What makes a good climate plan?

What’s in a strong climate action plan – one that does our fair share to meet our international commitments, and to keep warming below catastrophic levels?

Check out our policy recommendations below. It looks like a lot, but some of this Canada is already working on, and a lot of the rest we know how to do, with some effort.

We hope that our guide will help you keep an eye out for strong policies that will reduce emissions when you’re reading party platforms and talking to your local candidates.

Canada’s Climate Goals

  • Strengthen Canada’s climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030, and to fully decarbonize the Canadian economy by 2050.
  • Legislate Canada’s 2030 reduction target, and set an annual budget for national carbon emissions that will keep Canada on track to reach our 2030 target.
  • Create an independent body to annually review Canada’s progress on our international climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, and hold the federal government accountable.
  • Legislate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Integrate the principles of UNDRIP into climate policy development, including the right to free, prior and informed consent on policies that affect Indigenous peoples and on resource development on traditional territories.

Electricity and Power

  • Shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2030.
  • Increase renewable energy production to reach 90% emissions-free electricity by 2030, with a focus on incentivizing the development of smart-grids and local, community power.
  • Develop a strategy and roadmap to phase out diesel dependence in northern and remote communities, with a focus on incentivizing Indigenous-led initiatives.
  • Phase out all federal fossil fuel subsidies by 2022 and ensure no new fossil fuel subsidies are introduced. This should include a plan to make companies cover the costs of cleaning up and restoring land, instead of passing them to the public.

Industrial Regulation

  • Ensure that only industrial projects whose entire lifecycle emissions fit within Canada’s national carbon budget are approved and built.
  • Implement the federal regulations to reduce methane in the upstream oil and gas sector, and develop regulations to reduce methane emissions beyond the 45% target after 2025, including eliminating routine flaring by 2030.
  • Continue to increase the federal carbon pricing backstop by at least $10/tonne per year after 2022, and eliminate exemptions in the industrial carbon price regulations (known as the Output Based Pricing System) to the carbon price by 2030.
  • Implement Extended Producer Responsibility on single-use plastics, in order to reduce the use of oil in new products and emissions from the incineration of waste.

Equity

  • Develop and fund a plan to support communities in addressing the increasingly severe impacts of climate change on our landscapes, industry and health.
  • Develop and implement a transition plan for workers and communities that are dependent on fossil fuel jobs in a just and supportive way.
  • Contribute $4 billion per year in international climate financing between 2020 and 2025, to assist developing countries in managing climate change impacts and undertaking low carbon development.

Transportation

  • Develop and fund affordable, reliable, fast, frequent and electric mass public transit both within and between cities.
  • Phase out the sale of gasoline-powered engines by 2030, and implement policies that will increase the number electric vehicles manufactured and sold.
  • Implement stricter vehicle fuel efficiency standards, in line with international best practices pioneered by California.

Our homes, buildings and communities

  • Develop a net zero energy building code for commercial and residential buildings and provide incentives to provinces to adopt those codes as soon as possible and at the latest by 2030.
  • Develop a code for building retrofits to make Canada’s existing buildings energy efficient and carbon neutral, and provide funding and financial tools to retrofit all commercial and residential buildings in Canada by 2030.
  • Adopt Best in World energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment in Canada.
  • Fully and fairly account for the carbon stored and released from natural areas and agricultural lands, and develop strategies to store carbon in natural sources like wetlands, fields, and forests.