Scientific journal NATURE published Climate change won’t wait for future innovation by Marie Claire Brisbois of the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
Reading national climate plans feels like perusing corporate advertising brochures. There is an ever-increasing focus on the promise of innovation: hydrogen fuel, new nuclear technologies and carbon capture and storage…
In April 2021, three British scientists with careers in Earth sciences warned that promoting technological methods of carbon reduction diminishes the sense of urgency needed to curb emissions immediately:
We have arrived at the painful realisation that the idea of net zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier “burn now, pay later” approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar. It has also hastened the destruction of the natural world by increasing deforestation today, and greatly increases the risk of further devastation in the future.
…by 2009 it was becoming increasingly clear that it would not be possible to make even the gradual reductions that policy makers demanded. That was the case even if carbon capture and storage was up and running. The amount of carbon dioxide that was being pumped into the air each year meant humanity was rapidly running out of time...
In principle there is nothing wrong or dangerous about carbon dioxide removal proposals… The problems come when it is assumed that these can be deployed at vast scale. This effectively serves as a blank cheque for the continued burning of fossil fuels and the acceleration of habitat destruction.
…However, policymakers and businesses appear to be entirely serious about deploying highly speculative technologies as a way to land our civilisation at a sustainable destination. In fact, these are no more than fairy tales...Climate scientists: concept of net zero is a dangerous trap
Marc Lee is a Senior Economist at the CCPA’s BC Office with a long record of reporting on environmental issues. His article Canada’s road to zero carbon emissions full of dangerous distractions notes that Canadian policy makers establish emission targets and then cook the books to give the false impression that effective solutions are being implemented.
For example, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change recently said the country is developing an electricity grid that will operate with net-zero emissions by 2035. But the plan has loopholes that ensure this goal will not be met. Climate solutions policy analyst Stephen Thomas said:
These proposed regulations are not likely to actually achieve the core goal of a net-zero electricity system across Canada by 2035. …extensions, exemptions and loopholes in these proposed regulations leave the door wide open to a huge increase in natural gas emissions in many provinces.
Pembina Institute’s Binnu Jeyakumar said that the country could see a “70 per cent increase in gas use by 2035.” She points out that only gas-fired power stations built after 2025 would be subject to new standards. Others would continue spewing carbon.
While a net-zero carbon grid is sensible, large parts of Canadian climate policies seem written by fossil fuel lobbyists inspired by fake architecture of movie production. The aim of GHG emission reduction strategies is to look real without being real.
Categories: Climate Change