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Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy

The Canadian government released Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan.
 
It is the first plan describing the nation’s pledge to reduce its GHG emissions, drawing on the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
 
The Canadian Climate Institute’s President, Rick Smith, responded to the plan. He said, “This is a watershed moment for Canadian climate policy… For the first time, Canada has a detailed plan for meeting its emissions reduction goals.”

What’s in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan?

The Plan describes various actions that are already making notable emissions reductions. Better still, it outlines the new measures Canada needs to achieve its 2030 target and 2050 net-zero emissions.

Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan entails $9.1 billion in new investments. It also includes measures sector-by-sector, covering all sectors, from agriculture to industrial businesses.

Canada will reach its 2030 emissions target by:

  • Helping to reduce energy costs for homes and buildings
  • Decreasing carbon pollution from the oil and gas sector
  • Empowering communities to take climate action
  • Powering the economy with renewables
  • Investing in nature and natural climate solutions
  • Supporting farmers as partners in building a clean, prosperous future
  • Maintaining Canada’s approach to pricing pollution

In particular, part of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan is to invest $2.9 billion to make buying zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) more affordable.

It will also have a regulated sales mandate so that 100% of new passenger cars sold will be zero-emission by 2035. The interim targets for ZEV are 20% by 2026 and 60% by 2030.

Canada’s  Emissions Reduction Plan also reveals another $780 million to invest in the power of nature to capture and store carbon. These include the oceans, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. Investments in this area will further explore the potential for negative emission technologies.

Even more crucial is reducing oil and gas methane emissions by 75% in 2030 while creating good jobs. The estimated contribution for the oil and gas sector alone is a 31% reduction from 2005 levels. This is equal to a 42% reduction from 2019 levels.

In 2019, Canada’s total national GHG emissions were 730 mt of CO2 eq, which is 9 mt lower than in 2005.
 
The biggest emitters are still the oil and gas and transportation sectors. Their emissions had increased more since 2005. Luckily, decreases in emissions by other sectors cover those increases.
 
But still, the country aims to drive its total emissions down from its 2005 levels by 40% in 2030. That means reductions to only 443 mt.
 
In perspective, the following chart represents Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan per sector.
graph showing emissions trajectory
Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Model and Framework
Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan uses economic modeling to show its pathway to 2030. The model captures the potential for each sector to reduce its own emissions by 2030.
 
Many other governments are also using the same approach in charting their path to net zero.
As for the Plan’s framework, the Canadian Climate Institute is responsible for it.
 
To ensure the success of Canada’s 2030 Plan, the Institute’s Framework includes three core elements. These are the consistent path to net-zero, credible policies, and responsive processes.
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