Saturday, April 2, 2011

GHG Election Tracker

As of today, April 2nd (April Fools Day would have been a lousy launch date, don’t you think?) I am turning this blog into a GHG Election Tracker. With my background in climate change policy analysis and in the carbon markets, I intend to glean as much information as possible from the party platforms and pronouncements, cut through the rhetoric and offer an impartial assessment of impacts on ghg emissions and climate change for Canada.

Look to this space as your source for the latest news on ghg emissions and climate change in the Canadian electoral battlefield.

As much as the politicians and media may try, they can’t put climate change in a box. It spans most issues, which makes tracking it like nailing jello to the drywall. But climate change policy is absolutely key for Canada’s future safety and security. Climate change spans topics like economics, health, agriculture, forestry, energy, international policy, trade, and oh ya, the environment.

Before we take a look at the stances of parties and leaders, let’s take a minute today to outline some of the policies that affect Canadian ghg emissions most directly.

1. Emission Reduction Targets
A key first step to addressing dangerous climate change is actually setting meaningful targets that fit international and scientific standards and analysis. What have each of the parties proposed?

2. Regulations and Incentives for emission reductions or sequestration
Which regulations or incentives will the parties use to help meet emission reduction targets? Some of the programs proposed include:
  • Cap and Trade
  • Carbon Offsets
  • Carbon Tax
  • Direct Regulation of Large Emitters
3. Energy Sources and Efficiency
An important strategy to reducing ghg emissions is to address the nature and amount of energy we use. What programs or incentives will parties implement to reduce the ghg emissions that result from our use of energy in the electrical grid, space heating, and transportation in Canada?

4. Climate Change Science Research and Funding
Canadian commodity producers (like farmers and foresters), municipal planners, insurance companies, and architects are just a sampling of the folks who need to know where the climate is headed in order to plan for our future and survive in the new climate. What are the parties’ commitments to helping Canada understand the future of climate change, how to mitigate its impact and how to adapt to the new reality?

5. International Policy
Canada’s position on the international stage has varied dramatically depending on who holds the reins to power. Our position on the international stage and in relation to the USA has had significant impacts on our economy, on key industrial and service sectors, as well as trade relations. What are the international policy positions of the governments in waiting? On Kyoto and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? On harmonization of climate policy with the US?

Stay tuned. We start mapping map out the parties’ positions to help Canadians make intelligent choices about choosing the next government with the GHG Election Tracker.

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