Briefing

Manitoba cuts emission reduction targets by more than half as BP review shows global emissions in 2018 were the highest in seven years

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The province aims to reduce annual emissions by one megatonne of carbon dioxide between 2018 and 2022, down from the almost 2.5-megatonne reduction target set in 2017. Meanwhile, global emissions rose in 2018 to their highest in seven years, according to an annual review conducted by BP, a British oil and gas company. It found that China, India and the U.S. were responsible for two-thirds of the almost three per cent increase in consumption. (Canadian Press, Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The BP review found that regardless of the global targets set to reduce overall emissions, volatile weather patterns were driving increased consumption of oil and gas products for heating and cooling. But despite the BP review’s findings, Manitoba’s new plan waters down the province’s initial emissions targets, and shows that the province is doubling down on its battle with the federal government over how to handle climate change, especially on the carbon tax. Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan have all filed court challenges against the federal government’s carbon tax. And, with the election of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney—whose government recently repealed Alberta’s carbon tax—those provinces have the support of one more province. That ongoing battle has continued economic implications for Canada’s oil and gas industry, as well as alternative energy industries vying to compete. If Manitoba and the rest of the province’s anti-carbon tax narrative wins out, Canada’s oil and gas sector won’t face the negative financial impacts a carbon tax would impose on them.