Monday, July 15, 2024
Guest ContributionsOpinion/Column

Net Zero and the grand delusion continues

COP28 announcements will devastate Canada’s economy

by Dan McTeague

Dan McTeague, President, Canadians for Affordable Energy Photo: CAE

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) wrapped up in Dubai in December. That the two-week conference, whose object is to discuss the global phase-out of fossil fuels, is being held in one of the world’s top ten oil producers — the UAE — is only the first of COP’s absurdities.

The next is the sheer number of participants — more than 97,000 of them — flying to the desert, in most cases on the taxpayers’ dime, to talk about reducing carbon emissions in the hopes of cooling the planet.

The hyperbole from people such as Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, who said those at COP28 “are steering the course of our shared future but the science tells us we are in grave danger of bequeathing our children a completely unlivable world” is almost too much to bear.

And what did they actually accomplish? As has been the case for the past 27 conferences, very little. While there is a lot of grandstanding and speeches and promises from the 157 countries in attendance to phase out fossil fuels, no commitments were actually made.

Surely this comes as no surprise since all of the nations present run on fossil fuel users and have no real intention of abolishing them, especially not countries such as Saudi Arabia, China and India. There is no scenario where they would “phase out” the life blood of their economies for the sake of the quixotic goal of achieving Net Zero emissions so as to — maybe — reduce global temperatures by 1.5 degrees.

And as if to make the farce even more laughable, it has been announced that Azerbaijan will be the host for COP29. Oil, gas and related petroleum products account for 91% of Azerbaijan’s total exports. Is it at all likely that they will be getting rid of them anytime soon? Definitely not.

As was recently noted by Benny Peiser of Net Zero Watch, COP28 is happening while the Green Agenda is in deep crisis and is falling apart around the world.

  • There is a massive backlash against the cost of Net Zero policies. Renewable energy projects have been scrapped including major wind projects in the US and the UK.
  • Electric vehicle sales have slumped.
  • Germany is facing an energy crisis, frantically bringing coal fired plants back into service to replace the energy lost when they shuttered their nuclear plants for nebulous environmental reasons.
  • The Dutch Farmers party has made major gains in two successive elections after their environmentalist government in their obsession to achieve net zero tried to restrict them out of existence.
  • Argentina has elected a new president who has called climate change a “socialist lie.” Even French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for the EU to pump the breaks on net zero regulations.

Why? Because net zero policies are unpopular and damaging. It is all well and good to talk about targets and goals and objectives, but when rubber hits the road and daily lives are affected, that’s another story. People have come to see that pursuing these absurd policies comes at an enormous societal and economic cost.

If a country wants affordable, reliable power to keep the lights on and heat their homes, they need the baseload power that oil and natural gas provide.

Yet here in Canada the Trudeau government is doubling, no, tripling down on their punishing Net Zero Agenda.

Our environmental minister Steven Guilbeault even used COP28 as his stage to make two major regulatory announcements that will have a devastating effect on the Canadian economy.

Last week, he announced his methane emissions reduction plan and an emissions cap, without even consulting the leader of the province it would affect the most. Give me a break. The grandstanding, the virtue signaling — it would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging.

Canadians can’t afford groceries or pay their rent or buy homes. We are suffering an affordability crisis. The relentless taxation on our lives from a carbon tax to a second carbon tax (the Clean Fuel Standard), to Minister Guilbeault’s newest schemes, are all part of the Net Zero policies that are destroying our economy.

Remember this is all fuelled by the preposterous notion we can somehow affect the climate if we reduce our greenhouse gases from 1.4% of global emissions to 0.4%.

In light of all of that, the Trudeau government is more interested in how they are perceived on the world stage than how their policies affect the Canadians they are supposed to represent.

Danielle Smith and Scott Moe, to their credit, attended the conference with their own Alberta and Saskatchewan delegations to advocate for the industry that employs thousands of Canadians and is a major driver of the Canadian economy.

And, it should be taken as a compliment that Alberta was even given the “Fossil of the Day” award by activists at the summit for its temporary ban on large scale renewable projects. 

At least Canada had a few representatives there with its best interest in mind, and that weren’t taken in by the grand delusion.

This Op-Ed first appeared in the Western Standard 

*****

Dan McTeague, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.