Canada focusing on existing climate plan, has no timeline to increase ambition

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada has no immediate plans to follow Europe’s lead and increase its targets for cutting emissions.

McKenna is in Belgium this week for the second ministerial meeting of Canada, European Union and China on their climate change alliance to keep driving forward progress on the Paris agreement.

European Union energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete says all countries are going to have to cut emissions more deeply than planned if targets are to be met; Europe, which already had one of the most ambitious targets in the world, increased those targets again earlier this week.

Europe now believes it can cut overall emissions to 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, up from the 40 per cent target originally set in 2014, by increasing its use of renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency.

Canada’s plan is to cut emissions by 30 per cent over 2005 levels by 2030, but current plans for a Canada-wide carbon price, clean fuel standards, more electric vehicles and phasing out coal plants still leaves Canada about 90 million tonnes shy of reaching that goal.

McKenna says while Canada is always looking at how we can be more ambitious, her focus right now is on implementing what is already planned.

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