MEDIA RELEASE: Climate Action Counts in Election 2019 and the Youth and the World Are Watching

Climate Action Counts in Election 2019 and the Youth and the World Are Watching

For Immediate Release:  October 16, 2019
Media Contact: Cathy Orlando, cathy@citizensclimatelobby.org , 705-929-4043
CCCL Media Release  Election 2019, October 17 2019 (pdf)

As Canadians get ready to head to the polls on Monday, October 21, 2019, here’s what you should know about the federal parties’ plans to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions. 

Sudbury ON: For the first time during a Canadian election the climate crisis is a top issue. Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada has compiled a table with explanations of the climate policies for the major national parties in Canada. The youth and the world will be watching how Canada votes.

From September 20-27, 2019, over one million Canadian youths and adults were on the streets. They were following in the footsteps of the Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and raising their concerns about the climate crisis.

Youth are watching what the adults will do in this election. Greta Thunberg clearly said, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their eyes.”

How many adults know that 27 Nobel Prize economists and thousands of economists worldwide support similar carbon pricing policies to what we now have currently in Canada? Or that 80% of households under the federal backstop carbon pricing policy come out ahead and that this has been confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and others? Or that if Canada’s carbon price rises past 2022, we get much closer to achieving the Paris climate goals and that this fact has also been confirmed by both the Parliamentary Budget Office and independent analysis.

“For the past nine years, our volunteers have presented to their Members of Parliament countless facts about how carbon fee and dividend can bring greenhouse gas emissions under control without burdening taxpayers”, says Cathy Orlando at Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “As the International Outreach Manager for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, I know firsthand that youths are not the only ones watching this election – the world is watching Canada’s election too.”

The Conservative Party released its climate platform in June 2019. Their plan is to maintain Canada’s woefully inadequate Paris Climate Targets (30% reduction below 2005). Their platform lacks details and multiple expert analyses indicate that the Conservative climate plan is unlikely to achieve much in the way of emissions reductions. Central in their plan is to dismantle Canada’s carbon pricing policy and clean fuel regulations.  The Conservative plan would also cost the average family $295 by 2022. Additionally, the Conservative Party of Canada was the only party to vote against Canada declaring a climate emergency in June 2019.

On September 20, 2019, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer vaguely stated that fossil-fuel subsidies “could” be cut in a plan to slash corporate handouts. All other political parties are clear about eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.

The NDP and Green party have made promises to be very aggressive at reducing GHG emissions, more in line with science, the Green Party even more so than the NDP. Both parties openly endorse the use of carbon pricing, and the Green Party would like to see the carbon price rise well beyond $50 per tonne after 2022. Both parties have sensible plans to help workers transition away from fossil-fuel sectors toward greener ones. They both have plans on how to restructure Canada’s tax system to help pay for the transition to a low carbon economy.

For voters in Quebec it should be noted that the Bloc Québécois’ targets are Canada’s woefully inadequate Paris Climate Targets, they supported Canada’s climate emergency declaration and they plan to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The Bloc does not have a national climate plan, but supports policies aligned with Quebec’s provincial plan.

The Liberals have signaled that they want to exceed Canada’s woefully inadequate Paris Climate Targets. Over the past four years under the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, in full consultation with the provinces, territories, industry, civil society groups and the people of Canada, the Liberals have put in place a carbon pricing backstop policy, as well as clean fuel energy standards, methane regulations, coal phaseout, and more. They accomplished passing these policies in the face of strong headwinds from some provinces that are vehemently against science-based climate action

The Conservative plan is obviously not in line with the science nor with 82% of Canadians who say that the climate crisis is a serious concern. The NDP and Greens have ambitious plans for Canada. Expert analysis by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Dr. Andrew Leach as well as Dr. Chris Ragan indicate that the Liberals, although lacking in ambition have the most realistic implementation plan given the logistical and legislative challenges facing the country today.

Voter options are to choose between candidates whose parties offer strong ambition but lack realistic implementation strategies; realistic policies with less ambition; or weak policies that match a lack of ambition. Superimposed on that will be the complexities of the casting of the first-past-the-post ballot in a country with multiple political parties.

The youth and the world will know how Canadian voters weighed their options most likely by the end of the day on Monday, October 21, 2019.

For more details visit: https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/media-release-climate-action-counts-in-election-2019-and-the-youth-and-the-world-are-watching/

About Citizens’ Climate Lobby:
Beginning in 2010, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada volunteers have recorded over 900 meetings with Parliamentarians and over 3000 times appearing in print media. They also lobbied on Parliament Hill 14 times including 5 national three-day conferences and lobbying days and six smaller conferences with lobbying days. Their focus has been on enacting a carbon fee and dividend policy. They are non-partisan and do not grade party-platforms.

 

RESOURCES

Party Platforms and Government Documents
Liberal Platform: https://2019.liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/292/2019/09/Forward-A-real-plan-for-the-middle-class.pdf
Techical Paper: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/technical-paper-federal-carbon-pricing-backstop.html
Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan-canadian-framework.html 
Output-based pricing: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/pricing-pollution-how-it-will-work/output-based-pricing-system.html
Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework:  https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1560523306861/1560523330587
Conservative Platform: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/6162205/A-Real-Plan.pdf
NDP Platform: https://action.ndp.ca/page/-/2019/Q2/Power-to-change-full-announcement.pdf
Green Party Platform: https://www.greenparty.ca/en/platform
Green Party Costing: https://www.greenparty.ca/sites/default/files/green_platform_costing_-_02.10.2019.pdf
Bloc Quebecois: https://www.blocquebecois.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Plateforme_Bloc2019_web.pdf

Further Details:
PanCanadian Expert Collaboration: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2019/04/the-pan-canadian-expert-collaboration.html
Canada’s Emergency Declaration: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/votes/42/1/1366/Party
Climate Action Tracker: https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/canada/

Other Organizations’ Tables:
Election 2019 Enviro Survey: https://election2019envirosurvey.ca/summary/
Climate Action Network Canada Survey: https://climateactionnetwork.ca/2019/10/01/federal-party-survey-on-climate-platforms/
Shake Up the Establishment: https://www.shakeuptheestab.org/vote
Food Secure Canada: https://foodsecurecanada.org/federal-elections-4-parties-are-favour-national-food-policy
Climate Caucus: https://www.climatecaucus.ca/reportcard

Indispensible Expert Summaries:
Inayat Singh and Andreas Wesley: https://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/confronting-carbon2/
Dr. Andrew Leach and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe: https://www.chatelaine.com/living/politics/2019-federal-election-climate/
Dr. Chris Ragan:
https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/october-2019/which-partys-imperfect-climate-plan-strikes-the-best-balance/
Michael Bernstein at Clean Prosperity: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/10/11/opinion/election-which-party-platforms-make-grade-carbon-pollution-cuts
Pembina Policy Simulator: https://www.pembina.org/pub/try-out-your-climate-policy-ideas