Canada updated its NDC target under the Paris Agreement in July 2021 setting an economy wide emission reduction target of at least 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, including an estimated LULUCF contribution of -27 MtCO₂e/yr. This corresponds to a 36-41% reduction below 2005 levels (excl. LULUCF), equal to 428-465 MtCO₂e by 2030 (excl. LULUCF). However, our analysis of Canada’s current policies shows Canada is only on track to reduce emissions 14-17% by 2030 below 2005 levels (excl. LULUCF).
Furthermore, neither its current policy projections nor its proposed new target are compatible with the domestic efforts required to limit warming to 1.5°C. Achieving this goal would require domestic emissions reductions of 57% below 2005 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF), equal to 311 MtCO₂e by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).
Decarbonising the power and transport sectors should be a priority and will make it possible to put emissions on a 1.5°C compatible track. Overall, emissions in the country should have already peaked by 2020.
A fair share contribution to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions compatible with the Paris Agreement would require Canada to go further than its domestic target, and provide substantial support for emission reductions to developing countries on top of its domestic reductions.
Long term pathway
In Canada’s target of net zero GHG by 2050 the role of the land sector to meet the target remains unclear. Excluding LULUCF, to be 1.5°C compatible, the country would need to target GHG emissions reduction of 90% below 2005 levels by 2050., Remaining GHG emissions will need to be balanced through the use of carbon dioxide removal approaches, including sustainable a/reforestation, direct air capture of carbon dioxide, or sustainable bioenergy coupled with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
Remaining GHG emissions would come from mainly agriculture and waste given the higher share of methane and nitrous oxide emissions in these sectors. If the uptake of renewable energy in the primary energy supply is at the lower end of the range, then as much as 13% of the primary energy supply (equivalent to 0.8 EJ/year by 2050) would need to also have emissions offset using the above approaches.