Canada’s House of Commons has passed an NDP private member bill, The Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-377), becoming the first elected chamber in the world to adopt science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050.
“This is a world first,” said Jack Layton, leader of the NDP. “Our legislation sets tough but achievable targets that will ensure Canada does its share to avoid the dangerous two-degree increase in average global temperature that scientists warn us about.”
To ensure Canada meets long-term pollution reduction targets, short- and medium-term targets are also enshrined in the law. The bill sets an interim target of 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and requires progress reports from the government every five years.
“These are targets endorsed by world leaders, enshrined in legislation,” said Layton. “The NDP is looking forward to a sustainable future where Canada’s economy is buoyed by environmental initiatives.”
“The cost of doing nothing to combat climate change would mean economic and environmental disaster for Canada,” said Nathan Cullen, the NDP environment critic. Cullen led the legislative efforts and negotiations in the environment committee.
The bill must go through the Senate before it receives royal assent.