Canadian Climate Framework is Encouraging, but Shows How Much Work Is Left to be Done | Ecology Action Centre

Canadian Climate Framework is Encouraging, but Shows How Much Work Is Left to be Done

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

K’JIPUKTUK (Halifax) December 12, 2016 – Late on Friday, the federal government released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change – Canada’s plan to address climate change and grow the economy.

The framework is the result of a tremendous amount of work over the last year – over 13,000 comments and ideas were submitted by Canadians, dozens of town halls and countless meetings between provincial and federal representatives were held. This culminated in the First Ministers Meeting in Ottawa on Friday, which brought all of the provinces and territories together with the Prime Minister and Aboriginal leaders, to finalize the framework.

“The framework is an encouraging step forward, and truly the best we’ve yet accomplished at the federal level. However, the science on climate change is clear, and this plan doesn’t line up with that science, nor Canada’s fair share under the Paris Agreement, there is much work left to do,” said Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre.

The plan includes greenhouse gas reduction targets, but also includes a connected framework on climate change, and information about funding for different measures at the federal and provincial levels. The plan includes electricity infrastructure between provinces, low-carbon building and renewable energy initiatives, carbon pricing and a host of measures on the adaptation to the negative effects of climate change.

“The framework recognizes the climate crisis as an existential threat, and that Canada has a tremendous opportunity to shift course, and thrive within a low-carbon economy,” said Thomas. “What’s encouraging is that it recognizes the central role of things like the rights of indigenous peoples, Traditional Knowledge and community-based renewable energy to succeeding in our new future, I hope we continue to see that.”

Nova Scotia was once a leader on reducing emissions and building a strong, clean economy – many of it’s past climate measures are shown as positive examples within the framework. However, with this new federal framework, and the release of provincial climate plans in provinces like New Brunswick, other jurisdictions are beginning to eclipse and replace that leadership.

Notably, the plan doesn’t discuss how oil sands pipelines, LNG ports and other highly emissions-intense projects recently approved in Western Canada run contrary to the work within the framework. This leaves some groups questioning how Canada plans to account for decisions on projects like these in the future.

“What’s crystal clear, to me, is that there is no room within these targets for things like the Energy East pipeline or LNG ports here on the East Coast,” said Thomas. “This plan brings us much closer to meeting our 2030 targets, but it falls short - Canada joined other countries to call for a limit of global warming of 1.5°C in the Paris Agreement, and needs to continue working in order to show anything close to that level of ambition in it’s own planning.”

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CONTACT:
Stephen Thomas
Energy Campaign Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
902 441 7136        stephen@ecologyaction.ca         

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