This report is in the form of memos from Climate Scorecard Country Managers to Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC). Below is a description of the progress the country has made made in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and the challenges they still face in order to comply with the IPCC goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
To: Patricia Espinosa
Subject: Climate Scorecard Progress Report for Canada
From: Diane Szoller
Climate Scorecard Canada Country Manager
I serve as Climate Scorecard Country Manager for Canada and would like to offer you the following climate mitigation progress report from the perspective of my organization.
Since its initial 2015 pledge to the Paris Agreement, Canada has made limited progress in meeting the broader goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
On the positive side, Canada has accomplished the following:
- In 2016, Canada released a national climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, jointly developed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, with measures projected to reach a 2030 goal of a 30% reduction below 2005 levels. In December 2020, Canada released a strengthened plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, to build on the Framework. Once fully implemented, it will enable Canada to exceed its 2030 target through several actionable options.
- On April 22, 2021 at the USA Leaders Summit on Climate, Canada announced a stronger emissions reduction target toward the Paris Agreement of 40-45% below 2005 levels, by 2030. This was perceived to reflect Canada’s highest possible ambition in light of current national circumstances.
- Canada is committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) by 2050. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2021, codified the Government’s commitment for this target and established a series of interim emissions reduction targets and plans at 5-year milestones until 2050.
- For consumers, Canada’s carbon pricing plan started at $20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent in 2019. As of April 2021, it’s $40, rising to $50 in 2022, and increasing by $15 annually until it reaches $170 in 2030. A Clean Fuel Standard regulation, expected to come into force December 1, 2022 will reduce GGEs by requiring businesses to make new investments to establish lower-carbon energy mixes, for example, use of biofuels, hydrogen and electric vehicle charging. For those businesses unable to make direct changes, they will have the option to purchase credits on the regulatory market from those that are doing more. Also, since 2015, Canada has made new investments in public transit, committed to planting 2 billion trees, and has banned harmful single-use plastics to protect our oceans.
- From 2015 to 2019, Canada invested roughly $60 billion toward climate action and clean growth. Since October 2020, it has invested $53.6 billion into Canada’s green recovery. Canada will also build on the $2.65 billion climate finance pledge made over the last five years to help developing countries.
- Canada remains committed to phase out ozone-depleting substances covered under the Montreal Protocol, many of which are also greenhouse gases.
The following conditions remain in Canada that threaten its ability to make further progress, and reach the important bigger goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030:
1.The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) shows projections of increased oil and gas production until 2039. CER forecasts through 2050 show Canada falling short of its emissions-reduction targets unless it cuts oil and gas production to the fullest extent possible and implements: building retrofits, more efficient transportation infrastructure, more renewable energy, and other important measures. Other new fossil fuel infrastructure continues to be built sealing Canada into future carbon emissions.
- In June 2019, parliamentarians passed a national climate emergency. The next day, the government approved the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which it later purchased (400,000T GGEs annually).
- Canada has failed to deliver on any previous global commitments to reduce carbon pollution. In 2019, GGEs were relatively unchanged at 730 Mt CO2 eq, compared to 730 Mt CO2 eq in 2005. Emissions from oil and gas extraction, gas-powered trucks and heavy-duty diesel vehicles continue to climb and be offset by decreases in other sectors. For example, between 1990 and 2019, partial offsets included 34 Mt CO2 eq electricity emissions decrease as coal power decreases and a 20 Mt CO2 eq decrease from heavy industry. In 2019, oil and gas accounted for 191 Mt CO2 eq (26% of total emissions), followed by transport with 186 Mt CO2 eq (25%).
- Climate Action Tracker rates Canada’s climate target, policies and finance as insufficient and inconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. For more details – https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/canada/.
Climate Scorecard is committed to working with other like-minded organizations to support efforts by Canada to make further progress in its effort to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and help the Paris Agreement reach its important goals.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this report or need further information.
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada (2021) National Inventory Report 1990-2019: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada