Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-215, an act respecting Canada's fulfillment of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations.
The purpose of Bill C-215 is to ensure that Canada fulfills its obligations under the Paris Agreement, including by establishing targets for reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions and accountability mechanisms for emissions reduction.
More specifically, Bill C-215 includes a target of zero net emissions by 2050 and an interim emissions reduction target of at least 30% below the level of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 by 2030. It also requires a centralized action plan that establishes five-year interim targets, from 2025 to 2040.
An annual report on the progress made in reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions must also be prepared and tabled in Parliament. The bill provides for a review of the action plan and annual progress reports by the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development and a review of the act every four years.
Achieving a prosperous future and net-zero emissions by 2050 remains a priority for the Canadian government. Canadians know that climate change is a threat to their health, and the government will continue to work on this issue.
Even as the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change continues to worsen, and it is nearly certain that 2020 will be one of the four hottest years on record. As UN Secretary General António Guterres pointed out, climate change is not taking a break during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we cannot put climate action on hold.
Just as our government committed to supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to do the same with climate action. Canadians are already living the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, such as the changing intensity and frequency of flooding, storms and fires, coastal erosion, extreme heat events, melting permafrost, and rising sea levels. All of these effects pose a significant risk to the safety, security, health and well-being of all Canadians, our communities, our economy and our natural environment.
Our existing measures to fight climate change and those to come will help Canada further reduce its emissions, support a growing economy and make life safer and more affordable for Canadians. In addition to these national commitments, Canada is a leader when it comes to international measures and the fight against climate change.
Climate change is a major global challenge, and that is why Canada and 194 other countries adopted the Paris Agreement to fight climate change. This agreement seeks to strengthen efforts to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and, if possible, to limit it to 1.5°C.
As a reminder, under the Paris Agreement, Canada committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada is also determined to strengthen existing greenhouse gas reduction measures and implement new ones in order to exceed the greenhouse gas emission reduction goal by 2030.
Canada is also a founding member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which was created to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity. The alliance currently has over 110 members.
Canada is taking part in many other climate change initiatives. For example, Canada is involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. From 2016 to 2018, it was co-chair of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which works to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. It is a member and co-chair of the Global Methane Initiative, an international partnership aimed at reducing methane pollution and advancing the recovery and use of methane as a cleaner energy source.
Despite the fact that COP26 was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is still making its international commitments to fight climate change a priority.
COP is not only a forum for negotiations that guide international climate action, but it is also an important forum for pursuing progress with international partners on many initiatives and maintaining bilateral relations on climate action and environmental protection.
COP will remain a forum where the Government of Canada can continue to showcase not only its efforts to combat climate change, but also many other initiatives that strengthen the integration of solutions based on nature, biodiversity and the oceans, such as phasing out coal, targeting zero plastic waste, enhancing protection for nature and promoting funding for coastal resilience.
Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can assure my colleagues that Canada is pursuing and will continue to pursue initiatives and collaboration with its international allies. Our actions are more important than ever because the science is clear: we cannot wait for future generations to stop polluting or take action to adapt to the effects of climate change. We must act now.
If we are to meet our Paris target of holding the temperature increase to 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1.5°C, global emissions will have to achieve the net-zero emissions target by 2050. Canada recognizes these conclusions and agrees that additional work is needed, hence its commitment to achieving its net-zero emissions target by 2050 through a five-year national greenhouse gas emissions reduction milestone, based on the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians.
Canada is not alone. Nine countries have passed or are in the process of passing legislation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. These countries include France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Including Canada, at least 120 countries, 14 regions, 398 cities, 786 businesses and 16 investors have committed to meeting this target. Clearly, several components of Bill C-215 reflect both the national and international priorities of our government.
I thank the hon. member for presenting such an important subject. I look forward to continuing discussions on measures that will enable us to fight climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.