First, I want to thank Ms. May, who did everything in her power to try to convince everyone in order to speed things up in the committee. Unfortunately, it didn't work. However, I want to thank her. I feel compelled to do so because she prepared a number of arguments and amendments, but they won't be taken into account.
With respect to amendment BQ‑18, we're proposing to change “advisory body” to “an independent expert committee.” Perhaps this was the difference between our amendment and the Green Party's amendment. Also, the change that we were proposing to line 15 no longer applies. By voting for amendment G‑3, you decided that there wouldn't be any target.
We want to replace “advisory body” with “independent expert committee” in order to clearly establish the committee's role, which basically isn't to conduct consultations, but to advise the minister. This must be included in the legislation.
For us, it wasn't just about the net‑zero emissions issue. We're saying that the committee should advise the minister on how to reach the 2030 target, which still hasn't been quantified, and not just the 2050 target.
I want to remind you that the United Kingdom is an example to follow in terms of climate governance. Corinne Le Quéré was among the experts from the United Kingdom who appeared before the committee. She told us that the United Kingdom had been the most successful country in terms of reaching climate targets and that it had the best established climate governance. The United Kingdom has seen its emissions fall by 28% since 2010, while Canada's emissions have risen.
Another example is France. Ms. Le Quéré also told us about the High Council on Climate and other similar independent bodies that provide a mechanism to ensure that the voices of experts in the field are heard. They provide the rationale and the legitimacy to propose ambitious measures, since they're experts. As Ms. Le Quéré said, strong climate governance, in France and in other places, helps the government to achieve its goals.
The experts in the United Kingdom consider that five elements are key to the success of any climate legislation and that together they provide several benefits to democracy. The first is the full independence of a committee made up primarily of experts. This is what the witnesses came to tell us. If we were listening, we understood this. This prevents confusion between the role of expert and the job of consulting everyone. This condition is met in just about any successful climate legislation.
The word “experts” is covered in more detail in an amendment that I'll move later. However, it would be good to see the committee in the bill as having this key characteristic. When the independence of the committee is ensured, a balance is achieved. On the one hand, there's an ongoing policy generated through the co‑operation of the highest levels of science, economics, applied policy, and decision‑making. On the other hand, there's respect for the political reality on the ground.
In short, based on what the witnesses came to tell us, we know that they recommended an independent expert committee.