Canada’s House of Commons passed the New Democrat Climate Change Accountability Act in a final vote of 149 to 136. The legislation will reduce greenhouse gases by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, reports Winnipeg Free Press.
The legislation, also known as Bill-C311, is more stringent than the Harper government’s goal of a 17 percent emissions cut from 2005 levels by 2020, which matches the Obama administration’s targets in the United States.
The bill still has to be approved by the Senate before it becomes law, reports the Toronto Sun.
The legislation also establishes a long-term target to reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. It also allows the government to establish regulations to meet the targets and set penalties for those who violate the regulations under the Act.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. after several delays, the Senate is expected to unveil its climate change bill next week, reports Reuters. But it’s not likely to have the support of Republican lawmaker Lindsey Graham, who walked away from Senate talks on climate legislation over the Democrats plans to work on immigration legislation this year.
Democratic Senator John Kerry, who took lead on the legislation, told Reuters that Graham “stands by” the bill, but said immigration reform is also still on the table for the Senate discussion.
Independent Senator Joe Lieberman also said in the article that offshore oil drilling provisions of the climate bill were under discussion in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The bill is expected to now include much stronger protection for coastal areas, where there are concerns about possible offshore drilling.