Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Andrew Scheer’s recently released a 60 page “green plan” that panders to Canada’s oil and gas industry. It is no coincidence that it is very similar to a plan proposed by the Canadian fossil fuel industry. The Federal Energy Platform was released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on June 3. Like ruling Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Scheer’s plan includes a carbon pricing scheme for big polluters (ie facilities emitting more than 40 kt of carbon per year). However, rather than pay a tax, companies that exceed these parameters would have to invest in green innovation commensurate with their emissions. This begs the question what is the incentive to reduce emissions if all they have to do is reinvest back into their own company?
Scheer claims his plan would enable the Conservatives to meet Canada’s emission reduction commitments contained in the Paris Climate Agreement (30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030). Policy experts disagree, their analysis suggests the plan will not decrease Canada’s emission.
The CPC is in denial, they do not acknowledge that Canada has the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity rating in the world, nor are they prepared to do much about the fact that the nation is a top ten global emitter of GHGs.
On the upside, Scheer’s plan includes a tax credit for green home improvements, support to help remote communities transition to clean energy and green bonds that would finance clean tech. It also includes a 10 percent reduction on the business tax rate from income generated by green technology, however, it will only apply to technology that is both developed and patented in Canada.
The most striking difference between Scheer’s plan and Trudeau’s is the fact that the CPC plan does not phase out fossil fuels. In fact, Scheer even proposes rebranding the dirty products produced by Canada’s oil and gas industry as “Canadian Clean”.
Former Tory Prime Minister Kim Cambell criticized the plan and a Globe and mail opinion piece called it a “sad joke”.