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Economy

Net Zero Part One: Defining the Terms

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5 minute read

Article from Canadians For Affordable Energy, AffordableEnergy.ca

“Net Zero by 2050” is all over the news these days.

Countries, international organizations, corporations, cities and other entities are making grand commitments to the idea.

My view is that Net Zero by 2050 is a dangerous idea, and I am alarmed by how it is taking hold. I plan to write several blogposts on Net Zero by 2050 over the next few weeks to explain this view. This introductory piece lays the context for that series.

First, let me provide a quick definition of Net Zero by 2050. In simplistic terms, any entity abides by the goal of Net Zero if that entity emits no more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere than it draws out of it. Net Zero by 2050 means that the year 2050 is the target for achieving that emissions “balance”.

That sounds straight forward, but it isn’t.

Is the starting assumption – that we can achieve this kind of balance – a fair one given the earth’s complexity?

Is the fact that CO2 levels have been significantly higher in the past (before industrialization) not a consideration? The earth has seen higher and lower levels of CO2 before there was any significant human activity. So why should we assume that a “balance,” as we define it, is necessary?

And how do we assure that balance when there are all kinds of things we can’t control – like emissions from natural events like volcanoes, or windstorms?

What about the fact that the science on emissions is changing?

How do we factor these things in?

And if we do commit to this kind of balance, what measure of government control does this represent? What will the cost of that control be? Should we not have some sense of that before we commit to it?

These are just some of the many questions that come to mind when discussing the idea of Net Zero by 2050. But it is really hard to get answers to these questions. More often than not what you do get is some version of “the sky is falling”. Politicians, business leaders, environmentalists say things like “we have to act now” or “time is running out” or “our future depends on it”.  But people have been using that kind of rhetoric about the environment for decades, and yet by virtually every environmental measure things are getting better.

But no matter. Net Zero by 2050 is the latest version of the environmental scare tactic of forcing consumers to accept things like Trudeau’s carbon taxes, or green energy plans, or any other policy madness that really means expanding government control, enriching special interests, and hurting consumers.

We at Canadians for Affordable Energy find this really alarming: we think Net Zero by 2050 will definitely mean one thing: less affordable energy for Canadians.

Over a series of blogposts we want to shed some more light on Net Zero by 2050.

Net Zero Part 2 will be published on Todayville Sunday, June 6

Click here for more articles from Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable energy

Dan McTeague | President, Canadians for Affordable Energy

 

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

 

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions. Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

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Alberta

Urging political action, Cafe Owner Chris Scott instructs tens of thousands of followers to bring down Premier Kenney

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Shortly after Premier Kenney announced the latest covid 19 restrictions, a frustrated Chris Scott took to social media to vent and to urge Albertans to get politically active.  Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror may be a small town cafe owner, but he commands a huge audience of over 45,000 followers on Facebook.   Many of them are politically active.  Many others soon will be.  That’s if they take on the challenge from Scott who urged all Albertans to get involved with Alberta’s Conservative party and influence the local Constituency Associations to start a movement to close this chapter of Premier Kenney’s political life, the way the Premier will undoubtedly be closing another round of businesses who won’t survive this next round of mandates.

To see what else Chris Scott is up to, click here to see the Whistle Stop Cafe Facebook Page.

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Alberta

Canada’s Forestry Sector is World-Class. Here’s Proof.

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Most Canadians already understand that Canada’s forest industry is world-class. Compared to most other nations with the largest forest industries, we go above and beyond the standard call to reduce the environmental impacts associated with harvesting trees.

Home to about a third of the boreal forest found globally, Canada currently has several sustainable initiatives in place to make sure our forested lands regenerate accordingly. Through continued research and development, these initiatives are ever-evolving to further advance Canada’s global leadership in sustainable forest management practices.

Here are several facts showing just how Canada’s forest sector is world-class, which should be excellent examples for other nations looking to up their game on sustainable forestry practices in the pursuit of a healthier global environment.

12 Facts on Sustainable Forestry Practices in Canada

Canadian Forestry Myths vs Facts 2

#1 – Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world, with just 0.01% of total deforestation in 2018 – much lower than that seen in the Amazon.

#2 – Canada’s boreal wetland habitats are well protected. In Ontario and Quebec, for example, at least 50% of the wetland-rich northern boreal regions are protected by the provincial government.

#3 – Canada’s forestry sector is investing heavily into reforestation efforts, planting roughly 600 million new trees annually.

#4 – Canada’s forestry sector has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions substantially; From 2007 to 2017, the industry dropped energy use by 24% and total fossil GHG emissions by 40%.

#5 – Canadian law requires any disturbed forests by industry must be 100% reclaimed.

#6 – Canada’s forestry sector has committed to help remove 30 megatonnes of CO2 per year by 2030, a substantial amount that will contribute to improving our country’s emissions profile considerably.

Canadian Forestry Myths vs Facts 1

#7 – More than 440 million seedlings were planted across Canada in 2018.

#8 – As of 2016, around 200 million of Canada’s 348 million hectares of forests had a long-term forest management plan.

#9 – Today, roughly half of Canada’s forests are certified to third-party standards of sustainable forest management.

#10 – Canada’s boreal forest is largely undisturbed, with 80% of it being relatively untouched and free of industrial disturbance.

#11 – Since 1990, less than 0.5% of Canada’s forested lands have been converted to a non-forest land use.

#12 – Canada will be the first nation in the world to launch a satellite that will specifically monitor wildfires – nothing else.

Sources: Natural Resources Canada, Forest Products Association of Canada

Canada is a Leader in Sustainable Forestry – We Should Be Proud!

The evidence is in, and it’s clear that Canada is a global leader in sustainable forestry practices. Learn more about why this matters by joining our conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram today – hope to see you there!

 

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