OTTAWA — The federal government is proposing to use an industry-specific cap-and-trade system or a modified carbon pricing system to set a ceiling for emissions from the oil and gas sector and drive them down almost 40 per cent by the end of this decade.
The two options are contained in a discussion paper Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault will publish Monday. It is the first glimpse Canadians are getting of how the Liberals expect to implement the oil and gas emissions cap promised in last year’s election.
The oil and gas industry accounts for more than one-quarter of Canada’s total emissions — 179 million tonnes in 2020, or about what an average car would emit driving around the equator more than 17 million times.
“We simply cannot ignore the fact that the oil and gas sector is Canada’s biggest emitter,” Guilbeault said in April during a House of Commons committee meeting studying the proposed emissions cap on oil and gas.
What Guilbeault didn’t say then, and what the discussion paper doesn’t say now, is what the specific emissions cap will be. It’s supposed to start at “current levels” — which going by the data that was available when that promise was made would mean 2019 levels, or 203.5 million tonnes.
Background documents and government sources suggest the cap for 2030 will be very close to the one proposed in the new national Emissions Reduction Plan in March — 110 million tonnes. That’s a 46 per cent cut from 2019 levels, and 32 per cent over 2005.
Canada is aiming to cut emissions across all sectors 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The oil and gas sector has not had emissions that low since 1992. In the last three decades, as production of gas, conventional oil and oilsands soared, emissions from the sector have risen 83 per cent. Overall emissions in Canada are about 23 per cent higher over the same time period.
Input on the options to manage the cap will be accepted until Sept. 21 with Guilbeault aiming to unveil the final plan early in 2023.
The first proposed option involves a new cap-and-trade system on the oil and gas sector in isolation. The total emissions allowed would be divided into individual allowances which will be allocated to specific companies mainly through an auction.
Companies that don’t buy enough allowances to cover their emissions will have to buy allowance credits from other oil and gas companies that bought more than they need.
The funds raised from the auction would be recycled to programs that help the sector cut emissions.
The second option would modify the industrial carbon price already applied to the oil and gas sector, possibly by hiking the price itself if needed, but with the aim of ensuring the emissions from the oil and gas industry itself fall by limiting the trading of carbon credits to the sector.
Companies can currently reduce the carbon price they pay by buying credits from others that produce less than their emissions limit. The modified plan would allow them only to buy credits from other oil and gas companies, not from other industries.
Most of Canada’s oil and gas producers are already cutting emissions due to other regulations and a desire to become a cleaner, more competitive option for global customers.
That has been the Conservative party’s position on the industry for years — using cleaner Canadian fossil fuels to displace dirtier ones produced elsewhere.
The industry has work to do, particularly on the oil side, where Canada’s heavier oils require more energy to extract from the ground than in places like Saudi Arabia. While oilsands emissions per barrel of oil, known as the emissions intensity, is down about 30 per cent since 1990, it’s still higher than many global competitors.
The Oil Sands Pathway Alliance, with six of the biggest oilsands companies on board, is aiming to get emissions to net zero by 2050, mainly through carbon capture and storage projects that trap greenhouse gases before they go into the atmosphere and then store them back underground.
The alliance, whose member companies account for 95 per cent of oilsands production, released a plan this spring aiming to cut 22 million tonnes of emissions from 2019 levels by 2030.
Company leaders have said they’re not opposed to a cap, but insist it must be realistic and based on consultations with industry about what is feasible. Anything more than that would likely drive production cuts and job losses, they have argued.
But the Alliance and government remain far apart on some fundamental issues, such as determining where current emission levels actually stand. The most recent national inventory report says oilsands production and processing emissions were 83 million tonnes in 2019, but the Alliance pegs the figure at 68 million.
A government official, speaking on background because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said if the cap on emissions for the oil and gas sector comes in higher than the Emissions Reduction Plan, it will force other industries to cut more than their share or Canada won’t meet its 2030 targets.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2022.
Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
Story from the Cyber Frontlines
Long ago, but not too far away, in one of my past lives, I used to manage the online operations for a bustling retail brand. It was a colorful, kid-friendly virtual wonderland known for its cheeky prints, chirpy characters, and evergreen joie de vivre. However, there was another side to this fun façade, an unseen realm perpetually under siege. Among the numerous safety protocols and countless lines of code, we fought an incessant cyber-war, forever alight with skirmishes and strategic defenses.
Armoring the Cyber Stronghold
Selecting the right platform is the cornerstone of any secure online presence. In our story, we opted for a reputable e-commerce platform with significant market presence and advanced inbuilt safety features. Reliable platforms usually mean fewer vulnerabilities. They also come with a dedicated security team that regularly rolls out updates and patches. During my years at the helm, I witnessed a flurry of urgent midnight updates, each one addressing newly discovered vulnerabilities. The vital lesson here is to ensure you install these patches promptly and regularly.
