Climate huge in 2021 election, yet expert says parties’ lacking details

Climate huge in 2021 election, yet expert says parties’ lacking details

By Mariana Schuetze

This year all main four parties had climate policies in their plans, but even though it is a very discussed topic much is still left out of the picture. 

Canadian climate and energy policies expert, Jennifer Winter, in a series of articles for the CBC, talked about each of the four main party’s plans for climate change and carbon emissions reductions. Her most prominent critique is that they are all “short on detail” on how they plan to achieve their goals. 

For Winter, while Liberals maintain much of what’s been working for them, their plan “is pretty much as vague as the other parties’ plans.” 

Conservatives finally have a plan, but their approach seems “inconsistent” wrote Winter. And both the NDP and the Green Party plans’ seem to be way too ambitious (and vague) for reality, she added. 

Leaders of the four main parties of the 2021 election. From left to right, Erin O’Toole of the Conservative Party; Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party and Annamie Paul of the Green Party. 
(Source: Macleans)

71-year-old Canadian, Howard Weinstein said that in this election the climate was the number one issue for most voters. Weinstein lives in Montreal and is a big follower of Canadian politics. 

“Canadians experienced more climate change in the past two-and-a-half years than ever before. And that’s why it became an issue,” said Weinstein, in a phone interview, about why he thinks climate change suddenly became so important for voters. 

“We saw the effect of climate change more than ever,” he added, referring to the intense heat in Canada this summer and other extreme weather events that happened this year. 

Howard Weinstein
An in-depth look at the four major Canadian political parties climate change plans. (Rita Cheery/RSJ)

Mark Jaccard, a non-partisan climate expert, also assessed the parties climate plans for the 2021 federal election in an article for Policy Options

For Jaccard, both the Liberal and Conservative parties’ plans seem achievable, but the Conservative’s plan doesn’t seem too effective. 

As for the NDP and the Green Party, Jaccard believes their plans are a little too ambitious for Canada. He says that they could work but if they did it would cause a drastic impact in the country’s economy. 

For this election, each of the parties presented different percentages for their greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030. 

The most ambitious is the Green Party’s plan, which promises a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent. The NDP follows closely with a promise of 50 percent reduction in GHG gases while the Conservatives present a different smaller target of 30 percent reductions. And the Liberals raised their previous 30 percent target to 40 for this year’s campaign. 

November 21, 2021

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