Greens speak out for climate action, May explains her new Private Members’ Bill C-484

Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, along with prominent BC Green Party candidates Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen, are standing up for action on climate change and presenting positive Green solutions for British Columbia and Canada.

Tabled in the House of Commons this week, May’s Private Members’ Bill C-484 amends the greenhouse gas emissionsregulations on coal electricity brought in late last year. “This Bill is what the Harper Conservatives would have done if they were serious about climate change,” said Elizabeth May. “Despite his talking points, Peter Kent bowed to the pressure of energy companies and weakened his already-weak greenhouse gas regulations on coal-fired electricity. C-484 shows how easily they could fix the regulations if they wanted to.”

These regulations, roundly criticized and wholly inadequate, sought to limit the greenhouse gasses produced through burning coal to generate electricity, yet contained gaping holes such as a 50 year grace period for plants built after 1986. Bill C-484 would insist that all coal-generated power plants in Canada adhere to the emissions standard, initially proposed by Peter Kent, of 375 tonnes per Gigawatt hour (t/GWh) by 2025.

“Any energy company executive that built a new coal plant in the last few decades was taking a calculated risk; the facts about climate change were already well known,” said Elizabeth May. “This Bill presents a responsible solution to our dirtiest sources of electricity that is both in line with what the science demands and provides sufficient time for Canada to transition our remaining baseload generation toward cleaner sources of energy.”

“How can we expect other countries like China, India, and the US to stop burning coal, when we can’t even manage to stop burning coal ourselves? We can’t be two-faced,” said Adam Olsen, Green Party candidate for Saanich North and the Islands. “Elizabeth’s Bill proposes that we start with our own backyard. It’s the right thing for our economy and for our environment.”

“With Canada’s high GDP and abundance of renewable energy sources we should be natural leaders in clean energy generation,” said Andrew Weaver, Green Party candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and one of Canada’s leading climatologists. “Elizabeth’s private members bill is an important step in Canada’s much needed transition to a prosperous low carbon economy.”