Emissions cap expected for Canadian oil and gas by end of 2023: Minister – National

Limiting greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector will be ready by the end of next year, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said Monday.

In an interview from Egypt, where he is attending the 27th session of the United Nations climate talks, Guilbeault said the government was developing the regulations in “record time.”

The final regulations are now expected to come at least two years after the Liberals first promised the cap during the 2021 election campaign.

“We will have draft regulations maybe before the spring, the first half of the year at the latest,” Guilbeault said. “And so the goal is to have complete regulations by Christmas, which, you know, is a record time for developing regulations.”

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He noted that regulations to put clean fuel standards in place took more than five years.

The timeline will still disappoint many Canadian environmental groups, which began their own trips to the COP27 talks with the hope that Guilbeault would at least use the event to put a number on where the cap starts.

The only guidance comes from the emissions reduction plan released in March, which set a tentative 2030 oil and gas emissions target of 110 million tonnes. That’s a 46 percent drop from 2019 levels and 32 percent from 2005.

Canada aims to reduce emissions across all sectors by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Environment Canada and Climate Action Network Canada both said when COP27 began that oil and gas needs to be 60 percent from 2005 levels.

Aly Hyder Ali, head of the EPA’s oil and gas program, said earlier this month that the meetings in Egypt were Canada’s opportunity to prove to world leaders and to Canadians “that they are committed to following through by announcing real goals.”

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“Without that, we don’t necessarily see a lot of certainty when it comes to this policy,” he said.

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Emissions from oil and gas production account for about a quarter of Canada’s total carbon footprint and are 83 percent higher than they were 30 years ago. Total emissions in Canada are about 23 percent higher over the same period.

Guilbeault, who sat environmentalists at the table at COP meetings before being elected to parliament in 2019, now accuses his former colleagues of being “unfair” by demanding that he provide information on the cap now.

“Listen, the people who say we should do it now would be the first to criticize me if I didn’t properly consult with, say, aboriginal people in Canada as we have a constitutional obligation to do,” he said. . “They know very well how our system works.”

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Canada’s rules on new regulations require a certain level of consultation, including the publication of draft regulations and the acceptance of public comments on drafts before publishing a final version.

“Honestly, I think it’s a little unfair to say, ‘Well, you know, we want the cap now,'” Guilbeault said. “They clearly know how it works. And we’re cutting the time it takes to develop regulations in half.”

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It is not the only clash between the federal government and environmental groups in Egypt. Several groups criticized Canada for having oil and gas companies and banks that finance fossil fuel projects in the Canadian delegation.

On Friday, the Canadian Pavilion hosted an event with the Pathways Alliance, a group of Canada’s major oil sands companies. Several environmental groups staged a vociferous march at the event.

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Environmental Defense National Climate Director Julia Levin tweeted Monday that oil and gas companies are polluting without a good-faith commitment to fight climate change and should not be allowed to participate in the negotiations.

“The presence of fossil fuel lobbyists is overwhelming at COP27,” she said. “They’re spending a lot of money to be here and selling their false solutions like (carbon capture and storage.)”

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Guilbeault said everyone should have a seat at the table.

“I respectfully disagree with my former colleagues from the environmental movement,” he said.

“I think it is very slippery when the government decides in a democratic society who can participate and who cannot.

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