We need to do the right thing for the climate before 2020. We cannot wait until 2030.

On Friday, June 15th, 2018 in Debate, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Cowichan—Malahat—Langford for raising the Stern review again.

It has been a while since we remembered in this chamber the cost of inaction. Just to fill out some details, Sir Nicholas Stern is not only a British economist, he was the chief economist for the World Bank and was commissioned by the chancellor of the exchequer in the U.K. to estimate the cost of the failure to take action on climate change. He estimated it as being an economic hit globally that would be the equivalent of the Great Depression and the world wars put together. That was in 2006. In 2016, he said, “I should have been much stronger…. I underplayed the dangers.”

We are at a cusp right now. We need to do the right thing for the climate before 2020. We cannot wait until 2030. Our current target is the leftover one from Stephen Harper. We have to actually ramp up and do much more.

I could not agree more with my colleague that just repeating that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is in our national interest does not make it so. My question to him is this: has he seen anything from the Liberal government that constitutes an independent report on the costs and benefits of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that would make the case that it is in our national interest?

Alistair MacGregor – Member for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Madam Speaker, in a short answer, no, I have not.

I would like to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands for raising a few points. What she touched on is that successive federal governments have been punting their climate change commitments down the road. They keep resetting the goal posts as to what benchmark year they are going to reduce their emissions by.

The other important thing she touched on is that the longer we wait, the more expensive this transition will be. It is in our economic interest to start on this now. If we punt it off to a few decades from now or to future generations, the costs will multiply by several factors. That is simply doing a disservice to my children and to everyone’s children in this country. We have to take a leadership role and start doing the hard work now, because the problem is only going to get worse, and the costs are only going to get worse as well.

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