It is one thing to come up with targets to reduce carbon emissions, but quite another to fulfill them, according to Foreign Affairs critic for the Opposition, Tony Clement.
The Parry Sound-Muskoka Member of Parliament applauded all of the countries that signed on to the Paris accord on December 12. “It’s always amazing when you can get 195 countries to agree to anything,” said Clement.
The targets that are embodied in the COP21 agreement, the Paris agreement, are similar to the ones that we as the Harper government proposed for Canada via the 30 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. So obviously I support that stance within Canadian government.MP and Foreign Affairs Critic Tony Clement
Now the work begins, said Clement of meeting those targets. He said the heavy lifting will come as the Federal government tries to get the provinces, civil society and businesses on side. “And whatever we do, just to put a bit of a local spin on it, it has to be done in such a way that people are not taxed out of their houses to pay for the heating costs. I want to see us meet these targets but at the same time it has to be done in such a way so that it’s not punishment for people of limited means.”
Clement said Ontario’s talk of a cap and trade approach to emissions would mean the cost would be passed on to the consumer.
I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen or couldn’t happen, but we have to watch out for certain externalities to make sure we don’t create losers that are people of limited means. I feel strongly about that in our own community but also across Canada, too.Clement
He said the triumph of the Paris agreement, as opposed to the Kyoto and Copenhagen agreements, is that it has managed to persuade developing countries to sign on and they represent a greater source of new emissions. The deal would see developed countries such as Canada help less developed countries with the transition that will be required to meet their targets as well as climate change adaptation costs.
“I don’t have a problem with some of that. The Harper government had put in about 1.5 billion dollars notionally to that, Mr. Trudeau has doubled that amount. The only concern I raise is that I find it a bit odd that within the lesser developed countries who are going to get these subsidies are countries like China and India who in my mind are not lesser developed countries. They’re quite rich countries and the reason they are emitting a lot more carbon is because they are hugely growing economies. Everybody having to meet a target is the right idea,” he concluded, but reiterated that how those targets are met are some of the issues that will have to be discussed in Parliament. He said he looks forward to those discussions.