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SUMMARY

Canadians will have an extra week to comment on plans to reduce emissions by 2030.

By Dale Lunan

Canadians received an extra week on January 14 to comment on the federal government’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) which will outline how Canada plans to reduce emissions by 40%-45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced the more aggressive targets during the September 2021 federal election campaign and reiterated them at the COP26 climate summit in November. The formal engagement process, during which Canadians were invited to give their thoughts on how the targets should be achieved, was launched on December 10, 2021, with an original commenting deadline of January 14, 2022.

Over that initial period, more than 20,000 submissions were received, prompting environment minister Steven Guilbeault to extend the deadline to 11:59 pm (PST) on January 21, 2022.

Guilbeault and other federal officials have been consulting separately with provinces, territories, indigenous peoples, industry partners, members of Parliament and the Net-Zero Advisory Body to inform the ERP, which is expected to be established by March 29.

In addition to consultations surrounding the ERP, Ottawa is also considering several other climate-related actions, including mandating that at least half of all new light-duty vehicle sales in 2030 are zero-emission, with a target of 100% by 2035, that 100% of selected categories of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales are zero-emission by 2040 and is developing plans to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas by at least 75% by 2030, in line with the Global Methane Pledge announced at COP26.

The Net-Zero Advisory Body, meanwhile, is developing a plan for capping emissions from the oil and gas sector at current levels and requiring that they decline “at a pace needed to reach net zero by 2050.”

And discussions continue into an investment tax credit that would encourage carbon capture, utilisation and storage investments in Canada, similar to the 45Q incentive available in the US. The tax credit is expected to be included in the next federal budget.