Shopping Green Platforms

Election 2008: Shopping the Party Environmental Platforms

With the federal election just four days away, I hope voters are considering the environmental platforms of each party. Such issues have taken a backseat in the last few weeks given the international economic turmoil. But as Andrew Coyne points out, things in Canada might not be so bad, so let's not forget the other election issues.

Adding to my review of plans by the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, and Greens, a brief comparison is in order.

Unfortunately "climate change" has become synonymous with "environment" when it comes to politics. Despite there being a multitude of other just-as-worthy issues, the parties will inevitably be judged on their plans in this respect. Their respective plans stack up as follows:

- North American cap-and-trade market, 20% GHG reductions over 2006 levels by 2020 (*baseline year affects reduction meanings!*)

- Carbon tax, 20% below 1990 levels by 2020

- Canadian cap-and-trade, 25% below 1990 levels by 2020

- Carbon tax, 30% 1990 levels by 2020

But I would strongly encourage looking deeper for ideas that set the parties apart. Here are just a few unique ideas coming out of each party:

- emphasis on enforcing existing laws, with new Environmental Enforcement Act
- continue support for Nature Conservancy of Canada with aim to increase conservation lands

- tougher Ambient Air Quality Standards to improve air quality
- implement a goal of protecting 50% of intact wilderness areas with new "network of protected areas"

- create a $3 billion per year green-collar jobs fund
- halt new tar sands development

- double federal transit funding and invest in rail infrastructure
- change nuclear policy: stop uranium mining and wind down reliance on nuclear

Where to go for more info?

Check out CIUT's The Green Majority radio show analysis of party platforms. Episode 1reviews the NDP and Greens. Episode 2 reviews the Conservatives and Liberals.

Then there is the Globe and Mail Interactive Platform comparison.

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday!

Photo from sniderscion's Flickr pool.

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