OTTAWA – Proposals for new mines, power plants, pipelines and railways in Canada will have to include plans to hit net zero emissions by 2050 if they have any hope of getting approved.
The federal government today is finalizing the rules for how climate change will be considered in environmental reviews of major national projects.
The final report of the strategic assessment of climate change says any projects that must undergo a federal impact assessment will need to show how they are trying to keep emissions as low as possible.
If the project will still be operating in 2050, the plan has to be to reach “net zero.”
That means any greenhouse-gas emissions that are produced by the project in 2050 will have to be absorbed either through natural carbon sinks like trees or technology like carbon capture and storage.
The federal government’s new Impact Assessment Act is the first time Ottawa is making it mandatory to consider how new projects will affect Canada’s ability to meet its targets to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.