By Andrew Chen March 31, 2022
A new federal climate plan says Canada’s oil and gas industry will need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 42 percent from current levels by 2030 if the country is to meet its net-zero emissions target in 2050.
The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan also introduces a tighter schedule for Canadian vehicle sales to transition to electric models, promising a requirement that one in five new passenger vehicles be battery-operated within four years, 60 percent by the end of 2030, and ultimately 100 percent by 2035.
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced the new plan in the House of Commons on March 29. It is a legislated requirement under the net-zero emissions law the government passed last year.
Guilbeault says the transport sector will take a little more time in cutting down emissions. Transportation accounts for one-quarter of all emissions. By 2030, the sector should be able to cut emissions by 23 percent from current levels, the report says.
“We are making some progress between now and 2030,” Guilbeault told The Canadian Press. “But there’ll be even more progress to come between 2030 and 2035.”
To support the change in transportation, the government promises to spend another $400 million to install charging stations for electric vehicles, and to expand the electric vehicle rebate program by $1.7 billion. Less than a year ago, the Liberal government upped the electric vehicle ante with a target that half of all new vehicles sold be electric by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035.
The government will also aim for one-third of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold to be electric by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040.
According to the latest emissions data from 2019, Canada produced 730 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. To hit the proposed target, Canada needs to cut down emissions to roughly 443 million tonnes.
The oil and gas sector makes up the biggest share of Canada’s carbon footprint, with 26 percent of total emissions. Oil and gas emissions are up 20 percent since 2005.
The official projection aims to cut emissions from the oil and gas sector to 110 million tonnes by 2030, down from 191 million tonnes in 2019.