What should Canada do?

  • Stop expansion of fossil fuels, put forward a fossils fuels subsidies reform implementation plan to end subsidies as committed by 2023.
  • Commit to lead the global efforts on shifting financial flows and operationalizing Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement.
  • Commit to delivering an update of the Climate Finance Delivery Plan.
  • Put forward a rights-based and transformational National Adaptation Strategy.
  • Work with the HAC to ensure the delivery of an ambitious and transformational Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

What you need to know about Canada?

  • Earlier this year, The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced an agreement reached by the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party in Parliament, Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence Agreement. This agreement will help the Liberal Government stay in power until 2023 allowing four budgets to be presented by the government during this time. On climate this agreement includes:
    • Advancing measures to achieve significant emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Continuing to identify ways to further accelerate the trajectory to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
    • Moving forward in 2022 on the creation of the Clean Jobs Training Centre to support workers retention, redeployment and training.
    • Moving forward with Just Transition legislation.
    • Developing a plan to phase-out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations, including early moves in 2022. Canada’s oil and gas industry accounts for 16% of Alberta’s GDP and just under 10% of national GDP.
  • Canada’s new climate plan, announced in December, includes a rise in the carbon price, currently set at $30 a tonne, and set to rise by $10 a year to $50 a tonne by 2022. With the new plan, after 2022 it will increase at $15 a year until it reaches $170 a tonne by 2030. But pricing carbon will require cross-Canada cooperation, including several provinces that have challenged federal jurisdiction over carbon pricing.
  • Canada’s oil and gas industry accounts for 16% of Alberta’s GDP and just under 10% of the national GDP. The sector is the fastest growing source of emissions in Canada. Governments continue to financially support the sector. We need explicit commitments to stop fossil fuel subsidies
Recovery Measures to Highlight:

  • $10 billion investments on infrastructure for clean transport, digital connectivity, energy efficiency retrofits
  • $590 million in support of battery electric vehicle to create the largest manufacturing plant in North America
  • $600m for regional relief and recovery funding

Recent developments, threats and levers for action

Recent developments

  • Canada announced new NDC with a target to cut GHG 40-45% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels
  • Citizen, environmental, student and health groups welcomes one of the most significant environmental victories in Quebec’s history, the adoption of Bill 21, An Act mainly to end petroleum exploration and production and the public financing of those activities.
  • The 2022 federal budget presented by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was aimed as a response to current global crises. But, the approval of the controversial Bay du Nord project made it difficult for the Government to present recent climate decisions and investments. The Federal budget did include a welcome commitment to increase Official Development Assistance by more than $1 billion over 5 years, including an additional $732 million for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.
  • The Government put forward its first 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), Canada’s first legally mandated climate plan. While it is the most detailed and transparent plan the federal government has ever tabled and offers some promising new measures, including new investments to the tune of CAD $9.1 billion, it still falls short of the level of transparency and ambition required. The plan does include some promising elements, including:
    • The government’s commitment to a cap on oil and gas emissions. The plan does not set out the regulations for the cap, which Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson will develop over the coming year.
    • A regulated mandatory EV sales target of at least 20 per cent for 2026 and 60 per cent by 2030 to support the goal of 100 per cent of sales by 2035, as well as a commitment towards a ZEV mandate for medium and heavy duty vehicles.
    • A Clean Electricity Standard which aims to drive the sector to zero emissions by 2035.
    • A 2026 interim objective to cut emissions by 20% from 2005 levels, which will present a first test as to whether Canada is on track to meet its 2030 goal.

Strengths

  • Canada has put forward its first Emissions Reductions Plan. It’s the most transparent and detailed climate plan in Canada.
  • There are strong mobilizations in Canada against expansion of fossils fuels and for a Just Transition.
  • One province, Quebec, has legislated to end future exploration and expansion of fossils fuels.

Opportunities

  • Put forward a timeline and process for the development of a Clean Electricity Standard that will get Canada to a 100% clean grid by 2035.
  • Canada must demonstrate its intention to deliver on its commitments to end international support for fossils fuels in 2022 and international fossils fuels subsidies by 2023 and show that it can replicate these commitments at the domestic level.
  • Canada can also step up on climate finance, by ensuring there is concrete and tangible progress on the 2021 Climate Finance Delivery Plan, including progress on those climate finance commitments made in Glasgow
  • There is also an opportunity for Canada to take a more active and public facing role in the Just Energy Partnerships discussions, in particular considering Canada’s $1 billion contribution to the Climate Investment Funds.
  • Canada must also work towards the implementation of the Resilient and Sustainability Trust within the IMF to ensure this support from the IMF actually helps developing countries recover and and implement their climate goals.
  • Announce the implementation ban on the export of thermal coal through and from Canada by 2023.
  • Announce the requirement of climate-related financial disclosures and the development of Paris-aligned climate change plans for federally regulated institutions, which includes financial institutions, pension funds, and government agencies.

Weaknesses

  • Canada’s new Emissions Reduction Plan still includes an increase of oil and gas production in the coming years, which shows Canada’s lack of willingness to leave behind its dependance on the fossils fuels economy.
  • Canada’s fossils fuels industry is actively lobbying to get more support from the Federal Government in response to the Ukraine war.”

Threats

While there has been substantial progress in the past year, Canada’s climate targets, global efforts and investments remain inadequate to contribute to limiting global warming to safe levels. Canada’s oil and gas are still pushing the government to decrease ambition and get Canada to continue the irresponsible expansion of the oil and gas industry

About Climate Diplomacy Snapshots

The data is clear. Accelerated and enhanced action is needed now to build resilience and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. As they seek to address the ongoing health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, governments should seize opportunities to invest in a recovery that will build social, economic and climate resilience on the long-term.The Climate Diplomacy Snapshots aim to provide the climate community with a clear overview of what each country should do, on climate and recovery, to pursue these joint objectives and keep the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. Each has been prepared with the help of national experts, and will be regularly updated. The snapshots aim to support climate advocacy in the lead up to COP26.

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