Canada enshrines 2050 net zero target into law

A Net Zero Advisory Body must be established with up to 15 experts, who will provide advice to the government and consult with Canadians on the most efficient and effective ways to reach the goal

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Canada’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 has now become law.

It comes as the Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act received Royal Assent, marking the first time a Canadian Government has legislated emissions reductions accountability to address climate change by setting legal requirements to plan and report on the path to net zero.

The Act enshrines in legislation Canada’s commitment to set national targets for greenhouse gas reductions and the 2030 emissions target as being the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, which will be 40% – 45% below 2005 levels.

It also requires the government to set the subsequent 2035, 2040 and 2045 targets at least 10 years in advance.

In addition, the Act provides accountability and transparency by requiring an emissions reduction plan, a progress report and an assessment report for each target as well as providing for public participation when setting or amending a target or plan.

A Net Zero Advisory Body must also be formally established with up to 15 experts, who will provide advice to the government and consult with Canadians on the most efficient and effective ways to reach the 2050 net zero emissions goal.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change said: “We promised to legislate net zero emissions by 2050 and put in place legally-binding targets and yesterday we delivered on that promise.

“Canada’s new net zero law provides the long term confidence and certainty required to attract investment and ensure that Canadians are delivering products and services that will be in high demand the world over, now and well into the future. Climate change is the biggest long term threat of our generation but it is also the greatest economic opportunity.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “So, what does achieving net-zero emissions actually mean? It means cutting pollution – by electrifying transport and industry, investing in clean energy, planting trees and supporting sustainable agriculture. And our strengthened climate plan addresses all of these measures.”