Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-12. We have had quite a lively debate today.
If we talk about this net zero by 2050 target and we look at the bill to see what it would actually do, we see it is a typical smoke-and-mirrors Liberal bill that does not have any substance to it. It essentially would put together a committee of liberal-leaning anti-oil and gas folks, who, by the way, have already been selected before Parliament even has had a chance to debate this legislation and amend it. That shows a real disrespect for the parliamentary process, and it is not a surprise because we see that continually from the Liberals. However, we have to wait until we have thorough debate here before moving on.
We are looking at a committee that will advise the government on a plan to get to net zero by 2050. Does this not imply that the Liberals do not have a plan right now? This is what that says. They have a whole department of climate change scientists and they have not achieved the 2030 targets. They have not made progress toward that. Emissions were at 730 megatonnes. They are still at 730 megatonnes now, and that is from 2005 to now.
Therefore, I do not see anything in the bill that really has the teeth to reach the goal of net zero, and not surprisingly. The Liberals did not meet the 2030 targets, as I mentioned. It is ridiculous that the Prime Minister has proposed even more stringent 2030 targets when he will not even meet the already committed to targets by Stephen Harper.
If I look at the plans that the Liberals have already outlined, they have not really made a lot of progress. The government was going to plant two billion trees. How is that going? Have any been planted? If the government cannot even plant trees, how can it get the rest of this done?
With my time, I will talk a bit about what ought to be done. It is not just my role as the opposition to criticize; it is my opposition duty to say what would be better.
First, when it comes to net zero, there is a lot of rhetoric in the House that the Liberals are science based. If they were science based, then the definition of net zero should be that which is emitted minus that which is absorbed. I already alluded to the amount that is emitted, which is 730 megatonnes for Canada. Then if we look at the things that are absorbed, we would look at the different ways carbon dioxide, for example, is absorbed. Land mass is one way that carbon dioxide is absorbed. Canada has a huge land mass. Water is another way that carbon dioxide is absorbed, and we have a huge water mass in Canada. Forest and agricultural plants are all taking carbon dioxide out of the air, so they should be counted as well. However, on the government website, these things are not counted.
When looking at forests, they are counting all the emissions that come from forest fires and all the emissions that come from processing trees into furniture and downstream things, but they give no credit for all the carbon dioxide that is being sucked out of the air, so that is a problem. It is the same on the agriculture side. We are talking about a substantial amount of absorption.
A 2014 report of the global carbon project stated that 37% of emissions were absorbed by land, the combination of soil, forest and agriculture, and 27% were absorbed by water. If we apply that to our 730 megatonnes of emissions, that would leave 263 megatonnes that we need to find a plan to reduce to actually achieve net zero from a science point of view.
How can we do that? A number of technologies are out there, including carbon sequestration and carbon sinks, for example, and we know projects are on the books to help address that. Those would take care of, arguably, 20 to 30 megatonnes, so that will not take it the whole way. The Conservatives have come up with a plan that actually would meet our 2030 targets and would put us in a very good path to meet net zero by 2050.
If we look at what has been successful in the world, and I know people did not like the last administration to the south, but sadly, it was one of the few countries that actually met the targets that were agreed upon. How was it done? It was not done with committees and rhetoric. The targets were met by incentivizing emissions reduction technology to be put in place in the major industrial emitters. That is an area that Canada should focus on. There is a substantial amount of that 263 megatonnes we need to find that we could find if we incentivized our major industrial emitters.
We also know that transportation emissions are a substantial portion. Our plan outlines how we would get those reduced. There is a number of good ideas there. In terms of building emissions, we know that is another source. The greening of buildings and the implementation of clean technology is key. However, we have more.
We can think about some of the great technologies, such as nuclear. There are these portable 30 and 50 megawatt nuclear stations that could replace diesel in the north and even beyond that. They could be leveraged to those places in the world that are on coal and other things. This is a great Canadian technology, which we should be putting in place to help here at home and then further away. Of course, going to lower carbon intensity fuels is another great idea.
Our Conservative plan has been verified by a reputable third party organization to actually meet the targets. That is important because targets without plans are dreams. That is what the Liberal government has right now. It has dreams and a lot of rhetoric, but it is not actually making tracks and making progress towards even achieving the 2030 targets, let alone the net-zero targets that have been suggested.
Our plan has been very well received by all of the experts out there. I am going to read some of the quotes. The principal economist for the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices said, “The Conservative plan is credible.”
Nic Rivers, associate professor for the University of Ottawa and the Canada research chair in climate and energy policy, wrote, “Overall, I'm impressed. I don't like everything in this plan, but it's a serious plan (with some details missing), and I'm really happy to see competition for stronger environmental policy, rather than weaker. Modeling shows approach meets target.”
Dale Beugin, VP of research and analysis at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, said, “First, credit where credit is due for a serious plan. They've used modelling to ensure no magical thinking. They're relying on policies that will drive real emissions reductions. They are taking climate policy seriously.”
It is clear, from all of the people who have shown their support for the Conservative plan, that we are on the right track. That is not to say there is not more to be done. I am not opposed to planting trees. Trees are a carbon sink, but they have to be planted. One cannot just plan to plant them.
When we look at Bill C-12, I do not really see anything in here other than reporting mechanisms. There are targets but, again, they do not come with any teeth or any idea about how we would meet those targets.
I would encourage, when this bill goes to committee, the committee members take a look at exactly what needs to be put into this bill so that the tactics are clear for how we are going to get to net-zero emissions, and that they would actually amend the definition so that it would make sense. The way it is today, the Liberals are not counting everything that is absorbed and that will be important to the formula.
I think it is clear that I will not be supporting Bill C-12 in its current state. I would like to see some actual teeth to this. I am also very upset that in selecting the members for the committee, the government has selected a lot of anti-oil and gas people. I think that is stacking the deck in a direction that is not helpful. We will have oil and gas in Canada for a period of time, as we transition to a greener economy. There is a huge amount of emissions reduction that could be done in that area. Those people have already expressed that they have net-zero 2050 plans and are willing to participate.
Let us take advantage of that. Let us all work together. Let us come with a real plan to get to net zero by 2050.