Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to address the chamber on the important issue of our environment.
When I looked at Bill C-215, the first thing that came across my mind was that in November of last year, the government introduced Bill C-12, the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act. If we were to look at these two pieces of legislation side by side, we would easily understand why we should be supporting Bill C-12. I look forward to debating Bill C-12 to hear the ongoing discussions, because it covers so much more than Bill C-215.
Bill C-12, the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act, would hold the federal government to its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and exceed our 2030 Paris target. That is the essence of what Bill C-215 does. Having said that, there are some significant differences between the bills. There are certain things that Bill C-215 does not have.
Before I comment on some of those differences, I want to emphasize that we must take advantage of the economic opportunity that climate action presents in order to provide the world with the cleanest and most cutting-edge innovation. I think, for example, of hydroelectricity in my home province of Manitoba. When we talk about the development of clean energy and being innovative, there is so much potential in my home province. Equally, I suspect that if we were to go to all regions of our beautiful country, we would find opportunities. That is why it is critically important that we take to heart the idea of net-zero emissions and the goal of 2050 and take actions today that will really make a difference going forward.
Bill C-215 would only require the publication of a single action plan. Contrast this with Bill C-12, the government's legislation. It would require the publication of an emissions reduction plan for every milestone year. That is a significant difference. Bill C-12 would also require the government to set each target at least five years before the beginning of the related milestone. Bill C-215 would require the government to set all of its targets up front.
Those are the types of differences that I believe clearly demonstrate that we should be looking at ways to get Bill C-12 through the House of Commons and encourage some form of consultation about it at committee, and encourage the Senate to recognize the true value of the bill. I suggest that my friend from the Bloc, who introduced Bill C-215, review the bill to see if maybe there are aspects of the legislation that could in fact be incorporated at the committee stage.
Bill C-12 requires the Minister of Finance to publish an annual report describing how departments and Crown corporations are considering the financial risks and opportunities of climate change in their decision-making, whereas Bill C-215 does not include any such provision. That is why I would encourage members of the Conservative Party who are supporting Bill C-215 to seriously look at ways in which we could see Bill C-12 pass. I have already had the opportunity to speak to Bill C-12, and members can look at some of the content that I put on the record at that time.
One of the things that I want to put in perspective is the issue of other initiatives. In the throne speech introduced in September, we not only talked about green policy but we committed hundreds of millions of dollars to ensuring that we were on the right track. I look forward to when a budget is presented to Canadians, and to the many initiatives and specifics that will give Canadians reason to be optimistic that we finally have a government that is taking the environment seriously.
As a government, we have recognized from the beginning that, to have a healthy economy, we also need to strive for a healthy environment, and that we can develop policies that complement both the environment and the economy. We have recognized the value of major projects going through the department of environment or through independent provincial or national commissions, and that it is important to do research and consultations because those will give projects a better chance of success.
I want to very quickly say that I am excited about the pledge to plant two billion trees. The Prime Minister has made it very clear that we, as a government, are committed to planting two billion trees. That will be a great filter for our water. It will ensure that the air we breathe is healthier.
These are the types of initiatives that people can understand and relate to, and they are going to make a difference and get Canadians that much more excited about working to improve our environment.
I appreciate the opportunity to share a few words on this legislation.