Burnaby North-Seymour is one of the most beautiful ridings in Canada, and we have to fight to protect it. In the long-term, clean air, water, and soil are the most valuable asset we have. We must take serious action on climate change and reestablish our credibility on the subject to build partnerships with other countries.
Job creation and economic growth must be balanced against environment sustainability and protection. We will revise the National Energy Board (NEB) review process to make sure it is fair, objective, inclusive, and fact-driven. Any major energy project, including Kinder Morgan, will be required to get community support and the support of partner First Nations in order to proceed.
We must take a leadership role in fighting climate change and on setting a price on carbon. The underlying economics of a revenue neutral carbon pricing program is the best way to align private interests with the public good. B.C. has been a global leader in proving the success of such a program, demonstrating that you can make progress in protecting the environment without hurting the economy.
In June, we announced our new plan for Canada’s environment and economy. Central to that plan is a strong commitment to taking action on climate change. As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau will attend the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and will invite all Premiers to join him. Within 90 days of the conference, a First Ministers meeting will be held to work together on a framework to combat climate change.
Central to this will be the creation of national emissions-reduction targets, informed by the best economic and scientific analysis. These targets must recognize the economic cost and catastrophic impact that a greater-than two-degree increase in average global temperatures would represent, as well as the necessity for Canada to do its part to prevent that from happening.
We will ensure that the provinces and territories have adequate tools to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies. As part of the comprehensive emissions reduction agreement with provinces and territories, we will provide targeted federal funding to help them achieve these goals.
To supplement this, our plan would also invest significantly in clean technologies, innovation, and development, and provide direction and incentives for creating clean jobs and investments. Our plan would establish the Canada Green Investment Bond to support large- and community-scale renewable energy projects. The bond will leverage the federal government’s ability to provide more affordable loan guarantees for clean energy projects, and provide Canadians with the opportunity to invest in clean technologies. The focus of investment will be reducing the costs for commercially viable projects and helping to level the playing field with fossil fuel energy sources.
The Government of Canada is the country’s largest employer, procurer of goods and services, and landlord. By ensuring that the federal government dramatically increases its use of clean technologies in energy, buildings, and procurement, we will help create domestic demand for clean technology firms, support Canadian entrepreneurs, and lead by example. A Liberal government will be a “test-bed” for emerging technologies, will add electric vehicle charging facilities at federal parking lots, and will rapidly add electric vehicles to the federal fleet.
We will improve energy efficiency standards for consumer and commercial products to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date technology. By doing so, we will also create competition amongst manufacturers to develop the most energy-efficient technologies. We will use new financing instruments to stimulate retrofits and distributed energy systems, and make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of Canada’s industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Finally, we will provide more support for our clean technology companies to successfully export their products by training trade officials and leading trade missions focused on clean technology. These companies will also be provided with useful training, data, and technical assistance on export opportunities in a more coordinated way.