Montreal, March 29, 2022 – Équiterre welcomes Canada’s new Emissions Reduction Plan, presented today by the federal government. It is a complete plan, within the limits of Canada’s current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target.
The precision in the plan is particularly noteworthy: there are details on reduction forecasts by sector and on pathways to achieve them. There is some important progress in areas where Équiterre has been making demands for many years, particularly in transportation. However, the NGO warns against reliance on technological developments to achieve the plan’s goals.
"The government has presented us with the most complete plan yet, covering all sectors and which should pave the way to achieving our 2030 target. Now we need to ensure that the necessary funding, regulations and political will for this plan to be carried out follow closely," said Marc-André Viau, Équiterre’s Director of Government Relations.
Improving the target
Unfortunately, the target that the Emissions Reduction Plan seeks to achieve (-40% by 2030) does not respect the concept of fair share, which would be -60% by 2030. Canada is among the countries that has historically contributed the most to the climate crisis.
"We welcome the Emissions Reduction Plan because this is the first time that we have such a detailed strategy to reach a target that we have set. But in order to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the next step is to raise the current target,” adds Marc-André Viau.
Some highlights for Équiterre:
- The government is finally requiring the oil and gas sector to plan its emissions reductions. However, the planned reduction of 31% by 2030 is below the national target of 40-45%. The emissions cap plan (which will be announced in the coming year) will need to address this.
“It’s the first time that we’re asking so much of this industry, but it’s disappointing that their reductions requirements don’t correspond with the reductions goal for the rest of the country. Other industries will have to work harder to compensate,” states Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Climate Policy Analyst.
- Requiring that 20% of sales be zero emissions vehicles by 2026 and 60% by 2030 – we’re moving in the right direction. However, EV sales were only 6.5% in 2021, so Équiterre, would like to see annual sales targets leading up to 2035.
“With a mandatory target for 2026, the federal government is raising the bar for the entire country and should ensure a better supply of EVs in Canada. But that’s only addressing a part of the problem. We also need to address the number of cars on our roads and the growing trend towards oversized vehicles,” states Andréanne Brazeau, Mobility Policy Analyst.
- Équiterre is happy to see formal sales targets for medium-heavy electric vehicles (35% in 2030 and 100% in 2040), along with $550 million of incentives.
“We’re pleasantly surprised to see these targets in the plan. There’s increased ambition in North America and this sends a strong signal,” adds Andréanne Brazeau.
- There is significant progress in agriculture, recognizing the important role that the sector can play in reducing GHG emissions, though its 1% reduction target is too weak.
"We're pleased to see funding for knowledge transfer, which recognizes the importance of supporting farmers in adopting environmental practices on the farm," says Alice Feuillet, Agriculture Project Manager.
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