What are the major federal parties planning to do about climate change?

In a piece for Policy Options, Prof. Simon Donner has laid out how each major federal party’s climate policy measures up to Canada’s commitments in the Paris Agreement, and to targets suggested by the 2018 IPCC report.

The news is not good. “These results paint a stark picture. Despite lofty claims and aspirational goals, there is no Canadian plan consistent with avoiding 1.5°C or 2°C warming. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, the rhetoric of your party on climate change does not match the numbers.”

In part, this challenge arises because Canada has a very high per capita rate of emissions when compared to other countries. In order to be equitable (and realistic) about emission reductions, Canada needs to take a proportionately bigger hit to its current levels.

However, even if the country struggles to reach these goals, collective action is our best hope of tackling climate change, and he encourages Canadians to vote in the upcoming federal election.

“The more that Canada and the world can do to reduce emissions, the less the planet will warm, and the less that people will suffer. For example, given our relatively low-carbon electricity system, there is every reason for the federal government to follow in British Columbia’s footsteps and aggressively push towards electric and alternative fuel vehicles. Such actions are important even if they are not sufficient to shift Canada to a 1.5°C or 2 °C trajectory.”

For further context, Prof. Donner also spoke with The Star, and addressed some of the nihilism around climate change in an interview with Bloomberg.