Open thread: Trudeau on climate


in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment

Now that he has been elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is going to have to make some crucial decisions on climate: how much fossil fuel infrastructure he will allow (including for export); the degree to which he will promote zero-carbon energy; whether he will establish a price on carbon; how he will engage internationally; etc.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

. October 24, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Trudeau team looks to put new face on Canada’s climate policy

Approach to UN climate conference in Paris will include the provinces – but maybe not targets

. October 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm
. October 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Will Justin Trudeau take No for an answer on Keystone pipeline?
U.S. president likely to veto Keystone in run-up to big climate change conference next month

. October 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Justin Trudeau’s environment plan: End fossil fuel subsidies, invest in clean tech

Liberal leader would also attend the Paris UN climate summit with premiers

. October 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm


Just over four years ago, we were getting ready for the Washington protests that helped accelerate the Keystone pipeline fight. A week out I was nervous but excited — I knew that our movement was ready to take a new step. And that’s how it turned out: enough people showed up outside the White House to constitute the country’s biggest civil disobedience action in a long time. It got the ball rolling.

Now you’ve got the same chance in Canada. In the wake of the sweeping Liberal victory, it’s time to welcome the new government to office—and make sure that they realize there’s no time to waste. Climate Welcome is a reminder that unless the tar sands stops expanding, Canada simply can’t play a constructive role in solving the world’s climate problems.

The movement has matured a lot since those days four years ago. It’s broad and diverse, led by First Nations and frontline communities, and part of a wider social movement for change. That’s why, at this action, people won’t just be sitting in – but delivering gifts that tell a powerful story of the kind of bold action the world needs Canada to take on climate change.

On the first day, they’ll be bringing scientific reports, economic studies and documentation of treaty violations to show the clear case for freezing tar sands expansion. On the second day, they’ll carry all of our voices – the hundreds of thousands of us that have signed petitions or sent messages opposing dangerous, unnecessary pipeline and tar sands expansion. On the third day, people from all across Canada are joining both in person and in spirit as people deliver water from the rivers, lakes and shorelines put at risk by tar sands, pipelines and tankers. On the last day, they’ll be carrying symbols of the pathway that the world needs Canada to take forwards – solar panels for the new Prime Minister to hook up as he renovates his new home. As well as, among other things, The Leap Manifesto drafted by 350 board member Naomi Klein along with many others.

And this action comes at just the right moment: heading to Paris, with the fossil fuel industry on the defensive, and with a new government that has yet to set a definitive climate course.

Those of us south of the border watched with pleasure as Canada began its reboot this month: we know that the world works much better when Canada solves problems instead of causing them. But we also know that even with improved leadership, nothing happens unless people demand it.

The time to start is now — make sure you join this historical moment in Canada:


Bill Mckibben

Oleh November 10, 2015 at 4:54 am

Already adding Climate Change to the name and mandate of the Minister of the Environment is a positive

Milan December 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

The Economist recently published a pair of articles about the Trudeau government’s efforts to create Canada’s first real national climate policy:

Let the haggling begin: With the announcement of a national carbon price, Justin Trudeau opens a new phase of his government

Canada’s prime minister secures a deal for a national carbon price: He may need more carrots to keep the provinces on his side

It’s not surprising that they don’t call out the plan as grossly inadequate since, like Trudeau himself, The Economist really hasn’t grasped the full importance of climate change and the need for an aggressive transition away from fossil fuels.

. December 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm
. January 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Trudeau welcomes Trump’s Keystone XL decision

U.S. president approves $8B pipeline project but says it’s still subject to ‘renegotiation of terms by us’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is strongly in favour of Donald Trump’s decision to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline project, a move he says will be a boon for Canadian jobs and government coffers, and help a hobbled Alberta recover from the steep decline in oil prices.

Trudeau said he has spoken to the new U.S. president twice, and on both occasions he pressed upon him Canada’s steadfast support for the $8-billion project, which could carry more than 800,000 barrels of Alberta oil a day to refineries in Texas.

“I reiterated my support for the project. I’ve been on the record for many years supporting [Keystone XL] because it leads to economic growth and good jobs for Albertans,” he told reporters assembled in Calgary for the federal cabinet retreat.

“We know we can get our resources to market more safely and responsibly while meeting our climate change goals,” he said, adding Premier Rachel Notley’s hard cap on oilsands emissions will ensure Canada meets its reduction targets.

. January 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm

The greatest responsibility of any prime minister is to get our resources to market and yes that includes the oilsands,” the prime minister said in response, while noting he would not abandon his commitment to protecting the environment for future generations.

At one point, an impassioned Trudeau asked the crowd to raise their hands if they believe in climate change, and virtually everyone in the audience did so.

“We have to manage the transition off fossil fuels,” Trudeau said, while noting even former prime minister Stephen Harper said the country would have to commit itself to “decarbonization.”

Trudeau championed his government’s approval of two major pipeline projects, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and Enbridge’s Line 3, comments which were met with the loudest applause from the audience.

. April 24, 2017 at 9:26 pm
. June 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm

A historic moment for B.C. politics – and our environment

The governing agreement between the NDP and Green Party represents a historic moment in British Columbia politics. It anticipates not only the first minority government in the province in 65 years, but also the first government in Canadian history predicated on support from the Greens. The two parties’ commitment to proportional representation could yield even more dramatic and lasting changes to the provincial political landscape.

The agreement also represents a potentially historic moment for the Canadian oil industry and economy. The Greens and NDP’s shared commitment to climate action and opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion project presents both economic and political challenges to the proposed pipeline.

When the BC Liberal government is defeated in June, as seems inevitable, opposition to the pipeline will no longer be a matter of individual citizens, environmental groups, or even local governments and First Nations, but of a provincial government acting on behalf of all British Columbians.

At the heart of the Trudeau government’s 2016 climate plan lies a political compromise: a commitment to pursue reductions in Canada’s own greenhouse gas emissions in exchange for expansion of fossil-fuel exports to other countries via new pipelines. The looming NDP-Green partnership in British Columbia reveals both the political fragility of that compromise and the contradiction of climate leadership funded by fossil-fuel development.

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