Government of Canada confirms ambitious new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target
July 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
Climate change is the greatest long-term threat that we face as a global community. It also represents an enormous economic opportunity.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, formally submitted Canada’s enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations, committing Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40‑45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Canada’s NDC submission outlines a series of investments, regulations and measures that the country is taking in pursuit of its ambitious target. It includes input from provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. These actions are also detailed in a new publication, entitled “Canada’s Climate Actions for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy”.
This is Canada’s first emissions reduction target that is enshrined in law under the new Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent in June 2021.
Canada has joined over 120 countries to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada’s ambitious new NDC for 2030 keeps the country on course. It builds on a whole-of-government plan, “Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy”, that includes Canadians in all regions and all economic sectors.
At the same time, the government today confirmed that the minimum price on carbon pollution will increase by $15 per tonne each year starting in 2023 through to 2030. The national stringency standards—the “benchmark”—will be updated to ensure all provincial and territorial pricing systems are comparable in terms of stringency and effectiveness. Provinces and territories will continue to have the flexibility to implement the type of system that makes sense for their circumstances as long as they align with the benchmark.
The past 16 months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic have shown Canadians how a determined response can address a global crisis. Tackling climate change requires the same focus and commitment. Canada is on a path to exceed its previous 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels in partnership with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners. By working with the private sector and others, the government is confident Canada can achieve its enhanced 2030 GHG emissions reduction target and build a healthier environment and healthier economy.
“Canada’s ambitious new 2030 emissions target, our Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act and net-zero goal for 2050 are more than just plans for tackling climate change—as necessary as those are. By rewarding innovation and putting a cost on pollution, we are clearing the path to a cleaner, more competitive economy that benefits our children and grandchildren, and leaves a healthier world for those who follow.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canada knows that, in 2021, job growth means green growth. One of the most effective ways to stimulate investment in our green transformation is through a price on pollution. The new minimum price provides the market with predictability and, where the federal system applies, we are returning revenues to Canadians, small businesses, farmers, and Indigenous governments. Pricing pollution is not only cost effective, but drives down emissions and creates conditions for new innovation that grows the clean economy and will create jobs today—and long into the future.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“Canada needs a strong recovery along with good jobs that will survive the test of time; that means a green recovery. Our government is here to help Canadian workers and businesses seize the opportunities created by markets demanding cleaner and more sustainable products. We are building capacity across the country to develop and deliver clean technology, helping our major industries hit their net zero targets, and ensuring that Canadian researchers and start-ups have the support and resources they need.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The world is calling for increased climate action, and Canada is answering the call. We’re investing in workers and a green recovery to build a more equitable, prosperous future that leaves no one behind. The actions we’ve taken over the past 5 years—and continue to take—build the foundation for Canada to reach net-zero by 2050.”
– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources
“Climate action is about good jobs, Canadian innovation, clean air and water, more inclusive communities and, most of all, a better future for our kids. We’ve made great progress as a country, and if we approach the climate crisis with the same urgency and focus as we have with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will win the race against climate too.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Canadian farmers are good stewards of the land, but extreme weather this year is yet another stark reminder that they are on the front lines of climate change. That’s why our government is investing over half a billion in new direct supports to farmers for the adoption of more climate-resilient practices and clean technologies. We all must double down our efforts to remain leaders in sustainable agriculture, ready to capitalize on all the opportunities in the green economy.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The impacts of climate change on our oceans pose a serious risk to fish and other marine life. As a maritime nation, bordered by three oceans that make up the world’s longest coastline, Canada is uniquely positioned to be a leader in global marine conservation and sustainability efforts. Fighting climate change will give our vital ecosystems a chance not just to survive but to thrive. Healthy, thriving oceans support a strong economy, now and for generations to come.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Under the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries agreed to collectively strengthen the global response to climate change, including by limiting global warming to well below 2°C, while also pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
From 2015 to 2019, the Government of Canada invested over $60 billion in initiatives to cut pollution and grow a clean economy. Since October 2020, the government has committed over $53.6 billion to support a green recovery.
In 2016, Canada adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework (PCF), the country’s first national climate plan. Without it, Canada’s emissions were projected to increase 12 percent above 2005 levels by 2030 (815 Mt). Driven by measures in the Pan-Canadian Framework alone, Canada’s emissions were projected to be 19 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (227 Mt decrease)—the single-largest projected drop in emissions in Canadian history.
Full implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework and A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy will bring Canada’s 2030 emissions to at least 31 percent below 2005 levels.
Additional Budget 2021 investments and other actions, including strengthened alignment with the United States, set Canada on its current path to reduce emissions by approximately 36 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Canada first announced its enhanced 2030 emissions target on April 22, 2021, at the US Leaders Summit on Climate.
Canada’s NDC submission to the UNFCCC marks the first time a country has included substantive submissions from subnational governments and Indigenous partners.
The Government of Canada today outlined and published key elements under which the new federal ‘benchmark’ on carbon pricing will be assessed.
The government also published Guidance for Using Carbon Pollution Pricing Proceeds to Support Canadians and Drive Climate Ambition.
- Canada’s Climate Actions for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy
- Guidance for Using Carbon Pollution Pricing Proceeds to Support Canadians and Drive Climate Ambition
- Additional information on the federal carbon pollution pricing benchmark
- Canada's 2021 Nationally Determined Contribution Under the Paris Agreement
- Canada’s Adaptation Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
- A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy: Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan
- The Government of Canada announces increased climate ambition
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
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