Trudeau's Climate Obsession Runs into Reality

December 4th 2023
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's climate project is staggering from a trifecta of reality checks: missed emission targets, public blowback against the carbon tax, and at long last, growing realization that nothing Canada does will change global temperatures. Earlier this month the federal environment and sustainability commissioner issued a report to Parliament stating that the government is not on track to meet its 2030 emission reduction target under the new Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The 2030 target under the act is for emissions to be 40% below the 2005 level, but in December 2022 the government revised its expected reduction to 34%.

Only twice in the past two decades (during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2020 pandemic) did emissions decline. The silver lining in the failure of the government's signature policy program is that success — achieving the emissions targets — would be more costly than missing them.

Bending to political winds in Atlantic Canada, the prime minister increased rural carbon tax rebates and suspended the tax itself on home heating oil for three years, but not for natural gas and propane. This outraged many non-Atlantic MPs and all environmentalists, while prompting other provinces to demand comparable treatment. It also undermined the rationale for the tax and the government's commitment to it.

Canada's climate policies, even if they achieved the government's net-zero fantasy, would have only a miniscule effect on global temperatures. Yet the prime minister makes up claims that the country's emissions are contributing to extreme weather events like forest fires. Even the IPCC has low confidence in climate change being a cause of such events.

Credits to Friends of Science, Ian Cameron

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