Today, the federal government of Canada announced that it will require 100 per cent of cars and passenger trucks sold in Canada to be zero-emission by 2035. The Ecology Action Centre is pleased by the news, but is disappointed that the announcement did not specify the mechanisms that will allow us to achieve the new target.
“The accelerated target is welcome, but we are running out of time to implement measures that will allow us to meet even our old target,” says Kelsey Lane, climate policy coordinator with the EAC. “The lack of detail in today’s announcement deflates the otherwise welcome news that Canada is strengthening its electric vehicle target, and willing to introduce mandatory measures to get there.”
Specifically, the EAC is eager to see a detailed commitment to a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate that requires automakers to sell a certain percentage of electric vehicles per year.
In addition, Lane hopes to see measures that would ensure the new regulations support regional equity, so that provinces like Nova Scotia do not get left behind. In 2019, 80 per cent of zero emission vehicles in Canada were sold in Quebec and British Columbia, while only one in 10 dealerships in Nova Scotia even had an electric vehicle on their lot.
“The greatest GHG reductions in the transportation sector will come from switching from driving to walking, cycling and taking transit. However, for those that have no choice but to drive a car, that car must be electric if we are to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming and avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change,” says Lane. “And if we are going to do that, we need more than targets. We need action, we need accountability and we need more than just a plan to make a plan when it comes to electric vehicles in Canada.”