Conservative Party climate plan lacks crucial net-zero commitment

Pembina Institute welcomes recognition of carbon pricing and clean fuel standard as essential, and encourages alignment with science-based targets

OTTAWA — Isabelle Turcotte, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Conservative Party of Canada’s new climate plan:

“Canadians want to see increased ambition from Canada’s political parties to achieve the level of emissions reductions needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to ward off the most damaging, deadliest impacts of climate change. To do that, political parties need to commit to science-based targets that are more rigorous than ever. The Conservative Party plan fails to deliver on a 2030 target that is commensurate with the level of ambition required to safely limit warming, and also fails to deliver a commitment to the science-based target of net-zero by 2050. Without these key commitments, this plan falls short.

“We are pleased to see the Conservative Party acknowledge that ‘the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing,’ however the lack of an increasing, ambitious price schedule doesn’t provide investment certainty and doesn’t commit to reaching pricing levels we know are necessary to incent low-carbon investment decisions.

“It is positive to see the Conservative Party commit to maintaining and even improving on the Clean Fuel Standard by proposing a higher reduction in transport fuel carbon intensity than the current draft regulations.

“However, there are many areas of the plan that are cause for concern. Robust climate plans focus on the safest form of emission reductions — those that are direct —- and use offsets that guarantee the highest levels of environmental integrity only where necessary. The heavy reliance on forestry and agricultural offsets in the CPC plan means more risk for Canadians. We are also concerned about the incompatibility of increased development and combustion of liquefied natural gas and a safer 1.5C world.

“World leaders are gathering on April 22 at the Leaders Summit on Climate Change, hosted by President Biden. The U.S. and Canada have both committed to showing up with stronger 2030 climate targets, with the Biden Administration considering a science-based 50 per cent target. We welcome the principle of alignment with our key trading partner outlined in the CPC plan, and would like to see alignment with this higher level of climate ambition. The race to gain market share and trade advantage in a decarbonized global economy is on, and it will be won by those with the ambition and plan to deliver on net-zero by 2050 commitments.”



Sarah MacWhirter
Communications director, Pembina Institute


Report: How to Get Net-Zero Right
Issue Paper: Does Canada’s Net-Zero Math Add Up?
Submission: Increasing climate ambition with output-based carbon pricing
Media statement: Staying the course on carbon pricing sends strong investment signal

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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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