Madam Speaker, if people are interested in my speech, I invite them to read Gooderham and Nathan, from which I drew inspiration.
Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? Not in Canada it seems. The increase in Canada's oil sands production is not compatible with the objective of attaining net zero. On the one hand, the report entitled “Canada's Energy Future 2020”, published by Canada Energy Regulator, does not mention any future changes in Canada's policy and plan that would limit the increase in the oil production forecast. On the other hand, the government plan, entitled “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” and an annex released on December 11, 2020, contain no commitment to stop increasing oil sands production, which should continue until 2045, according to the regulator's report.
The government and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change remained silent for more than six months after the report was released. They made no comments about how to reconcile Canada's current plans to increase oil sands operations and achieving net zero by 2050.
As members know, the oil and gas industries are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions growth in Canada. The more they increase, the longer it will take to reverse the trend and the higher the annual greenhouse gas emissions elimination rate will have to be after 2050, if we want to one day achieve net-zero emissions. All of the risks, losses and suffering will be passed on to future generations in exchange for our own immediate financial gain.
One really troubling aspect of the Canada Energy Regulator's report is that it does not contain any analyses or findings to inform Canadians about the future levels of oil sands extraction consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5° temperature goal. However, similar studies are common and achievable. Such a study would provide a reliable, tangible assessment of the future levels of oil sands production in a world that has committed to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming.
A recent example of such a study, dating back to late 2019, is the International Energy Agency's sustainable development scenario. It is even more important to have this kind of information on Canada's future oil production given the International Energy Agency's new net-zero by 2050 scenario, which is also set out in Bill C‑12.
What direction does the government intend to take with regard to Canadian production? That is important to know. The Government of Canada's remarkable claim that the oil and gas industries' greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to 138 tonnes by 2030 has not been confirmed by any data analysis disclosed to the public. None of Canada's successive biannual reports have ever suggested that a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of this magnitude could be achieved by 2050. That means that everything is being done to mislead the population and give people false assurances.
I want to quote someone that I admire who passed away a long time ago. He was a great Quebec premier named René Lévesque. He said, “The task of real democrats is to ensure that the people are evermore up-to-date, educated and informed on their own interests.” That is what true democracy is, but we fall far short of that.
The reality is that, over the years, Canada has become a slacker on the international stage. Lord Deben, chairman of the U.K. climate change committee, said that Canada needed a constant reminder, nothing less. We need to hammer the reality home and highlight, relentlessly, what climate change denial leads to, as well as the negative economic effects that result from this willful blindness. Canada must fully grasp how its behaviour and climate inaction affect other countries around the world. We Matter. That is transparency.
Why is Lord Deben talking about climate inaction? Let us recap: On December 12, 2011, Canada became the first country to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which it had signed in 1997 and which came into effect in 2005. Canada had to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels. At least, at the time, we referenced the right year, 1990, and not 2005, as the current government is doing and as did the previous Conservative government, with the result that Canadian emissions only went down 1.5% since 2005.
By 2015, lots of Quebeckers and Canadians had lost faith in the Harper government on the climate question, so they tried their luck with the current Prime Minister, who promised to make fighting climate change a priority. That illusion was shattered, especially when the Prime Minister decided to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion.
The first Liberal sleight of hand involved the Prime Minister stating that the profits would be invested in renewable energy projects, making the pipeline key to the transition. Unfortunately, the price tag for Trans Mountain and its expansion has climbed to over $12.6 billion. There will be no profits. Essentially, the government decided to invest in fossil fuels rather than green technology, and taxpayers are paying the price, period.
Now for the Liberals' second sleight of hand in the fight against climate change. They want to sell us green oil, so they will try to persuade us that they are supporting clean, green hydrogen. The thing is, hydrogen is made from natural gas. It is blue hydrogen. It comes from natural gas, which is a fossil fuel, and that is what we need to avoid. In essence, the Canadian strategy's only purpose is to find new markets for western oil.
They also want to make us believe that we will reduce emissions with carbon capture, use and storage technologies. However, when carbon is captured and then injected into oil wells to extend their life, this does not reduce emissions, it increases them.
Finally, the third sleight of hand involves trees. The government is going to plant two billion trees by 2030 in order to continue operating the oil sands at the same time. Two billion trees will result in a total reduction of 30 megatonnes by 2030. Trans Mountain will result in 620 additional megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We can easily do the math.
The government now claims that the trees would remove two million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. I am not a botanist, but how can trees that may not have reached maturity capture a significant amount of carbon?
I find it interesting because when we look at the Department of Natural Resources projections for the growing Canada's forests program, we see that the majority of the two billion trees will be planted in 2028, 2029 and 2030. So far, 30 million trees have been planted. At this rate, it will take 65 years to keep the Liberals' 2019 election promise. Of course planting trees is a good thing, but can we rely on that alone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Let us be serious.
Canada's climate policy is underwhelming. Canada's climate governance is lacking and will continue to be, with or without Bill C‑12. Forecasts indicate that oil and gas production will continue to increase until at least 2040, and this is not compatible with combatting climate change.
Bill C‑12 was drafted and designed in such a way as to have no effect whatsoever on the Liberal government's plan. The Liberals are going to do some things, but it will not be enough because they are squandering all of the positive actions by continuing to subsidize fossil fuels at the same time.
My colleagues will ask me why the Bloc supports the bill, and my answer is simple. We support the objective of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and enshrining this objective in law is essentially what Bill C‑12 seeks to achieve.
We support the bill, but let us not kid ourselves. Quite frankly, saying we will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 is not revolutionary. That is the target set out in the Paris Agreement, which we ratified in 2016. We can never say it enough: To achieve net-zero emissions, we must first reach global peaking of emissions, and Canada is not on track to do its fair share to quickly reach that target.
The Liberals should talk a little less about 2050 and a little more about 2030. Quebeckers can count on the Bloc Québécois to monitor the situation and stay on top of this government's actions. We will not let the Prime Minister continue to wave his Liberal magic wand to make us believe that green oil exists. The Prime Minister is a great defender of greenwashing because green oil does not exist and never will.