Credible scientists around the world agree: climate change is real, it is well-documented, and if left unchecked, it presents a significant threat to future generations. As Canadians, we have a responsibility to act now to avert the catastrophic effects of climate change.
My plan, Climate Justice: A Progressive Agenda for Change is designed to position our country to meet the challenges of the future and to thrive in the 21st century green economy. Most measures included in the the plan will be deployed over a 10-year period.
Electric High Speed Freight and Passenger Transport
One of the most substantial contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the use of airplanes and trucks for the movement of individuals and freight. In our Workers First policy, we committed to spending $10 billion over 10 years to kickstart investment into electric High Speed Rail for both passenger and freight use.
This funding will prioritize the development of electric High Speed Rail on the Edmonton-Calgary Corridor, and the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor that would include Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
In addition, we will dedicate $18 billion for public transit expenditures, to reduce both personal emissions and overall transportation emissions.
My plan will place an appropriate price on carbon that actually captures the true cost of carbon emissions on our economy and society, i.e. that reflects the so-called social cost of carbon (SCC is a monetary measure of the global damage expected from climate change from the emissions of an additional tonne of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in a given year).
Some of the revenues resulting from a carbon tax will be used to fund other elements of this plan, while a portion will be returned as a rebate to low- and middle-income families.
My proposal calls for a reduction of GHGs to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025, and begins in 2020 with a starting price of $50/tonne of carbon.Under the Liberal plan, $50 will be the per-tonne price of carbon in the year 2022 - that is, $45/tonne for the social cost of carbon, plus $5 in profit.
Our plan calls for a gradual annual increase in the price of carbon, and achieves $50/tonne two years ahead of the Liberals’ target.
2020-2025: from $50-$100 ($100 is the lowest price estimated by the World Bank to reduce GHG emissions to meet the 2 degree commitment)
2026-2030: $110-$150 ($150 is the highest price estimated by the World Bank to reduce GHG emissions to meet the 2 degree commitment)
Sweden is the only country that has already achieved today what we propose to do by 2030 (Sweden’s price is currently $130/tonne). Finland has achieved its targets with regard to heating fuels at $48/tonne, as well as transport fuels; and Switzerland is currently at $60+/tonne, demonstrating that these targets, though ambitious, are achievable.
My carbon pricing plan will take into account provincial leadership and work with the provinces and territories to tackle the greatest challenge facing Canadians.
Phaseout of Fossil Fuel-Dependent Cars
A Caron government will adopt zero-emissions regulations to facilitate phasing out the production of traditional fossil-fuel dependent cars.
My plan calls for 50% of all vehicles on the road to be electric by 2041. In 2021, the regulatory regime for car emissions will be introduced, which will give 20 years for implementation and uptake in the market. If elected, this timeline would also allow us 2 years of consultation and discussion in the House ahead of implementing new regulations to ensure that we arrive at the most effective mechanism to achieve Canada’s objectives.
This will be paralleled by investment into research and development of lithium and rare earth elements so that a sufficient domestic supply of minerals necessary for battery production exists to reduce the carbon footprint and grow jobs in Canada.
As Prime Minister, Guy Caron would:
Advocate on the international stage for a new UN convention to introduce international regulations that recognize climate change migrants (people who are either forced to move across borders or do so voluntarily, due to the effects of climate change), building on the work of the Nansen Initiative;
In the immediate term:
Direct the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to accept applications made by climate change migrants applying under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Section 25;
Ease restrictions on eligibility for sponsorship under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program to allow the admission of climate change migrants;
In the medium term:
Draft regulations to introduce a new category of refugees for climate change migrants.
Carbon Border Adjustment Tax
We will introduce and apply carbon pricing on all imports from countries that have lower carbon prices than ours in order to cover the difference.
To ensure that Canadian exports remain competitive on the international stage, revenues generated from the tariff will be rebated to Canadian companies whose sales are harmed as a result of less rigorous carbon tax schemes than our own.
