The Green Party Climate Plan - Key Points

  1. The Green Party’s climate change plan is comprehensive, decisive and workable.
    • This plan achieves the earliest and greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of any of the federal parties.
    • If implemented without delay, this wide-ranging suite of fiscal and regulatory measures will result in rapid and dramatic progress in reducing emissions.
    • The Green Party has been working on the global warming file for two decades, cataloguing what has worked and what hasn’t worked in other countries and adapting these approaches to the Canadian reality.
  1. A Carbon tax is the most efficient and effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • The Green Party is the only federal party willing to do what all the experts recommend: put a price on carbon dioxide emissions
    • Our proposed $50/tonne carbon tax will add only 12 cents to the price of a litre of gasoline but it will send the price signal that economists believe is an essential element of any strategy to reduce the use of fossil fuels
    • This is tax shifting, since carbon tax revenue will be used to progressively reduce other taxes and to offset the impact on low and middle income Canadians.
    • Please read our Carbon Tax FAQ page for more information.
  1. Canada must lead on the world stage.
    • Canada emits just 3% of the world’s greenhouse gases. What we do domestically is important, but even more important is our leadership on the world stage.
    • Our relative strength in achieving global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is our credibility
    • Prime Minister Harper’s actions threaten Canada’s credibility on the world stage. He seems intent on watering down the strong position on emissions reductions forming among European countries to placate the climate change laggards of the Bush administration.
    • Only by adopting a comprehensive and ambitious climate change plan such as the one released today by the Green Party will Canada be able to regain its vital leadership role in global climate negotiations. 
  1. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is not only the moral thing to do, it makes economic sense
    • The transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy represents the greatest business opportunity the world has ever seen.
    • Canada should be following the example of Europe and aligning itself to participate in this clean, green bonanza, not clinging to the petroleum-fuelled ways of last century. 
  1. Every day of inaction brings us a day closer to catastrophic climate shocks.
    • Many climate scientists now agree that if global average temperature is allowed to rise to 2 degrees Celsius, we face climate catastrophe
    • This, they estimate, could happen if concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were to increase to somewhere between 400 to 450 ppm.  We are now at 384 ppm and rising at 3 ppm per year. Time is short!
    • To avoid the atmospheric conditions that will produce a 2 degrees increase, we need to look beyond Kyoto phase one and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 47% below today’s levels by 2020.
  1. The carbon challenge is the 21st century equivalent of the Space Race, -- only more so
    • In 1961, when President Kennedy called to put a man on the moon within the decade, he had only a vague idea that such a feat was even possible.
    • Contrast that to Stephen Harper’s “can’t-do” response to meeting Canada’s Kyoto targets.
    • If ever there was a time and an issue for can-do, then that time is now and that issue is global warming.