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MP’s question Government’s plan to reduce GHG’s in light of the G7 summit in Germany

June 4, 2015

House of Commons Debates, 41st Parl, 2nd Sess, No 224 (4 June 2015) at 14599.



  • Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Prime Minister will be attending the G7 summit in Germany. He will be pressed by President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Cameron, and others to be serious about climate change.

    He knows, as does the rest of the world, that this pledge to cut 30% by 2030 is nothing more than a press release masquerading as a plan. Having done nothing in the last 10 years, he expects to waltz into the most important meeting in the world and bully and bluster his way through the agenda. He will fool no one.

    Once again Canada’s reputation will be trashed, once again the Prime Minister will resist any serious commitment to reducing GHGs, and once again he will assiduously work to water down any communique by the leaders. The G7 leaders know that this plan is both delusional and deceptive. The G7 is not a group for delusions and deceptions.

    Hon. John McKay

    Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.

  • Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will be at the G7 meeting in Germany this week. Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama see this as the most important meeting prior to Paris to talk about GHG emissions. The Prime Minister has set a GHG target, which everyone knows is a press release masquerading as a target. The G7 leaders know that this is just simply a deceptive and delusional plan.

    Why embarrass us, once again, on the international stage to deceive the world’s most important leaders? Why not just admit that the last 10 years have been a colossal Conservative failure?

    Hon. John McKay

    Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.

  • Mr. Speaker, may I remind that member and that party that their Kyoto agreement was written on the back of a napkin.

    The plan that Canada has put forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, a reduction of 225 megatonnes, is a fair and ambitious target for Canada and in line with international industrialized countries. We will continue to take action. We have announced three new sectors that we are going to regulate methane: the oil and gas sector, the fertilizer sector and the energy sector. We will do that without introducing a job-killing carbon tax.

    Hon. Leona Aglukkaq

    Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC

  • Mr. Speaker, Canada has the weakest performance of any G7 country in meeting our climate projection targets. We also have weak targets to boot. Climate change is happening now and is having very real consequences on the lives of people. It is disrupting national economies and ecologies.

    It is time for a real plan to prevent dangerous climate change in Canada. Canada’s proposed targets only focus on methane and nitrous oxide emissions rather than CO2, which is the main greenhouse gas. The plan still does not include regulations on oil sands at all, which is one of the fastest growing sources of emissions here. Canada is currently ranked among the world’s top 10 CO2 polluters. Alberta is accountable for 73% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions growth since 1990.

    Only an immediate and fast transition to a clean energy system will ensure that we help to avoid dangerous climate change from rapid global warming. Instead, the federal government has chosen to regulate methane from the oil and gas sector as well as emissions from chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers. That is good. However, Canada needs to go further than planned in controlling all greenhouse gases, not just some.

    The new greenhouse gas reduction target is 30% over the next 15 years. However, how exactly is this going to happen? What is the plan? These proposed new targets would be achieved five years later than those proposed by the U.S.A., and would only move Canada to 14% below 1990 levels of greenhouse gases. These proposed targets are a step forward but do not put Canada on the right track to carbon reduction. Prominent economists and policy advisers from across North America and the political spectrum have recommended carbon fee and dividend as the best way to slow the progress of climate change and to price carbon. It is the official policy of the Green Party of Canada and the Citizens Climate Lobby.

    Canadian C02 emissions have been rising for decades under both the Conservatives and Liberal. Stalling this issue into the future will only worsen the problem. We are one of the highest C02 polluters per person in the world. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to deal with this problem now.

    The carbon fee and dividend plan would make coal mines and oil and gas wells pay for their C02 emissions at the source, but not a penny would go to the government. The dividends generated from these payments will be paid directly back to Canadians on an equal per capita basis. It would be totally revenue neutral. It is a fee, not a tax. It is a fee based on science. It does not rise and fall with the use of fossil fuels, and not a penny goes to government.

