DEAR EDITOR — With the revelation during the October 3 leaders debate, that our climate change leader in chief, Justin Trudeau, is flying not one but two planes everywhere for his campaign, I thought today would be a good time to tell everyone about the Conservative Plan for the environment. It's called 'A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment' with a focus on conserving our environment for future generations, protecting our children from the effects of climate change and making a real impact on global emissions reductions. It is a comprehensive plan with 55 different initiatives based on three guiding principles:
The Conservative Real Plan for the Environment is comprehensive. Our 'Green Technology, Not Taxes' approach moves the onus for lowering emissions where it belongs – to the major emitters. We will strengthen the standard from 50 kt to 40 kt of CO2 e so more major emitters will be held accountable under our plan. For every tonne of emissions over the standard, major emitters will be required to invest in emissions reducing technology in their own industries. This, along with our Green Patent Credit and Green Technology and Innovation Fund, will drive research and development of emissions reducing technologies across the span of industries. These are also technologies we can then use in the last part of our plan which is Taking the Climate Change Fight Global, because carbon emissions don't recognize borders. A perfect example is Canada's carbon capture and storage technology for coal plants. The reality is that Canada only produces 1.6% of current global emissions. If we shut down Canada's entire economy for one year, it would take China only 21 days to replace our emissions. If China would outfit its top 100 emissions producing coal plants with our carbon capture technology, they could eliminate 300 Mt of CO2 e per year, nearly half of what Canada's entire economy produces.
A Conservative government wants to partner with Canadians to make changes that generate real results. Everyone wants and needs to do their part. Our Green Homes Tax Credit will help homeowners pay for energy-saving renovations and remove up to 85 Mt of CO2 e. We will work with contractors on building codes and standards and encourage the greater use of wood and low-carbon cement in construction projects. We will work with the transportation sector on regulatory changes to how goods are transported to lower emissions and increase efficiency. We will support the carbon sequestration practices of our agricultural sector to make sure that they are able to keep pace with the most recent advancements in technology. The second guiding principle of our plan A Cleaner and Greener Natural Environment focusses on the importance of protecting our natural landscapes. We have numerous initiatives to deal with issues such as: invasive species and pests; managing our protected parks, coastal communities and wetlands; combatting air pollution; protecting waterways from raw sewage and mass water exports; and a strong focus on supporting local grass roots conservation groups who, along with our indigenous partners, are the true stewards of the land.
Another major initiative of our plan is to take action on plastics and waste. It has been disheartening to say the least with recent reports that a large percentage of our recycled products are ending up in the landfill. Our government would work with provinces, territories, plastic producers and other stakeholders to develop a nationally harmonized regulatory standard for plastics recycling and production. We would work to minimize plastic packaging and ban the export of plastic waste unless it can be shown it will be recycled at destination, with stiff penalties for violators. We will also work with international partners to combat the oceans plastic crisis.
The Liberal Party is trying to convince Canadians that there is only one solution to fight climate change – their carbon tax. The Conservative Party has pledged to scrap the carbon tax should we form government, not because we don't care about the environment, precisely the opposite. Conservatives do care about the environment and know that climate change is real and it is front of mind for most Canadians. We are going to scrap the carbon tax because it isn't working and makes life more expensive by driving up the cost of gasoline, groceries and home heating bills. According to Government of Canada documents, under the current government emissions have been steadily rising and we are moving further away from our Paris Agreement targets. In 2016 Canada was expected to miss the Paris target by 44 Mt, in 2017 that rose to 66 Mt and in 2018 we were projected to be 103Mt over our target. According to a Globe editorial last week, reports out of British Columbia on the results of their 10 year carbon tax experiment have shown mixed results at best. Emissions have remained at the same level as 2008 (62.1 Mt) and emissions from "passenger vehicles" have risen 20%. The aim of a carbon tax is to shift peoples behaviours, to use less carbon. Well, if our Prime Minister flying two campaign planes to every stop instead of one, isn't the perfect example of how behaviours haven't shifted under a carbon tax, then I don't know what is. The Liberals’ explanation for this is that carbon offset credits were purchased which makes it OK. In my opinion, buying offset credits is letting others do the hard work that you don't want to do.
The Conservative Party's 'Real Plan to Protect Our Environment' is a road map that we can use, partnering with everyday Canadians, small business innovators, and large corporations who are crucial to our Canadian economy to all do our part for the environment. We must work together to accomplish the results we need to achieve. We've committed to the Paris Accord targets and we plan to meet them. Together we can achieve the results we need. To read more about our plan, go to arealplan.ca.
Melanie Middlebro, Co-Campaign Manager
Alex Ruff Campaign (Conservative – Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound)
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