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Another election, another clear climate mandate

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the results of the federal election:

“While the political scorecard may look familiar following last night’s election, voters sent leaders a clear message on climate change: there’s only one acceptable path forward, and it’s the faster one.

“From affordability to healthcare, Canadians recognize that the climate crisis is a fault line that runs underneath it all—and that climate action is the foundation upon which we build a better, safer society and a cleaner, more competitive economy.

“We also learned this election that detail matters. While one party lacked ambition, others made the mistake of providing too little information, putting forward ideas that were vague, unmodelled and potentially costly. A good climate plan is one that can be implemented efficiently and effectively. 

“That is the bottom line in all of this, after all: implementation. 

“The Liberals announced key additional policies to help them achieve an increased climate target and build a sustainable economy, such as a 2035 clean electricity standard, a requirement for 50% of new cars to be zero-emission by 2030 (en route to 100% by 2035), capping oil and gas emissions, and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. 

“With only nine years to go before their 2030 target deadline, there’s no time to dither and delay. Even though they didn’t elect a majority, Canadians gave the Liberals the support in Parliament they need to realize their climate vision, and we should expect nothing less.”

KEY FACTS

  • The Liberal Party’s December 2020 climate update, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy in combination with measures announced in Budget 2021 are projected to achieve emission reductions of 36% by 2030, an assertion verified by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. When the additional measures announced in the new climate platform are included, a “triangulation” of existing modelling done by economist Mark Jaccard suggests they could achieve the 40% target.
  • The previous Liberal government implemented a carbon price that is set to increase from $40 per tonne (current level) to $170 per tonne by 2030.

New proposals in the election platform:

  • A requirement that at least 50% of all new passenger vehicle sales be zero-emission in 2030, on par with the U.S.’s new target and en route to 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035
  • Reaching a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 by implementing a Clean Electricity Standard.
  • Capping oil and gas sector emissions at current levels and introducing five-year targets starting in 2025 to reduce emissions in line with a net-zero 2050.
  • Requiring oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030.
  • Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 and developing a plan to phase out public financing for the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations.
  • Introducing a Buy Clean Strategy to prioritize the use of low-carbon building materials for public and private infrastructure projects.
  • Moving forward on applying border carbon adjustments to carbon-intensive imports in collaboration with key trading partners
  • Extending the EV consumer rebates of up to $5,000 for another three years while building 50,000 more charging stations across the country.
  • Investing $2 billion in a Futures Fund for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador to create jobs and creating a Clean Jobs Training Centre to help workers upgrade or gain new skills.
  • Working to attract near-term multi-billion-dollar investments in minerals processing and cell manufacturing, launching a Canada-U.S. Battery Alliance, and doubling the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for materials on the Canadian list of critical minerals.

RESOURCES

Media brief: How do the federal parties stack up on climate?

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