SSL certificates, though they may sound technical, are one of the easiest yet powerful security upgrades you can adopt. This encryption tool prevented potential interception of sensitive information between the user’s browser and our site—yet another bulwark to impede the progress of cyber invaders.
We cannot talk about fortifications without discussing the potential armor breaches. Unfortunately, human error, often in the form of weak password policies, is a recurrent kink in the armor. To counter these vulnerabilities, we maintained a robust password policy requiring a mix of alphanumeric and special characters. This policy, when paired with mandatory regular updates, significantly enhanced our safety measures.
Lastly, we utilized an assortment of digital security tools. Website firewalls, security plugins, scanner tools, and even the humble CAPTCHA contributed to presenting advanced cyber deterrence. Access to these tools depended on the chosen platform, a factor to consider when setting up a secure online presence.
Lessons from the Cyber Kingdoms
One of the many retail websites that have significantly benefitted from implementing robust website security measures is well-known children’s brand. Implementing thorough security protocols, up-to-date SSL certificates, and regular security audits resulted in a drastic reduction in data breach.
The same success was echoed in another kid’s e-commerce platform that faced attempted breaches. Here, strong password policies, combined with additional layers of verification, staved off any potential security breach. You can read more about their success story here.
Navigating the Cyber Seas
Merely having top-tier security systems is not enough. The rolling out of these measures confronts two significant barriers – technical difficulties and cost issues. However, these challenges are conquerable with effective planning and strategies.
To tackle technical difficulties, investing in a dedicated IT team and providing them with the necessary resources and training is crucial. This team, capable of handling any technical issue, can implement updates and fixes diligently, securing your website from potential breaches.
In addressing cost issues, consider it an investment. Remember that the potential harm a security breach can wreak ranges from financial losses to irreversible damages to reputation. Adopt a tiered implementation approach, starting with affordable solutions such as strong password policies, gradual enhancements to SSL certificates, and eventually a holistic security system.
Being prepared always makes a world of difference. In today’s world where the cyber realm goes hand in hand with our physical space, the same holds for the security of our digital strongholds.
An Unforgettable Lesson in Website Security
Let me share an anecdote about a time when one of my clients, a prominent retailer in the children’s fashion industry, faced a massive security issue that nearly brought their brand to its knees. It was a typical Tuesday afternoon when I received a frantic call from the client. Their online store had been hacked, and customer data was compromised. It was a nightmare situation, one that they never foresaw. This experience was a wake-up call, not just for them, but for me as well, about the importance of website security, especially in the realm of kids’ retail.
The Risks of Unsecured Kids’ Retail Sites
Children are an easy target for cybercriminals. Their innocence and lack of awareness make them vulnerable to scams, fraud, and identity theft. When a kids’ retail website does not prioritize security, it exposes its young users to a host of risks.
- Children’s Data Misuse: Personal details such as names, addresses, and even photos can be harvested and used for malicious purposes. This can range from creating fake profiles to conducting targeted scams.
- Consequences of a Security Breach: In a worst-case scenario, credit card information can be stolen resulting in financial loss. The breach can lead to legal implications, not to mention, a significant loss of customer trust and brand reputation.
Why is Security Essential for Kids’ Retail Sites?
As administrators, owners, or marketers of kids’ retail sites, it is our responsibility to ensure a safe online shopping experience for our young customers. Let’s explore a few reasons why website security should be non-negotiable.
- Protecting Users’ Sensitive Information: A secure website uses encryption to protect sensitive information, ensuring that even if data is intercepted, it cannot be read or misused.
- Maintaining Brand Reputation: A secure shopping environment builds customer trust. In contrast, a single security breach can cause irreversible damage to your brand’s reputation.
Prioritize Website Security
Understanding why website security is crucial for kids’ retail sites is the first step. The next, and arguably more important step, is to take action. It’s time to review your website security measures, identify any potential vulnerabilities, and fix them. Remember, when it comes to website security, prevention is always better than cure.
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Amid India-Canada row, Elon Musk accuses Canadian PM Justin Trudeau of ‘crushing free speech’; here’s why
Amid the ongoing India-Canada row, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has slammed the Justin Trudeau government in Canada for ‘crushing free speech’ in the country. His remark came in wake of a recent order of the Canada government which issued an order to make it compulsory for online streaming services to formally register with the government for ‘regulatory controls’.
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This is not the first time the Trudeau government is accused of acting against free speech. Last year, in February 2022, Trudeau had invoked emergency powers for the first time in country’s history to arm his government with more power to respond to the trucker protests, who were opposing the vaccine mandates at that time. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act, the predecessor to the Emergencies Act, and sent troops into Quebec and other provinces. The crisis ended, but only after the separatist group killed the cabinet minister.
Meanwhile, Canadian PM has created an uproar since he alleged India’s role in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India, however, has outrightly rejected his claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.
Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing. Canada is home to about 770,000 Sikhs, the highest population outside India’s Punjab.
Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country.
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