Canada Energy Regulator anticipates may not need to expand Trans Mountain or Keystone XL


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Tom Gunton, professor of resource and environmental planning at Simon Fraser University, said that since the government itself has just introduced legislation that enshrines more aggressive climate action into law, it’s pretty clear that more and more climate policies are coming.

And he points out that the report is clear that its own more ambitious climate action ‘evolutionary scenario’ does not go far enough to see Canada achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has tabled a bill last week to make this the goal.

“Net-zero” means either no emissions are produced or those produced are absorbed by nature or technology, so that none are added to the atmosphere, where they contribute to global warming.

Gunton said: “In the most likely scenario you won’t need these pipelines so you should at least postpone or suspend construction. ”

He said if the projections change they can be revised, but at the moment we could spend over $ 22 billion to build pipelines that are not needed.

Keystone XL is already in danger because US President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse Washington’s approval for the cross-border project. Trans Mountain restarted construction in 2019 after a hiatus in 2018 due to the court ruling on federal approval.

Canada Energy Regulator CEO Gitane De Silva told the Canadian Press in an interview that the purpose of the report was not to comment on existing policy, but to paint a picture of where to go. using various assumptions.

“Really, we hope that this information will help inform this political process in the future,” she said.

The report concludes that even with its “evolutionary” scenario of greater climate action after 2020, Canada will still derive nearly two-thirds of its energy from fossil fuels in 2050.

He said that to get to net zero, more needs to be done to move away from fossil fuels.


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