Opinion: Because the world heads to COP, how can Canada and the U.Okay. work collectively?

Opinion: Because the world heads to COP, how can Canada and the U.Okay. work collectively?

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King Charles III gave a powerful name for motion at his opening handle to the United Nations local weather convention in Dubai, generally known as COP28.

At a time when the window to attain international local weather commitments continues to slender, robust illustration and sustaining excessive ambition issues extra now than ever. A considerable delegation of U.Okay. ministers and enterprise leaders have taken this spirit to Dubai, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This may reveal the UK’s persevering with dedication to tackling local weather change as probably the most urgent international precedence.

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Alberta has additionally despatched its personal substantial delegation.

The setting for this yr’s convention is hard. Globally, we proceed to see important challenges round the price of residing, together with each within the U.Okay. and Canada. In our international locations, this has generated full of life debate on how greatest to method delivering our local weather commitments. Recognizing this problem within the U.Okay., Sunak lately outlined some tweaks in insurance policies on how net-zero commitments shall be met. Nonetheless, he didn’t cut back on the legally binding dedication for the U.Okay. to succeed in net-zero by 2050, nor its carbon discount targets for 2030 or 2035, that are simply as essential if we wish to attain the 2050 objective.

The U.Okay.’s success in decarbonizing sooner than every other main financial system — with emissions diminished by greater than 48 per cent between 1990 and 2021 — permits the U.Okay. some house to take inventory and, the place wanted, make pragmatic changes to insurance policies that will disproportionately have an effect on these going through probably the most important monetary pressures — akin to offering further time to make electrical car purchases and to decarbonize residence heating by the adoption of warmth pumps and boilers which can be extra environment friendly.

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Very similar to in Canada, decarbonizing our power sector continues to be a problem however can also be a significant pillar of the U.Okay.’s net-zero transition. We, too, have a objective for the sector to be net-zero by 2035. The U.Okay. has established its place as a worldwide chief in wind energy. It’s residence to the 4 largest offshore wind farms on this planet and, with a good bigger one in improvement, we’re on observe to generate as much as 50 gigawatts in offshore wind power by 2030 — about one-quarter of our future power wants. Our progress in renewables is complemented by giant investments in our low-carbon power combine that may embody the deployment of small modular nuclear reactors ($362 million), carbon seize clusters ($35 billion) and improved electrical grid connectivity.

Why does this matter to Canada? Canada and the U.Okay. have most of the identical decarbonization objectives, pushed by worldwide commitments. We share most of the technical, social and political challenges surrounding net-zero insurance policies and the drive for expertise improvement as a key enabler for decarbonization. These joint challenges have led to deep collaboration in areas akin to hydrogen, low-emission transportation, the phaseout of coal from energy era and lots of joint analysis and improvement tasks in clear expertise. Our companies already share substantial expertise and experience — the settlement between B.C.’s Svante Applied sciences and the U.Okay.’s carbon seize firm Storegga to ship built-in tasks world wide is an efficient current instance.

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Nonetheless, we are able to do extra to study from one another to succeed in net-zero and assist guarantee we keep on observe to restrict international warming to a most of 1.5 levels — together with by the trade of regulatory and workforce coaching approaches wanted to know the financial alternatives from decarbonization, to how we handle our energy grids and greatest make the most of carbon seize.

At COP28, amid the flurry of negotiations, bulletins and new commitments, our ministers and officers shall be working to advance these alternatives so we are able to ship actual motion and management in how we meet our net-zero commitments.

Jonathan Turner is the British Consul Normal in Calgary.

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