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441-02156 (Environment)



  • The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C clearly communicates that the future of humanity is at risk without “rapid and far-reaching” changes to mitigate a 1.5°C temperature rise in the next 11 years and to achieve zero emissions by 2050;
  • Canada is on course to significantly overshoot our 2030 Paris Agreement target (Auditor General's Report 2018) with oil and gas and transportation emissions continuing to rise (Government of Canada);
  • The World Health Organization has clearly stated that “climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century”; and
  • The health impacts from climate change, including lung disease, heat-related illness, spread of infectious diseases, displacement, famine, drought, and mental health impacts, are being felt in Canada and abroad and are expected to accelerate across our planet at an unprecedented rate threatening "human lives and viability of the national health systems they depend on” (Lancet Countdown 2018, Lancet Countdown Briefing for Canadian Policymakers, 2018).

We, the undersigned, Physician Mothers of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

  • Act upon the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment “Call to Action on Climate Change and Health” report (February 5, 2019), which has clearly outlined specific measures towards zero emissions;
  • Prioritize the elimination of emissions and preservation of a healthy environment as part of every portfolio and in every decision made by our federal and provincial parties;
  • Implement a nationwide carbon pricing strategy;
  • Commit to the rapid elimination of fossil fuels and coal from our economy;
  • Commit to rapid incorporation of green energy and net-zero infrastructure across the country; and
  • Eliminate single use plastics.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT

The science is clear that accelerated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The economics are clear too – to build a strong, resilient economy for generations to come, Canada must harness the power of a cleaner future.

The Government of Canada recognizes this reality, and since 2015 has taken significant, ambitious steps to reduce emissions, protect the environment, spur clean technologies and innovation, and help Canadians and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

In 2016, the Government of Canada developed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, in collaboration with provinces and territories, and with input from Indigenous peoples. Building on this national effort, the Government of Canada released its strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, in December 2020 to deepen emissions reductions across the economy, create new, well-paying jobs, make life more affordable for households, and build a better future.

In 2021, the Government of Canada committed to achieving an enhanced 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40-45% below 2005 levels under the Paris Agreement and adopted legislation to enshrine this Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), as well as the commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in law. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (the Act) provides a durable framework of accountability and transparency to deliver on these commitments. The Act requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to set subsequent targets for 2035, 2040, and 2045, at least 10 years in advance. The Actalso holds the federal government accountable as it charts Canada’s path to achieve net-zero emissions by establishing a transparent process to plan, assess, and adjust the federal government’s efforts to achieve its national targets based on the best scientific information available.

As an early deliverable under the Act,Canada published the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan in 2022. The plan lays out the next steps to reaching Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target, including a suite of new mitigation measures and strategies, and builds on the foundation set by Canada’s existing climate actions. The plan also reflects input from thousands of Canadians, businesses, and communities, as well as submissions from Indigenous partners, provinces, territories and the Net-Zero Advisory Body.

Measures introduced by the Government of Canada since 2015 include:

  • Bringing into force the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act ensuring that every Canadian jurisdiction has a price on carbon. The price on carbon pollution started at $20 per tonne of emissions in 2019 – and has been rising at a predictable rate of $10 per year to reach $50 in 2022. Starting in 2023, the price began to rise by $15 per year and will continue to do so until it reaches $170 per tonne in 2030;
  • Meeting Canada’s G20 commitment to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2023, and committing to develop a plan to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector including by federal Crown corporations;
  • Accelerating the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation, and positioning the oil and gas sector to cut pollution by working with stakeholders to implement a cap on oil and gas sector emissions;
  • Building Canada’s renewable electricity future by continuing to advance the Clean Electricity Standard to enable Canada to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, and making significant investments to support renewable electricity and grid modernization projects;
  • Helping to reduce energy costs for homes and buildings, and boosting climate resiliency;
  • Driving progress on clean cars and trucks through investments in zero-emission vehicles charging and refueling infrastructure, and the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program;
  • Establishing the Canadian Center for Climate Services, which provides climate information and support to help Canadians consider climate change in their decisions, including health-related adaptation decisions via the collaborative climate information portal,; and,
  • Developing a climate lens to integrate climate considerations throughout Government of Canada decision-making.

Furthermore, the Government of Canada is implementing an ambitious, comprehensive, and circular economy approach to reduce plastic waste, increase the value retention and recovery of plastics, and tackle plastic pollution through a range of complementary solutions spanning the plastics lifecycle. By reducing plastic pollution and improving how plastic is made, used, and managed, the Government of Canada can strengthen sustainable economies, grow jobs, help fight climate change, and protect biodiversity and the environment.

Actions such as these, as well as ongoing efforts with provinces and territories to ensure that producers are responsible for the cost of managing their plastic waste, will help address the issue of plastic pollution from single-use plastics.

The Government of Canada also recognizes that a more ambitious, strategic and collaborative approach is required to adapt to the impacts of climate change including higher temperatures, variable precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, severe floods, wildfires, drought, and other extreme weather events. Working with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous peoples and other key partners and stakeholders, the federal government is implementing Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. This Strategy has a shared vision for climate resilience and provides a blueprint for whole-of-society action to help communities and residents of Canada better adapt to and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

These and other historic commitments aim to increase Canada’s climate and environmental ambition, and to help people living in Canada be more resilient to climate impacts. These commitments will benefit all Canadians, in particular those groups that are disproportionately affected by the negative effects of climate change including children, low-income communities, seniors, and Indigenous peoples.





Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
February 13, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02156)
Government response tabled
April 8, 2024
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

26 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.