Canada has passed on the chance to become a global leader in the fight against global warming and in the race to build a competitive green economy, says Green Party Leader Annamie Paul
OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is extremely disappointed that the government of Canada failed to seize the historic opportunity of today’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate to announce a more ambitious climate target for Canada.
“By adopting a target to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, the government of Canada has told the world that it is not seeking to make Canada a global leader in the fight against the climate emergency, nor in building the competitive economy of the future,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.
“This week, the European Union adopted a Climate Law to cut its GHG emissions by at least 55 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030 and to invest at least 30 per cent of its €1.8 trillion (US$2.2 trillion) long-term budget on climate-related measures. The U.K. announced plans to cut GHG emissions by 78 per cent from 1990 levels by 2035, and the U.S. announced plans for a 50-52 per cent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.
“In contrast, Prime Minister Trudeau’s new climate target of 40 to 45 per cent signals to the international community, and the people of Canada, that his government has neither the ambition nor the capacity to match the emissions reduction targets of its closest allies. My question to the Prime Minister is ‘when did our government give up on Canada being a climate leader?’
“The painful reality is that Canada is a top 10 net emitter of GHGs, a top five per-capita emitter, and our emissions increased last year, even in the midst of a pandemic-related economic slowdown. As the sun sets on Earth Day 2021, Canada will still be a country where the climate target is too low, there is no carbon budget and no whole-of-government approach to developing a climate strategy. And, even as our allies have begun to wind down carbon-intensive activities, our government continues to approve new oil exploration, build new pipelines and to subsidise fracking all while positioning itself as a climate champion.
“Canada needs to adopt a 60 per cent reduction in GHG emission from 2005 levels by 2030 with clear enforceable targets and timelines. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and climate scientists have been clear that this is what Canada needs to contribute, as its Nationally Determined Contribution, in order to do its fair share to keep the rise in global temperatures close to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
“The Green Party of Canada knows that now is the time to work with the U.S. and all our international partners to plan a Green Recovery that will build the clean energy economy of the future. A Green Recovery is the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime. Our global partners understand this clearly; they are working towards this, and it is not too late for Canada to be a part of it.
“The Green Party was the first party to propose a Canada-U.S. Carbon Border to protect Canadian workers and businesses. We are the only federal party committed to ending new pipeline construction, fracking and oil and gas exploration projects and instead using those funds to invest in the infrastructure and green sectors that will create high-paying jobs, and are estimated to be worth more than US$3 trillion globally by 2030.
“We are tired of seeing Canada fall further behind in the global race to launch a green economy while other countries push ahead. We know what has to be done and Greens understand that we have the chance of a lifetime to do it. All that is lacking is political leadership. Today, our global allies have shown that leadership, and now is the time for the government to prove that Canada is just as serious about protecting the climate and the future of Canadian workers.”
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