Canada takes historic steps to enshrine responsibility to act on climate into law

Pembina Institute reacts to Canada’s draft climate accountability legislation

Canada's Parliament Building

Photo: Roberta Franchuk, Pembina Institute

OTTAWA — Isabelle Turcotte, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the federal government announcement of An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050:

“As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, we applaud Canada’s government for acting to implement real, structural change to ensure the country delivers on promises to tackle climate change. When partnered with a well-thought-out transition plan that puts social equity front and centre and creates job opportunities for all Canadians, including those in traditional resource sectors, this legislation tabled today will help Canada achieve its low-carbon energy potential and capture market share.

“Precisely because it moves us past the vagaries of the election cycle with legal requirements on governments to achieve climate progress, a strong accountability framework provides much-needed regulatory certainty for businesses to confidently make investments needed today to create jobs in the competitive economy of tomorrow. Nations are racing to attract billions of dollars in global capital that are being mobilized to generate a safe, low-carbon economy.  Today’s bill ensures that Canada will have a place at the starting line by eliminating business concern that policies put in place by a government today might be scrapped tomorrow.

“We celebrate the introduction of legislated climate disclosure for the federal government, including Crown corporations, to include climate risk and opportunities in their planning  —  transparency on the financial risks of climate change is crucial to managing risk and recognizing opportunities. This will help align policy and regulations with advancements in capital markets.

“When it comes to net-zero emissions by 2050 it’s not just the destination, it’s how we get there that matters. Charting our path to a safe and resilient future requires a coherent framework. Today’s bill puts forward key elements of that framework, including five-year national targets, the duty to prepare interim progress and assessment reports, and crucially the creation of an expert body to provide independent advice. In the coming months, we look forward to enhancing these first steps toward climate accountability with the inclusion of five-year national and subnational carbon budgets, which are essential to planning a safe journey to 2050.”



Sarah MacWhirter
Director, Communications, Pembina Institute


Blog: Evaluating the climate ambitions of Canadian oil companies: Not all net-zero objectives are created equal
Report:  A New Canadian Climate Accountability Act
Report: Winning on Climate: Action plan for a decarbonized Canadian economy

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The Pembina Institute is a non-profit think-tank that advocates for strong, effective policies to support Canada’s clean energy transition. We have offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto. Learn more:

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