Green Party Climate Change Platform

[N.B. Unlike the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP, the Green Party has set out its climate change platform in bullet points. Therefore, much of the text here is verbatim, rather than summarized. It has been changed only in few instances where it seemed excessively rhetorical. This is consistent with our treatment of the other three parties. We tried to present all four platforms without criticism of the other parties and inflated rhetoric.]

The Green Party would:

Achieve net zero emissions as quickly as possible.

  • Ensure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 60 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, with clear enforceable targets and timelines starting in 2023.
  • Achieve net zero emissions as quickly as possible, while aiming to be net negative in 2050.

End all extraction of fossil fuels.

  • Cancel all new pipeline projects (beginning with Trans Mountain).
  • Cancel all new oil exploration projects, including in the off-shore.
  • End leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel production and retire existing licenses.
  • Ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
  • End all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector.
  • Phase out existing oil and gas operations, so that they continue on a declining basis with bitumen production phased out between 2030 and 2035. [N.B.: The definition of “bitumen” seems to vary from asphalt on one hand to thick black crude oil on the other.  Presumably, in this context, it means the latter.]
  • Require federal public investment funds (including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Ensure companies are held accountable for paying for the costs of cleaning up and restoring land, instead of passing these to the public.

Support a Just Transition for workers

  • Introduce a Just Transition Act before the end of 2021 that takes care of workers and communities during the transition.
  • Plan for a fair and carefully planned transition of workers towards a decarbonized economy, that protects communities from displacement, and in which affected people (workers in greenhouse gas-intensive industries, Indigenous Peoples, marginalized communities) are leading the preparation of their transition strategies.
  • Replace every high paying fossil fuel sector job with a high paying green sector job through wage insurance, retraining programs and early retirement plans.
  • Reduce wealth inequality in Canada. Ensure that current wealth holders, particularly those in the fossil fuel sector, pay their fair share. Close tax havens and loopholes to redistribute wealth towards communities that have been underinvested in.
  • Introduce laws that incentivize green investment and the creation of green jobs (such as in sustainable transport and energy efficiency), and that disincentivize unsustainable investments (such as by raising taxes on environmentally harmful goods and services).
  • Invest in the clean tech sector and in renewable energy, which will create more, and higher paying jobs than those lost in the fossil fuel sector.
  • Enact legislation on green jobs training programs, such as the creation of a youth climate corps; for example, jobs related to ecosystem restoration, particularly for people who have been displaced or severely affected by COVID-19.

Enact a detailed Carbon Budget, determining the cumulative amount of GHG that Canada can emit to do its part to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

  • Revamp the World Trade Organization to the World Trade and Climate Organization to ensure that trade is consistent with a global carbon budget.
  • Ensure that tariffs are determined based on the carbon intensity of imported Products.

Accelerate the increase in carbon taxes.

  • Beginning in 2022 and up to 2030, increase carbon taxes by $25 per tonne each year.

Improve waste management and circularity.

  • Reduce consumption, waste, and planned obsolescence.
  • Promote green procurement practices (procuring goods and services that have a reduced environmental impact), as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • Promote sustainable waste management practices, such as waste treatment, recycling, and safe handling of healthcare and biochemical waste, by adopting legislative provisions on issues including tax rebates or waivers on recycling initiatives.
  • Proceed with regulations to ban non-essential, single-use plastics before the end of the year, and expand the list of items to be banned. Champion a legally binding global plastics agreement, ratify the Basel Ban Amendment and strengthen Canada’s rules for plastic waste trade to ensure Canadian plastic waste doesn’t pollute other countries.

Introduce a Carbon Border Adjustment.

  • Enact a Carbon Border Adjustment, which will ensure Canadian companies paying carbon taxes are not placed at a competitive disadvantage with foreign companies located in countries with no such taxes.
  • Continuously evaluate the impact of the Carbon Border Adjustment on developing countries through a lens of global environmental justice.

Develop a national renewable energy electricity grid.

  • Ensure that 100 per cent of Canadian electricity is produced from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Create a national coast to coast to coast energy corridor for green renewable energy by building up the inter-ties needed to link existing provincial grids.
  • Implement a national, non-emitting electricity grid to help Canada meet its target of net-zero GHG emissions

Support green buildings.

  • Create and implement a national green retrofit of existing residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings.
  • Support agencies and institutions working to create innovative, efficient, and cost-effective programs to carry out green retrofits in different areas and for different communities, thereby creating local jobs and reducing emissions.
  • Change the national building code to require that all new construction and major renovations to older buildings meet net-zero standards by 2030.
  • Undertake a green retrofit of all federal government buildings, including government agencies.

Invest in green transportation.

  • Ban the sale of all internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030, and expand charging stations for electric vehicles, including charging stations in smaller communities and rural areas.
  • Develop programs to encourage the retirement of existing gas-powered vehicles, including government-funded grants for the purchase of new and used electric vehicles and ‘buy-back’ programs to encourage vehicle users to give up their existing vehicle.
  • In every sector, including airline travel, passenger rail, ferries, and freight, mandate and support a faster transition to renewable energy.
  • Ensure access to zero-carbon public transportation, with high-speed rail networks between major cities, and spokes of light rail and electric bus connections across the country.
  • Guarantee every Canadian safe, reliable and accessible access to affordable, net zero ground transportation by expanding VIA Rail to a rail and bus system. Enact a VIA Rail Act to ensure the VIA Rail mandate for a national passenger transportation network.
  • Expand cycling and walking infrastructure, working with municipalities and provincial governments to develop infrastructure that is accessible to all communities and individuals.

Ban the development of new nuclear power in Canada.

  • Institute a ban on further development of nuclear power in Canada.

Develop pathways for Canada to go carbon negative.

  • Develop plans and policies to go carbon negative, taking up the challenge of reducing the total amount of CO2 accumulated in the atmosphere and placing Canada on a new path towards addressing the climate emergency.
  • Use skills and knowledge from the oil and gas industry to become world leaders in new technologies.

Fulfill existing commitments to international climate change efforts.

  • Shape all climate change policies in order to fulfill existing commitments to international climate change efforts, as policies to mitigate climate change will only be effective through international collaboration and coordination.
  • Submit a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement that reflects Canada’s fair share of emissions reductions (60% reduction below 2005 by 2030) in meeting the 1.5°C warming target.
  • Ramp up climate finance to $USD 4 billion per year to support climate mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage in developing countries.
  • Participate actively in future international efforts, positioning Canada as a leader on global climate change initiatives.

Invest in green infrastructure in developing countries to offset energy poverty.

  • Support local green infrastructure in developing countries to offset energy poverty

Ban the export of thermal coal from Canada.

  • End the export of US coal from Canadian ports.
  • Establish a high-level Office of Environmental Justice at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
  • Support swift passage of the proposed National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act (Bill C-230).
  • Create an independent, scientific, non-partisan, diverse Climate Council to advise the government.
  • Create an independent, non-partisan council, composed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis representation, climate scientists and researchers, youth and representatives from communities that are the most affected by the climate emergency, to advise the government on the development and implementation of its climate change policies through a lens of environmental justice and eradicating environmental racism

Spend money on climate finance

  • Spend approximately $1.84 billion per year on international climate finance to 2025, and lead negotiations towards the achievement of a post-2025 international climate finance target.