CPJ celebrates Ottawa’s important move to net zero emissions


Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA]: November 19, 2020 – Today, Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, introduced exciting legislation that would chart a course to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The “Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act” (Bill C-12) requires that the Minister establish a new 2030 emissions reduction target within six months of the bill becoming law and set critical interim targets on the path to 2050.

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is pleased to see Canada deliver a clear legislative framework on how it intends to meet and exceed the country’s GHG emissions reduction target.

“We know that the success achieved by the UK, Denmark, and New Zealand is largely attributed to legislated accountability measures.” says CPJ Senior Policy Analyst, Karri Munn-Venn.  “We’re therefore pleased to see that Canada’s new legislation requires clear planning and assessment reporting, interim targets and obligations, and the establishment of an expert advisory body. Today’s announcement signals that Canada is prepared to close the gap between promises and action. And that’s good.”

Bill C-12 echoes the emissions-reduction approach taken by local, regional, and national faith communities in Canada. Greening Sacred Spaces, a program of Faith and the Common Good, has helped faith communities reduce emissions with action, audit, and assessment tools for more than a decade. In 2016, the United Church of Canada committed to reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. They quickly established a baseline; actions for emissions reduction and tools to track progress soon followed.

It also gives a nod to the work of countries that have achieved far greater success in reducing GHG emissions. In 2008, the United Kingdom passed their Climate Change Act (UK CCA) and subsequently reduced GHG emissions 44 per cent below 1990 levels.

“Through our campaigns over the years, CPJ has witnessed a real and active commitment among Canadian Christians to align their concerns and their actions,” says Willard Metzger, CPJ’s Executive Director. “People are making changes in their lifestyles that reduce consumption and emissions. Still, we know that the scale of reductions required needs an all of society approach. We are encouraged by the important step the Government of Canada has taken today.”


Media Contact: Brad Wassink (he/him), Communications Coordinator, Citizens for Public Justice, 613-232-0275 / 1-800-667-8046 x 225, ac.jpc@darb

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