Ottawa continues to challenge the resilience of its resource-based economies as Natural Resource Minister Jonathan Wilkinson commits to implementing a cap on oil and gas production, anticipated in the near future.
On September 28, Wilkinson spoke to delegates at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), where he unveiled Canada’s ‘carbon management strategy.’
“Alongside rising carbon prices, increasingly stringent emissions standards — such as the Clean Electricity Regulations, Clean Fuel Regulations and the emissions cap for the oil and gas sector — will further encourage adoption of carbon management technologies,” Natural Resource Canada penned in a joint policy statement with the IEA.
While the cap remains “under development,” Wilkinson said to expect legislation soon to advance their ‘net-zero’ objectives through a series of five-year interim targets.
Canada hopes to achieve ‘net-zero’ starting with a preliminary 40% to 45% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.
On Tuesday, the IEA released updated its Net Zero Roadmap that predicts fossil fuel demand to peak this decade.
The organization insists a “policy-driven” pursuit of renewable energy projects will drive fossil fuel demand 25% lower by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
By the first interim target, they expect global renewable power to triple owing to greater electric vehicle sales and methane emission reductions of 75%.
“As a result, no new long-lead-time upstream oil and gas projects are needed. Neither are new coal mines, mine extensions or new unabated coal plants,” said the IEA.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told the World Petroleum Congress last week that estimates of global oil demand falling below 25 million barrels a day by 2050 is “a fantasy.”
But Wilkinson and Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said Wednesday the use of carbon management technologies can decarbonize Canada’s heavy industries “in the global race to net zero by 2050.”
“The International Energy Agency, and other experts have been clear about the need for countries to rapidly develop and deploy carbon management technologies, and Canada is leading the way,” they said in a joint statement.
According to the ‘carbon management strategy,’ the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) — which covers Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — contains one-seventh of the world’s active carbon capture projects.”
While the document acknowledges that carbon capture is “essential” to reaching ‘net-zero,’ it contends that “technologies to reduce, remove or reuse CO2 from the atmosphere is not a silver bullet for addressing the climate crisis.”
“This means scaling carbon management alongside ongoing efforts to meet Canada’s primary goal to aggressively reduce absolute emissions” through the proposed electricity draft regulations and an emissions cap.