Adjournment Proceedings – The Environment

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am astonished that the parliamentary secretary thinks that the consensus statement of the world’s scientists gathered in Canada, at a conference opened by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, constitutes hyperbole.

When we look at the statements from our Minister of Natural Resources recently, when he said that “an end to the use of fossil fuels would have dire, if not catastrophic, global economic and social consequences”, we have to wonder if he has looked at any of the science or understands it at all.

He quotes often from the International Energy Agency, in fact in that same paragraph I just cited, but never quotes this. I ask the parliamentary secretary if she would say this is hyperbole. The same report cited over and over again by the Minister of Natural Resources claiming to say that fuels will be used well into the future states:

No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal.

That is her government’s target: to avoid 2°C.

The global experts and the International Energy Agency say, clearly, that two-thirds of all known reserves have to stay in the ground. That is not hyperbole. That is fact.

Michelle Rempel: Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite did not retract her statement comparing Canada to North Korea. That is wrong and disrespectful of the debate on climate change in our country.

In fact, Canada is the first country to outright ban traditional coal-fired electricity generation. This is something of which we should be proud.

We have introduced regulations on passenger vehicles, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a tangible way.

Our government is working with the oil and gas sector to ensure we have regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in that sector while ensuring that this key economic driver of our country continues to grow and ensure that we have jobs for all Canadians.

I have not once heard her talk about the need to balance economic growth with environmental stewardship. I for one feel that this is something we can achieve as Canadians.

We can respect the climate change debate and ensure we transition to a low-carbon economy, but we should be having that debate and not be comparing our country to North Korea.