Scale and speed of change needed to achieve 2030 climate goal a challenge, says PBO

·1 min read

OTTAWA — A new report from Canada's parliamentary budget officer says the speed at which change needs to happen for how people drive and heat buildings will make it tough for the Liberal government to achieve its latest climate goal.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in April that Canada would slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Canada is currently signed on to an international agreement to slash this heat-trapping pollution by 30 per cent for that year, but joined other nations in ratcheting up its target to boost global efforts to fight climate change.

The Liberal government says existing measures like its carbon pricing regime put Canada on track to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 36 per cent by 2030 — and has yet to detail how it will close the remaining gap.

The parliamentary budget officer studied the government's higher targets and says while the technology exists to reduce these emissions, "the scale and speed of the changes will make it challenging to achieve."

The report estimates that to help meet its new goal, around half of new vehicle sales in Canada starting next year would have to be for ones powered by zero-emission technology.

"Only a prohibitively high subsidy could achieve that objective," the PBO report reads.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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