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Pembina reacts to Liberal Party election platform

3 Apr 2011

OTTAWA, ON — The Pembina Institute's Clare Demerse made the following statement in response to today's release of the Liberal Party platform:

"Overall, we're happy to see this platform put clean energy at the centre of Canada's economic future. While countries such as China and the U.S. are taking steps to succeed in the clean energy economy, Canada has been lagging behind. Strong action on climate change can create more jobs than 'business as usual,' so the Liberal Party's decision to make clean energy a priority would be good news for Canadian workers and for the environment.

"While Michael Ignatieff's platform takes important steps to make that clean energy transformation a reality, it also leaves some gaps."

On renewable energy and efficiency

"We're pleased to see the platform's emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency, both of which provide economic opportunity along with environmental benefits. A long-term reinvestment in home energy retrofits would create market predictability, which is important for the businesses that provide these services.

"The platform also promises new federal support for renewable energy and sets a goal of quadrupling clean energy production by 2017. Both of these actions would help to create some market stability for investments in renewable energy in Canada."

On climate change

"A price on greenhouse gas pollution needs to be the centrepiece of any effective Canadian plan to tackle climate change, and is widely supported by industry. This platform meets that test by proposing a cap-and-trade system that would make polluters pay for their allowances — an important design element that strengthens the proposal. Unfortunately, the platform does not specify how quickly the system would go into effect.

"In addition, the platform does not outline the party's approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet or beat Canada's current 2020 target, nor does it dedicate funding to tackling climate change in poorer countries. We support the proposal to establish science-based mid-term targets by drawing on the expertise of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy."

On oilsands development

"Economists are clear — there is no need for preferential federal tax treatment for the oilsands. That means the Liberal plan to immediately end one oilsands subsidy, and redirect support to oilsands environmental measures, is a positive move.

"While the Liberals' commitment to increase federal oversight of oilsands development is a much-needed step, there are few details in this platform about how a Liberal government would effectively address the environmental impacts of oilsands development."

On sustainable transportation

"With this platform, the Liberal Party outlined some worthwhile principles on transit, but missed an opportunity to make tangible commitments to support cleaner transportation across Canada. Better public transit systems offer a real opportunity to improve our cities and create new jobs in manufacturing and infrastructure, but we won't reap these benefits without increased federal investment."

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The Institute's criteria for evaluating campaign pledges related to climate change, oilsands, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation are outlined in the backgrounder "Federal Election 2011: a checklist for clean energy success."

Spokesperson

Clare Demerse
Cell: 613-762-7449
Twitter: @ClareDemerse
Languages: English, français
Time zone: Eastern

Alternate media contact

Julia Kilpatrick
Media Manager
Cell: 613-265-5579
Twitter: @Pembina
Languages: English, français
Time zone: Eastern

Posted April 4, 2011 by AEN

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