Canada faces 'herculean shift' to meet climate targets

Canada is the world's sixth largest oil producer
Canada is the world's sixth largest oil producer

Canada requires a "herculean shift" in energy use to meet its international commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, according to a Senate study out Tuesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government agreed under the Paris agreement on to eliminate 219 megatonnes of (GHG) emissions by 2030.

This represents a 30 percent reduction from 2005 levels.

"To put it in context, if all the cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships were to disappear from Canada by 2030, we would still fall far short of meeting our GHG reduction commitments," said the report.

Alternately, Canada could shut down its oil and gas sector, which is projected to produce 233 megatonnes by 2030.

The nation is the world's sixth largest oil producer.

Canada's electricity sector is already one of the "cleanest in the world," with 80 percent of production non-emitting.

The country is increasingly relying on electricity to reduce emissions in other sectors, through the electrification of vehicles, buildings and industrial processing.

However in some cases, "the technology is not yet cost effective," said the report.

A movement is also afoot to expand interprovincial trade in hydro electricity, but this has been constrained by the high cost of transmission.

The study by the Senate Standing Committee on energy, the environment and natural resources is the first of five reports to be released this year, outlining challenges faced by key sectors in meeting the CO2 emissions target.

"Achieving the 2030 target will require a herculean shift in how energy is produced and consumed in Canada," the report concluded.

"For the years beyond 2030, one must imagine a society essentially transformed and decarbonized," it said.


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© 2017 AFP

Citation: Canada faces 'herculean shift' to meet climate targets (2017, March 7) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-canada-herculean-shift-climate.html
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