The federal Liberals have set an ambitious new target for Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as part of a sweeping set of big-ticket budget measures aimed at fighting climate change while giving Canada’s pandemic-hit economy a green lift.
Chrystia Freeland uses Budget 2021 to reveal Canada’s new emissions target.
By04/19/2021 05:27 PM EDTLink CopiedThe federal Liberals have set an ambitious new target for Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as part of a sweeping set of big-ticket budget measures aimed at fighting climate change while giving Canada’s pandemic-hit economy a green lift.
In her budget speech, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s new goal is to reduce emissions by 36 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, up from the 30 percent reduction target first set by the previous Conservative government.But with U.S. President Joe Biden set to host a virtual climate summit of 40 world leaders later this week, where some believe he may announce a reduction target of 50 percent, it’s not clear Canada’s upgraded plan will be ambitious enough.
The backdrop:Since coming to power in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed his government’s commitment to tackling climate change. With Canada’s economy slowly rebounding from the effects of Covid-19 amid a renewed global interest in climate issues, the government’s first budget in two years seeks to harness the recovery to its environmental policies. headtopics.com
“[The federal budget is] a plan that embraces this moment of global transformation to a green, clean economy,” said Freeland in her budget speech. “In 2021, job growth means green growth.”Another senior official summed up the government’s thinking: “Climate change is now an innovation and a jobs opportunity.”
Here’s how the Trudeau government plans to meet its climate goals.Direct spending:As part of the government’s stated goal of cutting Canada’s carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050, while also pursuing a more activist role in guiding the economy, Ottawa is pumping C$5 billion over seven years into the Net Zero Accelerator.
The program, announced in December with an initial C$3 billion in funding, aims to cajole Canadian companies in traditional sectors to reduce their carbon footprints, whether that’s by incentivizing large emitters like oil and steel producers to decarbonize, or spurring auto and aerospace manufacturers to adopt clean technologies.
In the same vein of steering private industries to pursue actions the Liberal government deems worthy, Ottawa will also make C$1 billion available over five years “to help draw in private sector investment” to Canada’s clean technology sector.One of the biggest-ticket new items among the budget’s environmental initiatives aims to fulfill a Liberal promise from the October 2019 election to conserve 25 percent of Canada’s oceans and lands by 2025. The federal government plans to spend C$2.3 billion over five years to conserve up to one million square kilometers of land and inland waterways. The government also vows to create “thousands of jobs” through its “historic investments in Canada’s natural legacy” but offers no specifics. headtopics.com
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