Steven Guilbeault says possible Trump re-election is 'very worrisome'

'... there are some things that Trump and his team have put out that are very worrisome from an environmental perspective,' said Guilbeault.

Steven Guilbeault says possible Trump re-election is 'very worrisome'
The Canadian Press / Patrick Doyle and AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault worries that the prospect of former US President Donald Trump winning a second term is "very worrisome."

Guilbeault's comments came after he was asked about recently introduced legislation fighting biodiversity loss domestically. The Trudeau climate czar said that halting loss would take an international effort, noting though that he would be comfortable working with whoever wins the US presidency.

Guilbeault was asked, "Do you get worried about the possibility of Donald Trump returning to the White House and re-opening protected areas in the Arctic for more drilling?"

He responded by saying that the Liberals have shown that they can work with both Republicans and Democrats.

"That being said, there are some things that Trump and his team have put out that are very worrisome from an environmental perspective, whether it’s on climate or whether it’s on nature," he said.

"You would like to think that nature should be a nonpartisan issue. There’s nothing more conservative than conservation. The conservation movement was largely started by conservative people, so I’m hoping that can be the case in the U.S."

"I’m also hoping that can be the case in Canada as well. We’ve signed nature agreements with a provincial NDP government, a provincial Conservative government, and a Liberal government in the Yukon, even though they’re less entrenched into party positions. So, we’ve been able to work with different types of governments, provincial and territorial, on this," he said.

"I’m also confident, by the time COP16 comes in October, we’ll have a couple more nature agreements to show Canadians."

He says that draft regulations for an oil and gas emissions cap would be ready by the fall.

Guilbeault's concerns, though, are unfounded.

In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, columnist Timothy Carney lays out how emissions actually decreased under Trump, thanks in large part to fracking.

"Mostly, though, it’s about fracking, which allows cleaner and less carbon-intensive natural gas to replace dirtier and more CO2-heavy coal. Despite the promises of Democrats and the scare stories of Republicans, it didn’t take the EPA to cut coal usage in half over 12 years. It took a cheaper form of reliable energy — and that’s natural gas obtained through fracking."

"Renewable energy is a much smaller factor in this record drop in coal usage. It’s really a story of fracking," he writes.

Meanwhile, emissions under Trudeau have only gone up, despite the largely unpopular carbon tax being put into place.

Government data shows that two years after the Liberals introduced their climate change plan, Canada's emissions increased to 684 million tonnes in 2022, up by 14 million tonnes from the 670 million tonnes produced in 2021.

Canada’s 2021 emissions were 11 million tonnes, or 1.7% higher, than the 659 million tonnes emitted in 2020.

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