Canada will adopt a clean energy standard and invest in wind and solar projects as part of a C$9.1 billion (US$7.2 billion) plan to meet carbon emissions reduction targets by 2030.
The plan, 2030 emissions reduction plan: Canada’s next steps to clean air and a strong economy, was unveiled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a rally in Vancouver on Tuesday (29 March).
A clean energy standard typically requires utilities to purchase a certain proportion of their electricity from clean sources, such as renewable energy. It is not clear how clean energy will be defined, and it could include nuclear and carbon capture and storage.
The plan will also include additional investments of about C$850 million for clean energy projects like wind and solar power, while the government will work with provinces and territories, stakeholders, and indigenous partners to move Canada’s electricity grid to net-zero emissions by 2035, according to the Prime Minister’s office.
Speaking at a press conference in Vancouver, Trudeau linked a global push for renewable energy to Europe trying to rely less upon Russia’s oil and natural gas because of the invasion of Ukraine.
“The leaders I spoke with in Europe over the past few weeks were clear: They don’t just want to end their dependence on Russian oil and gas, they want to accelerate the energy transformation to clean and green power,” Trudeau told reporters.
He added: “The whole world is focusing on clean energy and Canada cannot afford not to do that.”
Canada has a climate goal of cutting emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, and of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Trudeau told the rally that Canada’s large oil and gas sector must cut emissions by 42% by 2030.
Canada is in the top ten global emitters per capita. Canada's total GHG emissions in 2019 were 730 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq), a slight increase from 728 Mt CO2 eq in 2018.