On July 29 of 2021, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act became law. With the passage of that law Canada formally committed itself to reaching Net Zero by 2050. This was part of a long ongoing process – one that I have been following closely for years.
The term Net Zero was first introduced into public conversation in 2009. By 2015, net zero was included in article 4.1 of the Paris Agreement commits the members of the United Nations:
to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.
According to NetZero.org:
Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.
The term net zero is important because – for CO2 at least – this is the state at which global warming stops.
We are not alone
Net zero is essentially our global commitment to combat climate change. You know – the environmental damage we are doing to our planet that is showing up as record setting heat waves, floods, and snowstorms – all in a single year.
And “(a)s of 11 November 2021… eight countries self-declared (their commitment to achieving) net zero... 16.. have a pledge in law, 59 in a policy document, 21 another kind of declaration or pledge, and 72 countries are discussing or proposing a pledge.” House of Commons Library, UK Parliament, Global net zero commitments
It’s essential to our survival – you know that. Doesn’t everybody?
Although challenging, we all understood that our survival as a planet is dependent on achieving this ambitious goal – as some would say, in our lifetime…
But this continues to be a debating point in Canadian politics event today. One of the biggest challenges in achieving Net Zero is reducing and eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.
Fast forward six months, another wave of COVID, and one federal election to hear Erin O’Toole, federal Conservative leader and Leader of the Opposition, claim that Steven Guilbeault, the Minster of the Environment, wants to get rid of fossil fuels by the end of 2023. “(H)e wants to end fossil fuel usage in 18 months. He just said that in an interview! Someone so disconnected from reality that he’s making policy that will hurt our country.” O’Toole goes on to accuse Guilbeault of being “focused on implementing a radical agenda”
O’Toole has been lambasted for this as a “flat-out lie”.
In an interview with the Narwhal the minister of the Environment spoke of eliminating the use of fossil fuels by 2023. What he meant was that the Canadian government would be eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels by that time. This slip was quickly corrected.
O’Toole knew this. We all knew.
Net Zero is the law – Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is the first step
Passage of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act is the first step. The removal of fossil fuel subsidies is the next step. While these actions offer risks they also offer opportunities.
That is what using an ESG mindset to review your investment choices is both essential and profitable.
You know that I know that.
So, let’s get down to doing the work of saving our planet and building a better world together.
Are you with me? I hope so.
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