Canadas climate law has passed in th

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Dear Paov,

Today is a big day for climate law in Canada.

Bill C-12 – the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act – has passed in the Senate and will soon become law.

After months of delays, debate, and submissions from experts and community members to strengthen this key legislation, Canada will finally have a law in place to ensure that our governments follow through on their climate commitments. With BC in the midst of an unprecedented heatwave, the need for this crucial climate law is more apparent than ever.

Bill C-12 has its flaws, but this important milestone is certainly worth celebrating.

In the past several months, people across the country spoke up to #StrengthenC12, sending messages to decision-makers asking for the bill to be improved. Thank you to everyone who took action on this issue!

As a result of this public pressure, important amendments were made to ensure more frequent and transparent reporting, an emissions objective for 2026, better accountability for climate plans, and more emphasis on independent scientific advice. On top of that, MPs have agreed that the law will be examined in five years to assess how it’s working, and what can be done to improve it.


When it comes to addressing the climate crisis, there is no time left to waste. We’re hopeful that with this new federal law in place, Canada will finally have a chance at getting on track to meet our climate goals.

At West Coast, we’ll be watching closely to ensure the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act is doing its job. We were one of the first public organizations to call for such a law (see, for example, our 2015 report, A Carbon Budget for Canada) and we remain committed to making sure it works.

No matter what, our legal experts will be there to continue advocating for stronger measures to hold governments accountable for their climate promises.

If you’re on Twitter, join us in tweeting congratulations to MPs, the Senate, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and his team at Environment Canada!

Thanks again for your support in this effort – this climate win would not have been possible without people like you.

Onwards,

Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer
West Coast Environmental Law


P.S. To learn more about Bill C-12 and what it entails, check out this recent submission from West Coast and our partners to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

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