A strong push in Canada against the carbon capture tax credit is evident after the country announced plans to support the technology for emissions reduction of the oil and gas sector. More than 400 Canadian climate scientists and other academics are pleading in a letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to give up her plan to create the tax credit.
The letter calls for scratching the idea altogether, saying it is a massive subsidy to the oil and gas industry that directly contradicts Canada’s pledge to eliminate such and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon capture technology is considered by the Canadian academics and scientists economically unsound and as having a “terrible track record” of delivering emissions reductions. They see the money amounting to the carbon capture tax credit being spent better on renewable energy, electrification, and energy efficiency.
“The introduction of this tax credit would contradict the promise made by your government to Canadians during the election period to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 as well as our international commitments under the Paris Agreement,” as said in the letter.
The lead signatory of the letter professor Christina Hoicka from the University of Victoria’s geography and civil engineering department also adds that carbon capture and storage is expensive, unproven, and would prolong the use of fossil fuels rather than work toward replacing them with clean energy.
The carbon capture technology is used by several companies in the fossil fuels industry to maintain the life of fossil fuels, in particular in the process of enhanced oil recovery. However, the technology could also be critical for industrial sites that are deemed heavy emitters and cannot stop operation, to eliminate their emissions right away.