Canada to reduce emissions by 62% by 2050, watchdog says

Canada is on track to significantly reduce carbon emissions from its energy sector by 2050, the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) policy watchdog announced Friday.

The Clean Air Task Force (CAN) cited an analysis of the country’s National Energy Board (NEB) environmental assessment that it said shows Canada will be on track to reduce its cumulative carbon emissions by 62 per cent by 2050.

“Canadians want clean and safe energy; they support the NEB’s work and expect their government to set a long-term direction. They’re not only on board with the policy recommendations outlined in the NEB’s assessment, but also the recommendations we’ve made as an organization,” said Will Steger, CEO of CAN.

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The report said more government support for new and advanced technologies is required to reach the potential emissions reductions target of 62 per cent.

“Tackling GHG emissions is going to take an integrated approach: we need regulatory changes at the federal and provincial levels to improve the efficiency of both existing and new facilities, limit pollution from manufacturing and the transport of petroleum products, and reduce land use,” Steger added.

The CAN analysis also said 80 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted in Canada will have been produced by 2050.

“Carbon emissions in the oil and gas sector alone will more than double by 2050, unless substantial investment is made in technologies that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions,” the report stated.

The new figures are part of a larger study by CAN that was made public last year. The group found there was potential for Canada to cut its total GHG emissions by 54 per cent by 2050 and zero emissions by 2100.

Related: Alberta to launch carbon pricing program effective April 1

So far, Canada has implemented 12 per cent of the necessary GHG-reduction targets with the federal government and Alberta already falling in line with the country’s 2030 goal to lower emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels.

On February 1, the Canadian government will start offering carbon credits to Canadians in an attempt to put the price on carbon by making it more expensive to produce fuel from a province that does not already have a carbon price in place.

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