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CANADA NEEDS TO TACKLE TAR SANDS POLLUTION

Sweden has raised doubts over Canada’s strategy to cut emissions as tar sands drilling is set to cause a major increase in released CO2 within the next years.

Through a UN portal, Sweden probed Canada’s plan to control tar sands drilling, asking the country to examine in depth its envisaged policies for reducing emissions from oil sand extraction. Sweden’s interrogation arises from the alarming outcome of new researches showing that Canada’s tar sand extraction activities will double by 2030, driving a 38% increase in CO2 emissions over the next 15 years. The North American country has two months to reply through the portal.

While more and more countries are submitting their climate pledges under a UN deal due to be agreed in Paris in December, Canada hasn’t issued its contribution yet.

Also, the country is very likely to break its promise to cut emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, and indeed this has been one of the reasons that made it opt out of the Kyoto Protocol. The main obstacle for Canada to meet its goals is the rapidly-increasing amount of emissions coming from the tar sands industry, which – according to a government report – is set to grow four-fold between 2005 and 2030 and to reach 137 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Despite the government’s promises to regulate the sector, no concrete action has been taken, and now tar sands emissions make up a quarter of the Canadian total. Tar sands extraction and the whole process to turn bitumen into crude oil imply high energy and water consumption, and are putting at risk the county’s boreal forests and wetlands.

Tar sands are also influencing the US political dynamics regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta to Texas, and play a key role in supplying oil through the East Energy Pipeline, which is currently under review and would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to eastern Canada.

 

The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

(Source: RTCC)