Yesterday Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson formally submitted Canada’s enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations—committing Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40‑45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Canada’s NDC submission outlines a series of investments, regulations and measures that the country is taking in pursuit of its ambitious target. It includes input from provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners. These actions are also detailed in a new publication, entitled “Canada’s Climate Actions for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy”.

This is Canada’s first emissions reduction target that is enshrined in law under the new Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent in June 2021.

“Canada’s ambitious new 2030 emissions target, our Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act and net-zero goal for 2050 are more than just plans for tackling climate change—as necessary as those are,” said Wilkinson. “By rewarding innovation and putting a cost on pollution, we are clearing the path to a cleaner, more competitive economy that benefits our children and grandchildren, and leaves a healthier world for those who follow.”

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Canada has joined over 120 countries to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada’s new NDC for 2030 keeps the country on course. It builds on a whole-of-government plan, “Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy”, that includes Canadians in all regions and all economic sectors.

At the same time, the government also confirmed that the minimum price on carbon pollution will increase by $15 per tonne each year starting in 2023 through to 2030. The national stringency standards—new federal ‘benchmark’—will be updated to ensure all provincial and territorial pricing systems are comparable in terms of stringency and effectiveness. Provinces and territories will continue to have the flexibility to implement the type of system that makes sense for their circumstances as long as they align with the benchmark.

“Canada knows that, in 2021, job growth means green growth. One of the most effective ways to stimulate investment in our green transformation is through a price on pollution,” said Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “The new minimum price provides the market with predictability and, where the federal system applies, we are returning revenues to Canadians, small businesses, farmers, and Indigenous governments. Pricing pollution is not only cost effective, but drives down emissions and creates conditions for new innovation that grows the clean economy and will create jobs today—and long into the future.”

From 2015 to 2019, the Government of Canada invested over $60 billion in initiatives to cut pollution and grow a clean economy. Since October 2020, the government has committed over $53.6 billion to support a green recovery.

 

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