Ottawa, Ontario – Canada needs to stop exporting fossil fuels as well as cut its consumption of them if it wants to get serious about climate change, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The research found that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions embodied in Canadian exports of fossil fuels in 2009 were 15 per cent greater than the emissions from all fossil fuel combustion within the country, and almost four times the emissions creating by extracting and processing fossil fuels in Canada.
“Canada is more than an addict to fossil fuels,” said Marc Lee, CCPA senior economist. “We are a major dealer. And that has huge consequences for people in other parts of the world who have done little to cause climate change.”
Canada’s confirmed fossil fuel reserves are equivalent to 91.4 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions, about three times the annual global CO2 emissions. Its possible total reserves, given changes in technology and economic conditions, are the equivalent of almost 40 years of global emissions at current levels.
“When it comes to carbon, Canada has ‘the bomb’,” Lee said. “The vast majority of our fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to have any chance at stabilizing the global climate system. In order to become part of the climate change solution, Canada needs to impose a moratorium on new coal mining and oil and gas extraction projects.”