The government of Canada has approved its first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction law, Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
Bill C-12 officially recognizes Canada’s goal of having net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, and meeting the 2030 GHG emissions targets under the Paris Climate Agreement of 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels. The Act states the need for national GHG reduction targets, as well as other requirements, including:
- An emissions reduction plan, a progress report and an assessment report must be tabled for each target in each session of parliament;
- Public participation is necessary when setting or amending a target or plan;
- An advisory body must be established to advise the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on how to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050;
- The Ministry of Finance must prepare an annual report on key measures that the federal public administration has taken to manage financial risks and opportunities related to climate change;
- The commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development must examine and report on the government’s implementation of measures aimed at mitigating climate change at least once every five years; and
- A comprehensive review of the Act must be done five years after it comes into effect.
- The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change will announced an emissions reduction plan in coming months, which will include an interim GHG objective for 2026, followed by progress reports submitted no later than the end of 2023, 2025 and 2027.