Legislation to set five-year climate targets highest priority this fall: Wilkinson

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OTTAWA — Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he plans to move quickly this fall to set legislated targets to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Liberals promised during the 2019 election to bring in a law to set five-year targets for curbing emissions all the way to 2050, when the goal is to be at net zero.

That means Canada needs to curb its emissions drastically over three decades and ensure any greenhouse gases still being produced can be absorbed rather than remain in the atmosphere.

The legislated targets are to be legally binding, though it is not clear how they would be enforced.

Canada has set multiple targets for curbing emissions over the last three decades and has never met a single one of them.

Wilkinson says COVID-19 is an immediate priority but if climate change is left unchecked it will cause at least as much harm to people around the world as the pandemic.