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Press release  •  2 min

Federal parties need to seize opportunity to pass strong climate law

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Climate accountability bill needs significant improvement to achieve net-zero emissions, experts warn

OTTAWA/TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE, May 5th 2021 - Environmental organizations (Équiterre, Climate action network Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice and West Coast Environmental Law) welcomed yesterday’s progress on the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12), which has passed second reading in the House of Commons and will now be reviewed by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Bill C-12 is a critical opportunity to make sure that Canada never misses another climate target. It is now time for politicians of all parties to work together to get this legislation right and pass Canada’s new climate law as soon as possible.

After decades of broken climate promises, Bill C-12 can lay the foundation for Canada to rein in its greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a climate target for the first time.
However, environmental experts note that the bill requires significant amendments in order to deliver immediate action on climate change, robust accountability, burden-sharing, and a safe and healthy future for all Canadians.

Politicians must now work together to make these critical improvements to Bill C-12 and pass a bold climate bill as soon as possible.


Catherine Abreu, Executive director of CAN-Rac, said:

''Strengthening Bill C-12 in committee is crucial for Canada to break its disastrous cycle of broken climate promises. Parties will have to keep working together to equip Canada with a rigorous climate governance framework that, if they rise to the challenge, could usher in a new era of climate accountability in this country. Climate Action Network Canada will keep working with its members and allies towards the adoption of the necessary amendments in this next phase of the parliamentary process. In particular, we will be looking for increased ambition in the next 9 years, stronger long-term accountability and a clear role for scientific advice in the bill.''

Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, climate policy analyst at Équiterre, said:

“While Bill C-12 has reached an important milestone, the work is far from over. In its current form, the bill does not adequately address the needs of the current crisis. However, we are confident that the necessary amendments can be adopted in committee in the coming weeks. We will be there to propose solutions to strengthen the bill and to remind elected officials that Canada must not miss another of its climate targets.”

Alan Andrews, Ecojustice lawyer said:

“Canadians are ready for bolder, more ambitious climate action and it is now time for politicians to work together to deliver a law that holds governments accountable for reducing emissions. Bill C-12 is a critical opportunity to make sure that Canada never misses another climate target but the bill needs crucial amendments to deliver real accountability.”

Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law, said:

“To meet Canada's climate goals, we need a law that requires our government to develop and deliver realistic plans to achieve our targets. Bill C-12 currently falls short, and MPs must make the right amendments to ensure that this important legislation will achieve the real accountability Canada needs.”

Sabaa Khan, director general for Quebec, David Suzuki Foundation :

“With yesterday’s vote in parliament, climate accountability legislation is one step closer to becoming law. Now there’s an opportunity to strengthen the bill to improve planning, public participation and accountability. Climate accountability legislation will lay the foundation for Canada’s action on climate change, now and into the future. It is crucially important to get it right, so we can mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis and enhance resilience across Canada.”

Media enquiries:

Anthony Côté Leduc, media relations, Équiterre
(514) 605-2000 ;

Caroline Brouillette, policy analyst, Réseau action climat Canada
(438) 881-0746 ;

Sean O’Shea, communications specialist, Ecojustice
(416) 368-7533 ext. 523 ;

Alexis Stoymenoff, director of Communications, West Coast Environmental Law
(604) 684-7378 ext. 228 ;