POW CANADA CLIMATE POLICY REPORT CARD
Protect Our Winters Canada’s Science Alliance attributed grades to each party based on their climate action platforms, information provided by the parties themselves, in relation to POW Canada’s main policy pillars. While ambition is always admirable, the urgency of the climate crisis requires feasible plans to operationalize the climate adaptation and mitigation strategies put forward by the parties. The current lack of detail from all parties makes it difficult to assess if, how and when parties will implement their climate platforms.
THE LIBERAL PARTY
Emissions Reduction Target: 40-45% reduction below 2005 levels by 2030. Implementing legally binding 5 year milestones to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The Liberal Party plans to appoint a group of scientists, economists and experts to recommend the best path to get to net zero. By setting Federal carbon pricing and supporting and incentivizing green technology development, the Liberal government understands the need for climate action, but a lack of urgency and conflicting investments into fossil fuel infrastructure mean this plan isn’t enough to lead Canada towards a sustainable future in a low-carbon economy.
THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA
Emissions Reduction Target: 30% reduction below 2005 levels by 2030, which does not meet Canada’s current Paris Agreement target of cutting 40-45%. No plans for deep decarbonization or net-zero.
Canada’s Recovery Plan includes, for the first time ever, “a detailed plan to tackle climate change” to “meet our Paris climate commitment and reduce emissions by 2030”. Yet, the Conservatives plan fails to accurately note that Canadians have some of the world’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions and fails to capitalize on what they recognize as the most efficient tools to reduce emissions. Because some party members don’t support the climate change elements of the party platform, there is also uncertainty about increased ambition required to achieve Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Emissions Reduction Target: 50% reduction below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
The New Democratic Party plans to create and fund an independent Climate Accountability Office to regularly monitor progress between 2030 and 2050, appoint a Climate Emergency Committee of Cabinet, establish a strong Climate Emergency Secretariat in the Prime Minister’s Office and work with partners to establish multi-year national and sectoral carbon budgets as a key guiding framework to develop Canada’s path to 2030 and beyond. This will provide independent oversight of federal climate progress to engage the public, and to make recommendations on how to achieve our goals and ensure a whole-of-government approach to responding to the climate emergency.
LE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS
Emissions Reduction Target: Meet and exceed Paris Agreement targets by ending fossil fuel subsidies. Does not specify an emission reduction target in its platform.
The Bloc’s environmental platform is robust, including anti-nuclear and anti-hydrogen stances, a strong fossil fuel divestment strategy targeting government and Canadian banks, as well as the end to all fossil fuel subsidies. The lack of ownership of these policies (and subsequent reliance on “Ottawa” to pull it off) entail our hesitancy to trust the Bloc’s climate promises.
THE GREEN PARTY
Emissions Reduction Target: 60% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, zero emission as quickly as possible, net negative by 2050.
The Green Party has consistently focused on climate change as a core policy priority in their platform. With the establishment of a cross-party climate emergency cabinet to address the crisis, they plan to take climate action seriously with a focus on building the infrastructure for clean transportation and a renewable electricity grid. They plan to use these major infrastructure investments to create jobs via a just transition strategy.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY OF CANADA
Emissions Reduction Target: “Withdraw from the Paris accord and abandon unrealistic greenhouse gas emission reduction targets”
The People’s Party of Canada wants to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, remove carbon pricing and all green incentives, and repeal environmental protection, while “counter[ing] anti-oil and anti-pipeline propaganda from radical environmentalists and foreign foundations”.