Scheer’s climate plan plans to fail, says Elizabeth May

OTTAWA – Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) welcomed the shift from the Conservatives to accept that climate change is a real issue and that action is required. “It can only be a good thing to have a set of proposals to review. And some of the Conservative ideas are worthwhile,” said Ms. May, “But overall, the plan would make the climate crisis worse.”

“The Conservatives, like the Liberals, ignore the goals of the Paris Treaty. The treaty commits all nations on earth to holding global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees C above that level before the Industrial Revolution. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives erroneously refer to Canada’s weak target as “the Paris target.”

“The target referenced by the Conservative and Liberal plans is 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That target was tabled with the United Nations by the Harper administration in May 2015 – more than six months before the negotiations in Paris. It was always clear that Canada’s target was among the weakest in the world. It is dangerously weak.

“Ever since October 8, 2018 and the release of the deeply alarming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have known that holding to 1.5 degrees C is not optional. It is essential to ensure the continuation of human civilization.

“Scheer’s plan worsens the situation by asserting that Canada’s oil and gas sector must continue and expand. It relies on extremely expensive and inefficient technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage, while claiming (as do the Liberals and the BC NDP) that exporting fracked natural gas as LNG will reduce the climate threat. In fact, fracking gas, the source of Canada’s LNG, has the same carbon foot print as coal.

“The good ideas in Scheer’s plan, such as eco-energy retrofits and a focus on new technologies, are overwhelmed by the reality it blows past 1.5 degrees and will contribute to a planetary climate breakdown.

“On Monday, our Parliament overwhelmingly voted that we are in a climate emergency. The next day, Trudeau committed billions of dollars to a bitumen pipeline driving up greenhouse gas emissions. And today, the Conservative party embraced a plan for unending oil and gas production.

“We are in a climate emergency. We need action. We need the Green Party’s Mission: Possible. Let’s hope that we can focus on setting aside partisanship and acting on the basis of the clear warnings of science. The window on 1.5 degrees is closing fast. Once closed, it will not open again. We must exert every effort to do what is required,” concluded Ms. May,