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 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, as I have said, the issue of climate change is urgent. The House even adopted a motion some time ago saying that it was a climate emergency. There is a lot of agreement between most of the political parties in the House not only with respect to the need to act, but with respect to a number of the instruments that we need to use to act, one of them being this law.

Certainly we are focused very much on ensuring that this law is put into place so that it will be a forcing function on all governments going forward to ensure that we are taking climate change seriously. I have been very pleased to work collaboratively on this with the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley and the member for Victoria. It is important for us, before we finish our session, to ensure that it is in place.

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

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

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, the minister said in the House at second reading of Bill C-12 that he was willing to work with all considerations from other parties. We asked for industry representation on the advisory board and he said he was open to that. Then he said that the Liberals were open to working with all parties regarding amendments. He also said that the Liberals supported a Bloc motion to have parliamentary review, which was not true. It was not something that happened. The Liberals voted against it. Today in the House, he said that there was an NDP milestone amendment, but the Green Party representative said this was not factual either.

Why are the minister and his party constantly in contradiction with the actual truth? Are we are having closure right now because they want to evade all accountability and pretend they are taking action on climate? Why does the minister always have to correct himself when he is found out?

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, the hon. member needs to ensure that he has done his homework.

I can run through the industry representation on the net-zero advisory body. It includes Peter Tertzakian, the deputy director of ARC Energy Research Institute; John Wright, former president of SaskPower; Linda Coady, who is a vice-president at Enbridge; Gaëtan Thomas, former CEO at NB Power; and Dan Wicklum, who is the founding CEO of the Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. What the hon. member said in the House is therefore not true.

With respect to being open to working with others, we actually have demonstrated that. We worked collaboratively with other parties. The hon. member will remember that even though he said he was going to support this bill early on, he opposed it at second reading, which means he opposed the principle of the bill. That is not a very good basis for working together with respect to amendments. However, we found a manner to work collaboratively with other members on the committee to ensure that we strengthened the bill, and it is a very strong bill.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

When I think of my son and of Bill C‑12, I wonder: If one day he has the opportunity to sit in the House, will he be forced to participate in the same debates we are having today?

How does the minister, who I believe also has children, see the future of this debate if the fiscal anchors are not mandatory? Are we not letting this opportunity slip by? What concrete steps should we be taking for the sake of our children?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on his son's success.

I do in fact have two daughters, which is perhaps the main reason I got into politics. I think this is a very important issue for all members in the House, but perhaps even more so for those with children.

We have worked very hard to have a very strong piece of legislation that will ensure that future governments understand the importance of climate change and continue to take action to fight it. I fully agree with my colleague.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, listening to the Conservatives, it would seem that they are totally surprised by the fact that we had to bring this motion, so that we could move along with things. The reality is that, if we are being fair, over the last several months there has been a continuous logjam of trying to put legislation on the agenda for various different reasons, whether it is filibustering over various points of order or not letting the House proceed with its normal course of business by using other procedural tactics.

The reality is that this bill, which was introduced in the fall, was debated. It passed second reading in April. It was then at committee. Committee has now reported back because of the programming motion. Now it is back before this House. Yesterday, the minister gave notice that this motion would be coming forward, so nobody should be surprised that this is coming forward today.

I cannot think of an issue that requires more immediate attention and disclosure than an issue with respect to the environment. Can the minister comment on how incredibly important it is that we deal with this now before the House rises for this session?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, this is extremely important. As I said, we are living in a climate crisis. It is critical that Canada have a plan to move forward, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and seize the economic opportunities that will come for countries that are thoughtful about transitioning to a low-carbon future.

We do not have a lot of time both between now and 2030, but also between now and 2050, because we are talking about a very significant change in how we make products, drive cars, do all kinds of different things. It is absolutely critical that we do that. I do think that the kinds of things that we have seen, unfortunately from the Conservative Party, in terms of delaying legislation, have led us to the point where we actually are forcing this conversation very quickly because of the crisis.

At the end of the day, I have been telling parents' groups, and I have been telling environmental organizations that if they want this to move forward, they have to talk to the leader of the opposition's office and tell them how important it is.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I was intent on sitting out this debate, but having heard the previous speaker's comments about the filibustering, I could not stand for that.

