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Canada’s climate plan : the beginning of a new era of collaboration in the fight against climate change

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On Friday December 9th, Canada’s premiers and the prime minister concluded an historical agreement on climate change. The governments jointly released the first pan-canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Only Saskatchewan and Manitoba didn't sign this historical agreement.

The plan includes new commitments in all sectors of activities recommended by Équiterre, apart from reforming tax preferences for fossil fuels (consult Equiterre's 10 recommendations for the climate plan here). 

The main components of the climate plan include:

  1. A new national building code for all new residential and commercial buildings in Canada to be net-zero by 2030;
  2. Performance requirements for energy efficiency retrofits starting in 2022;
  3. An agreement to develop a national electrification of transport strategy;
  4. A plan to develop an accountability mechanism, to increase our climate ambition over time, and a commitment to annually assess and report on efficacy of measures.

The climate plan follows from the commitment made last March through the Vancouver declaration and represents a milestone towards meeting, and surpassing, Canada’s GHG emissions reduction target of 30% reduction below 2005 by 2030.

Important First Steps Towards Reaching the Targets

The plan will allow to keep governments accountable in the realization of their commitments and promises, to quickly put into action the proposed measures, but mainly to start the process of increasing the targets, notably concerning GHG emissions.

“Today’s climate plan marks the first step towards reaching our target, whereas almost all sectors of the Canadian economy are now required to deliver GHG emissions reductions” stated Annie Bérubé, director of governmental relations at Équiterre. «Now, rapid implementation will be key and will require that will fill some policy gaps in the plan” added Ms. Bérubé. “We note that the transportation sector and agriculture could contribute much more ambitious GHG emissions reduction with additional policies.” concluded Ms. Bérubé.

«This climate plan will result in reduced oil and gas consumption domestically, while Canada continues to export more of its carbon pollution overseas. This is a failure of climate and energy policy coherence in Canada and threathens our credibility as a champion of climate change internationally.” stated Steven Guilbeault, director principal at Équiterre.

Read Equiterre's Equiterre complete press release here.