Guidelines to assess climate impacts of major projects fall shortPembina Institute reacts to the federal government’s new Strategic Assessment of Climate Change

July 16, 2020

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Photo: Pembina Institute

OTTAWA — NICHOLE DUSYK, SENIOR ANALYST, at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the publication of the Strategic Assessment of Climate Change:

“New guidelines for climate assessment of major projects released today will lead to more consistent and comprehensive assessments of climate change impacts and resilience. We applaud the decision to require all projects assessed under the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act to undergo a climate assessment. What is missing, however, is a clear mechanism to ensure that all projects are aligned with the government’s climate change obligations and are viable in a decarbonizing global economy.

“Requiring projects to produce a net-zero emissions plan is a good step but it does not, in and of itself, provide certainty that projects will be compatible with Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. As it stands, it applies only to projects with a lifespan beyond 2050. A true climate test would require all projects to be aligned not only with the government’s 2050 goal but also with its planned five-year milestones. It would also assess how the economic viability of a project may be affected by increasingly stringent climate policies or changing market demand as the world decarbonizes.

“The government has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 and assessing the climate impact of major projects is a necessary tool to help achieve that goal. That will require implementing the strategic assessment of climate change to its fullest potential in order to drive innovation in project design to maximize early and deep reductions in emissions.”



Sarah MacWhirter
Communications director, Pembina Institute


Submission to government: A Strategic Assessment of Climate Change

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