OTTAWA – The federal government is delaying the publication of its official plan to reach Canada’s climate goal by 2030, The Star has learned.

Liberals will announce Friday that they are using the escape hatch in their climate “liability” law to delay publication of the plan by three months while they consult with the public on how to reduce emissions that cause climate change, according to a government official. . who spoke on the condition that they are not named.

The decision to delay the plan comes a week after the federal environmental commissioner criticized the government for breaking all promises it had made to reduce greenhouse gas pollution since 1992. National emissions increased by 21 percent between 1990 and 2019, and the accountability act is meant to ensure that Canada ultimately meets its international commitments to reduce them.

The law says the government had until December 29 to publish a plan that would outline how Canada will achieve its climate goal by 2030, which is to cut emissions to at least 40 percent below 2005 levels. But the law allows the government to delay that deadline by three months.

Having taken advantage of that provision, the plan must now be published no later than March 29, the government official said.

The law received royal nod in June, and liberals said it needed to create reporting requirements that would pressure current and future governments to meet their commitments to cut emissions, as leading scientists call for “unprecedented” action to avoid the worst extremes of climate change.

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According to the law, the government’s emissions reduction plan for 2030 must also include a new interim target for 2026. It must also have a description and timeline for implementing key measures to reduce emissions, as well as a summary of strategies relevant to reduce pollution in specific sectors.

The liberal government has already put in place a set of policies that have been implemented or promised that it says can lead Canada to its 2030 climate goal as the country strives to reach “net zero” when the remaining emissions are offset. by nature or technology. – by 2050.

The minimum carbon price for all provinces and territories will increase to $ 170 per ton of emissions by 2030. The government is also implementing regulations to remove methane from fossil fuel operations and enforce standards for cleaner fuels.

The liberal government’s budget for 2021 included a projection that the measures implemented and announced so far would reduce national emissions to 36% below 2005 levels.

Then, in this year’s federal elections, Liberals pledged to enact new measures to close the gap to at least 40 percent. These included a cap on oil and gas emissions, rules to ensure that Canada’s electrical grids are fully powered by non-emitting energy sources by 2035, and a mandate that 100 percent of new passenger cars sold in 2035 will be zero-emission vehicles.

The government says it will formally launch consultations on these measures on Friday, an exercise that Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told the Star last month would be carried out as quickly as possible.


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