Horror. Treason. Canada invited the oil industry to COP27 in Egypt.
Scandal. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault dared to defend this participation in an event organized BY Canada, at the Canada Pavilion.
Hypocrisy. The purpose of the operation was to showcase the efforts of the oil sands industry to eventually reach net zero.
The indignation of the virtuous circles of the fight against climate change is at its height. Canada would have devoted the status of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit to a vast session of greenwashing.
Indeed, the masks have fallen. But it is not the Trudeau government’s bad faith that has been exposed.
It is rather a reality, uncomfortable, but no less unavoidable. The oil industry in Canada is too important to be shut down overnight, or snuffed out. It must be part of our climate solution.
If the Harper government had dared such a maneuver, the case would have been in the headlines all week. We would have seen the proof of his ideological blindness towards his political cradle.
However, this time, it is the ex-militant of Greenpeace, our dear Steven Guilbeault, who must defend this return to Earth of our climatic ambitions.
Without consensus, any other minister would understand the political imperatives that even dirty oil from the tar sands must be part of Canada’s solution to global warming.
Finally, the malaise is the extent of the compromises that his function as minister demands from the dogmatic militant of yesterday.
The backlash in voting intentions for Québec solidaire’s “orange tax” on the Camry and the van should be enough to remind us that the hell of the fight against climate change is paved with good intentions.
The myth of the electric car, with all the environmental damage that is likely to be caused by the massive exploitation of lithium and other rare minerals essential to the batteries of our automotive freedom, will not end up catching up with us.
But we like it. It gives us a clear conscience. We are green. We walk for the planet.
However, the Trudeau government has finally understood that Canada cannot accomplish its climate change without Alberta. If the survival of the Quebec nation depends on the French language, that of Alberta depends on jobs in the oil industry.
However, it plans to invest billions ($B) to clean up its operating practices. Carbon capture will require $16.5 billion in investment by 2030. Industry is considering another $7.6 billion for other solutions including green hydrogen.
We agree, the oil companies do it because they are forced to. But they do it in the same way as our aluminum smelters and the automobile industry.
But they do, that’s what counts.
Could they do more? Yes. Could they do even better? Definitely.
So let’s keep up the pressure, rather than deluding ourselves that the public transport required by the energy transition is within reach.
The brothel in the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel should be enough to convince us.