Expectations are high for the U.S.-led Climate Summit on April 22-23, which President Joe Biden opened by announcing a new U.S. target for GHG emissions reductions – 50% to 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. The Summit is described by the U.S. State Department as “a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow and is designed to increase the chances for meaningful outcomes on global climate action at COP26.” The world’s leaders (and major emitters) are present at the virtual meeting –– including Chinese President Xi Jinping – and even in advance of the Summit, other nations announced new Nationally Determined Contributions : for example, the U.K., which has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 78% from 1990 levels by 2035.
Prime Minister Trudeau took his turn at announcing an even higher goal at the Summit to a 40% to 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, based on 2005 levels. “Trudeau pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030” from the CBC summarizes the statement and includes a video of Trudeau’s announcement; the PMO press release is here . CBC also offers a lengthly analysis in Canada’s past climate promises have been a flop. Could that change at this summit? .
Canada’s new target of 40 to 45% – although an improvement from the 36% below 2005 levels mentioned in the April 19th federal budget – will disappoint many, and still falls short of the 60% emissions reduction called for in Towards Canada’s Fair Share, a new report endorsed by seven of Canada’s leading environmental advocacy groups. The report forecasts the path forward, based on modelling by EnviroEconomics and Navius, and was endorsed by Climate Action Network Canada, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Stand,and West Coast Environmental Law.
The Summit continues for two days. The U.S. State Department offers live coverage of the event here, and there will be plenty of global media attention to this high-profile event. The Guardian is reporting closely – for example, with an overview in “US 2030 goals will take world closer to holding global heating below 2C” . In Canada, in addition to the CBC coverage, Canada’s National Observer is a member of the global Climate Desk collaborative and will no doubt be reporting and analysing Canadian developments.