Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act

An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment requires that national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada be set, with the objective of attaining net-zero emissions by 2050. The targets are to be set by the Minister of the Environment for 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2045.

In order to promote transparency and accountability in relation to meeting those targets, the enactment also

(a) requires that an emissions reduction plan, a progress report and an assessment report with respect to each target be tabled in each House of Parliament;

(b) provides for public participation;

(c) establishes an advisory body to provide the Minister of the Environment with advice with respect to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and matters that are referred to it by the Minister;

(d) requires the Minister of Finance to prepare an annual report respecting key measures that the federal public administration has taken to manage its financial risks and opportunities related to climate change;

(e) requires the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to, at least once every five years, examine and report on the Government of Canada’s implementation of measures aimed at mitigating climate change; and

(f) provides for a comprehensive review of the Act five years after its coming into force.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 22, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050
June 22, 2021 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050
June 22, 2021 Passed Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 (report stage amendment - Motion No. 2; Group 1; Clause 22)
June 22, 2021 Passed Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 (report stage amendment - Motion No. 1; Group 1; Clause 7)
May 4, 2021 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050
May 4, 2021 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 (reasoned amendment)
April 27, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I am terribly disappointed with the conduct of the government, and Canadians should be as well. The Liberals rushed their Bill C-12 through to committee. The committee decided that it did not want to hear from Canadians and ignored the majority of the briefs. The MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands, as well as members of the environment committee, were quite frankly ashamed to see Canadians ignored. Now, the government, because of its absolute mismanagement of the House calendar, is coming and invoking closure.

I cannot believe the New Democratic Party is going to be supporting this, but I wanted to ask how the government can justify using closure on a bill of this magnitude and denying the ability of parliamentarians on both sides of the House to hold the government to account.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Madam Speaker, climate change is an extremely important subject, and we should all understand that. It is important not only that we have credible targets and plans, but that we have a commitment to achieving what science tells us we must, which is net zero by 2050.

This government has worked collaboratively with opposition members to come up with a strengthened bill that is best in class with respect to how these bills work around the world. We are very proud of this legislation. Certainly many Canadians desire to see it go forward, and while the Conservatives have delayed across the board a whole range of legislative options, it has been very much apparent from our side that we want to get it through the House to ensure that it is in place.

With respect to being ashamed, I would say that I am ashamed as a Canadian that there is a party in the House that is still unable to convince its own members that climate change is real.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very disappointed in how this government is governing. We were understanding during the pandemic, and the opposition parties worked with the government to implement exceptional measures.

However, it is not our fault if the government did a poor job of managing its parliamentary calendar and finds itself at the end of the session with dozens of bills to rush through. It is not giving us enough time to debate them, and that is just what is happening with Bill C‑12. We were hurried along in committee and did not get to improve it like we should have.

Why did the government not simply table it sooner?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question and for being so concerned about climate change, which is a very important issue.

The government supported a Bloc Québécois amendment calling for a five-year review of the act and also included several elements of Bill C‑215 in Bill C‑12.

Canadians think it is very important for us to go ahead with this bill. We committed to passing a law to assure Canadians that all future governments will be required to meet the 2050 net-zero targets.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, this bill is not the legislation we would have written. However, it is stronger than it was and we believe that it should be passed into law.

I believe I just heard the minister state that Bill C-12 is best in class when it comes to international climate accountability legislation. The message we heard very clearly from some of Canada's most prominent environmental organizations at committee was that the bill did not measure up to the best examples of climate accountability around the world.

I wonder if the minister could provide some rationale for his statement. What evidence does he base his “best in class” statement on?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for his constructive approach to working collaboratively to ensure that we are moving forward on a bill that I think we all agree is very important.

With respect to my statement, this bill has an enormous number of accountability mechanisms in it. Not only does it require progressively more stringent targets on the pathway to 2050, but there will be a range of progress reports, some of which were brought forward through amendments by the environment committee. There are reports with respect to what has been achieved, and requirements to essentially do more if we are short of our goals. There are third party accountability mechanisms through the environment commissioner. There is also now a milestone mechanism for 2026 to ensure that accountability starts tomorrow. That is all appropriate, as it should be, and it is a very strong piece of legislation.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, Greta Thunberg has said that net zero by 2050 is “surrender”, and without tough near-term targets, we are abandoning our children and grandchildren to an unlivable world. Bill C-12 still lacks a 2025 milestone, which was established in the COP decision document that Canada signed on to, and all experts agree that 2030 is too late.

