Climate change and carbon pricing were among the top issues in Monday’s federal election. Over two thirds of Canadians voted for climate action, virtually putting an end to the challenges against Canada’s national carbon policy. Which begs the question, NOW WHAT?
With 82% of Canadians saying that the climate crisis is a serious concern, the Trudeau minority government has no choice but to act very aggressively on climate. (Editor note)
The following article is sourced from a media release by Cathy Orlando of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada.
Carbon Pricing Survives. Now What?
On October 21, 2019, Canada elected a minority government that is pro-carbon pricing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a close election against a Conservative challenger who had promised to dismantle the nation’s policies on climate change, including the core carbon pricing policy.
Of the popular vote, 65.6% of Canadians voted for parties that support carbon pricing. Of 338 seats in the House of Commons, 67% of them (227 seats) were secured by pro carbon pricing politicians. The seat breakdown IS as follows: Liberals 157; Bloc Québécois 32; New Democrats 24; Greens 3; Independent 1 and Conservatives 121. Of concern is that Canada appears to be a country that is divided. All of the parliamentary seats in our oil and gas country, Saskatchewan, and Alberta belong to the Conservative Party.
Climate is the Top Issue
The climate crisis was a top issue in the Canadian election for the first time.
“The election results are a resounding endorsement of carbon pricing in Canada,” says Cathy Orlando, the National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada. “This election was also a resounding affirmation of the critical thinking skills of Canadians. However, we cannot be complacent. The victory for Prime Minister Trudeau is a minority government. Historically in Canada, minority governments rarely last more than two years. As well, Canada’s climate goals are woefully inadequate and we are a country that is divided. Canadians have some soul-searching to do.”
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada, along with many civil society groups—co-ordinated by Climate Action Network Canada—are signatories to the following ask of our Parliamentarians: The next four years are crucial in responding to the climate emergency. This crisis requires transcending partisan lines for the benefit of all Canadians. We are counting on you. Unite and take decisive action.
- Listen to the scientists. Set climate targets aligned with the best available science to limit warming to 1.5°C
- Create mechanisms to keep government accountable and on track
- Ensure a just transition for workers and communities
- Stop letting big oil define policy: no more subsidies, no further expansion
- Fully implement the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and respect free, prior, and informed consent.
Only one political party (and its leader, Andrew Scheer) does not take climate change seriously. It does so to its own detriment. Moving forward, all Canadians will become increasingly distressed by advancing climate change. Politicians not supporting climate action and an immediate transition away from fossil fuels will become current day climate dinosaurs. (Editor comment)
Against Carbon Pricing? Think Again.
Not What Will It Cost, But What Will It Take
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Need a national CO2 Megaproject conference .
-NRC, CANMET, Provinces and Universities
-Banks, VCs, Businesses.
We need Canadian Investments in
–Storage for Renewables, grid to residential
–Lithium Battery Materials Mining & Refining Li, CU, Fe, Ni
–Lithium Battery gigafactory ( Tech from Dalhousie U, like NorthVolt is Doing)
–Canadianization of CN and Korean EVs, EV Trucks, EV Busses
–Batteries for Electric Aviation Propulsion
–Hunstable Motors for Electric Aviation Propulsion
–EV Motor design and Production
Bill, welcome to Below2C.
I agree totally with your suggestion. We need to go where the action will be in the new cleaner economy of the future. The future is here. It’s time to transition away from fossil fuel – a sunset industry – to Canada’s Green New Deal.
Thanks for your feedback.
Transitioning away from animal agriculture needs to be on this list! Going vegan is something we can do as individuals while we agitate for greater societal change.
Welcome to Below2C,
Everything needs to be on the table to confront the largest and most critical issue ever faced by humanity. It’s “all hands on deck” and “everything on the table”.
Thank you for the feedback
Rolly, I wish I could feel that this election was about climate action. I have tremendous respect for both you and Cathy Orlando, but I’m more of a political cynic…and I’m less convinced about the significance of a carbon tax than you and Cathy. I quite agree that it’s a necessary tool…but I also feel that it can and does serve governments very nicely, because they can say they’re committed to real action on climate while investing in fossil fuel infrastructure. Look at BC — Horgan plans to make it a major centre of LNG production. Justin Trudeau’s first announcement since the election included a recommitment to twinning the TMX pipeline. That indicates to me that he’s far more concerned with pacifying Alberta and keeping one half-step ahead of Andrew Scheer than in taking the climate platforms of either the NDP or the Greens (or the Bloc) particularly seriously. I think we failed to get the attention of enough Canadian voters to make a real difference…heck, the Conservatives won the popular vote!! And how many voted Liberal because of their climate platform, and how many because of fear of Scheer? I watched during the campaign as climate change was pushed out of first place on the agenda — because the two big parties didn’t want to confront it — by one scandal after another, in what I see as a deliberate sleight of hand, the success of which was indicated by the disappointing results for both the NDP and the Greens. I honestly hope to goodness I’m wrong and you and Cathy are right. Otherwise, I fear the same kind of pushback on climate activism as we’re seeing in the US and the UK.
Fiona – welcome to Below2C.
I appreciate your perspective on the recent election. I’m equally concerned about politics as usual but in a minority government, the NDP and Greens will have an important role to play. They can leverage the pipeline to force much more ambitious climate policy going forward.
The Scheer fear factor did come into the picture toward the end of the campaign. We dodged a bullet.
Perhaps the most positive feature of the campaign was the emergence of climate as a critical issue. Climate literacy among Canadians is improving but much more remains to be done especially with youth groups and the education system.
Thank you for following Below2C
Now what? The next step should be working towards getting global carbon fee-and-dividend.
For those unfamiliar with the term, carbon fee-and-dividend means charging a fee on fossil fuels, similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a carbon tax, however, all the money collected would be distributed to everyone as equal dividends.
With 90% of the money raised being returned to residents, the Canadian federal government’s backstop carbon pricing program is essentially carbon fee-and-dividend.
The recent Canadian federal election demonstrated that giving the money back as dividends helps make pricing carbon politically acceptable.
National programs to limit fossil fuel use are all very well and good but only if they serve as examples for how a global program would work.
If all the nations of the world have their own carbon pricing programs in a patchwork quilt, it is hard to imagine how real reductions in the use of fossil fuels could take place. The opportunities and rewards for cheating would be enormous.
I have a petition posted online that calls for a worldwide referendum on global carbon fee-and-dividend. Please consider adding your name: https://tinyurl.com/GlobalCarbonPetition
Welcome to Below2C Keith.
The call for a global program of carbon pricing, with a preference for carbon fee and dividend, is long overdue. The IPCC is calling for that but the uptake is slow. It is happening but not at a pace that meets the climate challenge. Emissions continue to climb.
I will follow up with your petition.
Thank you for the feedback.