    Carbon fee and dividend would use the marketplace to reduce C02 emissions, guide Canada toward a transition to sustainable energy, and put money into the pockets of Canadian consumers. The carbon fee and dividend system would help Canada to meet our responsibilities in fighting climate change.

    The Green Party will make carbon fee and dividend a priority item on the first agenda of the proposed council of Canadian governments.

    The Conservatives have dug our economy deep into the tar sands, and we are now all suffering the consequences. The first step is to develop and approve in Parliament a national energy strategy. We are the only G20 country without one. We need a clear plan to meet Canada’s energy needs, address climate change and shift to sustainable energy.

    Therefore, I will renew my question tonight. When will the government start working on a real strategy to help tackle climate change in Canada, preferably carbon fee and dividend?

    Mr. Bruce Hyer

    Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP

  • Mr. Speaker, the submission of Canada’s intended nationally determined contribution, or INDC, reconfirmed our government’s commitment to addressing climate change. It also reconfirmed our commitment to securing a total global climate change agreement later this year in Paris that, for the first time, will include all of the major emitters of greenhouse gases.

    We will continue to take a responsible and balanced approach.

    Our government has announced a fair and ambitious target for Canada that is in line with other major industrialized countries. It also reflects the national circumstances influencing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. We plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That is a reduction of 225 megatonnes. Importantly, Canada’s INDC also outlines our government’s intent to develop new measures that build on existing initiatives under our government’s sector-by-sector regulatory approach. These planned measures will further drive emission reduction by regulating key greenhouse gases in important sectors of the economy.

    Specifically, we will regulate methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. Methane as a greenhouse gas is 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide, and regulating it will lead to substantial greenhouse gas reductions. We will also address greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas-fired electricity generation, from chemicals and fertilizer production, and from the next generation of heavy-duty vehicles. Additionally, we will regulate hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, another highly potent group of greenhouse gases.

    These new measures are in addition to the existing efforts implemented by our government, including the stringent regulations already in place for the transportation and electricity sectors, which are two of the highest emitting sectors in Canada. They also include the more than $10 billion in investments since 2006 that complement regulatory efforts by providing support for green infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy technologies, and the production of cleaner energy and fossil fuels.

    Internationally, Canada continues to work constructively with its global partners both within and outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This includes fully delivering on the fast-start finance initiative by providing $1.2 billion to support a range of projects in developing countries. Building on that success, our government also recently announced a contribution of $300 million for the green climate fund to continue to address climate change in developing countries.

    Clearly, our approach is delivering real results. Our government recognizes the importance of co-operative action in integrated markets and is aligning efforts with major economic partners like the United States. Consequently, we are generating real emission reductions in a way that maintains Canada’s economic competitiveness and supports job creation opportunities.

    Mr. Deepak Obhrai

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC

  • Mr. Speaker, the government’s proposed weak targets for climate change would only be achieved five years later than those of the U.S.A. They rely on questionable carbon accounting practices in forestry and land-use sectors. They include international offsets to compensate for growing oil sands emissions, which is a scam if there ever was one, and only emphasize regulations for some greenhouse gases, not including CO2.

    Canada is required to release its emission targets for the G7 conference in Germany next month. Presently, Canada’s opening pledge for the Paris climate summit is the weakest in the G7. It would only further cement Canada’s global reputation as a climate dinosaur.

    We have two parties with no plan to reduce CO2 and one party with a very bad plan. When will the government start considering carbon fee and dividend, and start reducing both climate change and poverty here in Canada?

    Mr. Bruce Hyer

    Thunder Bay—Superior North, GP

  • Mr. Speaker, our government has announced a fair and ambitious target for Canada that is in line with other major industrialized countries. We plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That is a reduction of 225 megatonnes.

    We will continue to take a responsible and balanced approach. Building on this, we will reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, regulate the production of chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers, and regulate emissions from natural gas-fired electricity generation.

    We will do this without forcing a job-killing carbon tax on Canadian families.

    Mr. Deepak Obhrai

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC

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