Environmentalists Slam Trudeau’s Climate Change Plan
By: Erica Wedgbury
Canadian environmentalists are criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to cap oil and gas emissions.
At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Trudeau called this a “necessary action” and said Canada will reach net-zero by 2050.
But climate activist Alex Ross, a member of Environmental Defence, says, “Trudeau failed to come up with the right solution” in Glasgow.
Ross says, the government should instead focus on production, “which is enabling oil and gas companies to keep putting forward false statements and keep pumping out fossil fuels.”
According to Environmental Defence, Canada has the weakest 2030 emissions reduction target in the G7 – with only a 40 to 45 per cent reduction. The group also claims Canada has one of the lowest climate financing budgets, with only up to a million dollars for the transition away from coal.
In 2019 the Canadian government imposed a minimum carbon tax on fuel of 20 dollars per tonne, but at the COP26 summit, Trudeau announced that Canada’s carbon price trajectory will be rising to 170 dollars a ton in 2030.
However, a recent Abacus Data poll conducted by the International Energy Agency found that 62 per cent of Canadians want the government to stop giving taxpayer subsidies back to the oil and gas industry.
Environmentalist and co-chair of Toronto Climate Action Network, Stefan Hostetter, commented on the tax increase saying, “What Trudeau is implementing doesn’t make sense. He wants to increase carbon tax all the while using our tax money to assist oil and gas companies.”
In Scotland, Trudeau called on other countries to follow in Canada’s footsteps saying, “We must work together to ensure it is no longer free to pollute anywhere in the world.”
But Hostetter says Canada should set a better example.
He said, “Interestingly, Canada has not joined the Beyond Oil and gas Alliance led by Denmark and Costa Rica which gets countries to commit to phasing out oil and gas, though Quebec has.”
The International Energy Agency concluded that to achieve net-zero emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, companies need to stop investing in and approving new oil and gas projects.
(Infographic done by Fidela Mangulabnan)