Toronto, ON – Today Environmental Defence released an updated comparison of what action federal parties promise to take on climate change and what commitments each would be willing to make at the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December.
The federal government’s pledge for Paris was deemed inadequate by Climate Action Tracker, a coalition of four climate think-tanks. The NDP and Green Party are both proposing much stronger commitments while the Liberal Party promises to ensure Canada does its part in avoiding climate change, without specifying what that means. Both the Green Party and the Liberal Party strengthened their positions after Environmental Defence published its original evaluation a month ago.
The updated evaluation, Will Canada Step Up to be a Climate Leader or Continue as Climate Laggard? A comparison of federal parties’ positions on climate change, relies on official government and federal party documents and leaders’ speeches. It lays out the party positions on four main issues:

The post-2020 carbon emission reduction targets
The main mechanism for reaching that target
Whether emissions from Canada’s fastest growing source of carbon pollution –the tar sands – will be addressed
Whether parties have committed to assisting poor, developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change

The updated comparison shows that the NDP is promising the strongest carbon reduction target for Canada while the Green Party’s strengthened plan is also quite ambitious. Both commit to addressing soaring pollution from the tar sands and to assist developing nations in addressing the impacts of climate change (though only the Green Party assigns a dollar figure to its assistance pledge).
The government’s carbon reduction target and approach to climate change is considerably weaker than those of the NDP or the Green Party. The Liberal Party has strengthened its stance on climate change, committing Canada to do its part to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. But without specifying what that means in terms of levels of carbon pollution or assistance to the world’s poor to adapt to climate impacts, the Liberal pledge remains vague.
“As Sunday’s massive March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate shows, Canadians want real climate action and they deserve to know how federal parties plan on taking responsibility on the issues,” Environmental Defence’s Dale Marshall said.
Read the updated comparison
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 570-2878 (cell); ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca