Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target for Addressing Climage Change Falls Well Short Of Global Leaders

“A bolder target — in line with leading countries — is not only essential for a better quality of life and economic decarbonization, it is also what Canadians have been calling for across the country.”                                                                                       – Sabaa Khan, David Suzuki Foundation director general for Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Canada has a reputation as an oversized polluter

Canada is the only G7 country to increase its emissions since 1990. As the climate crisis worsened over the past decade, Canada was the only country in this group whose emissions continued to climb. 

A News Release from the David Suzuki Foundation

Posted April 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Canada’s new 2030 target to reduce carbon emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels, while an improvement over previous targets, falls dangerously short of what the world’s science says is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. 

“We want Canada to do its part to keep the most catastrophic impacts of the climate emergency from happening,” said Ian Bruce, acting executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation.

“This target, unfortunately, falls short of what is needed to keep on track for a livable planet and compared to the EU and other leading G20 countries including the U.S.

It’s been uplifting to see Canada ramp up its climate efforts over the past year, but our ultimate goal must be to recognize the urgency of this crisis and Canada’s responsibility to resolve it.

A stronger target will guide Canada’s climate emergency plan and policies, ensuring they mobilize clean energy solutions quickly enough and marshal the resources needed.”  

Analysis by Climate Action Network Canada determined that a “fair share” emissions reduction target would be 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This accounts for climate science, Canada’s relative ability to take climate action and its historic position among the world’s worst emitters over the past century. 

Canada’s new target, and any updates over the next few months, will be part of the larger package known as the nationally determined contribution brought forward this year as part of Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. 

“A bolder target — in line with leading countries — is not only essential for a better quality of life and economic decarbonization, it is also what Canadians have been calling for across the country,” said Sabaa Khan, Foundation director general for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. “Showing climate ambition is the only way to avoid severe disruption and serves as a catalyst for jobs, investments, cleaner air and a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

A 2030 climate target rooted in science and equity is just one part — although an important one — of an effective climate strategy. Meeting targets also requires holding governments to account and a strong national climate plan. The Foundation is calling for Bill C-12, Canada’s climate accountability legislation, which stalled in the House of Commons, to be immediately brought back for debate.  

“Canada’s focus on growing exports of bitumen and fracked gas is a roadblock to a target that keeps the world from dangerous climate change,” Khan said. “We can’t allow oil and gas interests to dictate the limits of Canada’s climate policies.”  

“When Canada finalizes its official 2030 climate target in advance of the November global climate meeting, it must be stronger than 45 per cent,” Bruce said.


American citizens urging Canada to stop gifting the world with more climate-disturbing emissions from the “dirty tar sands.”

In December 2019, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) published analysis for Canada’s “fair share” greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2030. This analysis accounts for climate science, global equity, Canada’s historic emissions and its relative economic and technological ability to take climate action.

It concludes that Canada’s fair share emissions reduction target for 2030 is 140 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This is broken down into a recommendation for 60 per cent emissions reductions (445 Mt CO2eq) from domestic action and a further 80 per cent emissions reductions (594 Mt CO2eq) from international mitigation efforts supported by Canada’ financial contributions of at least US$4 billion annually.

Infographic for CAN–Rac’s “fair share” targets

The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 C of Global Warming 

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a landmark special report on the science, pathways and efforts needed to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. A global emissions reduction target range in the report is often cited as the scientific consensus for the level of action needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal: 

“global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions [must] decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).”

It is crucial to differentiate global average emissions reductions from the emissions reductions achieved in each individual country. Canada is among the countries that have a responsibility to reduce emissions much more, and more quickly than the global average. The Special Report on 1.5 C also makes differentiated responsibilities clear:

“Collective efforts at all levels, in ways that reflect different circumstances and capabilities, in the pursuit of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, taking into account equity as well as effectiveness, can facilitate strengthening the global response to climate change, achieving sustainable development and eradicating poverty (high confidence).” 

Canada has a reputation as an oversized polluter

Canada is the only G7 country to increase its emissions since 1990. As the climate crisis worsened over the past decade, Canada was the only country in this group whose emissions continued to climb. 

Canada has a history of weak climate targets, and has yet to meet even one.

We are interconnected with nature, and with each other. What we do to the planet and its living creatures, we do to ourselves.

This is the fundamental truth guiding our work at the David Suzuki Foundation.

About the David Suziki Foundation – Founded in 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation is a national, bilingual non-profit organization headquartered in Vancouver, with offices in Toronto and Montreal.

Through evidence-based research, education and policy analysis, we work to conserve and protect the natural environment, and help create a sustainable Canada. We regularly collaborate with non-profit and community organizations, all levels of government, businesses and individuals.

Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. Our vision is that we all act every day on the understanding that we are one with nature.

For more on the David Suzuki Foundation, click on .

For a report recently posted on Niagara At Large on Canada’s newly announced carbon emissions target, click on – .

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.