Liberals unveil 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

The Liberals released their $9.1 billion 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps to Clean Air and a Strong Economy on Tuesday, a plan the federal government says is an “ambitious and achievable sector-by-sector approach” for Canada to cut emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“This is the next major step in our government’s plan to reduce pollution and create good, sustainable jobs in Canada,” said  Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in a media announcement on the plan. “With our natural resources, highly skilled workforce, and strong financial system, Canada stands to benefit substantially by increasing our climate ambition.

Guilbeault said by acting collectively now, Canada is positioned to be a leader in the clean economy.

Below are the government plans for the $9.1 billion in spending taken from today’s announcement:

Making it easier for Canadians to switch to electric vehicles. We are investing more than $2.9 billion in charging infrastructure, providing financial support to make buying zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) more affordable, supporting clean medium- and heavy-duty transportation projects, and developing a regulated sales mandate so that 100 per cent of new passenger vehicles sold in Canada will be zero emission by 2035, with interim targets of at least 20 per cent by 2026, and at least 60 per cent by 2030.

Greening Canada’s homes and buildings. By investing around $1 billion, we will develop a national net-zero by 2050 buildings plan, the Canada Green Buildings Strategy, work with provinces, territories, and other partners to support the adoption of the highest tier building codes, pilot community-scale retrofits, and facilitate deep energy retrofits for large buildings.

Helping industries to adopt clean technology and transition to net-zero emissions. We are delivering historic investments to enable industries to be clean and competitive and creating greater incentives for clean technologies and fuels, such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

Making Canada’s grid even cleaner. We will develop a regulated Clean Electricity Standard, make additional investments of about $850 million in clean energy projects like wind and solar power, and work with provinces and territories, stakeholders, and Indigenous partners to move Canada’s electricity grid to net-zero emissions by 2035 while continuing to ensure that Canadians and businesses have access to reliable, affordable power.

Reducing oil and gas emissions. We will continue working closely with provinces and territories, stakeholders, and Indigenous partners to develop an approach to cap oil and gas sector emissions to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 per cent by 2030, and create good jobs. The plan includes a projected contribution for the oil and gas sector of a 31 per cent reduction from 2005 levels, which is equivalent to 42 per cent from 2019 levels and will guide the government’s work to develop the cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Supporting farmers in building a clean, prosperous future. We are supporting farmers with about $1 billion for new and expanded programs to help them develop and adopt sustainable practices, energy-efficient technologies, and solutions like capturing carbon from the air.

Empowering communities to take climate action. We are investing $2.2 billion in expanding the Low Carbon Economy Fund to support projects from governments, schools, non-profits, Indigenous Peoples, and more to cut pollution and create jobs in communities across the country.

Embracing the power of nature to fight climate change. We will make an additional investment of $780 million to help Canada’s oceans, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands capture and store carbon, and explore the potential for negative emission technologies in the forest sector.

Alberta NDP call emission targets a fantasy

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley said the feds’ new emission reduction targets are unachievable, under-resourced, and reflect a failure of the UCP government to advocate for Alberta.

“I have some serious problems with this,” Notley said. “This is not a real plan to reduce emissions and in fact, it obstructs the rollout of a real plan that addresses climate change. We need actions and serious targets, not aspirational goals,” Notley said. “A real plan must protect Alberta workers and their families. A real plan must engage with Alberta’s energy industry.”

Tuesday’s federal announcement calls for a 42 per cent cut in the oil and gas sector in less than eight years – by 2030.

“Without massive changes in technology across every sector and huge changes in global energy demand, reaching the 2030 target — in just over seven years — is fantasy,” Notley said.

Conservatives call move an attack on Canadian jobs

Kyle Seeback, Conservative Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Greg McLean, Conservative Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, and Luc Berthold, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Québec Political Lieutenant, released a joint statement Tuesday afternoon calling the plan a renewed commitment by the Liberal government to miss even greater targets and attack more Canadian jobs.

“Time and again, the Liberal government’s reaction to each failed target is to simply increase them and talk louder; but bigger targets do not mean action, and stronger rhetoric does not get results,” the statement reads.

“One aspect of the Liberal plan that will have a devastating effect here in Canada, is the new measures targeting Canada’s oil and gas sector that will have ‘increased stringency’, which includes a cap on production. This is simply the Liberal government’s re-commitment of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to ‘phase out’ Canada’s energy sector.”  

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