Experts: Canada releases plan for a 40 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030


Published: 31Mar2022

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault released the government's plan to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next eight years to meet ambitious 2030 reduction targets. It's a plan that leans heavily on deep cuts in the electricity, oil and gas and transportation sectors. (CBC News


Sibeal McCourt, PhD candidate, Department of Geography 

"I am tentatively optimistic about the new federal emissions reduction plan, despite Canada’s less-than-ideal track record at meeting previous reduction targets. The reduction targets make sense, and there’s clear financing to support the initiatives, but there are some important implementation details that still need to be ironed out." 

Sibeal McCourt is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography at McGill University. Her research focuses on nitrogen cycles, urban footprints and environmental impacts of our food system.  

sibeal.mccourt [at] (English)  

Peter Douglas, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences 

“The plan is an excellent step in the right direction for emissions reductions, with clear detailed steps. I really like the emphasis on electric vehicles and electrification of energy use. The focus on the oil and gas industry is very important, but I would have liked to see more specifics here, especially since large reductions are needed in this area, and because it is politically sensitive. I think the emphasis on reducing methane emissions, specifically, in the oil and gas sector, is really positive, as this is an area where we could achieve relatively affordable major emissions reductions in the short-term.” 

Peter Douglas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His research is centered around analyzing the abundance of rare isotopes in individual organic molecules to trace water and carbon-cycle change in time and space. He has a long-standing interest in how ancient societies both altered biogeochemical cycles and were impacted by past climate change. 

peter.douglas [at] (English) 

James P. Williams, PhD candidate, Department of Civil Engineering 

“I think the new plan is a reasonably positive step towards meeting Canada's emission reductions goals. It highlights methane emissions and targets the oil and gas industry quite heavily and promises progress reports at regular intervals which should help with accountability, which is critical given our track history with past targets. I wish there was more focus on performing emissions measurements and improving the detail of greenhouse gas inventories at national, provincial, and municipal levels since these are ways that we can clearly identify targets for cost-effective mitigation strategies.” 

James P. Williams is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering. He has been working on direct and indirect measurements of greenhouse emissions for the past several years. His work mostly focuses on methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells and emissions from urban environments. 

philip.williams [at] (English) 

Contact Information

Claire Loewen
Media Relations, McGill University
claire.loewen [at]
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