Report / September 18, 2020

Actions for Achieving Net-Zero GHG Emissions by 2050

Executive Summary

The federal government plans to introduce legislation – the Act to Amend the Sustainable Development Act – that will likely come into force in 2021 and will guide future Federal Sustainable Development Strategies, committing Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050. As this discussion unfolds in light of COVID-19, it is critical that the electricity sector, as a key enabler of Canada’s net-zero goals, clearly articulates its role and what is expected of governments and regulators to transition to a net-zero economy over the next thirty years. This document outlines a set of foundational actions intended to guide the sector—including members, government interlocutors and other key industry stakeholders—towards the pursuit of achieving net-zero by 2050.

The Canadian electricity industry is key to supporting Canada’s vision to be carbon neutral by 2050. The sector has already done more to decarbonize Canada’s economy than any other* economic sector. To achieve this national goal, Canada’s economy will have to balance any remaining greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) with initiatives that remove an equal amount of GHGs from the atmosphere. This will allow for broad deployment of existing technologies and increased investment in new and innovative ones while increasing jobs, protecting Canada’s socio-economic well-being and tackling climate change head-on.

*See Canada’s 2018 UNFCCC NIR (46% reduction in GHG emissions in the electricity sector between 2005-2018)



Net Zero by 2050 Targets

Canada is undergoing an energy transition and has committed to decarbonizing our economy by 2050 resulting in a demand for more clean electricity.