Climate change and net zero: Green Party’s climate plan

September 18, 2021  |  Charles Lin

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The Canadian Liberal government has called a federal election for September 20, 2021. This is the seventh article in our series on the election, which focuses on the Green’s climate plan in the Green Party election platform.

Carbon pricing policy

  • Increase carbon tax by $25/tonne each year, from $50/tonne in 2022 to $275/tonne in 2030
  • Introduce a Carbon Border Adjustment, to ensure Canadian companies are not at a competitive disadvantage with foreign companies in countries with no carbon tax

Initiatives in energy sector

  • Phase out existing oil and gas operations, with oil sands bitumen production to stop between 2030 and 2035
  • Ensure 100% of Canadian electricity is produced from renewable sources by 2030
  • Ban development of new nuclear power in Canada
  • Ban export of thermal coal from Canada

Initiatives in transportation and building sectors

  • Ban sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030
  • Expand charging stations for electric vehicles
  • Change national building code to require all new construction and major renovations to older buildings be net zero by 2030

Green jobs and just transition

  • Invest in renewable energy and clean technology, and create green jobs in different sectors
  • Implement a just transition of workers to a decarbonized economy; support displaced workers in fossil fuel sector with retraining programs, wage insurance, and early retirement plans

Adaptation to impacts of climate change

  • Promote climate resilience to reduce impacts, through for example wildfire mitigation activities, rehabilitation of storm water systems, restoration of wetlands, shorelines and other natural infrastructure

What does all this mean?

The Green Party’s emission target is a reduction of 60% from 2005 levels by 2030, at the high end among the targets the five major federal parties.

The party’s plan calls for the enactment of a detailed carbon budget which would determine the GHG emissions for Canada to limit warming to 1.5C; details such as the budget allocation for different sectors and the required policy initiatives are not provided.

The plan also calls for ambitious specific initiatives, such as requiring 100% of Canadian electricity to be produced from renewable sources by 2030, a major commitment. However, the plan does not include details on achieving this, such as technological feasibility, costing and economic impacts. Such analysis is required to determine if the goals of the ambitious initiatives are feasible, or remain largely aspirational.

Appendix: Election topics we have covered to date

Charles Lin

Charles is a retired atmospheric scientist based in Toronto. He stays busy as founder and lead of ImpactNetZero, keeping healthy in mind and body, and reading stories to his two grandchildren.

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