TORONTO -- Although Canada has pledged to ambitiously slash greenhouse emissions by almost half over the next nine years, one advocate says the goal is entirely possible, despite Canada having never achieved a previous climate target.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent in less than a decade.

Speaking virtually to a summit of global leaders convened by U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss fighting climate change, Trudeau vowed to increase Canada’s current target goals from 36 per cent by 2030.

Catherine Abreu is the executive director for Climate Action Network Canada, a group of organizations working on climate change and energy issues. She says that although Canada is making progress, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.

“We’ve been setting climate targets here in Canada for the last few decades since the early 1990s and we’ve never achieved a single climate target that we set. So we really have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to contributing our fair share of our effort to confront climate change globally,” Abreu told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

Canada has pledged to put the country on track to not only meet, but to exceed its 2030 Paris Agreement emissions target. The federal government has also promised to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a goal which Abreu says is ambitious.

As one of the world’s largest oil producers, it may be difficult for the federal government to reach its climate goals without reducing exports or risk disrupting the western Canadian economy.

“Canada’s history of failed targets is just as much a lesson in a failure in accountability as it is a failure of ambition. We really need to lock in some legislation that will bring some transparency and some accountability to how Canadian governments plan in the future,” she said.

That means setting targets on a regular basis and effectively communicating those plans to Canadians, according to Abreu. She said that unless there is more government accountability, it will be difficult for Canada to reach its short and long-term climate goals.

“I think we’ve learned a lot over the last year of what it should look like for a government to be communicating to us in a time of crisis,” Abreu said.

Although Trudeau will not be increasing the carbon tax past its current $170 a tonne, Abreu said it will take an all hands on deck approach in order to achieve net-zero emissions. This includes limiting leaks of methane and cutting oil sands emissions.

“It’s not just happening here in Canada, right? This transition into clean energy and the clean economy is happening all over the world and we want to be apart of that,” she said.