This will be applied across all products and industries to meet our World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, as well as our climate obligations and ensure our economic competitiveness.
Make Significant Investments in Transportation Electrification
As the second-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the country (topped only by the oil and gas sector), transportation represents a significant challenge for our future and that of our environment. Currently, most of the energy consumed by the transportation sector is derived from petroleum. The electrification of transportation is a hugely ambitious and proactive project that has significant implications for modes of transportation across land, sea, air and even space.
If handled correctly, large-scale transportation electrification projects can be a major source of new, well-paid jobs for our workers well into the future. However, we must act now to capitalize on the enormous opportunities ahead.
A very successful example at work, Quebec’s 5-year action plan represents a major effort to promote both electric transportation and the industry that supports it, and can serve as a template for other provinces and the federal government to follow. As Quebec’s electrification efforts bear fruit, it’s clear that a similar approach could be deployed elsewhere in the country in close collaboration with the provinces and territories, and achieve comparable results, leading to a significant reduction in Canada’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Building on that progressive approach, my plan includes the following:
The creation of a Secretariat to coordinate the federal government’s strategy;
The establishment of a fund to further promote the use of electrical transportation;
A plan to deploy thousands of new charging stations across the provinces and territories;
A rebate of up to $8,000 on the purchase of a personal electric vehicle, up to a value of $40,000;
A rebate of up to $50,000 on the purchase of a medium- and heavy-duty electric bus or truck;
The extension of metro and subway lines in major urban centres;
An effort to support municipalities in their efforts to electrify transportation; and
The creation of a world-class research and advanced technology institution dedicated to transportation electrification, among other innovative measures.
This approach could be deployed nationwide in close collaboration with the provinces and territories and achieve comparable results, leading to a significant reduction in Canada’s overall GHG emissions.
Production of Fossil Fuel Energy and Pipelines
The number one emitter of GHGs in Canada today is fossil fuel production and energy generation. Our future as a country and as a planet must be founded on sustainable and renewable energy sources.
Current pipeline projects Kinder Morgan, Energy East and Keystone XL don't meet the necessary threshold of economic and environmental viability, and were (or are) being analysed through a deficient assessment and approval process. My priority will be to invest in renewable energy and to completely overhaul the environmental assessment process through the National Energy Board.
Investing in Renewable Energy Production
In my Workers First plan, I committed $32 billion in investments into new renewable energy production and technologies, including solar, wind and geothermal. This will help provinces across the country fund the transition away from our dependence on the oil, gas and coal sectors.
End Fossil Fuel Subsidies
As detailed earlier in my Making Taxes Work for Canadians policy to reform our inefficient and outdated tax system, I will eliminate fossil subsidies to the oil and gas sector, which currently total around $1.5 billion per year.
Overhaul of the National Energy Board (NEB)
We will undertake a complete restructuring of the NEB’s structure, role and mandate in order to modernize the agency and ensure its future credibility.
Proposed changes include:
Ensuring that the mandate of Canada’s national energy regulator is aligned with and supports our country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement;
Explicitly enshrining considerations regarding climate change and sustainability within the definition of “public interest”;
Overhauling the approvals process with respect to carbon-intensive energy projects to ensure evidence-based decision-making;
Establishing a more robust public consultation framework regarding proposed projects and removing existing barriers to stakeholder participation;
As part of our commitment to the UNDRIP, developing a dedicated process of consultation and collaboration with Indigenous partners to seek consent for any future projects;
Ensuring that the NEB employs a realistic and progressive approach to energy supply and demand forecasting and modeling;
Dividing the NEB into two entities — the Canadian Energy Transmission Commission (CETC) and the Canadian Energy Information Agency (CEIA), as consistent with the recommendations of the Expert Panel on the modernization of the NEB.
My plan also calls for a review of Canada’s approach to climate change, with the federal government and its agencies required to take stock of their efforts, programs and results in achieving our long-term emissions reduction goals every five years. This review will also represent an opportunity to establish new targets as needed, based on credible scientific evidence.