EDITORIAL: Climate doomsters ignore our success

Michael Bloomberg speaks by video feed during the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention August 20, 2020.

A new report released this week by two agencies created by U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg continues the never-ending rhetoric of despair about the world’s failure to address climate change.

In that sense, the study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) and Bloomberg Philanthropies is nothing new.

But what it inadvertently does is reveal why whatever Canada does, it will never be enough to satisfy the climate change lobby.

The report says every country among the G-20 nations, including Canada, is undermining the emission reduction targets of the Paris climate agreement by continuing to subsidize fossil fuels.

It says these subsidies totaled $3.3 trillion from 2015 to 2019 and criticizes Canada for being one of only eight G-20 countries that have increased their subsidies during that period, includingAustralia and the U.S..

“In 2016, the Trudeau government committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 — in line with the G-20 pledge first made in 2009,” the report states. “Yet Canada raised this support by 40% from 2015–19 — the second-largest increase among the G-20.”

Let’s leave aside that almost all forms of global energy production today are subsidized.

Let’s ignore that Canada’s energy sector employed 832,500 Canadians directly and indirectly in 2019, accounted for more than 10% of nominal GDP and contributed $17.9 billion in taxes in 2018 alone.

Let’s focus on the study’s warning that “every G-20 country must take immediate action to end support of fossil fuel projects and accelerate their coal phaseouts.”

Canada is in fact a world leader in phasing out coal — the most carbon intensive of the fossil fuels — to produce electricity, which the BloombergNEF report mentions in passing as our “relatively low-carbon power system” without explaining it.

Canada today gets 7.4% of its electricity from coal.

Among other G-20 nations, Australia gets 75%, India 70%, China 60%, Germany 24%, U.S. 19%.

The most effective thing that can be done globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to replace coal-fired electricity with non-emitting hydro and nuclear power, and low-emitting natural gas.

In reality, if the rest of the world was doing what Canada has already done, the problem of emissions would be largely resolved.

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