Pouring oil and gas onto the flames

Dear Editor:

This year the PEMBINA institute released an assessment of provincial, territorial and federal readiness to deliver a safe climate and can be found at this link https://www.pembina.org/pub/. In brief the report outlines the current state of Canada’s climate policy and our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Its findings were unsurprising but depressing all the same. Not a single province, territory, or even Canada’s federal government are on track to cut emissions by enough to achieve 2030 and 2050 climate targets. Like everything going on right now, from wildfires, droughts and heat waves to torrential flooding this report should be a wake up call for our elected officials. While some provinces are moving in the right direction, like British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, it is clear that there is more work to be done. In PEI’s case, transitioning to total energy dependency via wind energy would be a huge step forward, same with BC, by ending fracking in the North, ending unsustainable logging practices and transitioning to cleaner forms of transit, we could go a long way in meeting the targets  that our provinces have set. But just as there are provinces moving forwards there are those looking backwards. Alberta alone accounts for 38% of Canada’s total GHG emissions. If we include 

Saskatchewan then that’s nearly 50% of Canada’s total GHG emissions and yet they make up only 14% of the population. Not only that, but as other industries have reduced their GHG emissions the Oil Sands have increased their emissions by 137% since 2005. There is no such thing as clean oil but even if there was, Alberta is far from it. Unlike the rest of Canada; Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have set NO emission reduction targets for 2030.

It is clear to me that all of the provinces need to work harder to cap our greenhouse gas emissions and build a stronger, brighter future. But it is also clear that we can no longer sit around as British Columbian towns burn to cinders and we watch our neighbours pour oil and gas onto the flames. We need to hold all governments accountable and demand action on climate change, because it does affect all of us.

Samson Boyer, Wilmer