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Trudeau’s climate plan wants 20% of cars to be electric vehicles by 2026

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Nearly $1 billion will be invested in charging stations between the federal government and the Canada Infrastructure Bank

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government wants to institute a mandate that at least 20% of new cars put on sale by 2026 are zero emissions, as part of Canada’s plan to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target.

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The document, presented to Parliament on Tuesday by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, promises an additional $9.1 billion in new spending to meet Canada’s climate targets. Overall, the government aims to reduce emissions by more than 40% by 2030.

The release of a climate plan is key to realizing the Trudeau government’s lofty environmental rhetoric, and Guilbeault underscores his support for the transition to electric vehicles, including a mandate that at least one in five new light-duty vehicles go on sale in 2026 will have no emissions. The government has previously said it aims to reach 100% in this category by 2035.

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The Canada Infrastructure Bank will spend $500 million on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the government will spend another $400 million on building charging stations.

Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were 730 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Canada is the only Group of Seven country to see its harmful emissions increase between 2015 and 2019. Trudeau blamed his country’s emissions record to date on the previous Conservative government, which stepped down in 2011 of the Kyoto Protocol, the precursor to the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Prime Minister also said that four years of climate skepticism in the United States under Donald Trump has also effectively held Canada back.

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