From forest fires and floods to heat waves and coastal erosion, Canadians are living the impacts of a warming climate every day. Fighting climate change presents an enormous opportunity – to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and also to position Canada for economic success as demand for clean technology accelerates around the world.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, published the conclusions of Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions projections. The analysis shows that in 2030, Canada’s emissions are projected to be 227 million tonnes (Mt) below what was projected in 2015. This is a historic level of emissions reductions. Policies and measures now in place, including those introduced in the last year, are projected to achieve a level of emissions 28 million tonnes lower by 2030 than last year’s projections.
Earlier this month, the Government of Canada announced commitments to further strengthen existing and introduce new greenhouse gas reducing measures in order to exceed Canada’s current 2030 emissions reduction goal. In addition, Canada will develop a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and will set legally-binding, five-year emissions reduction milestones, based on the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians.
The government has committed to efforts to increase clean electricity, invest in greener buildings and communities, accelerate the electrification of transportation, and adopt nature-based climate solutions – including protecting 25 percent of Canada’s land and 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, and planting two billion new trees by 2030.
Once implemented over the coming years, these additional measures will help deliver the projected reductions needed to meet and exceed the country’s Paris Agreement goal. These measures identified in the new mandate letters represent additional megatons in emissions reductions. Further, current projections do not yet account for the impacts of implementing new public transit projects and breakthroughs in clean technologies.
Canada’s emissions projections will be submitted along with the 4th Biennial Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by January 1, 2020. The report will also discuss Canada’s recent mitigation actions and climate finance support that Canada provides to developing countries. It will be available at www.canada.ca.
“Our plan to fight climate change and grow the economy is working. Our climate plan is on track to deliver the biggest cut to Canada’s emissions ever, because we’re pricing pollution, investing in clean energy, doubling the amount of nature we protect, and making our air cleaner by phasing out coal power.
While we have made a lot of progress over the last four years, we know there’s much more to do. We’re committed to exceeding our 2030 Paris target and getting to net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as to putting our five-year targets into law. To help us get there, we are committed to implementing new measures that will cut pollution faster- such as planting 2 billion trees and other nature-based solutions, cutting energy waste and energy bills, making clean power more available, protecting and conserving more of Canada’s lands and oceans than ever before, supporting zero-emissions clean tech companies, and more.
We continue to work towards being more ambitious to ensure a cleaner, more prosperous future for our kids and our grandkids.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Canada’s Changing Climate published in April 2019, indicated that the country is warming at twice the global average. Canada’s north is actually warming at three times the global rate.
The Canadian Parks and Wildlife Society has estimated that nature-based solutions to fight climate change can reduce emissions by an estimated 20 MT in 2030.