Blog

 
Auto Industry Electric Vehicles Project Arrow

‘They’ve been very interested in our ideas’: what experts expect from feds’ climate change bill

Peter Mazereeuw, The Hill Times
November 15th, 2020

Green policy experts say they do not expect the government’s upcoming climate change bill to include specific carbon emission targets for each step of the way towards a net- zero economy in 2050—and that’s how it should be.

Despite promises to make the bill “legally-binding,” however, political embarrassment will likely remain the biggest consequence for a government that fails to live up to the terms of the legislation, they said, though lawsuits could be an additional deterrent, depending on how the law is worded.

The Liberals promised before the last election to introduce legislation to create legally binding, five-year emissions targets that will set Canada on the path to having a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by the year 2050. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver, B.C.) told Maclean’s magazine in October that he was planning to introduce that legislation before the end of this year.

The government has been quietly consulting experts about the content of the bill, and lobbyists have signalled their desire to shape its contents.

On Nov. 13, the CBC reported that the government would introduce the bill as early as this week, and that it would include mandatory five year targets for cutting emissions in Canada. The CBC did not attribute the source of that information.

Flavio Volpe, the president of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), said he had discussed the net-zero legislation with the government in the past year. He said he urged policymakers not to set vehicle emissions standards that are stricter than those in the United States, warning that automakers would rather pull up stakes than design vehicles especially for the Canadian market.

The APMA launched a showcase project in response to the net-zero 2050 goal, pulling together its members to produce a prototype, zero-emissions, Canadian-made vehicle, dubbed Project Arrow.

Read the full article here.