A continuing review of the Green Party of Canada’s Platform:
2.1.10 Fossil fuels
Green PartyMPs will:
- Remove all subsidies and supports to the oil, coal, gas and coalbed methane industries in Canada.
- Apply escalating carbon taxes to all CO2, methane, N2O, fugitive, and other GHG emissions.
- Require all members of the fossil fuel industry to participate in the LFE cap and trade system, as above.
- Cancel all funding for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CSC) which new evidence from the Weyburn, Saskatchewan project reveals has severe negative environmental impacts and also because CO2 the storage of CO2 for this purpose facilitates greater production of oil and gas and redirect the federally earmarked CSC funding to renewable solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy projects in Canada.
- Not approve new coal-fired electrical generation plants.
- Impose a carbon tax on all exports of coal, oil and gas from Canada.
- Pass legislation to keep Canada’s west coast crude oil tanker-free, ensuring both that a new West Coast oil crude oil port will not be built and that current crude oil tanker traffic in the Port of Vancouver be rapidly phased out.
- Work to establish a Federal Ministry of Energy Transition Plan to co-ordinate the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy.
- Support the establishment of a Canada-first National Energy Plan to regain control over Canada’s energy supply and to ensure Canada’s energy needs are met prior to any export, and assist in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
- Work to establish a Strategic Petroleum and Natural Gas Reserve to address secure domestic petroleum supply in the event of shortages both short term and long-term; a Natural Gas Emergency Preparedness Plan that addresses potential natural gas supply shortages, and an Emergency Preparedness Plan to address other energy supply crises.
Under a Green government, Canada will work with other nations to achieve the development of a new global post-Kyoto Treaty with the targets outlined above.
Canada will commit to the necessary technology transfers and funding required for developing nations to transition to a post-carbon economy in a fair and equitable way, keeping in mind Canada’s obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to absorb some of the costs of mitigation and adaptation based on past responsibility for the crisis and our country’s capability to pay.
Canada will work to continue and enhance Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism to improve and strengthen verification of greenhouse gas reductions so that we can have a reliable method in place to invest confidently in greenhouse gas reductions in developing nations.
Canada will support the extension of the Kyoto Accord to cover international aviation and shipping.
Canada will work to include China, India, the United States and all other nations in the new post-Kyoto international treaty that boldly and adequately addresses the problem of anthropogenic global warming causing climate change.
2.2 Adapting to climate change
One of the binding commitments of nations signing on to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was to prepare adaptation strategies to cope with that level of climatic disruption that is no longer avoidable. If anything, this commitment has been ignored by Canada even more than the obligation to reduce emissions. Sectors requiring immediate attention include agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. Protecting vulnerable areas and population also need to be addressed. Climatic impacts have already cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars.
The Green Party believes that the federal government must show leadership in developing an adaptation strategy in collaboration with the provincial/territorial governments and municipalities that aims to mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate change. Even with significant global GHG reductions to stabilize the climate, it will take decades, perhaps centuries, to arrest climate change.
We must improve municipal infrastructure, especially water treatment facilities, to meet a changing water regime. We are already experiencing increased deluge precipitation events during which current systems allow raw sewage to bypass treatment. We must start curtailing developments in areas of high vulnerability (for example floodplains, low-elevation coastal areas, steep hillsides, regions of permafrost, and places adjacent to forests at increased risk of fires). We must undertake greater flood control measure like raising dykes in areas made more prone to flooding because of climate change.
The most urgent community crises are in the Canadian Arctic where peoples of the North face losing their hunting culture and relocation of their communities due to the melting of permafrost, and Arctic ice. Meanwhile in the interior of British Columbia an area of forest twice the size of Sweden has been killed by a climate-caused pine beetle epidemic. The pine beetle epidemic is an economic disaster for many forest dependent communities. Eighty % of this vast region’s forests are affected.
We must act to reduce emissions and we must prepare for the “new normal” of a destabilized climate. These are not, as often presented, mutually exclusive goals. We need both and we needed them yesterday.
Green Party MPs will:
- Establish special task forces involving all stakeholders, all levels of government and scientific experts to prepare, over the next two years, area-specific climate change adaptation strategies. The first of such task forces shall be set up in places particularly vulnerable to climate shift and disruptions, the Canadian Arctic, coastal zones, the Prairies, and the Interior of British Columbia.
- Establish a Climate Change Adaptation Fund to assist those areas hard hit by “natural” disasters linked to climate change.
- Increase financial support to the developing world for adaptation strategies.
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.