Statement On the Conclusion of the Paris COP 21 Conference on Climate Change
December 11, 2015
The Conservative Party welcomes the progress that was made at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP 21). We reaffirm our position that any agreement that provides for binding commitments on greenhouse gas emission reductions must include all major emitters, be realistic and achievable, and find the appropriate balance between protecting our environment for future generations and growing our economy. We note that, although the agreement in Paris does require the parties to report their national emissions targets and to review those targets every five years, the agreement does not include binding greenhouse gas emission targets due to the objections of a number of the largest emitters. We welcome the agreement’s emphasis on forest conservation. We also note that the conservation and protection of Canada’s large boreal forests and wetlands represent significant opportunities to offset global greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage the Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to build upon our Conservative Government’s successful conservation record of increasing by 50% the amount of protected national parkland. We challenge the Minister to follow through on her government’s commitment to consult with Canadians, including the Provinces and Territories, before finalizing a plan for national emissions targets and implementing the requisite policies to meet those targets. We call upon Minister McKenna to include in her consultations those sectors of our economy which will be most negatively impacted by her emissions targets and related policies. We also call upon the Minister to consult broadly with Canadian consumers and taxpayers before imposing punitive carbon pricing policies such as a carbon tax. We are very concerned that, without prior notice or consultations with Canadians, the Prime Minister has chosen to transfer $2.65 billion of taxpayers money into the United Nations Green Climate Fund, money that will be spent on climate change projects, not within Canada, but in foreign countries. The Liberal Party has yet to explain which countries will receive these funds, how those funds will be spent, whether this expenditure commits Canada to ongoing permanent funding post-2020, and to what degree, if any, Canada will play a role in overseeing the expenditure of these funds. The Conservative Party believes that, before the government spends taxpayers’ money on foreign climate change projects, it must explain to Canadians its plan to meet our own climate change commitments.