A new report from the Pembina Institute singles out Alberta’s oil and gas industry as pivotal to whether Canada will reach its 2020 emissions target.
Under current federal strategies, which do not require reductions as stringent as the Pembina’s report recommends, Canada will miss its emissions reduction target by about 110 million tonnes.
“Getting on Track to 2020” suggests the goal can be achieved if greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2020 are 42 per cent less than what they are projected to be. That would also require them to drop 23 per cent below today’s levels.
“It is absolutely true that we are looking to the oil and gas sector to close most of the remaining gap to Canada’s target. That is because oil and gas is by far the biggest remaining ‘piece of the pie’ left under the government’s sector-by-sector approach,” the report says. The oil and gas sector currently accounts for a quarter of Canada’s GHG output.
The Pembina Institute recommends the government apply a $100 to $150 charge on every tonne of carbon produced by the oil and gas industry and limited access to carbon offset credits. The Alberta government currently charges $15 per tonne and allows unlimited use of carbon offset credits, which “Getting on Track to 2020” says provide no real incentive for oil and gas companies to reduce emissions.
According to the report, the 110 million tonnes of GHG Canada is forecast to emit in 2020 above its target are equivalent to the current emissions of the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick combined, or the total emissions from all passenger transportation in Canada.