2023 Progress Report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Minister’s statement

There are two stories being told in Canada.

One is the story of those who would have us ignore the climate crisis, and do nothing to keep people and our future safe, or who would ask that we choose between clean air and good jobs in a strong economy.

The other story is told in the pages of this report, which summarizes the work of the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial leaders, businesses, and households who have helped bend the emissions curve in Canada, while the economy continues to grow.

In 2015, Canada was on track to have our emissions continue to rise, year after year after year. After eight years of hard work, that track has changed. The most recent emissions projections show we are on pace to surpass our previous target of 30% below 2005 levels and we are currently tracking to exceed our 2026 interim objective. This is no accident. It is the result of the over 140 climate policies the Government has rolled out in the past few years, from pollution pricing that cuts emissions while putting money back in people’s pockets, to investments in clean technology that creates jobs and helps keep our air clean. 78% of the climate measures announced are ongoing or adopted, draft regulations have been published or final regulations are in place, funding programs are accepting applications, companies are being supported, and research is being carried out.

This story is about the over 140 companies spanning many sectors of the Canadian economy, from construction to information technology, that have joined the Net-Zero Challenge program to date and pledged to undertake the necessary planning to get to net zero by 2050 or earlier, including Microsoft Canada, the Cement Association of Canada, and the construction company Pomerleau. This story is about The Stack, the first new commercial high-rise tower in Canada to be recognized officially as a net-zero building, located in Vancouver. And this story is about people who are decarbonizing their homes by installing heat pumps and purchasing electric vehicles one step at a time.

I could go on. We are working with provincial governments to attract electric battery factories and building the economy of the future right here at home. A combination of entrepreneurialism and business acumen has led to the growth of renewable energy. Companies are developing electric snowmobiles, fishing boats, outboard engines, and float planes.

This is a story of courage and hard work. Governments are ready to support the ingenuity and creativity that drive the economy of the future and people are eager to find solutions, from our young people to our auto workers, to our energy sector workers, and beyond.

We have achieved a lot. When we look at our economy growing while our emissions begin to trend down, it shows. And there is more still to do to keep reaching higher and to be inspired by the example that Canadians set. That is why this report includes several additional actions to be explored, as we stand firmly on the path to meet our ambitious but achievable emissions reduction targets.  The Government of Canada is stepping up to do our part. We invite provinces, territories, businesses, the financial sector, and households to do the same.

The last couple of years have not been easy. The pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical tensions have cast a shadow, all while the realities of climate change have become all too real as devastating wildfires, storms, and heat waves have hit home. These challenges do not exist in isolation. And neither do their solutions. We know that affordability and housing are key priorities. Together, we can do our part to cut the pollution that is causing climate change while making life better for people living in Canada and leaving a future we can be proud of for our children.

The Canada I know steps up and takes responsibility, and right now our responsibility is to step up and significantly reduce the pollution that is causing climate change. That is the story that needs to unfold here in Canada, for our youth and most vulnerable populations who have the most at stake.

Thank you for all you have done to help us get to where we are. I hope you can see yourself in this story because if you are doing something, anything, to help stop climate change, this story is about you.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, MP

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault,

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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