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press release

Environmental commissioner report shows government can’t backtrack on climate commitments

November 7, 2023

OTTAWA/TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — In response to a report by Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Jerry DeMarco that found that the federal government policies fall short of what is needed to hit Canada’s 2030 climate target, Ecojustice climate director Alan Andrews said:

“Canada has never achieved a climate target, and this report shows that history will repeat unless the government course corrects.

“This federal government received three mandates from voters on the promise that it was ready to finally achieve a climate target and take sufficient action to meet this emergency.

“But the report released by the Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner demonstrates it must do more to fight the climate crisis.

“This includes refusing to bend to fossil fuel lobbyists’ demands for a weakened Oil and Gas Emissions Cap, due to be released this month.

“It means putting a stop to Canada’s financial system propping up oil, gas, and coal development when international experts such as the International Energy Agency say new fossil fuels projects have no place in a 1.5 degrees Celsius world.

“And it must ensure that the carbon price makes big polluters pay their fair share.

“At the end of this month, the world will come together in Dubai to take stock of progress towards limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Canada must demonstrate at COP28 that it has its house in order to be a credible climate leader.

“By law — under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act — the federal government must prepare its first report on progress towards Canada’s climate targets by the end of 2023. This progress report is a critical opportunity for the government to address the information gaps identified by the Commissioner.  Given the scale of the climate crisis, the federal government must be clear and honest with the public about the challenges that we face.

“This report will allow people across Canada to understand what kind of action has worked and what further must be done to deliver a safe climate future for everyone.

“Now is the time for the federal government to step up — at home and abroad — and tell Canadians the unvarnished truth about its progress addressing climate change.

“Canada cannot afford to miss another climate target.”