How do the Parties Stack Up on Climate action?

Are you still undecided on what party to vote for? We compiled some findings (from other sources) of surveys sent out to parties and analyses conducted and published elsewhere to aid our decision – as climate activists – on voting day. For ease, let’s just remove the Conservative Party and the People’s Party of Canada from our consideration since many analyses we reviewed have given them a failing grade. And, let’s remove Bloc Québécois since some analyses did not include them. Note that the surveys and analyses were done at different times and may not have been updated with the latest information from the parties.

So, how do the Green, Liberal and NDP parties’ platforms hold up to scrutiny from a climate action point of view? Turns out there are several things in common between them; however, there are some important differences.

Similarities:

Plan to phase out oil & gas (O&G) consumption, committed to legislating climate targets, committed to maintain carbon pricing, committed to making zero emission vehicles affordable, intend to protect 17% of land and 10% of ocean by 2020 and ban single-use plastics. 

Differences: 

Targets: To keep to below 1.5C, Canada’s emissions should be between 122 and 332 Mt by 20301

Green – 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 (278 Mt)2; 0 emission by 2050

Liberal – 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 (513 Mt)3; net zero by 2050       

NDP – target unknown

However, independently-projected CO2e emissions based on the platforms differ from their targets. 

How feasible are the reduction plans? 

Grading of feasibility of parties’ plan to reduce emissions:2

Green – C_

Liberal – A

NDP – D

Others climate change related differences: 

Where Green and NDP platforms are similar, but Liberal platform differs (or did not comment or indicated maybe): 4,5

  • Will not approve fossil fuel projects that are not consistent with limiting emissions in Canada to keep global warming below 1.5C. 
  • Will create a Federal Environment Bill of Rights
  • Phase out O&G production
  • Intend to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies
  • Zero emission mandate
  • Implementing a pan-Canadian Renovation and Retrofit Strategy for energy retrofits in existing buildings
  • Ensure all new buildings are Net Zero Energy Ready by 2030
  • Committed to implementing recovery strategies for species identified by 2019 as “at risk”
  • Committed to promoting using all tools available under SARA to protect species facing imminent threats
  • Committed to ecosystem-based rebuilding of marine fish populations

Where Green Party and NDP platforms differ:5

  • Green Party has a GHG emission reduction target of 60% of 2005 levels by 2030 and 0 by 2050; NDP target is unknown
  • Green Party is against future pipelines
  • Green Party is committed to a moratorium on O&G exploration/development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence ecosystem. 

Where Liberal platform differs from Green’s and NDP’s5

  • Liberals are committed to establishing an expert body to oversee Canada’s climate plan. There was no response from Green and NDP.
  • Liberals are committed to increasing the carbon price by at least $10 per year. There was no response from Green and NDP.

What impact will the climate platforms have on the economy?

Projected impact on the economy (using compound annual growth rate (2018-2030)) 6,7

Green – 1.25%6; C-7

Liberal – 1.74%6; B+7

NDP – 1.53%6; B-7

None of these climate actions, if implemented, would bring us to a recession.6 While the growth rate of the economy would be slower with the Green plan, more and more people are recognizing the misguided approach of overemphasizing economic growth on a planet with finite resources.8

Oveall, how are climate action platforms rated? 

Overall grade:7.

Green – B-

Liberal – B

NDP – B

Please refer to the links below for more details.

References:

1. https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/canada/

2. https://www.chatelaine.com/living/politics/2019-federal-election-climate/

3. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-indicators/progress-towards-canada-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction-target.html

4. https://election2019envirosurvey.ca/summary/

5. https://www.envirovote.ca/

6. https://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/confronting-carbon2/?fbclid=IwAR0MqP2Xm128L50KiTSJYaKOfP-Dd29BN35u3I1V-B0Sl3qew5aOzskTwWw

7. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/10/11/opinion/election-which-party-platforms-make-grade-carbon-pollution-cuts8. https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/opinion/economic-growth-is-an-unnecessary-evil-jacinda-ardern-is-right-to-deprioritise-it/31/05/?fbclid=IwAR2DrKPQ4cX1RIom09W-67lqKjww-3llbkQCrjbUABCR9XxKO2k6w9NZOw0#.XZf1ZaYFD6o.facebook

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