Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Canada will slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent within the next decade.

The cut applies to 2005 emission levels.

The new target is higher than the 36 per cent reduction the government says it can achieve under existing measures by 2030, and the 30 per cent goal Canada initially agreed to under the Paris Agreement.

Trudeau announced the higher target during a virtual climate summit of world leaders convened by United States President Joe Biden, who pledged to cut his country’s emissions by 50 to 52 per cent by 2030.

“If major economies in the room were to follow Canada’s lead and adopt a rising price on pollution and commit to phase out coal plants, we would accelerate our global path for a safe, prosperous net-zero future,” Trudeau said in a short address.

Canada’s new target falls short of the minimum 50- 60 per cent reduction climate groups and opposition parties said was needed to limit global warming to 1.5 C degrees.

“After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden, who took office just three months ago,” Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada said in a statement Thursday.

He added there was no commitment to transition away from fossil fuels as Canada remains heavily tied to the oil and gas industry.

Ahead of the summit, seven environmental groups released a report with modelling that said to limit global warming to 1.5 C degrees compared to pre-industrial levels, Canada should double the 30 per cent commitment it signed in the Paris Agreement.

Clean Prosperity, a climate policy organization, has said it could see Canada adopt a new target of between 40 to 50 per cent in recognition of the economic challenges around a clean energy transition and people employed in the fossil fuel sector.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expressed concerns about the Liberals keeping their climate promises on Wednesday.

“I am concerned that the Liberals will set a target and not meet it, and that’s why we’ve been saying we need better accountability,” Singh said.

In a letter to Liberal Environment and Climate Change Minster Jonathan Wilkinson, Singh called for the government to adopt a 50 per cent goal, while the Greens say it should be 60.

Conservative environment critic Dan Albas touted his own party’s new climate plan, which for the first time contains a consumer carbon price.

“The Liberal government has repeatedly announced new climate targets in the past six months without showing how they will actually reach them,” Albas said in a statement. “Announcing targets is easy; showing how they will reach them is what matters.”

The summit comes as parliamentarians debate Bill C-12 which, if passed, would mean the federal environment minister has to set rolling, five-year targets for cutting carbon emissions starting in 2030 and ending in 2050.

Before Thursday’s event, Wilkinson penned a letter to federal party leaders asking them to say what they want Canada’s new emissions target to be, and underscoring the need for co-operation on “raising our ambition.”

“Time is now running out,” read the letter obtained by The Canadian Press.

“New evidence continues to mount about an accelerating climate crisis, and the transition to a low-carbon economy has become a global sprint as countries compete to attract clean-growth investments and create the good middle class jobs of the 21st century.”

READ MORE: B.C. is 1st in Canada to set emissions targets for industries, communities

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Climate changeUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read