On June 6th, 2017, the Liberal government put forward a motion reaffirming Canada’s participation in the Paris Agreement on global warming. The motion read as follows:
That, in the opinion of the House, climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution; and that, despite the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, Canada remain committed to the implementation of the Agreement, as it is in the best interest of all Canadians.
This motion was moral posturing designed to voice the Liberals’ objections to the United States’ action. It was also designed to wedge Conservatives, since a vote in favour could be misconstrued as an endorsement of the Liberal carbon tax agenda, yet a vote against the motion would have been a vote against our positive Conservative record and policies on greenhouse gas emission reductions, and could carry the thread of trade reprisals from other countries.
A few facts about the Agreement and the Conservative record may be helpful.
- The Paris Accord is non-binding and has no enforcement mechanisms;
- The agreement merely requires Canada to periodically report on emissions, which Canada already does;
- Greenhouse gas emissions fell under the previous Conservative government, without the imposition of a carbon tax or any other measures to suppress economic growth;
- Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement could damage Canadian industry due to reprisals from other countries which continue to participate.
- Notwithstanding President Trump’s announcement of intent to withdraw from the Agreement, the United States remains a party to it at the moment. Only North Korea and Nicaragua remain outside of the Agreement;
I have spoken against the Carbon Tax in the House of Commons on several occasions. Videos of my remarks are available at: (https://patkellymp.ca/multimedia/video-gallery/)
My Conservative colleagues and I remain committed to economic and environmental protection policies, while promoting affordable and abundant energy, as well as economic growth.