OTTAWA — Mark Zacharias, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s inaugural emissions progress report:
“The first-ever progress report following the federal government’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan spotlights both the effectiveness of Canada’s climate policies and the necessity of rapid implementation.
“Since the current government assumed office, it has introduced several cornerstone emission-reduction measures, including carbon pricing, which is widely accepted as one of the most cost-effective ways to cut climate pollution. As a result of government action, Canada is now set to cut emissions by 36% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade—a significant shift from the 9% increase by 2030 projected back in 2015 before the Trudeau government’s first climate plan was introduced.
“To meet the global challenge of the climate crisis, Canada increased its targets in 2021 in line with many of our closest allies and trading partners, including the U.S. While there remains a gap to close for Canada to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 40%, the government is on track to exceed its interim 2026 target and has identified further federal measures that could help close it: for example, moving forward with the oil and gas emissions cap also announced today, the finalization of a number of vital clean energy investment tax credits, and Canada’s Green Building Strategy.
“There is also a pressing need for more provincial and municipal action toward Canada’s collective climate goal and for the federal government to double down on policies it has promised but not yet implemented in the Emissions Reduction Plan, like truck and bus regulations and a national Buy Clean strategy. If there is one lesson from today’s announcement, it’s that we must immediately make these proposed policies into real ones.
“Indeed, as we near the end of what is set to be the hottest year ever recorded, we need to be debating how to do more, not less. While the new progress report shows that federal leadership will succeed in reducing Canada’s emissions, meeting the scale of the climate challenge means rowing together as a country—every province, political party, community, and industry. Now is not the time for provincial infighting or campaigns to axe our most effective climate policies. Now is the time for action and, as today’s report shows, accountability.”