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Canada’s program to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is failing, audit shows

Canada’s program to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is failing, audit shows
Canada
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Canada’s environment commissioner says a federal pandemic aid program for the oil and gas sector that was supposed to retain jobs and cut greenhouse-gas emissions is not set up to actually do either of those things.

“This is a program that needs a vast improvement,” commissioner Jerry DeMarco said Thursday of the program called the Onshore Emissions Reduction Fund.

The $675-million program was announced in April 2020 to help the industry stay afloat amid a massive reduction in fossil fuel use in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program funds projects to help oil and gas companies meet or exceed regulations requiring them to cut down on methane, which leaks out of or is intentionally vented during production.

DeMarco’s audit of the program released Thursday says the process the Department of Natural Resources used for calculating the emissions lacked transparency.

It also said the claimed emissions cuts were based on outdated data about existing emissions, and the program didn’t ensure that companies were using the money for new projects they wouldn’t have otherwise done.
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