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West Coast reacts to new federal Emissions Reductions Plan

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓ilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/VANCOUVER

Lawyers at West Coast Environmental Law Association welcome the federal government's new Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which provides more accountability to ensure Canada meets its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. However, the lawyers say the plan still does not show a complete path to the 40-45% reductions promised and makes clear that much more needs to be done to reduce emissions from the oil and gas and transportation sectors if Canada is to meet its climate commitments. 

“Canada has failed to meet every single climate target it has set for itself,” says Anna Johnston, Staff Lawyer. “The Emissions Reductions Plan released today provides a more detailed roadmap for achieving the lower end of our 2030 target, which will help us hold government’s feet to the fire if things start to go off the rails. Hopefully we stay on track, and even increase our ambition to the 60% reduction needed for us to do our global fair share.”  

The ERP shows unequal reductions across different sectors, and rising emissions and crude oil production for the oil sands. Last fall, the Prime Minister committed to capping oil and gas emissions at today’s levels and ensuring they decrease at a pace and scale needed to reach net-zero by 2050. While the Emissions Reductions Plan is the most detailed of its kind to date in Canada, it does not describe the oil and gas emissions cap, which the lawyers say will be critical to making sure the oil and gas sector does not get a free ride.  

“It is alarming that the Emissions Reductions Plan sees emissions from the oil sands and plane travel actually rising,” says Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer. “Not only that, but the government is banking too much on unproven and expensive technologies like carbon capture and storage. The federal and provincial governments must work together to ensure that every sector does its fair share to reign in our national emissions.”  

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For more information, contact:

Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer
agage@wcel.org, 604-601-2506

Anna Johnston, Staff Lawyer
ajohnston@wcel.org, 604-340-2304