Sharon Singh comments in Mining Journal on Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) revising its Strategic Assessment of Climate Change (SACC), which provides guidance to companies seeking to develop mining, energy and other projects which are required to assess climate change impacts under the 2019 Impact Assessment Act.
The revision provides that proponents to not need to describe every technology or practice a project will implement to achieve net-zero emissions but that it should include emissions reductions at specified intervals up to 2050 and seek to maximize absolute emissions reductions in the earlier years of a project's lifespan.
"The mining industry was not giving pushback on why this is necessary. What it was highlighting is the difficulty of looking 30 years down the road to provide a credible plan without knowing what the technologies of the future will be. The issue is uncertainty about what is deemed credible and how you account for the fact you are unable to forecast so many years in advance," Sharon told Mining Journal.
She said the government was expected to provide technical guidance about how a project proponent develops a credible plan and, indeed, what a credible plan was deemed to be.
"The cost of emitting greenhouse gases is increasingly higher and higher due to existing policies that aim to curb their emission such as the climate tax which force proponents to take actions. When you look at a new project, you have a lens of whether they are adopting the best technology or not. The clarification recognises that there are difficulties in projecting emissions over a 30-year period and the costs of implementing new technology, which could be cost prohibitive."
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