Throne speech reiterates strong climate plan, but the focus must now be on action
OTTAWA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s Speech from the Throne:
“Today’s Speech from the Throne was delivered against the backdrop of devastating flooding in B.C. that claimed lives, livelihoods, and homes and destroyed critical infrastructure across the province.
“Climate change is already threatening our way of life and our sense of security. The urgent need for action is more apparent than ever.
“In the lead up to the recent election, the new federal government put forward a strong climate agenda, some of which was reiterated in today’s speech.
“We were pleased to see the government re-commit to using Canada’s clean energy advantages to make the low-carbon goods that will ensure the economy can compete and thrive in the energy transition.
“Also encouraging was the mention of a zero-emission vehicle mandate that will support the government’s target of ensuring all new car sales are zero-emissions by 2035. We look forward to more details on how that will be swiftly implemented.
“The Governor General also reinforced key commitments to 100% clean electricity and to capping oil and gas sector emissions.
“We similarly support promises made around truth and reconciliation and economy-wide actions, like funding for childcare, that will make life better for Canadians.
“The government’s plan is clear. But now it must be followed up with immediate implementation. That means bringing provinces, territories, municipalities, and Indigenous nations together to put climate at the centre of all decisions and actions.
“We’re past debating how and why we must fight the climate crisis. Now the government must get down to action.”
During this fall’s election, the Liberal Party of Canada made the following promises:
- Requiring that at least 50% of all new passenger vehicle sales be zero-emission in 2030, on par with the U.S.’s new target and en route to 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.
- Reaching a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 by implementing a Clean Electricity Standard.
- Capping oil and gas sector emissions at current levels and introducing five-year targets starting in 2025 to reduce emissions in line with a net-zero 2050.
- Requiring oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030.
- Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 and developing a plan to phase out public financing for the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations.