Driving assessment

Credible federal climate plan as long as policies quickly

OTTAWA, April 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Independent assessment and modeling of the Canadian Climate Institute concludes the federal government’s report 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan is credible, but its success will depend on accelerating the implementation of a handful of specific policies. Specifically, analysis by the Climate Institute shows that the Plan’s success hinges on five critical policies, which together will account for nearly two-thirds of the emissions reductions needed to reach the 2030 milestone: continued tightening of Canada’s pricing regime carbon, a cap for oil and gasoline, a standard for clean electricity, policies to reduce emissions related to land use and an enhanced standard for clean fuels.

“Our independent assessment found the government’s plan to be comprehensive and credible, but time is running out, the goal is necessarily ambitious, and achieving it is critically important to Canada’s future security and prosperity,” said said Rick Smith, president of the Canadian Climate Institute. “If the federal government focuses its energies on getting the five policies right, then Canada will be on a promising trajectory toward meeting its 2026 target and 2030 milestone.”

Emissions reduction plans are an important new planning tool for the federal government, with subsequent plans required to be released every five years under the federal government’s net zero liability law. In early March 2022, the Canadian Climate Institute published a framework for evaluating Canada’s emissions reduction plans. This framework formed the basis of today’s report, which independently analyzes and validates the federal government’s first emissions reduction plan.

“The government now needs to focus on implementation,” said Dave Sawyer, senior economist at the Canadian Climate Institute. “According to our calculations, at least 43% of emission reductions are attributable to policies that have been announced but have yet to be developed. Ultimately, Canada’s success in meeting its emissions milestones will not depend on the credibility of planned policies or modeled outcomes, but on how and quickly the policies chosen by the government will actually be implemented.

The Climate Institute’s independent assessment tempered its positive assessment of the government’s plan with some notes of caution. In particular, the assessment warned that the many policies included in the 2030 Plan could overlap and drive up costs without driving the necessary emissions reductions.

“The sheer number of policies included in the 2030 Plan could be a double-edged sword,” said Dale Beugin, vice president of research at the Canadian Climate Institute. “Interactions between overlapping policies can sometimes hurt performance. It is therefore also vital that the government commits to monitoring information on emissions and adjusting policies if necessary.

About the Canadian Climate Institute
The Canadian Climate Institute is Canada’s independent climate policy research institute. It provides evidence-based policy analysis and advice to decision makers across the country.

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