Canada Expects to Surpass Petroleum Sector Methane Reduction Targets by 2030

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Canada is poised to exceed its intended targets for reducing methane emissions in the petroleum sector, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured during a Wednesday announcement. Trudeau’s statement was directed at the Climate Ambition Summit, where approximately 30 countries, including Canada, were scrutinized for their environmental commitments, and which occurred on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Year-end regulations, currently in draft form, will position Canada to exceed its endeavor of reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry by 75 per cent from 2012 levels, by 2030. The Prime Minister, however, was reminded that Canada significantly expanded its fossil fuel production last year. Trudeau concurred lightly, but deflected to highlight the efforts made since his Liberals took office in 2015, stating their hard work has reversed the country’s stand on climate action and emissions are now on a downward trend.

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Prominent affirmations echoed from Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, attributing Canada’s invitation to the UN summit to the country’s earnest attitudes towards its climate obligations. Guilbeault also hinted that such recognition might not have been extended to Canada a decade ago, under the former Harper government. Guilbeault attributed their strides in controlling methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as particularly commendable and suggested this could curtail almost one-degree Celsius of temperature increase in ensuing decades.

However, he held back when asked whether Canada can maintain the dual role of being a key oil and gas producer and an emission reduction champion. Guilbeault emphasized the imminent shift to a carbon-constrained world where fossil fuels will decrease, and a fair transition must be a priority for the labor force.

In his summit address, Trudeau announced that an additional $700 million would go toward the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust to aid developing countries grappling with climate change. He urged continued action, warning that abandonment of this course of action would bleak the future. But persistent efforts, he assured, would pave a stronger shared future.

In other UN activities, Canada’s premier anticipated attending a Security Council debate on the Ukrainian situation and participating in negotiations regarding innovative finance models for sustainable solutions to the climate crisis for developing nations.

He urged all global leaders to seriously approach the United Nation’s objectives—established in 2015—for a secure, equitable, and peaceful world. These ambitious goals include eradicating poverty and hunger, providing clean water access, and ending disparity, despite progress impeded by political obstinacy, sluggish post-pandemic economies, and rising conflicts. Trudeau cautioned that ignoring these objectives would escalate their cost and difficulty.

This year’s assembly theme stresses the need for “Rebuilding trust and rekindling global solidarity”—sentiments bearing more importance in these tumultuous times, as the Secretary-General Guterres pointed out in his opening address. The world is grappling with escalating geopolitical tension, mounting global challenges, and a demonstrated inability for collective action.

This reality manifests in the numerous nationwide emergencies, including intensified global warming evident from Canada’s worst-ever wildfire season, devastating flooding in Libya, and an unparalleled number of detrimental weather events in the U.S., all in 2023 alone. On the geopolitical front, Russia’s conflict in Ukraine continues, heightened recently by a worrisome meeting between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Additionally, the failure of the UN’s Black Sea grain deal has disrupted an essential food, cooking oil, and fertilizer supply to developing countries.

Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s President, stated that the ongoing war aims to exploit Ukrainian lives, land, and resources, and threatens international order. He also revealed the extensive indoctrination of thousands of repatriated Ukrainian children by Russia, deeming this a “genocide.”