OTTAWA – Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has outlined the crucial elements the Green Party expects to see included in the federal government’s upcoming climate accountability legislation.
“This legislation must prove that, after five years in power, the government is finally ready to take decisive action on the climate emergency,” said Ms. Paul. “The record to date is one of inadequate, unscientific and unfulfilled GHG emissions reduction commitments, while we continue to move towards a climate tipping point. It is no longer enough to say our goal is net-zero emissions by 2050. We need a serious plan for all the intervening years, with concrete measures to get there, including a carbon budget – since we still don’t have one; a dramatically increased emissions reduction target; and enforcement mechanisms.”
“Even as we confront the urgent needs of the pandemic, we cannot forget the climate emergency because it has not forgotten us. The planet has not stopped warming. Recent extreme weather events – increased wildfires, drought, stronger hurricanes and typhoons –remind us that we face an existential threat to human life if we do not keep the global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
“The great news is that putting in place a plan to reach our climate goals is also the quickest way to repair the damage caused by the pandemic and to build our economy. Across major economies, including the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, delivering a Green economic recovery plan has been widely recognised as the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime. Such a recovery offers Canada the chance to create the prosperity and jobs of the future while getting us to net-zero as quickly as possible. It is a win-win news story, and one for which the Green Party has been preparing policy for years."
Our Green Recovery Plan calls for a 60 per cent reduction in GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 with clear and enforceable targets and timelines. Top priorities outlined in the Plan include:
- A detailed Carbon Budget (the cumulative amount of GHG emissions permitted over a period of time to keep within a 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold);
- A Carbon Border Adjustment (a tariff on goods imported from jurisdictions with weak emissions reduction policies);
- Investments in renewable energy and innovative cleantech (sectors which are estimated to generate US$3 trillion dollars/year globally by 2030);
- Deep energy-efficiency retrofits of buildings;
- Increasing the carbon tax at annual increments; and
- A national electricity corridor allowing 100 per cent renewable energy to flow across provincial and territorial borders.
Ms. Paul concluded that Canada is already out of step with the growing global consensus and risks becoming increasingly uncompetitive globally. “This train is leaving the station. Canada can lead or get left behind. Now is the time to look to the future, and to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to transition to a green economy. It remains to be seen whether the Liberal government can overcome its years of indecision and delay to deliver legislation that contains the components necessary to achieving science-based targets. Either way, people in Canada can rest assured that the Green Party of Canada has a plan in place to do what needs to be done to make the most of this chance of a lifetime.”
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