Canada now plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, a more aggressive target than the one the country signed onto under the Paris Agreement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new target on Thursday morning, when he spoke at the Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden. The virtual summit is taking place Thursday and Friday this week, with 40 world leaders participating.
“We must take action now because there’s no vaccine against a polluted planet,” Mr. Trudeau said in his Thursday morning remarks. The Liberal government has been under pressure to increase Canada’s action on climate change, with the NDP recommending a 50-per-cent cut below 2005 emission levels, and the Green Party pushing for a targeted reduction of 60 per cent.
Canada’s targets are now less aggressive than the ones set by the U.S., which announced on Thursday that they would aim to cut emissions by 52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. It will also be harder for Canada to meet its emissions targets compared to the U.S., because the growth of Canada’s oil and gas sector since 2005 has increased emissions. Canada now needs to put in place more stringent policies in order to keep up.
In comparison, the European Commission has set a target of a 55 per cent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030. The British government also announced new reductions this week, saying they would cut emissions by 78 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, by 2035.
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