Canada Releases Its First Plan to Reduce Emissions

Canada Releases Its First Plan to Reduce Emissions

Canada released a roadmap on Tuesday for achieving 2030 climate targets. The plan will allocate $7.3 billion toward new spending to cut carbon emissions by 40-45% carbon emissions under 2005 levels. The Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) was introduced under Canada’s Net-Zero Accountability Act, which the government implemented last summer.

On being part of the global move towards clean energy, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week, "The leaders I spoke with in Europe over the past few weeks were clear: They don’t just want to end their dependence on Russian oil and gas, they want to accelerate the energy transformation to clean and green power.”

Global News: Canada must slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent to hit new 2030 targets, March 29, 2022.

Why This Matters

Canada is the world's fourth-largest oil producer and its 11th largest carbon emitter. In November, Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco said Canada received the "worst performer” ranking for cutting emissions among G7 industrialized nations. And just last week, the Canadian government announced it would raise oil and gas exports this year by up to 300,000 barrels per day. It’s disconcerting that the Canadian government aims to decarbonize without cracking down on the fossil fuel industry. Still, this plan is an important step forward in Canada’s climate journey.

CBC News: Canada’s plan to cut emissions doesn’t go far enough, critics say, March 29, 2022.

"Shifting Into High Gear"

To lower emissions, the government issued a mandate requiring 60% of light-duty vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions, a figure that will rise to 100% by 2035. The ERP also set an interim goal to reduce emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2026, an important benchmark if the country is to stay on track.

Anna Johnston, a lawyer at Canada’s West Coast Environmental Law Association, said in a statement: "Canada has failed to meet every single climate target it has set for itself. Hopefully, we stay on track, and even increase our ambition to the 60% reduction needed for us to do our global fair share.”

Rick Smith, president of the Canadian Climate Institute, echoed this sentiment to Reuters: "A plan is just a plan without action. Expedited implementation will be key to success, and Canada now needs to shift into high gear.”

CPAC: Member of climate action group assesses federal government’s emissions reduction plan, March 29, 2022.