Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (S.C. 2021, c. 22)

Assented to 2021-06-29

Advisory Body

Marginal note:Establishment and mandate

  •  (1) There is established an advisory body, called the Net-Zero Advisory Body, whose mandate is to provide the Minister with independent advice with respect to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, including advice respecting

    • (a) greenhouse gas emissions targets under section 7;

    • (b) greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans under section 9, including measures and sectoral strategies that the Government of Canada could implement to achieve a greenhouse gas emissions target; and

    • (c) any matter referred to it by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Engagement activities

    (1.1) The advisory body’s mandate also includes conducting engagement activities related to achieving net-zero emissions.

  • Marginal note:Terms of reference

    (2) The Minister may determine and amend the terms of reference of the advisory body and must make any terms of reference or amendments to those terms available to the public.

Marginal note:Appointment and remuneration of members

  •  (1) The Governor in Council appoints the members of the advisory body on the recommendation of the Minister and fixes their remuneration.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s recommendation

    (1.1) When making a recommendation, the Minister must consider the need for the advisory body as a whole to have expertise in, or knowledge of,

    • (a) climate change science, including the environmental, ecological, social, economic and distributional effects of climate change;

    • (b) Indigenous knowledge;

    • (c) other relevant physical and social sciences, including economic analysis and forecasting;

    • (d) climate change and climate policy at the national, subnational and international levels, including the likely effects and efficacy of potential responses to climate change;

    • (e) energy supply and demand; and

    • (f) relevant technologies.

  • Marginal note:Composition of body

    (2) The advisory body is composed of no more than fifteen members, who are appointed on a part-time basis for a renewable term of up to three years.

  • Marginal note:Co-chairs

    (3) The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the minister, designates two co-chairs from among the members appointed under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Reimbursement of expenses

    (4) The members are entitled to be reimbursed, in accordance with Treasury Board directives, for the travel, living and other expenses incurred in connection with their work for the advisory body while absent from their ordinary place of residence.

  • Marginal note:Deemed employment

    (5) Members of the advisory body are deemed to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

Marginal note:Report

  •  (1) The advisory body must submit an annual report to the Minister with respect to its advice and activities, including setting out the result of its engagement activities.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (1.1) When providing its advice and preparing its report, the advisory body must take into account a range of factors, to the extent they are relevant to the purpose of this Act including environmental, economic, social and technological and the best available scientific information and knowledge, including Indigenous knowledge, respecting climate change.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s response

    (2) The Minister must make the annual report available to the public within 30 days after receiving it and then, within 120 days after receiving the report, the Minister must publicly respond to the advice that the advisory body includes in it with respect to the matters referred to in paragraphs 20(1)(a) to (c), including any national greenhouse gas emissions target that is recommended by the advisory body if the Minister has set a target that is different from it.

Minister of Finance

Marginal note:Annual report

 The Minister of Finance must, in cooperation with the Minister, prepare an annual report respecting key measures that the federal public administration has taken to manage its financial risks and opportunities related to climate change. The Minister of Finance must make that report available to the public.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Marginal note:Commissioner’s report

  •  (1) The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development must, at least once every five years, examine and report on the Government of Canada’s implementation of the measures aimed at mitigating climate change, including those undertaken to achieve its most recent greenhouse gas emissions target as identified in the relevant assessment report.

  • Marginal note:Recommendations

    (2) The report may include recommendations related to improving the effectiveness of the Government of Canada’s implementation of the measures with respect to climate change mitigation that it has committed to undertake in an emissions reduction plan.

  • Marginal note:Submission

    (3) The report is submitted as part of the next annual report the Commissioner makes under subsection 23(2) of the Auditor General Act.

  • Marginal note:First report

    (4) The first report must be submitted no later than the end of 2024.

General Provisions

Marginal note:Methodology

 Subject to any regulation made under section 26, the methodology used to report on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions for each milestone year and for 2050 must be consistent with the methodology used by Canada in its official national greenhouse gas emission inventory report for the Convention.

Marginal note:Regulations

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of this Act, including regulations

    • (a) amending or specifying the methodology to be used to report on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions for each milestone year and for 2050, including with respect to greenhouse gas emissions and removals; and

    • (b) amending any timeline set out in this Act, other than the ones set out in sections 6 and 24, or any milestone year, for the purposes of aligning it with Canada’s international commitments.

  • Marginal note:International standards

    (2) Any regulation made under subsection (1) must align with the international standards to which Canada adheres.

Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

 For greater certainty, the emissions reduction plans, the reports made under this Act, any ministerial decision made under subsection 9(3) and any terms of reference set under subsection 20(2) are not statutory instruments for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Marginal note:Review of Act

 Five years after the day on which this Act comes into force, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of the Act is to be undertaken by the committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that is designated or established by the Senate or the House of Commons, or by both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, for that purpose.

Consequential Amendment

R.S., c. A-17Auditor General Act

 The Auditor General Act is amended by adding the following after section 21.1:

Marginal note:Additional functions

21.2 The Commissioner must also carry out the functions assigned to them under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Section 23

 Section 23 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.


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