The 2014 UN Climate Change Summit in New York was attended by our Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Leona Aglukkaq.
Canada is the only country in the G7 that has lowered greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2012, GHGs were down by 5.1 per cent lower than in 2005, even though the economy grew by 10.6 per cent in that same time period.
Canada produces only two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases but that does not give Canada a pass on implementing responsible and science-based policies that lower our GHGs.
Most people are not aware that 75 per cent of Canada’s electricity supply emits no greenhouse gases. Your government’s policy regulating the auto manufacturers to meet lower emission standards and better fuel mileage has created huge benefits for Canadians and our environment.
Our government also set emission targets for the coal-fired electric producers, mostly located in Ontario, and they have either upgraded their coal-fired electrical plants with scrubbers or shut them down. Your government developed the Green Transformation Fund to assist the pulp and paper industry to transition to biomass electrical generation.
I was at a meeting with the Greater Vancouver Transit Commission and the executives stated that our government’s investment in transit in Vancouver had taken tens of thousands of cars off the road, to the point that their revenues from the Transit Gas Tax was down significantly because less gas was being sold in the region. This is a win for gridlock and the environment, and that is why we invest in transit in our major cities across Canada.
Our government’s response to protecting the environment is to implement common-sense solutions, without compromising our economic growth.
Climate change is a fact. What causes attribute to that change is still being studied. The Government of Canada’s scientists are studying the cause and impacts.
You must have noticed that activists have changed their chant from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change.’ This is because the polar ice cap has increased in the last two years by 40 per cent, the polar bear population is at a 20-year high, the glaciers in the Himalayas are not disappearing and ocean levels have not risen. Information from environmental activists is not always accurate, and that is why your government researches the information scientifically before making knee-jerk environmental policy changes that could cost billions of dollars.
We take our responsibility seriously — to protect the environment on behalf of Canadians, not to get votes, but because it is the right thing to do.