Oil and gas emission targets must go up for sector to do its fair share

Tuesday March 29, 2022

Stand.earth reacts to federal Emissions Reduction Plan

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — The Canadian government released its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today, and while it's the first time the plan explicitly names targets for the oil and gas industry, it’s still not enough to ensure Canada meets its climate goals.

The federal plan outlines a 40-45 per cent reduction in its climate pollution below 2005 levels by 2030. Critical to the success of this plan is an emission reduction commitment from the oil and gas sector, which the government correctly identifies in its new sectoral targets, but is only expected to reach a 31 per cent goal. This figure is well below the economy-wide target of 45 per cent, prompting other sectors to pick up the slack caused by the country’s biggest polluters. 

“It’s a step in the right direction for the government to be setting specific oil and gas sectoral targets to reduce emissions for the first time. However, likely as a result of big oil’s relentless lobbying, the sectoral targets are set too low and must go up if oil and gas is to do their fair share.” said Tzeporah Berman International Program Director Stand.earth.  “As long as these targets are lower than the rest of the economy, that means other sectors will have to do more in order to allow big oil to continue to pollute.”

Also included in today’s announcement was the confirmation that the federal government plans to introduce a carbon capture, utilization, and storage investment tax credit. Many environmentalists have expressed concern that the oil and gas sector is using an unrealistic view of the potential of this technology to avoid taking real steps to address their growing emissions.

“Oil and gas must make real emissions reductions for Canada to hit its climate targets,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director for Stand.earth. “If we allow big oil to avoid actual emissions reductions by hiding behind unproven technology like carbon capture, and storage, then we are doomed to fail as a country.”

Canada is one of the top ten global emitters of climate pollution and has some of the highest per capita emissions amongst major industrialised countries. Since 1990, the country has had nine climate plans and most of its targets were missed. Canada is also the only G7 nation that has experienced growth in climate emissions since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015. And yet, in spite of IPCC estimates that global oil production needs to shrink by 37 per cent by 2030 and by 87 per cent by 2050 to prevent irreversible climate change impacts, modeling in this current federal plan indicates that oil and gas production is actually projected to increase.

Stand.earth is calling on Canada’s federal government to hold the country’s biggest polluters accountable and do their fair share to keep the country’s climate goals on track and meet the 1.5°C threshold set out in the Paris Agreement. 

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Media contact: 

Ziona Eyob, Media Director - Canada, canadamedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (Pacific Time)