I want to raise this through you to the hon. minister. What I heard from the previous speaker, quite frankly, is balderdash. If this was important to the hon. minister, then why did it take him until April to bring it forward, and why are they leaving it until this very last day to push it through?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, climate change has been an enormous priority of this government from the day that it was sworn in almost two years ago. We have developed the strengthened climate plan, which is the first plan that Canadians have ever had that shows in a detailed way how to achieve and exceed the existing target. We made additional investments in the budget. We have worked closely with our American colleagues and we significantly raised the level of ambition with the target that we established at the earth summit.

We are moving forward with a plan to address carbon emissions not just at 2030, but to 2050, with a net-zero target through this legislation. It is complementary to all of the work that we have done.

There is no higher priority for this government, beyond getting through this pandemic and supporting Canadians through this pandemic, than fighting climate change in a manner that is going to secure the future for our kids and ensure that we have a strong and thriving economy going forward.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, the minister continues the myth that this has been about Conservatives filibustering this bill. There was barely six hours of debate when they jammed this through to committee, and then the committee decided to accelerate it, so 70 plus briefs were not even considered before amendments. The minister favours an approach of not listening. Now he is putting down closure. He is actually stopping members of his own caucus from being able to talk about an important piece of legislation.

Why does the minister have such contempt for the voices, other than those of his own government, in this chamber?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I find that a very odd line of questioning. This bill, as I understand it, has a majority support of members in this chamber. It is something most of the political parties in this House, with perhaps the exception of the Conservative Party of Canada, believe is important as a step forward in addressing it.

I was very heartened when the hon. member actually stood up at the beginning of this conversation and said they would support this bill. I was very disappointed when they then decided to vote against the principle of this bill, as I was extremely disappointed when members of their party voted to say that climate change was not real. It is unfortunate, and at some point the Conservative Party is going to have to get with the program in addressing climate change.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Bloc

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

Madam Speaker, it is absolutely staggering to hear the government say that we are in a climate emergency. It was an emergency in April, February and all the other months. We have been dealing with a climate emergency for a long time.

If this were so important to the Liberals, they would have put the bill on the agenda much sooner. I hear the NDP saying that they would not have written it that way. That is for sure, because it was obviously the Liberals who wrote the amendments that the NDP tabled in committee. It is because of the Liberal-NDP coalition that we are left to pass a bill that is limp and non-binding.

Now the government is telling us that if we are progressive, we must vote for the bill. We are being asked to vote for something that could have been better. Why did they not put it on the agenda sooner?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I should say that we have included several elements of Bill C‑215 in Bill C‑12.

However, Bill C‑12 is much stronger than Bill C‑215, which was introduced in the House by the Bloc. Bill C‑215 aims for a target of 30% below 2005 levels. That is only a 30% reduction, whereas the targets in this bill are 40% to 45%, which is much stronger.

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, two years ago this House declared we were in a climate emergency and it took until November for the government to table this bill, which, when read, looked like no more than a public relations document pretending to be doing something. There is no accountability in this bill; it is hollow. I could not support it at second reading, because there is no principle behind it.

When it came to actually getting it into committee after a very short debate, most of the briefs arrived after the amendment period was over. It made a mockery of listening to concerned citizens. There was no youth or indigenous representation and no climate science testimony. Not a single indigenous witness was heard.

How often can the Liberals say they did not have time to consult indigenous people, while also saying that Bill C-12 respects UNDRIP?

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

June 22nd, 2021 / 5:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, to argue a lack of accountability mechanisms in the bill, I would just suggest to my hon. colleague that he read the bill again.

It is a legally binding process for the federal government to set climate targets and to bring forward plans every five years, three different progress reports between now and 2030, a 2030 assessment report that has to be tabled within 30 days of the 2030 national inventory report, an annual report detailing how the federal government is managing financial risks of climate change, each year the minister has to respond to the report of the net-zero advisory body and the Minister of Environment has asked, and the bill requires, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development provide a report by the end of 2024. There is an enormous number of accountability mechanisms, and I just would ask my colleague to review the legislation again.