Generation Squeeze is a national research and advocacy organization that speaks on behalf of younger and future generations about the issues that impact their ability to thrive.
Climate change is at the top of the list of issues affecting young people, which is why Generation Squeeze has advocated for the federal government to create legally binding emissions targets, including five-year milestones, on its pathway to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.
Legally binding targets based on a scientifically sound carbon budget will hold current and future federal governments accountable for ensuring Canada does its fair share to hold climate change below 1.5 degrees. While this matters to all Canadians, younger and future generations will disproportionately benefit from a meaningful, sustained effort to put climate change in check, including benefits to their health, economic prospects, and overall security and well-being.
We applaud the government’s recent tabling of Bill C-12 as a critical step in upholding its promise to establish emissions reduction targets. This is important leadership on an issue that is a stated priority for our federal government, as well as those who voted for them.
As the specifics of the bill will now be considered by all members of Parliament, Gen Squeeze would like to echo recommendations being delivered by other stakeholders across the country aimed at improving the legislation so that it is designed to effectively meet its stated goals.
Here are five ways Bill C-12 should be improved to promote true climate accountability and meet Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050:
- Bill C-12 must ensure that Canada maximizes ambition as soon as possible, including by requiring the Minister to set a 2025 target and increasing the frequency and stringency of accountability measures – reports, expert input, strong plans – to ensure that our pathway to 2030 is consistent with the best available science, international obligations, and equity principles.
- Bill C-12 must draw on the best available science and expertise by strengthening the proposed advisory body's role in establishing targets, plans and reports, and ensuring that the advisory body is comprised of independent experts. The advisory body should also prepare regular impact reports that assess the risks of current and predicted climate impacts in Canada, to inform adaptation planning.
- Bill C-12 must prescribe robust minimum standards for planning and reporting, and impose a legal obligation to meet the established targets.
- Bill C-12 should ensure targets and plans are set further in advance, provide for earlier and more regular progress reporting, and place a low cap on the use of international offsets (or even restrict those offsets altogether, other than to exceed targets).
- Bill C-12 should also incentivize and facilitate provincial ambition and recognize shared action alongside the federal government, while also providing the means for Indigenous peoples to be full participants in climate action. Bill C-12 must also require transparency about the status and direction of greenhouse gas emissions in sub-national jurisdictions.
(More information about these recommendations can be found on the Climate Action Network Canada website)
Generation Squeeze, on behalf of the supporters we represent, looks forward to the passage of a robust, meaningful federal climate accountability law, and continued efforts by all governments to address the climate crisis.