Canada's Liberal party promises net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s Liberal party committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 if re-elected in next month’s federal election, and will beat the current 2030 emissions goal with its plan, the party said in a release on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party will “help workers prepare for a clean energy transition,” the release said.

Trudeau and the Liberals face a difficult reelection campaign, with a resurgent Green party on the left and in the wake of a blackface scandal which has soured voters toward him.

Although Trudeau’s government implemented a national carbon tax, he has faced harsh criticism from climate-focused voters, particularly in British Columbia on Canada’s west coast, for purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan to ensure its construction.

The net-zero announcement comes just days after thousands protested for action on climate change, including in cities across Canada, with more strikes planned for Friday.

Net-zero carbon emissions means that some sectors could still pollute, but their carbon would be offset by other measures.

The Liberal press release notes that many other governments, including the European Union, have already made a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“It is time for Canada to join governments and leading businesses around the world ... in order to further tackle the worsening climate crisis,” Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said.

The Liberal plan also includes setting legally binding five-year milestones and appointing a group of scientists and economists to advise on the path to a net-zero economy.

Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Chizu Nomiyama