OPINION – Swift and Effective Action on Climate Change

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Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole

By Erin O’Toole
Leader, Conservative Party

Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to take swift action on climate change and trust Canadian families to be part of the climate change plan.

Canadians can’t afford Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax hike and we must rebuild our economy after COVID-19. Our plan will achieve the same emissions reductions as the Liberal carbon tax plan while creating jobs and growing our economy.

First things first, as government we will scrap the federal carbon tax backstop. As prime minister, I will work with the provinces to implement an innovative and national personal low-carbon savings account instead of the Trudeau carbon tax.

This will maintain a consumer price on carbon without one penny going to the government. Instead, every time Canadians fill up at the pump or pay for gas to heat their home, they will pay into their low-carbon savings account instead of paying a carbon tax to the government. Canadians will manage their own savings account and be able to use the savings towards purchases that will help them lower their carbon footprint, improve the efficiency of their home and live a greener life.

Think of it as a cash-back or rewards card where you apply the savings account towards buying things like a transit pass, a new efficient furnace or new windows. It could even contribute to the purchase of a hybrid or electric vehicle for the family. And for the day-to-day, it can also apply to purchasing locally grown produce items that are better for the environment because they weren’t transported around the world.

This puts the decision-making back in your hands to determine best how you and your family will lower your carbon footprint.

Conservatives will also require more zero-emission vehicles to be sold in Canada by 2030, and we will invest $1 billion to build out electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada. We will also build a cleaner, more resilient energy grid that will support that growth in electric vehicles and allow more rural and remote communities to get on the grid.

Canada’s Conservatives will lower industrial emissions while restoring Canada’s reputation as a safe place to invest and create jobs. We will work with United States President Joe Biden on minimum North American standards for key industries, and back that up by imposing carbon border tariffs on countries with lower environmental and emissions standards, like China. That will keep jobs and investment in Canada.

The Conservative plan will reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline we burn and require that 15 per cent of the natural gas we burn comes from renewable sources, so the gas we use in our furnaces, water heaters and home appliances will have less impact on the environment. And we will further reduce emissions by improving building efficiency through a national clean buildings plan.

We will also make it easier for the agricultural and forestry sectors to create land-based offset credits by improving carbon sequestration. This will generate emissions reductions at lower costs and protect Canadian jobs. And we’ll invest in natural climate solutions like forest management, crop and grazing lands, and the restoration of grasslands, wetlands and forests.

We will also invest in small modular reactors to allow for zero-emission nuclear electricity generation at industrial sites and in remote communities in the north.

The Liberal approach to climate change is one of big government taxing consumers and phasing out jobs at a time when we need them the most.

The Conservative approach will put consumers in the driver’s seat, and reduce emissions while preserving jobs in all sectors and all regions.

Our complete climate change plan will match the emission reductions being promised by the Liberals without the economic disruption their plan will cause. In fact, our plan will create jobs and grow the economy. We aren’t just saying that – we had it independently analyzed by some of Canada’s top environmental economists.

We must also do our part to help reduce global emissions. But if we rise to this challenge, we can secure Canadian unity and prosperity today while safeguarding the environment we owe our children tomorrow.

Canada’s Conservatives are ready to secure our environment and secure our future.

Erin O’Toole is the leader of Canada’s Conservatives and the official Opposition.


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