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EDITORIAL: Federal climate goals have become a farce

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The federal government setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and not meeting it is a classic example of political folly in Canada.

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That is, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

The Trudeau government released its official 2020 emissions report last week – which is still being released two years after the fact.

He confirmed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had not met his 2020 emissions target (which was former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s target) of reducing Canada’s emissions to 17% below 2005 by 2020.

Even with the 2020 recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw emissions plummet globally as fewer goods and services created using fossil fuels were purchased, Trudeau was not dumb. close to his goal.

This despite the fact that Trudeau and then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna repeatedly assured Canadians that they were on track to meet the 2020 target they had officially set in 2016.

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Trudeau’s goal for 2020 was to reduce Canada’s annual emissions to 615 million tonnes.

Canada’s actual emissions in 2020 were 672 million tonnes, 57 million tonnes above the target, equivalent to all Canadian electricity sector emissions in 2020 (56.2 million tonnes). tons).

Trudeau’s failure is the ninth consecutive time since 1988 that Canada’s federal governments have set an emissions target and failed to meet it, five times by Liberal governments, four times by Conservatives.

No goal was ever achieved.

Having missed his 2020 target, Trudeau is now promising to cut Canada’s emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

It’s absurd. It would force the federal government to shut down the equivalent of Canada’s entire oil and gas sector and the entire construction sector in eight years, and it would still miss Trudeau’s goal.

It would also impose a devastating recession on Canadians.

These unattainable targets make it impossible to assess whether Canadians are getting their money’s worth in the “fight” against climate change, given that the taxpayer bill is already $100 billion and does not stops increasing.

Given that federal governments have failed to meet nine consecutive emissions targets for 34 years, it is time to abandon this farce and replace it with an honest system that accounts for reductions only after they have been made. been reached, not before.