New Report Highlights ‘Daunting’ Challenges On Canada’s Path To Net Zero

New Report Highlights ‘Daunting’ Challenges On Canada’s Path To Net Zero - Carbon Herald
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The path to Canada’s net-zero goal by 2050 is predicted to be challenging and complex, according to a recent report by leading energy analyst David Hughes for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The report, titled “Getting to net-zero in Canada: Scale of the problem, government projections and daunting challenges”, describes the significant changes that are required in the nation’s energy landscape, highlighting the need for policymakers and the public to grasp the scale of the challenge in order to facilitate effective solutions.

The necessary adjustments, as projected by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), include a tenfold increase in wind and solar energy production, a boost by 34 to 39 times in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, and an expansion of hydrogen production to 12% of energy supply from nearly nothing.

Additionally, nuclear power and Canadian forests’ capacity to sequester carbon must triple, while per capita energy consumption needs to decrease by up to 40%, and fossil fuel production should decrease by as much as 70%.

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Implementing these changes presents formidable challenges, according to the report.

By Hughes’ analysis, the CER projections not only include a number of questionable assumptions, but they also fail to consider real-world obstacles such as supply chain disruptions, political tensions, and technological limitations.

“My objective is to provide policymakers and the public with an understanding of the scale of the problem so they can appreciate the scale that any solution is going to have to take. Only with understanding and buy-in can the necessary changes be implemented,” the author was quoted as saying by Canadian nonprofit Resilience.

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Hughes advocates for radical energy conservation as a key strategy, emphasizing the importance of reducing energy demand through efficiency and behavioral changes.

The report scrutinizes the assumptions underlying the CER projections, pointing out optimistic expectations and the need for more realistic assessments.

It underscores the urgency of shifting away from fossil fuels, as current reliance drives emissions and economic growth.

However, achieving Canada’s net-zero goal requires not only technological advancements but also substantial shifts in energy consumption patterns and policy frameworks, the report concludes.

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