September 11, 2008 09:51 ET

Layton Spells out Better Environmental Plan

Practical, mainstream, step-by-step plan to address environmental crisis

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2008) - Canadians want action to address climate change. Stephen Harper has no plan. Stephane Dion's plan is wrong and won't work, Dion himself has argued. New Democrat Leader Jack Layton came to Montreal today to spell out a practical, mainstream, step-by-step plan that will work.

"Rewarding polluters who clean up their act, and imposing penalties on those that don't, is the core of the system being implemented in the European Union," Layton said. "It has been proposed by both U.S. Presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain. And so it provides Canada with a potentially integrated, increasingly global solution."

Layton called his plan "mainstream, prudent, common sense."

New Democrat Jack Layton's plan:

- Builds on the Climate Change Accountability Act, proposed by Layton's party and adopted by Parliament on June 4, 2008. This bill sets the target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and provides the enforcement tools needed to do the job.

- Make polluters pay for the real costs of pollution. "We'll do this through a cap-and-trade system that rewards big polluters who reduce emissions, and punishes those who don't."

- Helps families make the transition to a sustainable economy with a $750 million green-collar jobs fund.

- Ensures greener homes and cities with average of almost $1 billion a year for public transport and an energy efficiency retrofit program.

- Introduces Canada Environment Action Bonds to raise capital for the plan's goals.

- Halts new tar sands development until emissions are capped.

- And implements a new energy economy strategy -- to be spelled out in coming days.

Layton concluded: "You deserve a Prime Minister who will stand up to big polluters, on October 14th, I'm asking for your support to be that Prime Minister."

Stephane Dion on the Carbon Tax During the Liberal Leadership Race

"A carbon tax is less effective than a carbon market at reducing emissions. Some of my opponents for the Liberal leadership have suggested that a carbon tax would be the most effective measure to curb climate pollution. This is simply bad policy, for the following reasons:

1. A carbon tax is almost always implemented as a direct tax on fossil fuels. Given the current price of these fuels, however, it is difficult to argue that a further price signal will dampen consumption or shift demand.

2. A carbon tax is a flat tax - it costs each polluter a fixed amount per tonne of emissions. Such a tax will not inflate with a bull market or recede in times of difficulty. In the energy market, in particular, soaring prices make anything but a prohibitively high tax a mere nuisance for large producers.

3. Finally, and most significantly, valuing reductions in emissions equally across all sectors and industries eliminates the potential benefits to be had by maximizing reductions where the cost is lowest. In a carbon market, those areas that produce the least expensive real reductions will experience the highest level of interest and investment, maximizing the level of reductions per dollar spent."

- Stephane Dion, LPC Leadership Campaign Platform, (2006), p. 29-30

Contact Information

  • NDP Press Office
    613-236-3613 x 2833
    For Campaign 2008 Leader's Tour related requests:
    Karl Belanger
    Press Secretary to Jack Layton