For immediate release.
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 29 March 2022:
The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) released today is Canada’s first legally mandated climate plan. While it is the most detailed and transparent plan the federal government has ever tabled and offers some promising new measures, including new investments to the tune of CAD $9.1 billion, it still falls short of the level of transparency and ambition required.
While war and the pandemic rage this spring, climate change is an existential crisis for humanity that is exacerbating other emergencies. Facing the challenge requires all government departments and all sectors of the economy contributing to further and faster climate action, but the ERP shows that not all sectors are doing their share.
This plan shows that the oil and gas industry – the most polluting sector of the economy – is still holding Canada back from the ambitious climate action we need, and the burden is falling on other sectors, workers, and consumers. Since 2005, emissions from oil and gas have increased 20%, while emissions from electricity have decreased 48% (ERP, p. 17). The ERP projects that the oil and gas industry will decrease emissions by only 31% by 2030 below 2005 levels; in comparison, the electricity sector will cut emissions by 88%.
Reducing emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 is dangerously inadequate in the face of escalating impacts around the world, and the narrow window to avoid catastrophic levels of warming. CAN-Rac urges Canada to strengthen its 2030 target, as agreed under the Glasgow Climate Pact. To do its fair share of the global effort to limit warming to 1.5°C, Canada must cut emissions by 60% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Significantly, the plan includes:
The government’s commitment to a cap on oil and gas emissions. The plan does not set out the regulations for the cap, which Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson will develop over the coming year. The cap should correct the unacceptable inequity between sectors and set strong and rapidly declining limits on oil and gas pollution.
A regulated mandatory EV sales target of at least 20 per cent for 2026 and 60 per cent by 2030 to support the goal of 100 per cent of sales by 2035, as well as a commitment towards a ZEV mandate for medium and heavy duty vehicles.
A Clean Electricity Standard which aims to drive the sector to zero emissions by 2035.
A 2026 interim objective to cut emissions by 20% from 2005 levels, which will present a first test as to whether Canada is on track to meet its 2030 goal.
While this plan tracks emissions reductions, tackling the climate crisis at a speed and scale commensurate with the degree of the crisis means deeper and broader social economic transformation. The lack of clarity around Canada’s just transition strategy is cause for concern, as we must ensure that reducing emissions does not reproduce inequities and rather leaves no one behind and supports workers and communities.
Caroline Brouillette, National Policy Manager, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada:
“Tackling climate change must be a team effort, but the plan released today shows that some players are still sitting on the bench. At a time of compounding crises, we need an all-hands-on-deck-approach to climate action, but according to this plan, some sectors – most notably oil and gas – will not contribute their fair share, letting the burden fall on workers, consumers, and other industries.
“The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan offers greater detail and transparency than any Canadian climate plan to date, but fails to seize the urgency of the moment. The measures in this plan only add up to 40% of emissions cuts, the bottom end of the range the government has committed to. Moving forward, the government – all of its Ministries – must contribute to increasing ambition at every opportunity and avoid losing precious time, as the window to avoid the most devastating climate impacts is closing quickly.”
Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.earth:
“It’s a step in the right direction for the government to be setting specific Oil and gas sectoral targets to reduce emissions for the first time. However, likely as a result of big oil’s relentless lobbying the sectoral targets are set too low and must go up if oil and gas is to do their fair share. As long as these targets are lower than the rest of the economy that means other sectors will have to do more in order to allow big oil to continue to pollute.”
Graham Saul, Executive Director, Nature Canada:
“We welcome new investments in the protection and restoration of Canada’s forests and other climate-critical ecosystems. However, we are deeply disappointed that the Plan fails to commit to action to more accurately measure and report the significant greenhouse gas emissions associated with industrial logging in Canada, or outline any actions to reduce these emissions.”
Marc-André Viau, director of government relations, Équiterre:
“The government has presented us with the most complete plan yet, covering all sectors and which should pave the way to achieving our 2030 target. Now we need to ensure that the necessary funding, regulations and political will for this plan to be carried out follow closely.”
Karri Munn-Venn, Senior Policy Analyst, Citizens for Public Justice:
“The current moment is bursting with potential: to face multiple crises while creating a modernized, diversified green economy built on the principles of equity and justice, knowing it will lead to major emissions reductions, create good, secure jobs, and promote the well-being of everyone in Canada.
