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Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says a new report from the United Nations' climate agency shows the oil and gas sector "cannot do business as usual" even as the government is still considering approving a massive new offshore oil production project.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges more aggressive cuts to greenhouse-gas emissions to limit global warming to the 1.5 C targeted in the 2015 Paris Accord.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says despite political leaders promising to take climate change seriously, their policies are on track to warm the planet more than twice that by the end of the century.

The report points to the ongoing investment in fossil fuels as a major problem.

Canada revealed last week a new plan to hit its emissions-reductions target for 2030, projecting its oil and gas industry must slash its carbon-related pollution by 42 per cent from current levels. The transportation sector needs to cut emissions by 23 per cent.

Guilbeault calls the U.N. report "sobering," and says his government knows it must move quickly to implement new policies to cut emissions.

"We don't have the luxury of taking four, five or six years to develop new regulations to tackle climate change," he said Monday.

"That's one thing I've told my colleagues, that we now have to learn to do this much faster."

Canada's emissions target — now enshrined in legislation — is to cut emissions to no more than 60 per cent of what they were in 2005 within the next eight years. Critical to that is the Liberal's election promise to cap emissions from oil and gas production and ramp them down over time.

U.N. report on climate change 'sobering,' says Environment Minister @s_guilbeault. #ClimateChange #IPCC

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation on Monday said the IPCC report is clear that relying on fossil fuels is hurting the world's fight against climate change and the government has to reject the proposal.

It urged the Liberals to reject the proposed Bay du Nord oil project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, which could produce up to 200,000 barrels of oil a day.

Guilbeault said the decision on Bay du Nord would be coming by April 13.

"Any money invested into developing large scale projects, like Bay du Nord, is money we will not see returned when these projects are abandoned," Sierra Club Canada Foundation organizer Heather Elliott said in a statement.

"We need immediate and decisive change, or we will be beyond the point of no return."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2022.

— With files from The Associated Press

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"Sobering" is a good word for it.

Environment Minister Guilbeault and the Liberals are at the wheel. Under the influence of fossil fuels, the drivers of Canada's climate/energy policy are guilty of reckless driving. Heading straight for the climate cliff.

No one can pretend to be surprised by the latest IPCC reports. Guilbeault knows very well what the science says. Instead of fighting for Canadians, he is fighting for fossil fuel companies. Lending his "green" cred to the Liberal plan to expand fossil fuel production, exports, and markets — and waste vast sums trying in vain to "green" the oilsands. Telling Canadians we need to sell fossil fuels to fund climate action.

Meanwhile, Canadians continue to consume energy, resources, pollute, waste and emit GHGs like drunken sailors.
This doesn't turn out well.

I heard on the news today that the federal government will approve the Bay du Nord off-shore project.
I am afraid the the government is treating the climate crisis as a joke.
I fear that only a massive environmental catastrophe affecting Canada will cause them to take it seriously.

Approving a massive Offshore oil project in the wake of this supposedly “sobering” report shows that the report clearly wasn’t quite “sobering” enough. Every time this government has the opportunity to do the right thing - morally, ethically, economically - they run screaming in the other direction and do their utmost to ensure that Canada doesn’t transition off of fossil fuels. It’s disheartening, sickening, psychotic, and foolish. The UN needs a new class of criminal to be tried in the international court: for climate crimes against humanity and all other species.

>>Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says a new report from the United Nations' climate agency shows the oil and gas sector "cannot do business as usual" [...]<<

And then the minister and his government immediately do just that.