Seventy-five per cent of Canada’s existing oil reserves, and 99 per cent of the known bitumen resource (Remaining Ultimately Recoverable Resources) will remain in the ground by 2050, if climate change is to be limited to the internationally agreed target of 2.0 degrees of warming by the end of this century. These are the figures cited in a new study on “unburnable fossil fuel reserves” recently published in Nature. Of course, other countries would also have to forego exploitation of fossil resources: for example, 92 per cent of U.S. coal reserves, and 77 per cent of those held by China and India would remain unused. But Canada was identified as having the lowest potential utilization of established oil reserves compatible with the global climate abatement target.
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