Canada to decide between economy and environment

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The proposed project promises to create thousands of jobs and generate Can$3.5 billion ($2.8 billion) in royalties for the Atlantic island province, which will be a big boost to the economy….reports Asian Lite News

Canada is facing a major dilemma over a proposed offshore oil project that could provide a much-needed economic boost, but on the other hand may damage the country’s image of being a champion in the fight against climate change.

Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, who is guiding country’s climate policy, is going to face his first major test in deciding on the proposed Bay du Nord project.

Norwegian firm Equinor is seeking to develop oil discoveries in the Flemish Pass Basin, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of St. Johns, Newfoundland, according to an AFP report.

The proposed project promises to create thousands of jobs and generate Can$3.5 billion ($2.8 billion) in royalties for the Atlantic island province, which will be a big boost to the economy.

But exploiting an estimated 300 million barrels of oil over 30 years would set back efforts to curb climate change.

Oil market turmoil caused by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against the Russian energy sector could further complicate matters.

Guilbeault, a longtime activist who scaled Toronto’s CN Tower in 2001 to draw attention to climate change, is to announce a decision in the coming weeks, it was reported.

Green bond

 Canada has issued its inaugural 7.5-year green bond worth C$5 billion ($3 billion) this week, the Department of Finance announced.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department said the green bond will play an important role in financing the investments in green infrastructure and other projects that will help fight climate change and protect the environment, while also growing Canada’s economy and creating new, good-paying jobs across the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

The bond had saw robust demand from environmentally and socially responsible investors who represented a majority of buyers, or 72 per cent, as well as from international investors, who made up over 45 per cent of the investor base, the statement said, revealing that the final order was overbooked as high as C$11 billion.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said leveraging private investment will help the government meet Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The global economy is turning swiftly, decisively, and irreversibly green. It is essential for the prosperity of the next generation of Canadians-and indeed, for those of us working today-for Canada to be at the forefront of this great transformation, and sustainable finance is central to this objective,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.

Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism said that the inaugural green is the “first of many and will support government investments in green infrastructure, renewable energy, nature conservation and other environmental initiatives”.

“This and the ones to come will broaden the market for highly rated green investment opportunities and strengthen sustainable finance in Canada, which in turn will help finance projects to fight climate change and protect the environment.”

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