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Emissions Reduction Plan charts ambitious but achievable path to meet Canada’s climate goals

Photo by: Michael Bodnar

VANCOUVER — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Plan to cut emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Canada’s first-ever emissions reduction plan takes us from policy promises to a roadmap for action, offering a serious plan to reduce Canada’s emissions in line with our updated Paris Agreement targets.

“Climate action is not about any single industry, and the plan rightly recognizes that all economic sectors must cut emissions.

“Indeed, Canada’s oil and gas industry—Canada’s most polluting sector—is being asked to reduce emissions by 31% from 2005 levels, or roughly 42% from 2019’s. While some may suggest that number is too much, and others not enough, it represents a fair and significant reduction of 81 megatonnes from today.

“We’re also pleased to see a bolder trajectory for our transportation sector, the second largest source of emissions in the country. Moving forward with a zero-emission vehicle supply mandate with more ambitious sales targets than before—plus significant investments in consumer purchase incentives and charging—will help address current electric vehicle supply shortages. Increasing access to EVs also protects Canadians from rising fossil fuel prices while supporting our burgeoning EV manufacturing and battery industry. 

“As well, measures that speed up the transition to zero-emission buses and trucks will reduce harmful air pollution while helping Canadian fleets save money. 

“And while they’re likely to receive less attention, inclusions such as interim milestones and biannual progress reports should help keep the plan on track. What’s more, the plan’s commitment to ensure carbon pricing certainty will provide businesses and investors the predictability they need to make clean investments in Canada. The importance of certainty and accountability cannot be overstated.

“With the cost of living rising, it’s clear we must shift the economy away from volatile and wasteful fossil fuels, and toward a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future for all Canadians.”


  • This is the first-ever Emissions Reduction Plan issued under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which legislated Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and provides an accountability framework to ensure the federal government delivers on it. 
  • The plan aims to cut emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, which is equivalent to a 39% reduction from 2019 levels.
  • The plan includes a new interim greenhouse gas emission reduction target en route to 2030, which is 20% below 2005 levels by 2026.
  • It also details the following projected emission reductions for key sectors: 
    • Buildings: 37% reduction from 2005 levels, a 42% reduction from today.
    • Electricity: 88% reduction from 2005 levels, a 77% reduction from today.
    • Heavy Industry: 39% reduction from 2005 levels, a 32% reduction from today.
    • Oil and Gas: 31% reduction from 2005 levels, a 42% reduction from today.
    • Transportation: 11% reduction from 2005 levels, a 23% reduction from today.
  • It also contains $9.1 billion in new investments, including over $3 billion in new zero-emission vehicle investments, $850 million to support clean electricity and grid modernization projects, $790 million to decarbonize buildings and construction, and $2.2 billion to leverage further climate actions from provinces and territories, among other key stakeholders. 
  • A report by the Canadian Climate Institute found that households across all income groups are likely to spend less in a net-zero 2050 compared to 2020.
  • Three out of four Canadians believe “Canada must have an ambitious strategy to be strong competitors in a global economy that is striving to reduce carbon emissions,” according to a February 2022 poll by Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data.


Submission | Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2022 Federal Budget

Poll | Canadians see investment growing in clean energy and sustainable products, and want an ambitious strategy to compete in these markets

Poll | Canadians see clean energy eclipsing oil and gas in economic importance for Canada

Poll | Almost 80% of Canadians open to owning an electric vehicle

Blog | Five must-haves for an effective zero emission vehicle standard

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