Canada gov't seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

Canada govt seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

GOLDSTEIN: Awaiting Trudeau's Alice in Wonderland climate law

The Liberals promised those targets would be "legally binding" but have never said how they envision doing that.

The new bill comes as governments around the world increasingly commit to reach net zero emissions, often under aspirational terms rather than clear and enforceable targets. Ottawa earlier this year separately introduced its Strategic Assessment of Climate Change (SACC), a directive that calls on resource companies to provide "credible" plans to reach net zero emissions as part of their application process to build new projects.

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".

The government of Canada has tabled legislation which proposes transparency and accountability to help it achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

Some analysts and critics (though not all of them) suggested Thursday that the new bill should be amended to compel the government to set a new target by 2025 - five years ahead of the deadline in the bill.

More than 120 countries have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 such as the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and Japan.

Many environment groups and opposition parties praised the legislation as a good first step but nearly all are dismayed the government did not set an interim five-year target for 2025. The environment minister would simply have to report the failure to Parliament.

"We are going to exceed our targets", Trudeau said, without offering more details.

"Given that Canada has missed every climate target in the past 20 years, strong accountability legislation is a necessary tool for breaking this pattern and tackling the climate emergency head-on".

If future governments fail to meet the targets outlined in the plan, they will be required to justify what hindered their achievement and detail how to reverse the trend, although no legally binding sanctions are to be enforced as the proposal now stands.

What the bill would do is impose statutory requirements on the federal government to account for how Canada will reduce its emissions, while establishing an advisory board to inform the government and enshrining independent oversight to track the government's progress.

"Any government that does not have a plan to meet the targets will hear from the voters", he said.

The Paris Agreement outlines that by 2030, Canada should have reduced its carbon emissions by 30%.

The difference is more than what Canada emits to heat and power the entire country.

It will also, she said, require an enforcement mechanism that isn't just about targets, but setting out who decides if they have been met and what happens if they are not. But we need to continue to show that we are serious about meeting the future demands of global markets and that we understand the risks of a warming climate.

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