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2015 Elections: Will Canada finally tackle climate change? Analysis of the federal political parties' positions on the matter

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Actu - Analyse engagements partis fédéraux

Équiterre and Environmental Defence, two of the countries largest environmental organisations, unveiled their analysis of the of the main federal political parties’ environmental commitments in a press conference today. It should be remembered that the environment is rated as one of the main issues of the election campaign according to CBC/Radio-Canada’s Vote Compass.

Last July, Environmental Defence released a comparative analysis of the federal political parties’ positions on climate change. This analysis was updated using the answers to a questionnaire sent by Équiterre and Environmental Defence to the main political parties about the issues presented below. When needed, the answers were expanded based on the documentation published by the different parties during the election campaign.

Climate change
In light of recent declarations by several U.N. officials and French President François Hollande that current pledges, both in terms of emissions reductions and funding to assist developing countries, are inadequate to cope with the impacts of climate change, will your party raise the level of ambition of Canada’s current climate change commitments?

Tar sands
As part of the environmental assessment process, would your party include an assessment of life-cycle GHG emissions of currently proposed and future tar sands projects, including pipelines, and reject projects that would lead to significant increases in emissions?

Does your party support the construction of the Energy East pipeline?

Renewable energy
Does your party have a target for the development and deployment of renewable energy for Canada, and if so, what is it?

Energy efficiency
Would your party adopt national energy efficiency goals, and a strategy to achieve them? If so, what would those be?

Public transit and electrification
What is your party’s position on the development of transit systems across the country? Do you have a strategy for the electrification of transportation, including personal vehicles, transit, and rail?

In Quebec, some 90 000 citizens, of which 40 000 are from the greater Montreal region, have said no to Energy East, a dangerous pipeline that would carry oil from the tar sands, one of the most polluting forms of oil on the planet, by signing the recently tabled petition No to Tar Sands.

According to Steven Guilbeaut, Équiterre’s Principal Director: ‘’the reduction of our dependency on oil with generate many benefits for Quebec such as the emergence of the green economy, the reduction of air pollution, the reduction of our trade deficit, etc. ‘’