Publish: 21 Nov 2020, 01:47 pm
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government proposed draft legislation that it said would allow the nation to be carbon neutral by 2050, but his critics rejected the initiative as "smoke and mirrors."
“Net-zero emissions by 2050. It’s ambitious — but it’s possible, it’s necessary, and it’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Trudeau said on Twitter, reports AFP.
“Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced if we want to reach this target,” he added separately to reporters.
But he admitted that nothing in the draft would prevent future governments from winding back his proposals.
In the end, “it will be up to Canadians to choose governments that are serious about the fight against climate change,” said Trudeau, who has made the environment a priority since taking office.
The draft legislation however does not set specific goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for 2030. Canada, a major oil producer, is among the top global emitters.
“We are going to exceed our targets,” Trudeau said, without offering more details.
As the Paris Climate Agreement was ratified, Canada agreed to a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
The plan seeks to require the government to set emissions emission goals every five years from 2030 onwards, and to report directly to parliament every five years afterwards.
But the measure does not include any specifics, and subsequent Canadian governments have struggled to meet the targets they have set for lowering pollution.
The most recent data from the administration in Ottawa showed that emissions increased two percent from 2017 to 2018.
Green Party leader Annamie Paul quickly shot down the draft.
“After five years in power, and a record of unfulfilled emissions reductions commitments, the government has given us more smoke and mirrors,” she said.
“There are no targets, and no specific actions designed to put Canada on a pathway to net zero. In short, there is no plan.”