Did you know that the largest contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the energy sector? This includes power generation (heat and electricity), transportation, and fugitive sources. Our cold Canadian winters call for heat and not all municipalities are equipped with environmentally optimal infrastructure.

But let’s start the year off on a bright note. Clean energy projects are on the rise and emission levels are on the the way down. According the federal government’s first Progress Report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (2030 ERP) emissions are declining. Since the release of the 2030 ERP in March 2022, the federal government has been implementing more than 140 climate measures and working with partners, including provinces, territories, and national Indigenous organizations, to turn ideas into action, and positive results on emissions reduction, while increasing job creation.

In 2015, Canada was trending to exceed 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels by nine per cent by 2030, but since then, many sectors of the economy have made real and measurable progress to lower their emissions, helping Canada successfully bend the emissions curve and putting us on track to beat the previous target of 30 per cent reductions below 2005 levels. The first Progress Report shows how this is being accomplished.

“After years of collective effort, Canadians can take pride in knowing they have put Canada’s emissions on a sustainable downward track, while creating good jobs, a strong economy and clean air and water,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“Meeting Canada’s climate targets is both necessary and achievable, and supports Canadian competitiveness, quality of life, and the emerging jobs and opportunities of the 21st century. We have come so far, and I am confident the next progress report will show even greater progress in meeting our 2030 goals.”

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With the full implementation of the 2030 ERP, Canada is now projected to exceed Canada’s interim objective of 20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2026. Between previously announced measures and the additional actions to be explored that are included in the Progress Report, Canada remains firmly on track to meet our ambitious but achievable 2030 target.

With six years of policy development still ahead and major initiatives currently under development, there are more opportunities to reduce emissions and achieve the 2030 goal. Moving forward, Canada will finish updating existing regulations to reduce oil and gas methane by at least 75 per cent by 2030.

Furthermore, sustained implementation of the 2030 ERP—including finalizing the cap on oil and gas sector emissions; releasing and implementing the Green Buildings Strategy; and developing climate plans for the marine, rail, and aviation sectors—are expected to contribute to reaching Canada’s climate targets.

Complementary climate actions from the provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, businesses, and individuals—as well as the acceleration of clean technology innovation and deployment—will lead to further emissions reductions in the lead up to 2030.

Canada’s Projected Emissions Trajectory

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This year’s emissions projections data has been visually enhanced. Canadians can now track progress toward the 2030 goal and explore trends in greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in Canada through an interactive dashboard. (Credit: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.)

The 2023 Progress Report provides an update on progress toward the 2030 target, based on Canada’s most recent inventory of historical emissions and recently updated emissions projections. It identifies opportunities the Government of Canada is pursuing to reduce emissions and meet the 2030 target, and provides the following:

    •  A measure-by-measure update on the implementation status of federal strategies and measures, and key cooperative agreements with provinces and territories.
    • An overview of what others are doing to advance climate action in Canada.
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The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan is an evergreen plan that will evolve as Canada moves toward its 2030 and 2050 targets. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act ensures that the Government will continue to be transparent and accountable to Canadians as it implements the Plan.

This is the first of three progress reports on the 2030 ERP, in accordance with the legislation. The other two reports will be released in 2025 and 2027.

To read the complete report, visit: 2023 Progress Report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

Featured image credit: Unsplash/Daniel Moqvist


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