Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise virtually in the House today to speak on Bill C-12, the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act.
Bill C-12 emphasizes the action needed to meet our goals toward fighting climate change and reducing our carbon footprint.
For years, our youth have been calling for action. Advocates alike have been demanding targets and concrete change. We have had rallies for decades, and scientists and experts alike have warned of the damage to come should we not act.
The bill is comprised of five themes: accountability, transparency, target measures, monitoring and holding all governments, current and future, accountable. Specifically, the proposed bill will require tabling and publicizing targets, plans, progress reports and assessment reports. We need robust parliamentary accountability mechanisms to fulfill our commitment to be transparent to the public, to set and achieve target measures, monitor progress and, last, ensure that this government and future governments alike remain accountable to every principle in the bill.
On that note, in December 2015, Canada joined 194 parties in signing the Paris agreement, a historic agreement that would be the start of the commitment to address climate change. That agreement aimed to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C above the pre-industrial level and to pursue efforts to limit our temperature increase to 1.5°C. Since 2015, our government has been working hard to achieve this goal, listening to the advice of scientists and experts. This momentum of remaining accountable must continue. Bill C-12 would require a target and establish an emissions reduction plan to be put in place, both to be tabled in Parliament within six months of the coming into force of this act.
Furthermore, the bill would set a legally binding process for the federal government to set climate targets and bring forward an ambitious climate plan every five years between 2030 and 2050. This would mean that a 2030 progress report must be tabled before the end of 2027, and a 2030 assessment report to be tabled within 30 days of the 2030 national inventory report data.
In addition, an annual report detailing how the federal government is managing the financial risk of climate change and the opportunities must be conducted and tabled in Parliament.
Finally, a review by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development within five years of coming into force of this act must be conducted.
The dates are aligned with the very structure of the Paris agreement based on 2030, as are plans in provinces like B.C. and Quebec and those around the world.
To promote transparency as well as accountability in relation to meeting those targets, the enactment also requires that the several reports mentioned above to be tabled and published to the public. Canadians deserve to know the targets being set, our plan to meet these targets and our progress along the way. Importantly, having a Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development providing an analysis of the government's plan at least once every five years adds additional scrutiny and transparency. This is yet another example of how we plan to be transparent to Canadians.
Our government believes in science and evidence-based research, and we will continue to include science and research in every step. That is why an advisory body composed of up to 15 experts will be established to provide the Minister of Environment and Climate Change advice with respect to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
This advisory body will engage with experts, stakeholders, indigenous people and the public to ensure that its advice is grounded in the priorities and ideas of all Canadians. The advisory body will submit an annual report to the minister of the environment with respect to its advice and activities. The creation of an advisory board is consistent with other actions taken by our peer countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand and France.
This bill aims to hold the federal government to its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and to exceed our 2030 Paris target.
On Earth Day, the Prime Minister announced at the Earth Summit a commitment to cut emissions by 40 to 45% by 2030. It is an ambitious goal that I am sure we can achieve, if done right with co-operation on all fronts. This is why Bill C-12 is so important.
Let me reiterate that prior to 2030, the target measures entail the following: Within six months of the act coming into force, the 2030 milestone target and tabling the 2030 milestone plan would be set; before the end of 2027, a 2030 progress report would be completed and tabled; and within 30 days of all 2030 national inventory report data, there would be a 2030 assessment report.
Post-2030, the target measures would entail the following: At least five years before each milestone year of 2035, 2040 and 2045, the milestone must be set; two years prior to each milestone year, preparations for a progress report for the milestone year would commence; and within 30 days of national inventory report data for each milestone year, preparation of an assessment report for the milestone would be under way. Last but not least, there would also be targets associated with the Environment Commissioner, and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development must, at least once every five years, examine and report on the Government of Canada's implementation of the measures aimed at mitigating climate change, including those undertaken to achieve its most recent greenhouse gas emissions target as identified in the relevant assessment report.
Everything that I have outlined is necessary to monitoring our progress and reaching the benchmarks that will be set for each target milestone. It is crucial that we set up mechanisms to fully monitor our progress, and that is why this advisory board is crucial.
Again, it is crucial that we act. Countries around the world are accelerating their transition to a net-zero economy and Canada cannot fall behind. It is crucial that we set targets and make every effort to meet them. Net zero is not just a plan for a healthier environment: It is a plan to build a cleaner, more competitive economy. I encourage my colleagues from all parties to support this bill. We must work together to ensure that we collectively reduce our emissions. We need to act to ensure that the momentum of this progress continues well after this Parliament. This is exactly what this bill intends, and this is exactly what we plan to do.
As the representative of the beautiful riding of Richmond Hill, I am proud to support this bill that members of my environmental community council have been strong advocates of. This bill is an opportunity to move toward a greener and cleaner environment and economy. This is why there are several key initiatives, 43 different measures, in budget 2021 that will not only help us achieve this target but move Canadians to innovation in clean and green technology.
In closing, Bill C-12 is a bill for Canada and a bill for Canadians. Once again it is a promise made and a promise kept for a greener and cleaner economy and environment.