Is the “Canadian Net Zero Accountability Act” just more empty promises?

Updated: Jan 23

Written by Martin Bush, November 22, 2020


When it comes to action on climate, Canada’s federal government has a long history of making empty promises. The country has missed every single emissions target it has set--starting with the pledge it made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. More recently, under the Paris Agreement in 2015, Canada pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to 2005 levels. But the latest emissions data show that the country, true to form, is hopelessly off the mark. Greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 were almost exactly where they were in 2005. You can’t get much more off-track than that. When it comes to the climate crisis, in Canada, inaction speaks louder than words.


On November 19, 2020, the Liberal government took a small tentative step in the right direction by tabling Bill C-12, an Act called the “Canadian Net Zero Accountability Act”. The purpose of the Act is to “require the setting of national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions based on the best scientific information available and to promote transparency and accountability in relation to achieving those targets, in support of achieving net-zero emissions in Canada by 2050 and Canada’s international commitments in respect of mitigating climate change.”