VANCOUVER — Matt Horne, director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program, made the following statement in response to Environment Minister Peter Kent's speech to the Toronto Economic Club today:
"Minister Kent's speech is more notable for its glaring omissions and misrepresentative statements about Canada's performance than for the $30 million per year promised for domestic climate change adaptation. The government's positioning shows a continued 'head in the sand' mentality that falls desperately short of the expectations of Canadians and the international community.
"Frustratingly, the government continues to praise itself for its estimate that the combined efforts of federal and provincial governments only get Canada one quarter of the way toward the federal government's 2020 pollution reduction commitments. This misplaced confidence should be setting off alarm bells because we still have so many holes in our approach to reducing climate pollution, and so little time to fill them.
"If the government is truly serious about advancing international talks on addressing climate change, it needs to demonstrate how it will achieve the commitments it has already made. Canada should be leading at home and advancing constructive solutions abroad, rather than lagging at home and undermining international efforts to address greenhouse gas pollution.
"Minister Kent's speech, and its lack of substance, stands in stark contrast to yesterday's actions in Australia. A country of similar population and economy, Australia's government passed a carbon tax that, in addition to sending a strong price signal to move away from dirty energy sources, will provide $10 billion over five years for citizens and businesses to make the shift to cleaner options.
"When the federal government's own advisory panel has found that catastrophic climate change could wipe out up to 25 per cent of Canada's GDP, our government must demonstrate how it will avoid that scenario by dramatically reducing our own pollution and being a constructive player in the international negotiations."
Director, climate change
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