CPA Public Affairs
November 2020

NEW - Federal: Government introduces bill to legislate net-zero emissions by 2050

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On November 19, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, introduced the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons. According to the government, the legislation delivers on the government’s commitment to legislate Canada’s goal of net zero by 2050.

The Act is intended to do the following:

  • Legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Set rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets and require plans to reach each one and report on progress.
  • Establish the Net-Zero Advisory Body to provide independent advice to the government on the best pathway to reach its targets.
  • Require the Government of Canada to publish an annual report describing how departments and crown corporations are considering the financial risks and opportunities of climate change in their decision-making.
  • Enshrine greater accountability and public transparency into Canada’s plan for meeting net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Provide for independent third-party review by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to ensure accountability for all future governments.

If passed, the legislation will be followed by a series of additional regulatory measures that will be announced over the coming weeks. The government is expected to launch sector-by-sector consultations to inform regulatory considerations and reduction targets, beginning next month.  

The CPA will be actively engaged in those consultations both on a bilateral basis with the federal government and by working with other groups in the energy sector.


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