Q&A: Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment Jerry DeMarco

By Zi-Ann Lum | 05/01/2024 06:45 AM EDT

Jerry DeMarco says (again) that Canada must get serious about tracking climate change.

Jerry DeMarco speaks to media.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Jerry DeMarco speaks to media Tuesday after delivering five performance audit reports to the House of Commons in Ottawa. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Jerry DeMarco has been sounding the alarm since he assumed the role of Canada’s environment watchdog in 2021. “I will continue to do so until Canada turns the tide,” he promised last year as he delivered performance audits to the House of Commons.

On Tuesday, DeMarco shared fresh findings and new questions about Canada’s commitment to its stated ambition of securing a 40 to 45 percent reduction in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. He spoke to POLITICO Canada about the government’s efforts and shortfalls.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 


You said in November that Canada is set to miss its 2030 emissions targets. Do your latest audits change that assessment?