Climate change has become a pressing issue of the 21st century regarding the survival of humanity. For some voters, it will determine which party they’ll be voting for in the upcoming federal election. Here is each party’s plan of action concerning climate change to guide you during this election.
The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, has many objectives to fight climate change. Mr. Trudeau plans on keeping his ongoing carbon tax. This carbon tax is a form of carbon pricing which involves a minimum cost added to any fossil fuels purchased. He wishes to cap oil and gas emissions in the future. His plan also includes installing 50,000 electric vehicle charges while expanding incentives. By 2030, he will require that 50% of cars sold be electric and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40-45% below the 2005 levels. He also wants to plant two billion trees within a decade. By 2050, he wishes to attain a net-zero.
Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has a detailed plan regarding environmental issues. By 2030, he wishes to reduce emissions by 50% according to the 2005 levels. He plans to attain a net zero by 2040. Mr. Singh also proposes to end fossil fuel subsidies and federal support for pipelines. The NPD has proposed spending $26 billion to fight climate change and help workers transition from high-polluting industries. By prioritizing labour in green sectors, he intends on building a low-carbon economy.
The Conservative Party, led by Erin O’Toole, has an environmental plan focusing on Canada’s economy. This plan includes the application of personal carbon savings accounts to replace the carbon levy. The carbon levy cost is a fee applied to all purchased fossil fuels releasing greenhouse gas emissions. With this new carbon savings account, gasoline buyers would pay into an account, which will be used for environmental purposes. He also wishes to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles. He believes that, by 2030, Canada will meet the targets of the Paris climate commitments. Overall, he wants to reduce emissions while preserving economic growth.
Annamie Paul, leader of the Green party, has a very green vision for Canada’s future. Her plan includes ending subsidies for fossil fuels and investing that money in renewable energy. By 2030, she wishes to cut down emissions by 60% and to ban gas-powered vehicles. She would also cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The current Trans Mountain pipeline carries oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. She also wishes to replace every high-paying fossil-fuel job with a high-paying green sector job. Her party also has a detailed carbon budget to keep GHG emissions within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Bloc Québécois, led by Yves-François Blanchet, says it plans to meet and exceed the targets set by the Paris Agreement. He wishes to spend the unspent money from the Trans Mountain pipeline on renewable projects. Mr. Blanchet wants to implement a “green equalization” fund for provinces with higher emissions distributed to less polluting provinces. His party also proposes to subject all federal policies and public contracts to a “climate test.”
The People’s Party of Canada, run by Maxime Bernier, has a distinctive vision of Canada’s environmental future. His party believes there’s “no scientific consensus,” concluding that human activities are behind climate change. He wishes to withdraw from the Paris Agreement to abandon “unrealistic” GHG emission reduction targets. The Paris Agreement is an international treaty on climate change adopted in 2015. His plan includes abolishing the Liberal government’s carbon tax and abolishing subsidies for green technology. Instead, he would let private entities develop their own profitable alternatives. He wishes to invest in adaptation strategies if problems arise due to climate change while implementing practical solutions to make our air, water, and soil cleaner.
Although we have provided you with some information on each party’s game plan to tackle climate change, it is essential for you to research this topic and compare each party’s platform. More information can be found on each party’s website and news platforms.
By Claudia Bruscia