Canada to hasten efforts to reduce carbon footprint: report

Canada will pledge to further reduce its carbon emissions
Canada will pledge to further reduce its carbon emissions BJ Kirschhoffer POLAR BEARS INTERNATIONAL/AFP
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Ottawa (AFP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce stepped up efforts to reduce Canada's carbon footprint when he meets other world leaders at a virtual climate summit hosted by US President Joe Biden this week, a media report said Wednesday.

Public broadcaster Radio-Canada cited unnamed sources saying Trudeau will pledge to reduce Canada's carbon emissions 40-45 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

This would mark a hastening of Canada's pledge under the Paris Agreement to slash emissions by 30 percent, and its planned 36-percent cut outlined earlier this week in the federal budget.

Trudeau's office declined to comment on the report.

His administration's aim at the summit, a government source told Radio-Canada, is to lead by example and show "that even an oil-producing country can have a concrete climate plan." Canada is the world's fourth largest oil producer.

The Biden administration has reportedly also urged the leaders invited to the virtual Earth Day summit to line up big reductions in emissions. Radio-Canada said a minimum 40 percent target was the "price of entry" to the talks that will herald the United States's return to the climate table.

Britain has already announced the most ambitious target of any major economy, saying it will slash emissions by 78 percent by 2035 from 1990 levels, while the European Union approved a law that confirms the 27-nation bloc's commitment to reduce carbon by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

Barack Obama, after negotiating the Paris Agreement, had promised that the United States would reduce emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025 compared with 2005 levels.

His successor Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 accord, but the world's largest economy is still largely on track to meet Obama's goal thanks to continued efforts at the level of states and a sharp drop in industrial production during the Covid pandemic.

On Tuesday, former US vice president Al Gore urged Trudeau in a Twitter message to try for a reduction of at least 50 percent by 2030.

According to Radio-Canada, Trudeau is expected at the summit to announce increased collaboration with the United States on climate measures, and urge richer countries to offer a helping hand to developing countries to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets.