A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment

On June 19, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled our plan to protect the environment if the Conservatives form government in October.

The Liberals’ carbon tax is not an environmental plan, but a tax plan. This tax hits families the hardest, with higher costs of gasoline, groceries and home heating. The carbon tax doesn’t apply at all to some of Canada’s biggest emitters. The Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the carbon tax would have to raise to more than $100 per tonne to reach Paris Agreement targets.

The Paris Agreement targets are the same targets set by the previous Conservative government: a 30 per cent reduction of 2005 greenhouse gas emissions level by 2030.

Canada is not only failing to meet these targets but is getting further and further away: in 2016, we were 44 megatonnes over target. In 2017, that number rose to 66 megatonnes. And last year, we were 103 megatonnes over.

The Conservatives’ A Real Plan to Protect our Environment is built on three guiding principles:

  1. Green technology, not taxes.
  2. A cleaner and greener natural environment.
  3. Taking the climate change fight global.

 

Green technology, not taxes:

First, we will implement Green Investment Standards that require polluters whose emissions exceed strict limits to invest in emissions-reduction technology specific to their industry.

We will set this limit at 40 kilotons per year – 10 kilotons stricter than the Liberals’ output-based system.

However, rather than simply funneling money to the government as the Liberal plan dictates, emitters who exceed our limits will be required to invest in technology that will lower emissions to fight climate change.

This allows us to create more jobs in Canada through technological growth while at the same time lowering global emissions.

We will introduce the Green Homes Tax Credit, a two-year plan that will encourage Canadians to improve their homes with emissions-reducing technologies. In 2017, emissions from buildings accounted for 12 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot tackle climate change without making our buildings greener.

This tax credit will allow Canadians to save up to $3,800 on their green renovations in each year.

And, we will introduce the Green Patent Credit for green innovators and entrepreneurs who create new emissions-reducing technologies.

 

A cleaner and greener natural environment:

This principle focuses squarely on protecting our air, land, water and wildlife. Canada is home to some of the most beautiful places on the planet, and it is our duty to protect them.

We will reinstate funding for wetland, watershed and fisheries conservation revoked by the Liberals.

We will reconvene the Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel disbanded by the current government. This allows those with the greatest interest in protecting species and habitats to share their expertise on how best to protect our environment.

We will take real action on reducing plastic waste by harmonizing recycling standards across provinces and working with industry to cut down on excessive packaging.

 

Taking the climate change fight global:

Greenhouse gas emissions do not recognize borders, nor are the impacts of climate change proportional to any one country’s emissions. Whether emissions are reduced in Canada or in China, the scientific impact on global climate change is the exact same.

We don’t do the world any favours by driving investment and jobs away from Canada – where energy is cleaner and environmental standards are higher – and into the welcoming arms of countries with dirtier sources of energy and lower environmental standards.

Under that scenario, the Liberal scenario, everyone loses. Canada loses jobs and global emissions go up.

Canada could stop everything tomorrow – natural resource development, mining, manufacturing, agriculture – and it would mean almost nothing. If you shut down Canada’s entire economy for a year, China would replace all our emissions within three weeks.

The fact is Canada will not make a meaningful contribution to fighting climate change by focusing only on our own emissions.

We must look beyond our borders, and it starts with exporting our environmental excellence.

Take liquified natural gas, or LNG, as an example. LNG has a tremendous potential to lower global emissions while also growing the Canadian economy. By expanding our LNG capacity, we can help countries like China transition away from cool and dramatically lower global emissions.

We will bring in a Green Expansion Accelerator that will provide targeted capital cost allowances to industries, like LNG, that can be shown to reduce emissions in other countries.

We will also create the new Canadian Clean Brand, a product designation that will communicate to the world which technologies can lower emissions around the world.

Climate change is real. It represents a serious threat not only to Canada, but to our entire planet. We owe it to our children, who will inherit from us this great and beautiful country, to preserve the environment they will be entrusted to protect.

A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment is a realistic and achievable plan to protect the environment without punishing Canadians for living their lives.

More detailed information about the plan can be found at www.arealplan.ca