Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Canada will slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent within the next decade.

The cut applies to 2005 emission levels.

The new target is higher than the 36 per cent reduction the government says it can achieve under existing measures by 2030, and the 30 per cent goal Canada initially agreed to under the Paris Agreement.

Trudeau announced the higher target during a virtual climate summit of world leaders convened by United States President Joe Biden, who pledged to cut his country’s emissions by 50 to 52 per cent by 2030.

“If major economies in the room were to follow Canada’s lead and adopt a rising price on pollution and commit to phase out coal plants, we would accelerate our global path for a safe, prosperous net-zero future,” Trudeau said in a short address.

Canada’s new target falls short of the minimum 50- 60 per cent reduction climate groups and opposition parties said was needed to limit global warming to 1.5 C degrees.

“After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden, who took office just three months ago,” Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada said in a statement Thursday.

He added there was no commitment to transition away from fossil fuels as Canada remains heavily tied to the oil and gas industry.

Ahead of the summit, seven environmental groups released a report with modelling that said to limit global warming to 1.5 C degrees compared to pre-industrial levels, Canada should double the 30 per cent commitment it signed in the Paris Agreement.

Clean Prosperity, a climate policy organization, has said it could see Canada adopt a new target of between 40 to 50 per cent in recognition of the economic challenges around a clean energy transition and people employed in the fossil fuel sector.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expressed concerns about the Liberals keeping their climate promises on Wednesday.

“I am concerned that the Liberals will set a target and not meet it, and that’s why we’ve been saying we need better accountability,” Singh said.

In a letter to Liberal Environment and Climate Change Minster Jonathan Wilkinson, Singh called for the government to adopt a 50 per cent goal, while the Greens say it should be 60.

Conservative environment critic Dan Albas touted his own party’s new climate plan, which for the first time contains a consumer carbon price.

“The Liberal government has repeatedly announced new climate targets in the past six months without showing how they will actually reach them,” Albas said in a statement. “Announcing targets is easy; showing how they will reach them is what matters.”

The summit comes as parliamentarians debate Bill C-12 which, if passed, would mean the federal environment minister has to set rolling, five-year targets for cutting carbon emissions starting in 2030 and ending in 2050.

Before Thursday’s event, Wilkinson penned a letter to federal party leaders asking them to say what they want Canada’s new emissions target to be, and underscoring the need for co-operation on “raising our ambition.”

“Time is now running out,” read the letter obtained by The Canadian Press.

“New evidence continues to mount about an accelerating climate crisis, and the transition to a low-carbon economy has become a global sprint as countries compete to attract clean-growth investments and create the good middle class jobs of the 21st century.”

READ MORE: B.C. is 1st in Canada to set emissions targets for industries, communities

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Climate changeUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

MBSS visual art students helped make the Cottage Restaurant’s protective barrier stand out for the summer. (Barry Coulter photo)
Artists give Cottage patio blocks a blast of colour

Mount Baker Secondary School visual art students gave the protective barrier at… Continue reading

Stuart Ashley Jones, 56, was at Grand Forks provincial court for sentencing on May 5, 2021. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks man shot by police during massive flood sentenced to house arrest

Stuart Ashley Jones was shot by a Grand Forks Mountie after ramming two police cruisers in May 2018

SD5 and SD6 have added electric school buses to their transportation fleets. Photo courtesy B.C. Government.
East Kootenay school districts add electric buses to fleets

Two school districts in the East Kootenay are adding an electric school… Continue reading

Two Pileated Woodpeckers sharing the bounty! Kathleen Opal photo
Urban wildlife Part XI: The East Kootenay birds (and others) of 2021

The work of local photographers in the Advertiser throughout 2021. Part XI. With links to Parts I-X

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read