When will the government meet the commitments of the Paris agreement?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-06-04 14:02

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you to the honourable minister for those responses.

Changing the subject but on the same question of issues that may be falling through the cracks due to COVID-19, the climate crisis continues apace. I mentioned in this place a week ago, in questions, that the new reading of global concentrations in the atmosphere, of 417 parts per million in carbon dioxide is a measurement that’s unprecedented not only over centuries but unprecedented over the last one million years. Since then, a new study in Science News, relying on paleoclimatology, said it’s actually unprecedented over the last 23 million years.

In other words, if we’re looking at flashing red lights on the dashboard of human survival, the flashing red light of climate emergency is getting much brighter and much more frightening than the COVID-19 emergency.

When will this government meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement to a new, revised and more aggressive target within 2020, as required by the Paris Agreement?

Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver)
2020-06-04 14:03

Mr. Chair, certainly the government agrees with her that this is a crisis. It is a crisis that is moving at us perhaps more slowly than COVID-19, but it is a crisis whose impacts will be devastating if in fact we do not act, both in Canada and as a member of the global community.

This government has made a commitment to develop a plan that will see us meet and exceed our 2030 targets under the Paris Agreement. We have made that commitment. Obviously, we will continue to work to do that in advance of the next COP. We’ve also committed to achieving net zero by 2050, which science tells us we must do. We remain fully committed to doing that.

Of course, I am very happy to have these conversations with my honourable colleague and to continue them as we move forward.