In 2020, two different bills were tabled in the House of Commons to support climate change accountability. The first, the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-215), was introduced by MP Kristina Michaud of the Bloc Québécois in February 2020. The second, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12), was introduced by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November 2020.
So who wrote the better bill?
Comparing the two, it appears that the Liberals copied several ideas from the Bloc’s bill… but took out several key elements that would hold the government accountable for taking meaningful action. These include:
- Setting a 2025 target for reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions;
- Ensuring that the 2030 target reflect a reduction of at least 30% below Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005; and
- Requiring that all reduction targets align with the purpose of the Paris Agreement, including limiting the global average temperature rise to less than 2°C.
Unfortunately, Bill C-215 was defeated in the House on February 3, 2021. While the Bloc, NDP and Green Party MPs all supported the bill, all Liberal and Conservative members voted against it . It seems the Liberals preferred their own, much weaker approach to climate change accountability -- an approach that won’t prevent the climate catastrophe that most people -- including the Liberals -- agree is coming unless drastic action is taken.
We at Toronto 350 would like to thank the Bloc Québécois for demonstrating what real climate leadership looks like. We hope the Liberals will start paying attention soon.
The good news is that there’s still a chance to strengthen Bill C-12. Call or email your MP today and let them know that you want a climate accountability plan that will actually work!