Toronto, ON – Today Environmental Defence launched a new scorecard comparing the federal parties’ approach to climate change and the approach each would take at the U.N. climate summit in Paris.
Just a few weeks ago, the Canadian federal government’s Paris pledge was deemed as inadequate by Climate Action Tracker, a coalition of four climate think-tanks. The proposed plans from opposition parties range from relatively unknown to clearly stronger.
“It’s no secret that Canada is known as a climate laggard. Our global reputation has been tarnished by the lack of meaningful climate action at the federal level,” said Dale Marshall, National Program Manager at Environmental Defence. “With the upcoming federal election, it’s critical for all parties to show what kind of leadership they will bring to the Paris talks.” 
The new scorecard, 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 scorecard is based on publicly available information. Today Environmental Defence sent letters to each political party asking for confirmation and in some cases clarification about their positions. The scorecard will be updated when this information becomes available.
The scorecard shows that the NDP is promising the most ambitious carbon reduction target for Canada, followed by the Green Party, and then the reigning Conservative Party. The NDP and Green Party promise approaches that address soaring pollution levels from the tar sands. The NDP also committed to assisting developing nations address the impacts of climate change but only the Green Party has committed to a dollar figure expenditure. The Liberal positions remain largely unknown for many of the measures.
“Greater climate action will position Canada well in the rapidly expanding clean energy economy, and allow Canadians to once again feel proud that our country is taking its global responsibility seriously,” Marshall said.
Read the scorecard here.
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 media requests, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 570-2878 (cell); ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca