Climate change is the biggest threat facing our generation, and ambitious action to fight it presents significant economic opportunities for Canadians in all parts of the country. Over the past five years, an intensive national effort was undertaken to develop and implement the measures needed to put Canada on a path to significantly reduce emissions. The latest science shows—and Canadians are demanding—that we must do even more to fight climate change, and on a faster timeline. That is why Canada increased its 2030 climate target to a 40 to 45 percent emissions reduction below 2005 levels earlier this year, and has worked with Canadians to develop and implement ambitious measures that put us on track to exceed our previous 2030 target of 30 percent.
Recognizing the urgency of the crisis and the need to involve all economic sectors and all regions of Canada, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced today that the Government is launching a series of early consultations on key, new emissions reductions measures before the end of the year.
The Minister also confirmed that he will table the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP)—as required by the new Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act—by the end of March 2022. The ERP will be informed by early consultations on these new commitments.
The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, to establish the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) within six months of royal assent, with the authority to extend this deadline by ninety days. Today, the Minister confirmed that the 2030 ERP would be established by the end of March 2022. This time will enable the Government to engage with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, the Net-Zero Advisory Body, and interested Canadians on what is needed to reach Canada’s climate objectives. Written submissions will be welcomed.
In addition, early consultations, supported by a series of discussion papers, will be launched before the end of 2021 on the following new commitments:
- Mandating the sale of zero-emission vehicles so that 100 percent of new light-duty vehicles (cars, pickups, etc.) sold in Canada are zero emission by 2035 and at least 50 percent by 2030;
- Developing emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles that are aligned with the most ambitious standards in North America, and requiring that 100 percent of selected categories of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles be zero emission by 2040;
- Capping emissions from the oil and gas sector at current levels and requiring that they decline at the pace and scale needed to get to net zero by 2050;
- Developing a plan to reduce methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy in support of the Global Methane Pledge and the goals in Canada’s climate plan, reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent below 2012 levels by 2030 through an approach that includes regulations, as well as regulating methane landfill emissions and reducing agricultural methane emissions;
- Transitioning to a net-zero emitting electricity grid by 2035.
The Government will work closely with provinces, territories, cities, Indigenous peoples, industry, and civil society on the design of these new commitments in order to ensure that relevant considerations are identified and joint priorities are addressed.
Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan is the first of many requirements under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The Government of Canada is considering more formal, ongoing, and consistent engagement processes for the establishment of future emissions reduction targets, plans, and reports.
Climate change impacts Canadians in all parts of the country and the Government of Canada is committed to taking a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to address it. Full participation from Canadians in all parts of the country and all sectors of the economy is essential for building an effective path forward to achieve Canada’s climate goals for 2030 and 2050 and a prosperous economy.
“Through the efforts of millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, Canada has successfully flattened its emissions curve. But as we are seeing from the immediate, devastating impacts of a changing climate, we need to do more, on a faster timeline. The health of our citizens, the health of our economy, the safety of our communities, and the conservation of our natural world depends on us working together to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2030. The debate over whether we need to act is long over. Now we must determine how we can get where we need to go, together.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Collaboration and consultation with our natural resource sectors is essential in establishing the ways in which we will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, while promoting the development of good jobs and a prosperous clean economy. Our Government is committed to doing just that, in order to ensure we chart a pathway that works for every region across the country.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
“Our Government believes that only bold climate policies lead to bold results. With the sector representing a quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions, we recognize the urgency to eliminate pollution from transportation. That is why we launched the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program and will be implementing additional measures to accelerate the transition to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles sales. We will continue building a cleaner and more resilient economy, while also creating good jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
“We will continue to create economic opportunities in ways that will help us meet our ambitious climate targets. By turning climate action into economic opportunities for Canadian companies and workers, we will continue to grow Canada’s competitive advantage in the low-carbon economy. This will mean good jobs for Canadian workers and real progress towards reducing emissions.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
- The Government of Canada is committed to achieving net-zero emissions no later than 2050. It developed and passed the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act earlier this year. This Act enshrines Canada’s climate goals for 2030 and 2050 into law and requires the Government to establish an emissions reduction plan to achieve Canada’s 2030 target. The 2030 plan will be the first emissions reduction plan established under the Act and is a key milestone on the pathway to net zero by 2050.
- Many of our cities and several provinces have also made their own net-zero commitments, including Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Vancouver, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Charlottetown, and Halifax.
- Many of Canada’s oil and gas producers have made their own net-zero commitments. Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial, MEG Energy, and Suncor Energy—collectively accounting for around 90 percent of Canada’s oil sands production—have each committed to achieving net-zero emissions from their oil sands operations by 2050.
- Emissions from the transportation sector and oil and gas sector account for 25 and 26 percent of Canada’s overall emissions respectively.
- In November 2021, the independent Net-Zero Advisory Body was asked by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources to provide advice on guiding principles to inform the development of quantitative five-year targets for caps on emissions from the oil and gas sector to support the achievement of the Government’s commitment to capping and cutting emissions from the sector at the pace and scale needed to get to net zero by 2050.
- In October 2021, Minister Wilkinson announced Canada’s support for the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions around the world by 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030 and committed to reducing methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy for 2030, and to developing regulations to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by 75 percent below 2012 levels by 2030.
- At COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau announced on the world stage Canada’s commitment to cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector and to achieve net-zero emitting electricity in Canada by 2035.
- In June 2021, the Government joined major economies by announcing its commitment to require that 100 percent of cars sold in Canada be zero emission by 2035.
- In December 2020’s strengthened climate plan, the Government committed to aligning with the most ambitious fuel efficiency standards for light-duty vehicles in North America and to develop ambitious fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)