A continuing review of the Green Party of Canada’s Platform:
A Green Government will institute a methane tax on all landfills will be charge based on the amount of emissions. After 2014, the tax will increase by 50% a year, and after 2017 no landfill will be allowed to operate without methane capture.
All federal support for municipalities will be subject to carbon conditionality clauses. All current federal funding that encourages urban sprawl and greater vehicle use will be eliminated. The existing Green Infrastructure Fund, gas tax, and other funding will continue.
A Green Government will restructure the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and establish “Municipal Superfunds” for urban and suburban municipalities with funding contingent on a municipality regulating new developments to achieve higher densities that are conducive to the development of mass transit while at the same time protecting open spaces and agricultural lands.
Support will be provided to local non-profits and associations that sponsor programs that concretely reduce carbon emissions.
Federal disaster assistance will be available to help communities prepare for climate change impacts (floods, storms, disasters), subject to carbon conditionality clauses. Provinces and communities that do not satisfy the clauses will not be eligible for federal disaster assistance. This requirement is similar to an insurance company refusing fire insurance on a building that does not meet code requirements for fire safety.
Large Final Emitters (LFEs) will be subject to the carbon tax and cap and trade policies described above. All industrial buildings will be eligible for incentives to become more energy efficient, as above, and structurally safe. Use of the greenhouse gas halocarbons CFCs, HFCs, PFCs and SF6 will be phased out between 2012 and 2017. There will be federal support for R&D to develop new climate-friendly, non-toxic alternatives. A Nitrous Oxide Task Force will be established to recommend ways to reduce Canada’s N2O emissions by 85% by 2025.
All federal grants and loans to industry will be subject to carbon conditionality clauses designed to steer all industry and manufacturing towards 100% sustainable processes and practices. Megastore retail outlets which depend on customer use of cars will be encouraged to adopt parking charges, combined with transit access and the home delivery of purchases by means of conditionality clauses signed with municipalities seeking federal funds.
Legislation will be introduced that requires all manufactured goods, including vehicles, to be designed for easy dismantling, re-use and/or recycling, and to contain 90% recycled materials by 2025 (as in Germany).
Legislation will be introduced that requires all appliance and equipment retail outlets to receive broken and worn-out goods they have sold for recycling or repair. Industry will be helped to establish a national deposit system, recycling systems and third party management to help them fulfill the obligation (like Germany’s Recycling Law).
Canada will negotiate international agreements for forest preservation in parallel with emissions reductions. Forest protection will not be traded for reductions in fossil fuel emissions as meeting both targets is urgently required. Furthermore, increasingly stringent international requirements and monitoring will be set in place for forestry operations, that take into account long-term sustainability and the total carbon releases including those from the waste wood left behind and organics in the soil that decay and emit CO2 when forests are cut or burned.
All forest companies will pay a carbon tax to reflect the net loss of carbon storage from their lands, or receive a carbon rebate to reflect net gain of sequestered carbon, based on an independent audit every five years.
All forest companies managing FSC certified lands will be granted a 5-year tax break for those lands upon certification.
Of the GhG emissions generated from agriculture, 43% comes from dairy and beef herds emitting methane; 40% from poor soil fertilization practices releasing N2O; 15% from poor manure management from penned livestock herds; and 2% from other sources. Because of the multiple benefits of organic farming methods, including a big reduction in GhG emissions, a Green government will work to assist non-organic farmers who wish to transit to organics to make the switch. Local food production will be encouraged to reduce emissions from transport.
A Green government will promote the use of manure and farm waste to build soil nutrition and organic content. We will pay farmers for carbon sequestration in soils within a domestic carbon market. This will promote no-till agriculture practices which will in turn slow and reverse the process of soil depletion. We will plan for transition to 100% organic farming.
Urban agriculture will be encouraged to provide more local food, including more green roofs, reducing air conditioning demand and run-off in deluge rains.
Comments and discussion are welcomed. I am examining this as I go to gain a better grasp of their platform and invite all who are interested to do the same with comments and discussion.