Net-zero goal: Canada govt seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

Elias Hubbard
November 21, 2020

The first emissions reduction target, and the plan to meet it, would be tabled nine months after the legislation is passed in Canada's Parliament.

In the end, "it will be up to Canadians to choose governments that are serious about the fight against climate change", said Trudeau, who has made the environment a priority since taking office. While the largest corporations contribute overwhelmingly to global greenhouse gas emissions, the rise in unemployment and reduced hours as a result of the economic downturn has decreased climate change issues.

West Coast Environmental Law staff lawyer Andrew Gage said the government should be prioritizing more immediate action by setting a 2025 target. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to plant two billion trees.

Canada has set multiple goals for curbing emissions over the last three decades but to date has never met a single one of them.

When it ratified the Paris climate agreement, Canada committed to reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as compared with 2005 levels. That first target would be for the year 2030.

While environmental groups may celebrate the tabling of this bill, they will lobby for amendments to strengthen it. Catherine Abreu, executive director of Climate Action Network Canada, called this proposed legislation is "a big step in the right direction". This is because the bill simply states target goals and the timelines in which they would be achieved. "However, the proposed legislation now lacks key elements". Industry has broadly accepted environmental policies like carbon taxes, but has meanwhile said that a controlled phase out of natural resources remains entirely unworkable in a world heavily dependent on fossil fuels. However, the government did not provide any details on actionable items.

"Any government that does not have a plan to meet the targets will hear from the voters", he said. It would also order the environment commissioner to audit Canada's climate change mitigation measures at least once every five years.

Currently, Australia, China, Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United Kingdom are pursuing hydrogen strategies to reduce carbon emissions because hydrogen produces water vapour rather than CO2 when it combusts in combination with oxygen.

But if the bill can get through the House and Senate before the next election, could it prove to be as durable as some of the other structures previous governments built up to check and scrutinize the political actions of the day?

She said to live up to its title, the bill will need to set specific carbon budgets for how much Canada can emit each year, decide where those emissions are going to come from, and then show the ways to hit those budgets.

But if momentum for action on climate change is truly coming to a tipping point, it could be hard for future governments to completely disregard (or even repeal) the legislation Parliament is now being asked to enact. "We need to fundamentally fix the way we do climate action in Canada because it is not working".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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