By: Francesca Chernous
Thursday, April 22 – Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government have made the decision to work towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45%, or 296 megatonnes, compared to 2005. The prime minister announced this during an international climate summit, which was brought together by United States President Joe Biden.
Furthermore, he mentioned that this goal is a part of a larger target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. More than 120 other countries made this pledge as well. Net zero emissions means that either no emissions are created or the emissions that are released are neutralized by things such as planting trees.
The prime minister stated that to reach this goal the government is, “investing in public transit, clean energy, retrofitting homes and decarbonizing industries like steel, cement and aluminum… We are also banning single use plastics, protecting 30% of our ocean and land and planting 2 billion trees.” He further mentioned that, “we will make it law to respect our new 2030 target and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.” The Liberal government added investments to their budget which will also help decrease emissions.
President Biden also announced his plans at the international climate summit. He has a goal of cutting emissions by 50-52% compared to 2005 by 2030. Barack Obama, former president of the United States, had a goal of cutting emissions by around 25% by 2030 from 2005.
Steven Harper, former premier of Canada, previously set a goal of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030, already an ambitious goal. Gas emissions have decreased by just over 1% since 2005, showing that this 40-45% goal that the Liberals have set is not an easy one. From 2018 to 2019, Canada’s emissions increased by 0.2%.
Erin O’Toole, who is the leader of the Conservative party, said that he would have stayed with the original 30% goal. “We will meet our Paris targets. Period. We will not make up things on the fly. Why did Mr. Trudeau make this up today? Because we launched a plan that is vastly better than his.” The Conservative party has a different carbon tax plan than the Liberals, where fines on harmful fuels would be given back through a rewards program instead of given back with taxes. He also said, “Mr. Trudeau is a prime minister who’s an expert on announcements but he gets zero on delivery. He fails every single time.”
This new goal that the Liberals have set may be a hard one to achieve, but it is something that is definitely needed. Climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and it could have a serious negative impact on our lives, as well as future generations if not dealt with.
Image Source: CBC News
Ballingall, Alex. “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Held Steady since Justin Trudeau Was Elected. His Environment Minister Says That’s a Good Result.” Toronto Star, 12 Apr. 2021, http://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2021/04/12/greenhouse-gas-emissions-have-held-steady-since-justin-trudeau-was-elected-his-environment-minister-says-thats-a-good-result.html. Accessed 22 April 2021.
“Net-Zero Emissions by 2050.” Government of Canada, 6 Apr. 2021, http://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-plan/net-zero-emissions-2050.html. Accessed 22 April 2021.
Scoffield, Heather. “Justin Trudeau Is about to Set an Ambitious New Target for Greenhouse Gas Reduction. Canada Seems Ready for the Challenge.” Toronto Star, 15 Apr. 2021, http://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2021/04/14/justin-trudeau-is-about-to-set-an-ambitious-new-target-for-greenhouse-gas-reduction-canada-seems-ready-for-the-challenge.html. Accessed 22 April 2021.
Tasker, John Paul, and Aaron Wherry. “Trudeau Pledges to Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions by at Least 40% by 2030 | CBC News.” CBC News, 22 Apr. 2021, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-climate-emissions-40-per-cent-1.5997613. Accessed 22 April 2021.