“We believe in a Canada that works together – across party lines and across jurisdictional boundaries – to deliver results.”
(VICTORIA) - Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) today released firm commitments from the Green Party of Canada for meaningful climate action (Backgrounder: Climate Change Policy).
“When Canadians look to a party they trust to make climate a priority, they look to the Green Party,” said Elizabeth May. “While we are a federal party fully engaged on all the issues Canadians care about, real action on climate is core to who we are. We believe in a Canada that works together – across party lines and across jurisdictional boundaries – to deliver results. Those results include more jobs for Canadians in the growing clean tech sector, in renewable energy, in building a modern infrastructure, and in retrofitting Canadian buildings."
Ms. May continued: “With the all-important deadline negotiations for a global climate treaty set to begin a mere forty days after the federal election, all parties must be specific about where Canada would be on the world stage. We cannot afford to wait until after the election to be specific about where we stand and what we are prepared to do to play a positive role in international climate solutions.”
At the moment, Canada’s recently announced target is the weakest in the G7. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced on the Friday afternoon of the long May weekend that Canada would reduce GHG by 30% against 2005 levels by 2030. In contrast, the US (whose target is also insufficient) is committed to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Unlike Canada, the US has met its target under the Copenhagen Accord, an agreement without legal force promoted by the US at the negotiations in Copenhagen. While Canada chose the same target as the US – 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 – Canada will, at most, have reduced emissions by 3-5% below 2005 levels by 2020.
The EU, which has already succeeded in reducing emissions substantially within the Kyoto Protocol, has committed to reducing GHG by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Elizabeth May added: “Canada must show leadership. A new and greener Parliament following the election must go to Paris and COP21 prepared to put our shoulder to the wheel and drive the very best agreement possible. We must move to the virtual elimination of fossil fuel use by mid-century. Greens are calling for 80% reductions below 1990 levels by 2050. A short-term target is 40% below 2005 levels by 2025. These targets are achievable through a series of measures. Carbon pricing alone will not get us there, but pricing through fee and dividend is an essential first step.”
• Eliminate all subsidies to fossil fuels;
• Create a national carbon price through carbon fee and dividend – delivering carbon dividend to every Canadian over 18;
• Invest in infrastructure to reduce waste of energy by enhancing public transit and water and waste water systems;
• Mobilize trades and workers across Canada in a national federally funded program to retrofit residential, business and institutional buildings. 30% of Canada’s GHG come from leaking buildings. We waste more than half the energy we use in Canada. This low-hanging fruit is our fastest bang for the buck;
• Be prepared to meet the global challenge of climate justice by committing $500 million/year to the Green Climate fund.
• Ensure Canadians are protected from un-natural climate disasters through implementation of adaptation measures.
Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Thunder Bay – Superior North), added: “The Conservatives and Liberals have no plan to reduce CO2, and are leaving it up to the provinces. What leadership! The NDP have a highly flawed, expensive, and bureaucratic Cap & Trade plan. The Green Party plan will combine some regulation and investments with a national price on carbon. Our Carbon Fee and Dividend plan will reduce both CO2 and poverty. It is not a tax, not a penny will go to government, requires no new bureaucracy, and will actually put money into pockets of the majority of Canadians.”
Claire Martin, Green Party Climate Change Critic and candidate (North Vancouver), concluded: “The time has come for Canada to make a serious commitment to address the issue of climate change. The Green Party of Canada has laid out a realistic, effective and comprehensive plan - that not only addresses emission levels - but also encourages new technologies (developed to lower emissions) which in turn creates sustainable jobs to strengthen the economy. Investments in infrastructure, R&D all work to create a ‘climate’ of long-term, and well paying jobs - we have a climate action plan that actually makes ‘sense’.”
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