.
Earlier this year, the federal government estimated Canada’s total industrial GHG emissions will be 768 megatonnes annually in 2020 (a megatonne, or Mt, is a million tonnes) and 815 Mt annually in 2030.
In order to achieve the Trudeau/Harper target of 17% below Canada’s 2005 emissions by 2020 and 30% by 2030, our emissions would have to drop to 622 Mt annually by 2020 and to 524 Mt by 2030.
Therefore, to meet Trudeau’s 2020 target, his Liberal government has less than five years to reduce Canada’s forecast emissions by 146 Mt (768 Mt-622 Mt) annually.
It (or any future federal government) has less than 15 years to reduce Canada’s forecast emissions by 291 Mt annually by 2030, (815 Mt-524 Mt).
For Trudeau to reduce Canada’s emissions by 146 Mt in less than five years would require the equivalent of shutting down Canada’s entire electricity sector, which emits 78.2 Mt of GHG annually, along with most of the agriculture sector, which emits 72.9 Mt of GHG annually.
For Trudeau to reduce Canada’s emissions by 291 Mt by 2030 would require the equivalent of shutting down the entire oil and gas sector, which emits 192.3 Mt of GHG annually, along with more than half of the transportation sector, which emits 171.3 Mt of GHG emissions annually.
If you believe any of this is going to happen, I have some oceanfront property in Alberta to sell you.
Trudeau is never going to achieve Harper’s targets.
Harper was never going to achieve Harper’s targets.
Jean Chretien was never going to achieve the target he promised in his 1993 Liberal red book and later, the more modest target he promised under the Kyoto accord in 1997, which was still much deeper than Harper’s unattainable target, which is now Trudeau’s.
These were all political promises that none of them ever intended to keep, like Trudeau’s promise during last year’s election that this year’s federal deficit would be under $10 billion, instead of what it is, which is almost $30 billion.
The only significant difference between Harper and Trudeau is that Harper rejected the idea of imposing national carbon pricing on Canadians, as long as the Americans weren’t going to do it.
Harper understood how costly this would be for Canadians in a big, cold, northern, sparsely populated, resource-based country.
Trudeau is either going to negotiate with the provinces or impose a national carbon price on Canadians, which will cost us a fortune and do nothing to lower emissions effectively or efficiently, as Europe’s disastrous experiments with carbon pricing have shown.
Rather, carbon pricing is going to be another cash grab from Canadians (save for B.C.’s, which is revenue neutral) by our spendthrift governments, desperately searching for new excuses to take more of our money.