Canadian Government Legislates Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, delivered on the Government’s commitment to legislate Canada’s goal of net zero by 2050, by tabling the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons, Canad’a primary federal legislative body.

The Act will do the following:

  • Legally bind the Government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Set rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets and require plans to reach each one and report on progress.
  • Establish the Net-Zero Advisory Body to provide independent advice to the Government on the best pathway to reach its targets.
  • Require the Government of Canada to publish an annual report describing how departments and crown corporations are considering the financial risks and opportunities of climate change in their decision-making.
  • Enshrine greater accountability and public transparency into Canada’s plan for meeting net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Provide for independent third-party review by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to ensure accountability for all future governments.

“To create long-term jobs, we need to secure long-term investments, and investors and consumers are increasingly supporting low-carbon, climate-resilient projects. Our biggest trading partners and economic competitors are already positioning themselves to attract these investments. Canada is well positioned: We have a diversified economy, skilled workforce, and businesses in every part of the country, that are innovating to reduce their emissions. But we need to continue to show that we are serious about meeting the future demands of global markets and that we understand the risks of a warming climate. By further supporting the direction that businesses have already been setting, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act will do exactly that.”

“In particular, we know that climate change poses both risks and opportunities for decision-makers. That’s why a growing number of companies and countries are factoring climate risk into their planning, and we believe the Government of Canada should be no exception. The planning and reporting required under the Act will ensure that the Government of Canada plans and invests wisely for today and for decades to come. This will lead to better decisions that invest in a safer and cleaner Canada.”

The best available science says achieving a net-zero economy by 2050 is what is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In the coming weeks, the Government will be announcing an enhanced clean-growth plan and further investments that encourage, accelerate, and support the work that Canadian businesses are doing to move to a net-zero economy.

If our industries continue to innovate and governments across the country continue to work together to support them, Canadians will take a leading share of the massive clean-growth opportunity. By working together, we will create a cleaner future with a stronger economy as we look to recover from this pandemic.