In the Olympics, judges award gold medals based on achievement, not ambition. We should adopt the same approach in evaluating Canada's newly revised target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Some critics were quick to note that the United States and the European Union have announced even more aggressive targets. But on their own, lofty goals only go so far in addressing climate change. What matters is whether Canada is on track to cross the finish line. What specific steps are we taking? What will they cost? How will they impact Canadians’ lives?

Any Olympic athlete will tell you that success requires a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice. Likewise, transforming Canada’s energy system will be a challenge for all of us. It will affect everything we do and everything around us: our homes, offices and vehicles, how we travel locally and beyond, and the kinds of jobs that will be available in the future. Governments have a responsibility to educate Canadians about the costs and implications of the transformation. Transparency is key to ensuring ongoing public support.

Elected officials naturally want to frame climate action as an economic opportunity: We can have our cake and eat it, too. And so we can, but only if the policies we embrace serve a dual purpose — that of bringing down emissions while driving sustainable economic growth. Why? Because a strong economy will make possible the massive public- and private-sector investments that will be needed to transform Canada’s energy system.

The recent federal budget and the 2030 climate plan the government presented last December contain some, but not all, of the essential elements of a comprehensive approach. What’s missing is an overarching strategy that would position Canada for success and chart a course toward the government’s longer-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Equally important is a strong partnership between governments and the private sector. Many of Canada’s leading companies have made significant commitments to reduce emissions and invest in climate solutions. But real change takes time, so business needs a coherent and predictable policy framework that outlives election cycles.

The federal government provided one measure of that by coming forward with a schedule to increase the price of carbon in stages through to 2030. Understanding how prices will rise year by year allows all of us — individuals, families and businesses of all sizes — to make informed decisions about the way we wish to spend, invest and consume.

A rising carbon price, however, will only get us so far. The federal government must do more to incentivize research in areas such as advanced energy technologies, remove policy barriers to low-carbon innovation and streamline the approval process for major emissions-reduction projects.

Support for Canada’s energy and resource sectors in particular is critical. They produce many of the materials and minerals the world will need to achieve a low-carbon future. They have the scale, the people and the technological capability to achieve great progress.

What’s missing from Ottawa's plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions is a strategy that positions Canada for success toward the longer-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, writes @GoldyHyder of @BizCouncilofCan. #cdnpoli

In terms of GHG emissions, Canada’s leading energy and resource companies already are among the cleanest and most-efficient producers globally. Far from seeking to divest from these industries or diminish their role, those who support climate action should be working to strengthen their ability to grow and invest in climate solutions. The federal budget takes the first steps toward lowering the risks associated with transformative GHG-reduction projects, but much more will be needed over the next three decades to reach our ambitious goals.

Similar policy support is needed to build on Canada’s existing strengths in a range of low-emissions technologies. These include hydrogen, low-carbon fuels, nuclear power and the critical minerals — such as copper, lithium and cobalt — that are essential to battery technology and increased production of clean electricity.

There is an urgency to getting this right. Canada will face increasing competition in the global economy as the pandemic recedes and the world prepares for a lower-carbon future. Other nations are seizing the initiative and building their own strategies to achieve economic and environmental advantage. We need governments, the private sector and Canadian citizens all rowing in the same direction, with the same sense of purpose. It’s the only way to win.

Goldy Hyder is president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, a non-partisan association composed of the chief executives and entrepreneurs of 150 leading Canadian companies.

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Reall ? This article reads like an infomercial for CPPA. Why is it here on NO?

Hyder: "bringing down emissions while driving sustainable economic growth"

Oil & gas booster Goldy Hyder undercuts his own argument.
There is no SUSTAINABLE economic growth of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have never been sustainable and never will be.
Doubling down on fossil fuels in face of climate change is insanity. Like doubling down on chocolate cake to lose weight. Like selling cigarettes to fund cancer research.
Fossil fuels are a losing proposition. That's why we're ditching them. Why go deeper into carbon debt to finance the solution? When you're in a hole, stop digging.
Every piece of new fossil infrastructure like pipelines locks us into a fossil fuel future. Making it harder to change course.
Climate action and a thriving fossil fuel industry are incompatible. Choose one.

Hyder: "In terms of GHG emissions, Canada’s leading energy and resource companies already are among the cleanest and most-efficient producers globally. Far from seeking to divest from these industries or diminish their role, those who support climate action should be working to strengthen their ability to grow and invest in climate solutions."

False advertising.
Even using the industry's gross under-estimates, Canada's oilpatch is the FOURTH MOST CARBON-INTENSIVE on the planet, behind Algeria, Venezuela, and Cameroon. Canada's rating is nearly twice the global average.
Rystad Energy: "Among the top 10 oil and gas producing countries, Canada had the highest CO2 emission intensity per barrel of oil equivalent."
Canada's average crude carbon intensity is more than twice the global average. Almost double Iran. Nearly triple Russia. More than triple the U.S. 4x Saudi Arabia and Qatar. 5.5x Norway and the UAE.

We do not need the fossil fuel industry to lead the charge on our renewable future. No industry is more obstructionist. Oil & gas just needs to get out of the way.

The oil & gas industry has been digging into taxpayers' pockets for reclamation and cleanup costs for over a decade. Now it wants our tax dollars to cut emissions.
The oil & gas industry can easily afford to clean up after itself and invest in emissions-reduction technology. Taxpayer help not required.

"Canadian Natural expects to generate between $2 billion and $2.5 billion of profit in 2021, based on benchmark oil prices of $45 US per barrel. This week, prices are around $60 US."

"$100 million in federal funding for cleanup of Alberta oil and gas wells went to sites licensed to CNRL" (May 7, 2021)
"Canadian Natural Resources Limited — which has reported an average annual profit of $1.9 billion over the last decade — benefited most from taxpayer-funded cleanup of derelict wells

The oil & gas sector is not key to a strong economy. It is our greatest liability.
In 2019 Canada's energy sector DIRECTLY contributed 7.2% to GDP. Including oil & gas, nuclear, hydro, coal, and renewables. Petroleum accounted for 5.3%. Crude oil accounted for 2.8%. The oilsands sector represents a fraction of that.
Subtract (astronomical) externalized environmental, climate change, and health costs — and subsidies.
AB's oil & gas industry has barely started to fund its clean-up liabilities: north of $260 billion.

"Trudeau says he does not share view that oil and gas sector is beyond saving
"… Trudeau’s words were very welcome in the suffering oil patch, said Goldy Hyder, president of the Business Council of Canada.
"'What is important was to hear the prime minister rather generously in his remarks acknowledge the sector is an essential part of this transformation,' said Hyder.
"He said the argument that oil is dead is simply 'immature' rhetoric without any dose of reality."

I too question The Observer's decision to publish op-eds promoting the oil & gas industry. Such op-eds are intended to weaken Canadians' resolve for climate action — and commit to the decline of fossil fuels necessary to reach net zero by 2050. This is not the first. Not what I paid my subscription for. We can find pro- oil & gas op-eds elsewhere. The National Post publishes them every day of the week.

First, you had Catherine McKenna admitting fossil fuel subsidies must end (upon our finding the "right incentives" for this). Now you have Goldy Hyder with the suggestion "real change" is on the way, through the government's "ambitious goals" on climate and emissions.

Yet you also host the likes of Barry Saxifrage, Bill McKibben, and Seth Klein.

C'mon, National Observer, you need to get serious. You need to pick a side and you need to stick with it.