Canada’s government has vigorously defended the country’s oil industry and its controversial oil sands projects, even as it seeks to drastically cut emissions.

Revenues from the huge bitumen developments in Alberta, long opposed by environmentalists, would be critical to funding the country’s energy transition, said Seamus O’Regan, natural resources minister and a leading figure in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority government.

“There is no way we are reaching net-zero without Alberta,” O’Regan said in an interview, referring to the country’s 2050 emissions target.

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