Lack of substantial emissions targets or credible climate plan among reasons Greens voted no on Bill C-12

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada voted against the scope and principle of Bill C-12, the Climate Accountability Act, citing the absence of credible targets for Canada to meet its international obligations on cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2025, among other flaws.  

“Bill C-12 is a profoundly flawed piece of legislation,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “Despite the urgent need for climate action, and the recent leadership of international partners like the U.S., the United Kingdom and the EU, the federal government has failed to deliver the targets needed to get us to net-zero by 2050. 

“Insufficient targets and timelines are one reason Greens cannot support Bill C-12, but there are other deficiencies, including the premature appointment of a Net-Zero Advisory Body before Bill C-12 has even arrived in committee. We need an advisory group that is arm’s-length from the government as a whole, one that does not report directly to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, but rather to Parliament. 

The government declared a climate emergency in 2019. Since then, it has continued to build the TMX pipeline, despite its climate-negative implications. We also cannot overlook the fact that Budget 2021 includes billions of dollars of subsidies to fossil fuels as well as approvals for new oil and gas explorations both in Canada and overseas. Clearly there is a disconnect.  

“Greens want to collaborate. We want to get things done and work across party lines to do this. But Bill C-12 is an empty shell. It provides little accountability while putting us out of step with our international partners such as the EU, the U.K. and the U.S. 

“The Green Party’s Green Recovery plan calls for a 60 per cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 with clear enforceable targets and timelines, starting in 2025. Priority actions include: 

  • A detailed Carbon Budget setting out GHG emissions allowed to keep within the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold  
  • A Carbon Border Adjustment – a tariff on certain imports from jurisdictions with weak climate policies 
  • Cancellation of all new pipeline projects and the banning of fracking 
  • End all subsidies to the fossil fuels 
  • A national electricity corridor allowing 100 per cent renewable energy to flow across provincial and territorial borders. 
  • Investments in renewable energy and cleantech 
  • Deep energy retrofits of building 
  • Annual increases in the carbon tax 

“The Green Party of Canada knows that a Green Recovery is the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime. Our global partners understand this clearly; they are working towards and investing in this strategy, and it is not too late for Canada to be a part of it.  

“We want the government to provide credible targets. We want Canada to assume a position of climate leadership on the global stage. Greens want to work with all parties to implement a plan that matches the ambition of the people of Canada: to be at the forefront of a global green economy, as we decisively and definitively bend the curve on GHG emissions. But Bill C-12 does not sufficiently demonstrate to us that this will happen, and therefore we will not be supporting it as written.” 

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For more information or to arrange an interview: 

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary