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A person stands on a steep rocky cliff that overlooks a glacier. In the distance stand snow covered mountains.

Glacier by Zeitfaenger.at via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

press release

Federal climate bill is significant first step on the path to net-zero

November 19, 2020

Ecojustice looks forward to working with all parties to make sure legislation is as effective as possible

For immediate release: November 19, 2020

Toronto, Ont. – Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, welcomes the publication of Bill C-12 Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act that aims to put Canada on the path to net-zero by 2050. 

Strong climate laws are essential to tackling the climate emergency. Robust climate legislation will improve Canada’s chances of avoiding the disastrous impacts of climate change.

The introduction of this bill is a significant step forward in tackling the climate crisis. It makes net-zero by 2050 a legally-binding target and starts to map a pathway for Canada to achieve this. 

Ecojustice’s initial reading of the bill welcomes the federal government’s commitment to achieving net-zero by 2050 and for taking the climate emergency seriously. This is the first time that a federal government has introduced legislation to hold themselves and future governments accountable for reducing emissions.  

This legislation is a significant step to put Canada on the course to achieve its emissions targets and sets up Canada to become a global leader. However, Ecojustice also believes that there is room for improvement on issues such as the lack of a 2025 target and robust independent expert advice.  

At the last federal election, the majority of Canadians voted for parties who promised to deliver bold climate action. The Liberals were elected on a mandate of implementing a plan to reduce Canada’s emissions and tackle the looming climate crisis.

Since the current federal government was returned last year, Ecojustice has been working alongside its partner organizations to push for strong climate legislation and today’s bill is the fruition of this work.  

Ecojustice looks forward to reviewing this legislation and ensuring our elected leaders deliver an effective climate law that will protect Canadians and the people and places we love.

Julia Croome, Ecojustice lawyer and lead author of A New Canadian Climate Accountability Act said:

“Ecojustice is glad to see that the federal government has come through on the promise it made to Canadians during the last federal election and introduced this climate bill. 

“It is a comprehensive bill that can maintain momentum for climate action when the spotlight is off the federal government.

“However, Canada has missed every single emission-reduction target it has ever set. This bill has the potential to hold our political leaders to account for meeting that net-zero by 2050 target.

“Ecojustice will be reviewing this bill in the coming days to ensure that it will effectively deliver emissions reductions and ensure a sustainable, healthy future for all Canadians.”

Alan Andrews, Ecojustice Climate Program Director said:

“Strong climate laws are essential to tackling the climate emergency and we are glad that the federal government has finally introduced this climate legislation. 

“The climate emergency is not going anywhere. The more robust this legislation, the better Canada’s chances are of avoiding the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis. Ecojustice will closely examine the legislation published today to make sure that it is up to the task of building a better future for Canadians.

“During the last federal election, the majority voted for parties with bold climate promises. Now it is the responsibility of all parties and elected officials to work together and deliver an effective climate law for Canadians.”



Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, innovative public interest lawsuits lead to legal precedents that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.