Greens challenge Stephen Harper to show Canadians his plan to reduce carbon emissions

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands), issued the following statement regarding the Harper Conservatives’ announcement of its climate targets:

“In 2009, Stephen Harper announced Canada’s climate commitments at Copenhagen, but never put in a plan to reach these targets by 2020. If we had started working on this in 2009, we may have achieved them; now we are way behind. Once again, Stephen Harper has no clear plan to reach the targets he announced; when asked if the Conservatives would consider international carbon credits to make up for the shortfalls in their plan, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq refused to answer and walked away from the press conference.

“We can do better than 30%, but we will not achieve the goal of lowering Canada’s emissions through provincial action alone, nor will methane regulations get us there. We need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels, ensure a manageable carbon pricing strategy, which covers all of our economy, and invest in infrastructure and serious energy productivity improvements.

“I challenge Stephen Harper to release the details for his plan to all Canadians; until he does so, his plan is merely a public relations strategy and simply not credible.”

Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Thunder Bay – Superior North), continued:

“Stephen Harper’s strategy to pull unrealistic numbers out of the air and claim credit for provincial targets is disappointing to many Canadians, who had hoped to see Canada take a leading role in the fight against climate change; it is not surprising though, given that he has abandoned any leadership on climate change since taking office in 2006.

“The Green Party has a realistic climate strategy that we can achieve through revenue-neutral pricing on the largest sources of emissions. Our plan, called a Carbon Fee and Dividend, will help to reduce income inequality and greenhouse emissions simultaneously. Canadians know they can look to the Green Party for clear direction in the fight against climate change and our plan is a clear example of this leadership.”