Not even a global pandemic can dispel the discord over climate change and energy in this country.

It might actually make it more pronounced.

As the federal government considers extra relief amidst the COVID-19 crisis for Canada’s beleaguered oil and gas sector, industry boosters and climate activists are offering divergent views for what should happen next. One wants a lifeline to survive the devastation. The other wants to build a path through it to a cleaner future, without dependence on oil and its heavy greenhouse gas emissions.

“The climate crisis is a larger public health threat than COVID-19,” said Elizabeth May, parliamentary leader of the Green Party of Canada.

“We can’t allow a slower-moving but more dangerous threat to be lost in the shuffle of an immediate threat,” she said.

“At its worst, COVID-19 could cause tens of millions of deaths around the world. At its worst, the climate emergency could end human civilization.”

But the immediate threat of the pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global economy, sinking demand for oil at a time when Russia and Saudi Arabia — two of the world’s three biggest oil producers — are slashing prices and cranking up exports. For Canada’s oil sector, already hit by a prolonged slump in recent years, the situation is “critical,” said Shannon Stubbs, a Conservative MP from Alberta who is the party’s energy critic in the House of Commons.

Read full article here.

Alex Ballingall – The Star – March 30, 2020.

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