The Liberal Party policy amendment that’s causing a buzz this morning

123. Climate Change

Scientists confirm that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, is altering the atmosphere, changing Earth’s climate, and damaging the environment; Urgent action is required to combat the adverse effects of climate change; Biofuel production from crops grown for fuel (rather than for food) contributes to higher food prices, and risks increasing poverty and hunger, particularly in the global South.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the next Liberal government of Canada to:

  1. Support unconditionally Canada’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol by enacting comprehensive legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, including, but not limited to:
    1. establishing a carbon tax, a cap and trade system, or a combination of both, including hard
      limits on the emission of greenhouse gasses for large final emitters;

    2. providing financial support for energy efficiency and conservation measures, generating clean
      energy, and public education on the effects of global warming.
  2. Initiate constructive negotiations relating to the post-Kyoto period intended to build an international climate regime that includes:
    1. deeper mandatory GHG emission reductions for industrialized countries;
    2. expanding the group of countries committed to binding emission reductions;
    3. protection for tropical forests;
    4. prioritizing climate-friendly technologies.
  3. Combat climate change by committing Canada to a 25-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (relative to 1990 levels) by 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050.
  4. Favour the production of biofuels from forest product and agricultural residues.

Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec)

1. Will Michael Ignatieff and his OLO/Liberal HQ team do everything in their power to prevent this policy from making it to the main floor of the convention?
2. If approved by Liberal delegates, will Michael Ignatieff allow this policy to be binding upon the Liberal Party?
3. If not, does this mean that the Liberal Party is ceding environmental policy to the NDP/Greens… to the Conservatives? (the Conservatives have passed legislation on GHG reduction)
4. Will the passing of such a resolution merely reflect the Liberal record of more talk than action on GHGs and climate change?
5. Last month, Michael Ignatieff said “We took the carbon tax to the public and the public didn’t think it was such a good idea”. Does this mean that Liberal Party policy is determined via polling rather than by party principle?
6. Will the Liberal convention (including flights, hotels, presentations and other travel) be carbon-neutral? Will the Liberal Party be buying carbon offsets for the entire carbon footprint of the convention?