Environmental report says federal parties must do more to fight climate change
People rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa as part of a Global Climate Strike, protesting against climate change and inaction, on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
VANCOUVER -- Environmental group Stand.earth has analyzed the climate plans of four Canadian political parties and has determined none do enough to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
Its report says Liberal, Conservative, New Democrat and Green promises fall short of halting expansion of the oil and gas industry and without that change it says Canada won't meet a United Nations target limiting global warming to 1.5 C.
Stand.earth calls the Green proposal a "house-on-fire" climate emergency action plan to limit warming to near 2 C.
But it says the Green proposal lacks specific details and doesn't clearly state that most of Canada's fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground.
New Democrat plans for emission reductions are described as aggressive, but the group says there's little detail about carbon pricing or policies that would shift the country away from oil and gas expansion.
The report says a Liberal "net zero" emission target by 2050 is ambitious but "simply won't get the job done," while the Conservative policy tries to "trick climate-concerned citizens into believing they are taking action on greenhouse gas emissions."
Tzeporah Berman, international program director at Stand.earth, says the expansion of oil and gas production in Canada makes the fight against climate change harder every day.
"At this moment in history, we need leaders who will put in place an exit plan to stop the expansion of the oil and gas industry, implement a just transition by scaling up cleaner and safer jobs, and diversify our economy," Berman says in a statement.
Candidates can become climate leaders by implementing policies that stop oil and gas industry expansion, the report says.
It calls on candidates to demand an end to all fossil fuel projects, including pipeline expansions and liquefied natural gas terminals, halt tax breaks to fossil fuel companies and support sustainable economies to help communities move away from reliance on oil and gas jobs.
"Acknowledge the world cannot afford to burn all of our fossil fuel reserves, particularly the oil from the tar sands, and acknowledge what's left must remain in the ground," says the report.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2019