Canada as Cap and Trader

Clement Sabourin/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Sprung by way of Linda Palin has uncovered an interesting, “other side of the ledger” fact about Canada’s CO2 pollution status. The country is an enormous CO2 pollution reducer which the country is giving away for free. The crux of  the arguments are made in the Financial Post:

Here’s a seemingly simple question: Is Canada a net carbon dioxide emitter? You would think so from reading news headlines. We’ve earned the scorn of environmentalists, NGOs, and media outlets galore, labelled with such juvenile epithets as “fossil of the year” or “corrupt petro-state.”

Sadly, lost in all the hyperbole is the actual science. The answer comes from the most recent report (2014) of the Global Carbon Project, which states that global human-induced CO2 emissions were 36 billion tonnes. Of that, 36 per cent stayed in the atmosphere, 27 per cent was absorbed by water, and 37 per cent was absorbed by land. That’s right — absorbed by land! Not all CO2 emitted by people stays in the atmosphere. Much of it returns to the earth, mainly through the carbon absorption and sequestration power of plants, soil, and trees. A conservative estimate of Canada’s existing carbon-absorption capacity, based on land area and the global carbon-absorption average, indicates that Canada could already be absorbing 20 to 30 per cent more CO2 than we emit. Using the same calculation, the “Big Four” polluters of China, the U.S., the European Union, and India, which together are responsible for a whopping 60 per cent of global CO2 emissions, release 10 times more CO2 than their combined land area absorbs. Canada doesn’t seem very dirty now, do we?

CO2 Cap and Trade Opportunity

Canada as well as other forestry driven CO2 net absorbers like Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and others should unite as a Green Federation and demand credits for their huge quantities of net CO2 reductions. Then using Cap and Trade markets that are now forming, they could sell their surplus reductions to CO2 polluter countries like the US, China, India, the European Union, and others. The fly in the ointment is that current Cap and rade deals just hammered out do not give any credits for natural CO2 absorption. And the history of Cap and Trade policies has been contentious.

But Cap and Trade on CO2 emissions has the ability to put Conservation and Green policies into the black. Canada it is estimated coud profit on Cap and Trade of CO2 credits to the tune of $10 billion annually. More important Green Conservation practices would reward countries like Brazil and indonesia where there is no deterrent to clear cutting swaths of forests. But as seen in this article, the policy and mechanics of Cap and Trade are complex. And then there is situation made worse by a notable “Make America Great Again” policymaker who refuses to acknowledge the imminent danger of climate change. This reader suspects that the ongoing climate crisis will force action sooner than later.

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