Election 2019: Comparing the federal parties’ climate change commitments
Take action: As Canadians head into the election, concern about climate change is at a fever pitch. Challenge your local candidates to commit to bold action to combat the crisis by sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Click here to help make climate change an issue candidates can’t ignore.
This fall, Canadians will cast their ballots in the country’s 43rd general election.
For many, climate change will be a defining issue (perhaps for the first time in Canadian history) when they vote for their next federal government.
According to polling released in July, climate change is one of the top three issues Canadians say will likely impact how they vote.
It’s not surprising that Canadians are concerned about climate change. We are in a climate emergency and many people living in Canada recognize that the clock is ticking on our ability to address the crisis.
This election, the stakes are high. The incoming government will have a direct hand in putting Canada on track to do its part to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels (the target towards which countries agreed to strive under the Paris Agreement). Or it will leave us on a collision course with climate catastrophe.
How do the different parties intend to tackle the climate emergency? To find out, Ecojustice is keeping track of the major parties’ climate commitments as they happen*, and evaluating them according to three criteria:
1. A strong target – Does the platform include a clearly defined target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Does this target align with what the science says needs to happen to ward off the worst impacts of climate change? And will this target be legally binding?
2. A realistic plan – Is there a clear plan to actually hit the emissions targets? And do the numbers in that plan add up?
3. Tools to hold the government accountable – Does the platform include tools that will help Canadians hold government to account for its climate promises? Are there mechanisms to make sure future governments stay on track?
To set these benchmarks, Ecojustice looked to leading climate laws from around the world, including places such as the U.K., Denmark and New Zealand.
Any Canadian party serious about combatting the climate emergency must be willing to put forward a plan that meets all three criteria.
Anything short of this will jeopardize the health, safety and security, and well-being of all Canadians — and burden young people and future generations with the consequences of doing too little, too late. MORE