The latest federal climate change report shows that Canada is warming faster than the global average which could mean more wildfires and more extreme weather.
With a federal election mere months away, what should Canadians demand from politicians to tackle this crisis?
Isabelle Turcotte, director of federal policy at the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank, spoke with On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko to offer her thoughts on what Canadians should look for when deciding who to vote for.
What sort of checklist should voters have when they’re trying to evaluate their political representatives?
Voters should look for strong climate platforms and leaders who will be dedicated to tackling this issue with concrete action and concrete policies that will reduce our emissions and transform every sector of our economy.
How does the average voter know what is a concrete policy?
Let’s get all of our leadership hopefuls on the record saying that they are committed to meeting our Paris Agreement target and that they are also committed to increasing that target because we know that that target is not quite enough
Look for policies that reduce emissions in the transport sector. Concrete things like increasing electric vehicles on the road. Look for policies that put more renewable energy on the grid, for policies that help our industrial sector decarbonize.
Really concrete things that make our economic sectors more efficient and more economically competitive.
Well, you can have concrete evidence for a government that’s in power, but what about parties that are out of government?
A very important element is policy certainty to make sure that those industries that are making investments in the current regulatory environment where we are putting in place our climate plans and guiding investments, that they know they can be confident that this regulatory environment will be sustained and dialed up because we know we need to do more.
So seeing some policy alignment between what’s being proposed is really valuable — between what’s being proposed by leadership hopefuls and what exists is a good indicator.
Despite climate change being an issue that’s affecting all of us there are very clear partisan divides on it among provinces. Ontario and Saskatchewan are against the carbon tax vehemently. Why is this happening?
To those who oppose this measure, which we know is the lowest-cost measure to reduce our emissions, to those who oppose that approach, put forward your alternatives and let’s debate it. I think that’s what Canadians need to demand of their leaders.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Listen to the complete interview: