Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak to Bill C-12, an act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
The legislation before the House is nothing more than more virtue-signalling from a virtue-signalling government led by a virtue-signalling Prime Minister. The Liberals talk the talk when it comes to reducing GHGs, but when it comes to walking the walk and actually delivering, the government, without more, gets a big fat F.
Accountability is in the title of the bill. Accountability is mentioned eight more times in the body of the bill. However, make no mistake that when the Liberals talk about accountability and when they incorporate the word “accountability” into their own legislation, they mean not accountability for the Liberals. After all, the first targets provided for in the bill are in the year 2030, which is nearly a decade from now, likely long after the government has left office and almost certainly long after the Prime Minister has left office.
When the Liberals talk about accountability therefore, they are talking about accountability for future governments, but not for themselves. So much for the Liberals talking about accountability. It is no wonder that the Liberals want to impose accountability on future government, while exempting themselves from the same accountability. This is not the first time the government has set targets for reducing GHG emissions and then completely failing to meet them. When the Prime Minister took office in 2015, he committed to the Paris climate accord and with it the Paris targets of a 30% reduction of GHG emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030.
How is the government fairing with respect to meeting that target? According to the national inventory report published by the Department of Environment and Climate Change, the government is projected to miss its 2030 targets by a full 15%. It is important to emphasize that the national inventory report is a government report. That is the government's own projection. It is missing the mark by 15%. In response to that, this projection is likely wildly optimistic given the fact that over the last six years under the government's watch GHG emissions have gone up, not down.
It is important to note that not only is the government way off from meeting its 2030 Paris commitments, it failed to meet the previous 2020 commitment of reducing GHGs 17% below 2005 levels. The government missed that target by a whopping 123 million tonnes. To put that into context, that is the equivalent of Canada's entire agricultural sector and a good part of Canada's electricity sector.
It should be noted that while the government completely failed to meet its 2020 targets of a 17% reduction, our neighbour to the south, the United States, actually did achieve those targets set by the previous Obama administration in 2009. The U.S. reduced its GHG levels by 21% under the Trump administration.
I know the Prime Minister likes to compare himself to President Trump, but I certainly think he would be rather embarrassed to to learn that under the Trump administration the U.S. achieved its 2020 targets, while he completely missed the mark.
What does the Prime Minister say after completely blowing the 2020 targets and being completely off track with regard to 2030? The Prime Minister's answer, being the virtue-signalling Prime Minister he is, is to simply pull a new number out of a hat and come up with a new and more ambitious target, forgetting the fact he cannot even meet his Paris target.
When the government tabled its budget, the government said that we should forget 30% and that it would up the ante to a 36% reduction. Then, three days later when the Prime Minister appeared at the Biden climate summit, the Prime Minister said that 36% was nothing, that it was a pittance, how about 45%? That is a 9% increase with respect to a commitment to reduce Canada's GHGs within the span of three days.
At the U.S. Biden climate summit, President Biden committed to a 50% to 52% reduction. How much longer will it be before the Prime Minister suddenly announces that it will not be 45% but that will be 50% to 52%? Surely the Prime Minister, being a virtue signaller, will want to outpace President Biden. Why not 55%, 60% or maybe even 80%? What a sham this is.
If the policies implemented by the government to justify its targets did not have such a devastating effect on entire sectors of the Canadian economy, the Prime Minister changing targets seemingly every day on a napkin would constitute a national joke. While the Prime Minister seemingly could not outbid himself fast enough before President Biden, lapping it up with other world leaders, there was a world leader also at the summit, who leads a country that produces the most GHG emissions in the world, that being President Xi of China.
What was President Xi's commitment at the summit? He said that China would “strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030”. Let us let that sink in. In other words, President Xi committed to increasing GHG emissions over the next 10 years. This is from a country that contributes to 28% of global emissions, and is rising every day, compared to Canada's 1.5%. What was the Prime Minister's response to President Xi's total lack of a commitment? He said nothing. He is apparently fine with China increasing GHG emissions. He is apparently fine with China building hundreds of coal-fired power plants as we speak.
Simply put, the best that can be said for the Prime Minister's approach when it comes to reducing GHGs is that it is a wholly unserious one from a wholly unserious Prime Minister.