For the second time in a year, the federal House of Commons has passed climate change legislation put forward by the opposition parties. On June 4, the House gave third reading to Bill C-377, an Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change:
The purpose of this enactment is to ensure that Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by committing to a long-term target to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions to a level that is 80% below the 1990 level by the year 2050, and by establishing interim targets for the period 2015 to 2045. It creates an obligation on the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to review proposed measures to meet the targets and submit a report to Parliament.
It also sets out the duties of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
The Bill still requires third reading from the Senate and Royal assent before it comes into force.
Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth are awaiting the decision of the Federal Court on their lawsuit to enforce last year’s statute, the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. The minority federal government argues that such statutes have merely political significance and cannot be enforced to the courts.