The NDP and Liberal amendment for a 2026 interim greenhouse gas emissions goal is not a milestone year, but provides a window to review progress or the lack of progress. Why did the government reject the Green Party amendment that the plans and targets must be based on the best available science?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, it is very important that we are guided by science. We are guided by the science and guidance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has indicated that countries need to achieve the net-zero target by 2050 if we are to keep the rise in average global temperature to less than 2°C, with a focus on 1.5°C. That is exactly what we are doing.

We established and announced our new target only a couple of months ago, and we announced it alongside those of our G7 partners. The G7 is now aligned with science on net zero by 2050, which is aligned with science relative to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is extremely important that we are taking the steps we must take to ensure that our children will inhabit and inherit a livable world. I agree with what the member said.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the minister's efforts in bringing forward this legislation. I think it is very reflective of what Canadians in all regions from coast to coast to coast want to see of the government. They want us to have ambitious goals and strive to achieve them.

Can the minister reinforce why it is so important that we see this very progressive piece of legislation move forward? Ultimately, I know that the residents of Winnipeg North, and indeed Canadians as a whole, want a government that is serious about the environment.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, this is part of a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change. Of course, part of it is establishing a near-term target and a plan to actually meet that target. This government has done that and provided a plan to achieve our goals. We are the first government in Canada that has provided a detailed pathway, and I would say that our climate plan is one of the most detailed plans that exist anywhere in the world.

Of course, we need to have a forcing function on governments going forward to ensure that they are continuing to be transparent and accountable to Canadians on the pathway toward what science tells us we must achieve, which is net zero by 2050. We will never again have a government in this country like Stephen Harper's, which had a target and never had a plan. There will be a forcing function going forward, and it will ensure that all political parties and all governments take this issue seriously.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, we are here debating closure on a very important topic. It is top of mind for all Canadians. As we have already heard other members say, the bill was rammed through committee and the government did not consider all the reports at committee. I am on the natural resources committee. We have been hearing from numerous witnesses across multiple studies that the government does not even have complete data on the amount of carbon that we sequester here, and there does not appear to be any commitment to make sure we are getting that data.

What is going to be done to make sure this will be achieved as we move toward the path that the government is ramming through on Canadians?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, there were a couple of questions there. Canadians are anxious to see progress made. We lost 10 years under Stephen Harper, when nothing was done to address the climate issue, and it is important to keep going given that we must make rapid progress between now and 2030 if we are to achieve net zero by 2050.

With respect to carbon issues, there are methodologies under the IPCC that focus on how we account for various kinds of carbon sequestration and for carbon emissions, and they are done on an international basis, as they must be to ensure that there is comparability between states.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois does not agree with the use of closure. This is nothing new.

The minister said earlier that the government had accepted amendments proposed by the Bloc Québécois. Let me just set the record straight. We tabled only one of the 33 amendments, and the Liberals still found a way to vote against it.

The Bloc Québécois opposed the clause mentioning targets because it was outraged by the fact that the Minister of Canadian Heritage told the House and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change told the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development that they would include quantified targets in Bill C‑12, yet they did not keep their word.

The fact remains that Bill C‑12 was tabled in November and reached the committee in mid-May. If they thought it was urgent, why did the minister and his government not speed up the process? They had all of December, plus the period from February to May, to do that.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.

The Bloc Québécois amendment provided for a five-year review of the act. We also included several elements of Bill C‑215 in the bill.

There are a lot of things we agree on. Of course climate change is a crisis. We must fight climate change, and we have to act very quickly, because we do not have much time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We want the bill to include measures to fight climate change that will be binding on all future governments.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, the minister has spoken many times about the importance of the climate crisis and the importance of taking action, yet here we are, just one day before the House rises for the summer, trying to get this important bill through the House.

The government controls the legislative calendar. This bill was introduced last November and only came to the environment committee in May. Could the minister explain how we got to this point at which the House is considering these extraordinary motions in order to pass this important legislation?