This election, let’s demand that political leaders do what’s needed to tackle the climate crisis
The climate emergency is at our doorstep. From unprecedented heat waves in British Columbia, to flooding in Yukon and wildfires raging across the country, it has been a devastating summer for so many communities across Canada.
Canada has the technology, the opportunities and the people to be a climate leader. The gap is political leadership- so let’s make sure we’re sending climate leaders to Parliament.
Let candidates know that if they want your vote, they need to be serious about climate action. We’ve created a guide of key policies to watch for when you’re reading party platforms and talking to your local candidates.
A strong climate plan should have
- Climate targets that align with climate science. Canada must do our fair share to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of climate change by ensuring that global warming stays as close to 1.5°C as possible – which in Canada means reducing CO2 emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 across the country. Because Canada has created an outsized amount of emissions over the last century, Ottawa also must invest $5.2 billion annually in emissions reductions in developing countries.
- No more new oil, gas and coal projects. Canada is still planning to produce more oil and gas than what is consistent with a climate-safe future. A credible climate plan must say NO to all new and under construction oil, gas and coal projects. It must also include a plan to wind down production of oil and gas over the next two decades.
- An end to fossil fuel subsidies. Canada is still providing billions of dollars of government money to the oil and gas industry each year. A credible climate plan must include a concrete plan to end all subsidies and public financial support for oil and gas immediately. Learn more
- A way to make polluters pay. Polluters must also be held accountable for their harm to the land, water and climate, especially for their disproportionate harm to Indigenous, racialized and low-income communities. They have spent years covering up the true cost of clean up, and will leave the costs to the public without strong accountability.
- A ramp up of renewables and energy efficiency. We have the solutions to transition our systems away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy. And we can do so by creating good, safe jobs across the country by investing big in electricity infrastructure, renewable energy, electric transportation, public transit and energy efficiency projects like home and business energy retrofits and more.
- A commitment to ensure that the transition to a low carbon economy is just and equitable. This includes developing and implementing a transition plan to phase out fossil fuels, designed by and for workers and communities whose livelihoods will be disrupted by the transition. It also must involve those, including Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities, who have been disproportionately harmed by the fossil fuel-based economy.
Beware of climate plans that:
- Prop up false solutions like ‘blue’ hydrogen, carbon offsets, and carbon capture technologies that will lock us into more extraction of fossil fuels. These technologies don’t actually reduce emissions and aren’t economically viable. Read more
- Promise to achieve net-zero emissions, but foresee an expansion–or even a continued reliance–on fossil fuel production. We can’t achieve net-zero emissions while expanding Canada’s largest source of emissions – the oil and gas sector.
- Do not take responsibility for the full scope of Canada’s emissions, including emissions that result from Canada exporting fossil fuels overseas. Canada has created an outsized amount of global carbon pollution over the last century- we need to do our share to reduce it.
5 questions to ask your candidates
- Will you commit to taking all possible actions to implement a just and fair phase-out of all fossil fuels?
- It has been over a decade since Canada first committed to ending fossil fuel subsidies. Yet in 2020, the Government of Canada announced at least $18 billion in subsidies and public financing for the oil and gas sector. Will you commit to ending all subsidies, public finance and other fiscal supports for fossil fuels by 2022, including financial support provided through Export Development Canada?
- Oil and gas lobby groups are propping up false solutions to the climate crisis like carbon capture and storage technologies. But these will lock in more production of oil and gas. Will you commit to focusing on real solutions to the climate crisis, like energy efficiency and renewables, rather than these false solutions?
- Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have grown over the past decade. The IPCC just issued a code red – we need to reduce our emissions now. Will you cancel the TransMountain Pipeline expansion, and stop approving new oil and gas projects?
- Will you commit to holding big polluters accountable, for example by ensuring oil and gas companies are forced to pay for the costs of cleaning up the mess they’ve left behind like tailing ponds and old oil and gas wells?