“Minister, You Can’t Cherry-Pick your Climate Facts”

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-11-25 15:57 [p.2424]

Madam Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. minister, he cannot pick and choose what parts of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change science gets baked into the bill and what parts of the Paris Agreement he now refers to. I want to make it very clear that I was in Paris. I was there when we negotiated. It is very clear that the target for Canada for 2030 was to be ratcheted up and changed in calendar year 2020. We are expected, as a nation with a 2030 target, to have a new one in place by the end of the calendar year. That is the Paris decision document.

It is also very clear that, if we are going to be grounded in science, it is true that IPCC says that we must have net carbon neutrality by 2050, but to get there they also tell us that, globally, emissions must be cut by at least 45% no later than 2030. In other words, the heavy lifting in reducing emissions in this country must be done before the first target milestone year in this legislation.

I cannot vote for this bill as it now is, and I desperately want to vote for it. I appreciate—

Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver)
2020-11-25 15:58 [p.2424]

Madam Speaker, I certainly thank the member for her commitment to this important issue.

As I have said in the remarks today and also in conversations that she and I have had, we certainly do intend to bring forward an enhanced climate plan. That is something that I have said very publicly. To her initial point, absolutely, yes we do intend to move forward with an enhanced plan, building on the great work that was done in the pan-Canadian framework, and certainly we intend to move forward in a manner that will enable Canada to be an important participant in the international conversations on climate change. We are committed to that and we will continue to move forward in that direction.

However, I would also say that this bill is an important step forward. I think that if the member looks at the reaction from many in not simply industry or labour organizations but environmental organizations, including Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation, Équiterre and a whole range of others, she will see this is an important step forward.