Even before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in US President Joe Biden’s climate summit on April 22, speculation was rife that his Liberal government would go beyond the promises the last Conservative government had made in 2015.
And he did deliver on those expectations. Canada has now pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels within this decade.
Canada had earlier pitched a target of cutting emission by 30 per cent by 2030. While the world leaders’ hearts may be set in the right place, experts are wary that COVID-19 will throw a wrench in their plans.
The pandemic is likely to slow down the pace at which renewable energy and clean tech is adopted in the coming years. As for Canada, there are a few factors to keep in mind.
Canada’s ambitious plan to slash emissions by 40 to 45 per cent in less than 10 years relies on a multi-pronged policy approach. It will include a thorough adoption of technologies like electric vehicles.
But electric vehicles don’t come cheap. And recurring lockdowns amid the pandemic has struck a blow to the spending capacity of most Canadians.
In times when most jobs are still at risk, not many Canadians are likely to pick expensive electric cars over cheaper gasoline ones for the sake of the environment.