Net-zero emissions by 2050

The transition to a cleaner, prosperous economy needs to be both an immediate priority and a sustained effort over the years and decades ahead. Canada must keep innovating to meet this long-term goal, strengthening and building on existing measures that fight climate change and transform the economy.

To avert the worst impacts of climate change, the Government of Canada is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

This goal will require support and engagement from all parts of society, including provinces and territories, cities, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and businesses.

What is Net-Zero?

Achieving net-zero emissions means our economy either emits no greenhouse gas emissions or offsets its emissions, for example, through actions such as tree planting or employing technologies that can capture carbon before it is released into the air. This is essential to keeping the world safe and livable for our children and grandchildren.

Canada’s plan to reach Net-Zero

The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which became law in June 2021, enshrines in legislation Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Act ensures transparency and accountability as the government works to deliver to its targets. The Act requires public participation and independent advice to guide the Government of Canada’s efforts.

2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy

Building on the actions in Canada’s strengthened climate plan and the Pan-Canadian Framework , the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan  reflects input from provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, the Net-Zero Advisory Body, and interested Canadians on what is needed to reach its Paris Agreement target to reduce emissions by 40-45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

In December 2023, the Government of Canada published the Emission Reduction Plan Progress Report (ERP PR). In 2015, Canada was trending to exceed 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels by nine percent by 2030, but since then, many sectors of the economy have made real and measurable progress to lower their emissions, helping Canada successfully bend the emissions curve and putting Canada on track to beat the previous target of 30 per cent reductions below 2005 levels.

With the full implementation of the 2030 ERP, Canada is projected to surpass Canada’s interim objective of 20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2026. Between previously announced measures and the additional actions in the ERP PR, Canada remains on track to meet its ambitious but achievable 2030 target.

Recent accomplishments include publishing the draft Clean Electricity Regulations, publishing the strengthened draft oil and gas methane regulations, and a regulatory framework outlining Canada’s approach to cap emissions from the oil and gas sector.  Canada reached a milestone in late 2023 by publishing the Electric Vehicle Availability Standard – the first regulations to be finalized from the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan.

Emissions projections and progress towards our 2030 climate targets.

Updated emissions projections (modelled on the 2024 NIR data) will be available in December 2024.

Projected Canadian greenhouse gases emissions in 2030. Expressed in million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Long description

This graphic is a line graph, displaying Canada’s historical emissions and projected emissions trajectory, beginning in 2005 and ending in 2035. The three data lines are: 2015 projections from the Second Biennial Report, 2023 projections, and 2023 projections with nature-based climate solutions (NBCS) and agriculture measures. Additionally, the graph indicates Canada’s 2026 interim objective (20% below 2005 levels), as well as the former (30% below 2005 levels) and current (40-45% below 2005 levels) 2030 emissions targets.

Canada’s projected emissions trajectory
Year 2015 Projections (Second Biennial Report) (Mt CO2 eq) 2023 Projections
 (Mt CO2 eq)
2023 Projections with NBCS and Ag measures (Mt CO2 eq)
2005 749 732 -
2006 740 722 -
2007 761 751 -
2008 741 733 -
2009 699 675 -
2010 707 712 -
2011 709 727 -
2012 715 719 -
2013 726 718 -
2014 727 692 -
2015 736 725 -
2016 748 695 -
2017 755 693 -
2018 761 707 -
2019 764 697 -
2020 768 629 -
2021 770 637 -
2022 774 679 -
2023 783 626 -
2024 789 610 -
2025 793 597 -
2026 798 573 -
2027 801 551 -
2028 807 526 -
2029 812 505 -
2030 815 480 467
2031 - 470 457
2032 - 461 448
2033 - 455 442
2034 - 448 435
2035 - 436 423

Net-Zero Advisory Body

The Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB) was launched in February 2021. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, mandates the NZAB to engage Canadians and provide independent advice to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with respect to achieving Canada’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050. NZAB members are appointed by the Governor Council and bring together a diverse range of expertise. The NZAB provides independent advice to the Minister based on the best available scientific information and knowledge, including Indigenous Knowledge. The NZAB is committed to transparency and must submit an annual report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with respect to its independent advice and activities.

The NZAB submitted its first report, Compete and Succeed in a Net-Zero Future, on December 30, 2022, to which the Minister publicly responded on April 19, 2023. This report focused on three lines of inquiry: net-zero governance, net-zero industrial policy, and net-zero energy systems. In March 2024, the NZAB released its second What We Heard Report, sharing its engagement efforts from 2022 and 2023, and what it heard during its engagement activities during that time.

Further information on the NZAB’s activities can be found on its website.

The Net-Zero Challenge

The private sector has an essential role to play in helping Canada achieve net-zero emissions. The Government of Canada launched the Net-Zero Challenge to encourage businesses operating in Canada to develop and implement credible and effective plans to transition their facilities and operations to net-zero emissions by 2050. There has been an impressive response from the private sector to date, which includes participating companies of all sizes spanning many sectors of the Canadian economy - from energy, transportation, construction, and heavy industry, to information technology (IT), retail, and more. In committing to net-zero, companies are taking action now to help safeguard Canada’s environment for our children and grandchildren, while stimulating innovation, demonstrating corporate responsibility, and ensuring their long-term competitiveness in a decarbonizing global economy.


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