“Sadly, though the emissions reduction plan announced today is the most comprehensive to date, it is also incomplete. The oil and gas sector is still not being required to contribute their fair share of overall emissions reductions, and the sectoral cap said to guide them remains undefined. And, despite long-standing promises, the details of Canada’s just transition strategy are nowhere in sight. Yes, this is a step forward. But slowly inching along isn’t enough when our survival demands swift, ambitious, and deliberate action.”
Sabaa Khan, Director of Climate Solutions, David Suzuki Foundation:
“This plan has a better chance of success than any of Canada’s previous climate plans if implemented rapidly, key shortcomings are addressed and contributions from the oil and gas sector are increased.”
Anna Johnston, Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law Association:
“Canada has failed to meet every single climate target it has set for itself. The Emissions Reductions Plan released today provides a more detailed roadmap for achieving the lower end of our 2030 target, which will help us hold government’s feet to the fire if things start to go off the rails. Hopefully we stay on track, and even increase our ambition to the 60% reduction needed for us to do our global fair share.”
Maggie Chao, Campaigns Director, Leadnow:
“Putting emissions limits on Canada’s greatest polluters is a welcome addition to plans to stop runaway climate change. To reach our international commitments and effectively reduce emissions, caps will need to more fairly place significantly increased responsibility on the oil and gas sector, which continues to be the greatest contributor. There can be no effective climate action in a regime that continues to enable the greatest polluters while other sectors carry the excess burden.”
Brent Preston, Director, Farmers for Climate Solutions:
“We’re happy to see that the government is committing significant funds to help farmers play their part in the fight against climate change, but the plan calls for just a 1% reduction in agricultural emissions by 2030. That’s not enough. Farmers want to do more.”
Keith Stewart, Senior energy strategist, Greenpeace Canada:
“Recent climate-fueled disasters and the current conflict in Europe have highlighted once again the urgent need for a climate plan that accelerates the transition off of fossil fuels. The government’s new plan marks the first time that the oil and gas sector is being asked to significantly reduce emissions, even if it still isn’t enough and is more focused on public funding of risky techno-fixes than the proven solution of transitioning to clean energy. Given three decades of successful oil industry lobbying against implementation of past climate plans, it is vital that people hold all politicians’ feet to the fire to make sure they force industry to do its fair share. We need real action this time.”
Adam Scott, Director, Shift: Action for Pension Wealth & Planet Health:
“We are grateful that Canada has finally released its first mandated climate plan. From the details however, it’s clear that we’re far from using every available tool available to address this worsening crisis. Credible policies to ensure Canada’s financial sector aligns with Canada’s Paris Agreement goals are still missing in action. As are credible policies and adequate ambition for ensuring Canada’s largest source of domestic and exported climate pollution, the oil & gas sector, can finally assume its fair share. We expect major new policy tools to be added to this strategy in the coming months.”
Julia Croome, Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice Canada:
“The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan provides important details on many of Canada’s measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This sets an important precedent for future accountability. But this is just a start – too many of the new measures to meet the 40-45 per cent target lack specifics. The climate emergency requires detail, transparency and accountability across the entire ERP if Canada can hope to achieve its 2030 target and get on track to net-zero by 2050.”
Mark Bigland-Pritchard, spokesperson for Climate Justice Saskatoon:
“The federal climate plan is the most serious produced so far, but it still falls far short of what is needed to do our share to address the climate emergency. This is especially the case for oil and gas, and for transportation. Instead of enabling continued expansion of fossil fuel production,we should be investing heavily in enabling the petro-provinces to make a rapid just transition that puts Indigenous people first and enables meaningful and innovative community-driven ways forward for fossil workers and their communities.”
Ugo Lapointe, Indepdendant consultant and Spokesperson, Québec Meilleure Mine Coalition:
“While the plan sets crucial reduction targets for the smelting and refining (-30%), iron and steel (-35%), and the cement (-49%) industries, it completely leaves off the hook the mining sector (+2% increase). Canada needs to follow the European leadership and do more to reduce its material footprint with binding targets in mineral recycling and circularity.”
Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair, ClimateFast:
“While it is very satisfying to see that the government has issued a climate action plan with real targets and programs, we are very concerned that the funding designated is really not sufficient to cut the emissions at the level required. In order to achieve cuts in building emissions in accordance with the goal to cut emissions 40 – 45% by 2030 we need funding of over $1B. We also need new models of delivery such as district energy and aggregated projects based in communities, not just a house by house and building by building plan.”
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead