Government’s latest climate announcement fails to include a new GHG emissions-reduction target and a tangible framework for Canada to meet its international obligations, says Annamie Paul

OTTAWA – The federal government’s latest climate plan – a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy – still lacks the bold vision and framework necessary for Canada to meet its climate obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement, says the Green Party of Canada.

“The  announcement is unfortunately still lacking in any clear framework showing how we are going to achieve net zero by 2050, or even the most basic targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. 

“We are happy with the inclusion of the carbon border adjustment that I proposed earlier this year. We’re glad to see strong investments to improve energy efficiency in infrastructure; clean energy initiatives in the transportation sector; a commitment to ensure Indigenous communities can transition to clean energy; commitments to work with provinces and territories to ensure Canada’s electricity generation achieves net-zero before 2050 - these are all elements we embrace. But where is the carbon budget that will provide accountability, and set out a clear timetable for us to get there?

“I reiterate, we cannot achieve any of the targets necessary to hold the global average temperature to 1.5 C without having a clear accountability structure, with achievable short and long-term targets. Continuing to put a price on pollution and returning the proceeds back to households is good, as are investments to support decarbonization and the creation of well-paying, resilient jobs in the clean energy sector. But how are we tracking this without a budget? Who is holding whom accountable?

“We know we are in an emergency situation and yet there is still no announcement of a climate panel of scientists to guide and hold departments accountable. If a new administration is elected in the next election will they follow the same rules? As we face the most existential crisis of humankind there is absolutely no structure to ensure continuity, nor accountability. 

“It’s also worth noting that there was no mention of when we will be submitting our nationally determined contributions (NDCs), a fundamental commitment of the Paris agreement, due in February this year. How can Canada say that we are a part of a global fight to prevent climate change when we are not even honouring our most basic commitment? How can we continue investing heavily in carbon polluting projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) and say we are a country working towards a clean energy future? 

“The Green Party of Canada has a plan that is as ambitious as the scale of the challenges and opportunities of this moment; one that demonstrates confidence in Canada’s ingenuity and is unafraid to engage every possible technology, resource and innovation.”

“We are always ready to work across parties on the climate. However, people in Canada deserve a real plan and we will keep holding the Liberals, and any future government accountable until we are satisfied that Canada is aligned with the goals and aspirations set out five years ago in the Paris Climate Agreement. This is what Canadians expect of us.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary