Elizabeth May has often commented on how the Harper administration not only avoids any meaningful action on climate change, it has actively blocked progress: "At this point, we are missing our obligations to the world, to Canadians and to our children". The recent G7 talks concluded with vague, far off goals - deep emissions cuts in 2050. Canada and Japan were the nations that blocked efforts to commit to no fossil fuels by 2050, moving the deadline to 2100. Apparently, Harper is fine with leaving the legacy of climate change to his great-great grandchildren. He adds insult to injury with his comments on the need to identify low emissions energy technologies. Most of the developed and developing economies, and of course residents across the Gulf Islands, are already actively using these ‘yet-to-be-discovered’ clean energy sources.
Canada also missed the deadline for submitting greenhouse gas reduction targets for the upcoming climate change summit in Paris (COP21). The even more absurd excuse this time - a need to check with the provinces and territories first. The Harper administration has made no efforts to consult with the other levels of Canadian government. Worse, its unfettered promotions, lobbying and tax breaks for oil sands development nullifies the reductions achieved at the provincial, territorial and municipal levels.
We can move Canadian climate change policy into the 21st century, stop the Harper regime's denial of reality and recognize and address our impact on the planet. It is critical to halt the current and deliberate assault on research identifying the environmental and social impacts of our resource-extraction economy. We must invest in innovation that considers the total impact of our actions and inactions on the climate system.
To restore Canada's positive leadership role in addressing this critical issue for humanity, Greens will:
- 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.
For more details on the Green Party of Canada's platform to reduce the impacts of climate change see the Green Party's Climate Change Plan.