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

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Be thankful for volunteers

It amazes me just how much people do to make the Cariboo Chilcotin region a better place for all

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Williams Lake Tribune.
FOREST INK: A year to remember for lumber prices

As of March 12, a basic SPF (spruce, pine, fir) two-by-four cost $1,040 per thousand board feet

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Drier weather good for calving season

My partner and I team up to look for any newborns and note them for later in the day

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read