Canada’s new climate plan delayed, won’t be ready until March: minister

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Environment Minister Steven Guilbolt says the new federal climate plan won’t be ready until the end of March.

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The net-zero accountability law passed in June requires the government to make public its greenhouse-gas emissions reduction plans for 2030 within six months.

But Gilbault says the government is going to take advantage of a clause that allows it to delay another three months.

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The scheme will now be made public on or before March 29, 2022.

Guilbolt says the delay is necessary to allow indigenous peoples, provinces and other interested parties to consider what should be included in the plan.

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The net-zero bill was passed two months after the Liberals raised their 2030 target of cutting emissions from 40 to 45 below 2005 levels. The old target was a 30 per cent cut.

The new target would mean Canada needs to have somewhere between 444 million tons and 480 million tons in 2030. The most recent inventory report set Canada’s 2019 emissions at 72.9 million tons.

While some analysts say a combination of new climate policies promised by the Liberals last year could meet those goals, current federal climate plans were drawn up before the new targets were set.

The net-zero bill is enshrined in law, a long-term goal of hitting net zero emissions by 2050, when any emissions still produced must be captured by nature or technology. It also requires interim plans and five-year goals to be set and reported publicly.

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Gilbolt is also launching specific consultations on the four pillars of the government’s environmental platform in the recent election, including net-zero emissions cars, a net-zero emissions electricity grid, reducing emissions from the oil and gas industry and reducing methane emissions. deduction is included.

Gilbault has already sought input from the government’s net-zero advisory body on oil and gas emissions caps, but is expanding those consultations to include provincial and regional governments and other experts.

“The debate over whether or not we need to take action is a long one,” he said. “Now we have to determine how we can get where we need to go together.”

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