At an international climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged today that Canada would aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada will reduce emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 — which would cut total emissions much more than the target first pitched by the former Conservative government and agreed to by former environment minister Catherine McKenna at the Paris climate talks in 2015.
Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada is “now on track to blow past our old target.” With today’s more ambitious commitment, Canada is forecasting emissions will drop to at least 439 megatonnes by the end of this decade.
The Prime Minister said countries around the world must heed the advice of climate scientists and do more to prevent catastrophic increases in global temperatures.
He admits it can be difficult for Canada, a major energy producer, to cut emissions so deeply, but he said all countries must rise to the challenge.
A recent report from Environment and Climate Change Canada concluded Canada’s emissions are headed in the wrong direction.
Canada produced 730 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2019, an increase of one megatonne — or 0.2 percent — over 2018.
The Liberal government did not release a new plan today to explain how it intends to get to that 40 percent reduction.
At the same meeting, the Biden administration vowed to cut U.S. emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 — doubling former president Barack Obama’s pledge for the same period.
The U.S. emissions cuts are expected to come from power plants, automobiles and other sectors across the economy, but the White House did not set individual targets for those industries.
Just before the summit opened, Japan raised its target of cutting emissions by 46% by 2030, in response to the foreign policy of the United States and domestic companies and environmentalists, people who want higher goals.
With further investments announced in this week’s budget, Prime Minister Trudeau’s government projected that Canada could now achieve a 36 percent reduction. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland committed billions of dollars in new spending to help private sector companies — including those in emissions-intensive industries like steel and concrete — develop and adopt cleaner technology.
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