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

Stock photo.
Grand Forks drug trafficker to be sentenced in Castlegar

Ryan Plotnikoff pleaded guilty to trafficking meth, following his November 2020 arrest by Grand Forks RCMP

Stuart Ashley Jones, 56, was at Grand Forks provincial court for sentencing on May 5, 2021. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks man shot by police during peak freshet sentenced to house arrest

Stuart Ashley Jones was shot by a Grand Forks Mountie after ramming two police cruisers in May 2018

Accused drug trafficker to plead to federal, provincial charges in June

Matthew Straume said he’d missed his last court date because he was ill

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks sex crimes trial adjourned until summer

The trial was set to begin at the city courthouse Wednesday, May 5

Photo: Kathleen Saylors
Grand Forks city council votes down motion to support Penticton in paramountcy battle

Coun. Neil Krog insisted Penticton’s issue with Victoria is about city bylaws, not homelessness

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

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

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

Mahitha Mohan is working in Nelson as a community support worker at Community Connections Support Services. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

Most Read