SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany – Canada’s energy sector will have to transform itself to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the long term, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.
He was commenting at the end of the G7 leaders’ summit which called on its members to put their energy sectors on a low-carbon footing by 2050, a move with serious implications for Canada’s greenhouse-gas-emitting oilsands.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel fell short of her goal of pushing her fellow leaders to a broad, iron-clad commitment to a low-carbon economy by 2050. Instead, the G7 agreed to a full-blown no-carbon economy, but not until 2100.
“We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term, including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050 and invite all countries to join us in this endeavour,” the leaders said in their final communique.
“To this end we also commit to develop long-term, national low-carbon strategies.”
Asked what this means for Canada’s energy sector, Harper said:
“Nobody’s going to start to shut down their industries or turn off the lights. We simply got to find a way to create lower-carbon emitting sources of energy.”
Harper took part the G7 leaders’ shortened talks on climate change as the summit entered its second and final day.
“All leaders understand that to achieve these kinds of milestones over the decades to come will require serious technological transformation,” Harper said.
The Canadian Press has been told by sources who saw the working draft of the G7’s climate-change communique that Canada and Japan worked behind the scenes to water down the statement.
Merkel placed the fight against climate change at the heart of her sweeping agenda.
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