A breakdown of Canada's latest climate accountability bill
TORONTO -- The federal government announced on Thursday a climate bill aimed at cutting down greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero levels by 2050.
Bill C-12, known as the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, would require Environment ministers to set emissions goals every five years, beginning in 2030 and ending in 2050. These goals must “take into account the best scientific information available,” according to the bill.
In addition, any plan must include green house gas emission targets for that upcoming year and a description of what the government plans to do to meet these targets.
The legislation would also create a 15-member advisory board to help guide the government’s plan to meet its targets. The environment commissioner must also audit the plan at least once every five years.
The minister is allowed to amend the emissions target, after consultation with the other cabinet members of the sitting government. Provincial governments, Indigenous peoples, the advisory board and any other interested parties must be allowed to give submissions on any amendments.
The minister must also provide a progress report two years prior to each milestone year. This report must contain actions the government has taken to reduce emissions and any additional measures the government could take in the future to further achieve their goals.
If Canada fails to meet its greenhouse gas targets for a given milestone year, the minister must include additional details in an assessment report, including the reasons why Canada did not meet the target and what Canada plans to do to address the failure.
When it comes to the cost of reducing emissions, the minister of Finance and minister of Environment must produce an annual report focused on the financial risks and opportunities that exist within the existing plan.
All of the reports, emission reduction plans and amendments to the plan must be made available to the public.
With files from The Canadian Press