Irving Oil backtracks on 17% carbon cut pledge
December 20, 2019
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Irving Oil, operator of Canada’s largest oil refinery, has abandoned a pledge to cut carbon output by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020, replacing it instead with a goal to keep its performance on climate change competitive with rivals, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
The policy change appears likely to ensure the refinery – the nation’s 18th biggest greenhouse gas emitter — misses the cuts by a wide margin at a time Ottawa is seeking to slash emissions and build a reputation as a world leader in the fight against climate change, according to the Financial Post.
The refinery is located in Saint John, NB.
Family-owned Irving Oil had publicized the 17 per cent carbon cut target after the Copenhagen Accord of 2009, an international agreement to combat global warming that has since been superseded by a more ambitious and widely adopted deal called the Paris Agreement.
But the company, which supplies more than half of its gasoline and other fuels to the U.S. Northeast, removed the pledge from its website earlier this year, without any public announcement of a change in policy.
Regulatory filings obtained by Reuters through a Right To Information Act request show the company ceased to target an outright reduction in carbon output from the refinery as early as 2016. It instead adopted a goal to maintain a carbon intensity rating among the top 25 per cent of rival refineries in Canada through 2025, using a methodology developed by Texas-based consultancy HSB Solomon Associates that considers a facility’s “complexity” instead of just its emissions-per-barrel of throughput, according to the filings.