Some see the government as not doing enough to fight climate change. The global scientific consensus is that roughly half of the planet’s carbon pollution will need to be cut over the next 12 years to avoid more dangerous and destructive floods, droughts and poverty levels. Yet Canada’s targets are insufficient to achieve this, and the UN has said Canada won’t hit its current targets.
The government’s decision to spend billions of public dollars purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline system, and its other financial support for the oilpatch has made decarbonization of the Canadian economy appear more out of reach.
Meanwhile, the government’s moves to impose a price on pollution, overhaul the federal environmental assessment regime, ban oil tankers from the northern B.C. coast, regulate and restrict methane emissions and other decisions have led to criticism from the energy sector that Trudeau is throwing too much at them all at once, particularly given the low price of oil. There have been an explosion of pro-oil protests recently.
The announcement could also raise the temperature on recent debates between Trudeau’s Liberals and Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. The governing Liberals have accused the Conservatives of having no plan to fight climate change, while the Tories have suggested that Trudeau’s plan would raise the cost of living, without having a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.