Thank you, Mr. Chair.
There have been a number of consistent points raised by most of the witnesses from whom we've heard, from those who have submitted written briefs, and in public discussion of the weakness of the bill. The first thing, of course, is that the first milestone year should be 2025, not 2030.
I'm just going to explain the thinking process behind putting forward three amendments with declining ambition. As the act is constructed, if we were to simply put in a milestone year at 2025 without embedding what that target would be, we would be creating a very, very steep hill to climb for the process of consultation that's embedded in the act. I think that's what created the impression for many within the government that somehow or other we couldn't actually have a milestone year before 2030, although the U.K. did immediately on passing their bill in 2008; their first milestone year was 2013. It was the same with New Zealand, who just passed their act, as I mentioned, in 2020. Their first milestone year is 2025. They've chosen a different route, with an expert scientific group to tell them what the target would be in five years' time; the milestone years.
Actually, the Liberal platform led me to believe that this was what we would see—a first milestone year in 2025, and subsequent ones every five years thereafter. That's what is embedded in the COP21 decision document, that we would upgrade. Countries were certainly encouraged to improve their targets, their nationally determined contributions, in 2020 and, in the language of the COP21 decision document, every five years thereafter.
In light of the structure of the whole act to make it somewhat process-heavy to deliver a new target for a first milestone year in 2025, I want to suggest in these amendments, starting with PV-6, Green Party amendment 6, that the target be embedded in the legislation. There's even more support for this now than there was at first reading, because now we have the government accepting, as I understand it, that the target for 2030 is to be embedded in the legislation. The target for 2025 being embedded in the legislation is certainly a help.
I want to stress this point to members of the committee. We've already accepted, in article 14 of the Paris Agreement, an obligation for a global progress report, called a global stock-take, in 2023. If we had a 2025 milestone year, as this amendment proposes, we would then be triggering the two years in advance. We'd have a progress report ready. That would fall in 2023, and then every five years thereafter we would be right in sync with what we've agreed to do under the Paris Agreement, with global stock-taking at five-year increments, starting in 2023.
Again, the first one of these starts with the notion that we would embed in legislation right now that by 2025 we would accept a target of 25% reductions below 2005 levels to be achieved by 2025. That's steep, because we now know that the government is committing to somewhere between 40% and 45% below 2005 levels in 2030, but as a first attempt....
I'll speak to all three at once, Mr. Chair, just to avoid repetition.
In my first amendment, I propose that we do the right thing. The United States is aiming for 50% reductions below 2005 by 2030. Let's do a mid-decade checkpoint with teeth. It's more than what the NDP is proposing. It's not just a progress report, but an actual milestone year for 2025, at 25% reductions.
Feeling that there should be some room for flexibility here on what that target should be, my second amendment in this series, GP-7, says, okay, let's make it half of what you aim to do by 2030. The Prime Minister's improvement in our target is certainly welcome. It's not enough to meet the IPCC science, but it's far better to say that by 2030 we'll be 40% to 45% below 2005 levels.
Well, if we have any hope of getting there—40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030—surely we should be prepared to say that our first milestone is 2025, and let's see if we've gotten to 20% below 2005 levels by 2025.
That's the kind of heavy lifting we're going to need to do to meet the demands of this crisis. It's an emergency. In COVID, we didn't say to Theresa Tam, “I know you're telling us that the science says to stand six feet apart, but we'll give you three feet and that should be good for you—that's our political interpretation of the science.”
No. We actually have to adhere to the science, and we should be going much steeper than 40% to 45% below 2005 levels if we're serious about holding to 1.5°C. A 20% milestone, a 20% reduction against 2005 by 2025, is the second amendment.
If you want to go easy and think, “Let's start slow and let's just make sure we can hold our feet to the fire; let's see if this act is working and see if we're reducing emissions,” there is a third amendment. So far, it's not just that we haven't ever met a target in Canada. It's that we have gone directionally in the wrong direction against every target we've set. That's the more serious problem, so the third amendment calls for 15% below 2005 levels by 2025.
These three amendments, any one of them, will strengthen this act enormously. The best one, of course, is to go to 25% below 2005 levels, with a milestone year in 2025. Again, this will be consistent with commitments we've already made for a global stock-take in 2023 that will alert us as to whether we're on the right track in 2023 to hold to our targets or not. The milestone year brings with it accountability. It brings with it a review two years in advance. It brings with it the possibility of the minister's saying, “Okay, what we're doing isn't working, so let's get on it.”
I urge this committee to consider any one of these three amendments—PV-6, PV-7 or PV-8—but clearly, PV-6 is the one that your children would vote for if they were around this table.