Greens challenge Liberals to increase GHG reduction targets ahead of COP25

HALIFAX  — The Green Party of Canada calls on the Trudeau administration to strengthen Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets ahead of next month’s UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP25). A recent report by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) warns that Canada’s current target – 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 – is inconsistent with the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Scientists continue to warn us that failing to make drastic reductions in GHG emissions will have serious consequences for life on earth, including human life,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “Young people are begging us to act, and yet we continue to saunter along as if we had all the time in the world. We do not. The science is clear and the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic temperature increases is closing fast. COP25 is an opportunity for Canada to step into a leadership role.”

The UNEP report notes that under the current Liberal policies, Canada will be at least 15 per cent above the required target to keep the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees C. Indeed, under the current emissions trajectory the world is heading for a catastrophic 3.2 degrees C increase. The report says that global emissions must be cut by 7.6 per cent every year for the next decade in order to meet the 1.5 degrees C target.

“Canada must quickly ratchet up our Nationally Determined Contribution under the terms of the Paris Agreement to pull our fair share of the weight in holding global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees C,” said Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP Saanich-Gulf Islands). “We have been laggards for too long. It's time to step up as leaders again.”

On Friday November 29, young people in Canada and around the world will continue the student strikes under the banner “Fridays for the Future.” Jo-Ann Roberts, Elizabeth May and other Greens will join marches across Canada.

“These young people are truly frightened for their future,” said Ms. Roberts. “It’s unconscionable that we are not taking their concerns seriously enough to act decisively now. The Green Party’s Climate Action Plan,  Mission Possible, sets out a clear framework for transitioning Canada to a zero-carbon economy. All that is lacking is the political will. The UNEP report is clear, inaction will result in dire consequences. This should be a wake-up call for everyone.”

# # #

For more information contact:

Rosie Emery
Press Secretary