Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Climate leaders don't hold back on their accountability to meeting climate targets

On November 7, 2018, Jenny rose to speak about the environment:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, it was revealed two days ago, after the government decided to spend $4.5 billion of public funds on a 65-year old leaky pipeline, that Kinder Morgan received a letter from the government, stating it had committed not one, two or three offences, but four offences. That was at the time when I asked the question.

Months had passed without mandatory monitoring reports being provided to the government and first nations. Safe underwater noise limits during expansion work had exceeded safe underwater noise limits, putting marine wildlife at risk, yet the government insisted Kinder Morgan deserved this bailout.

As I have said on numerous occasions now, this is not the course of action a climate leader takes. Here is the approach a climate leader takes.

My colleague, the member for Edmonton Strathcona, who had been providing true leadership on this file throughout her career in and out of politics, had put Motion No. 204 on notice in the House. The passing of that motion would compel the government to enact legislation to establish a legal regime to ensure that binding measures would be in place to ensure greater transparency and accountability for sound decision-making in delivering on Canada's commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This would include: prescribing legally-binding reduction targets for greenhouse gases for 2030 and 2050, consistent with commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Canada adopted and ratified, and targets committed to in the Paris climate agreement; prescribing a duty to take measures to reduce or mitigate risks or impacts from climate change; establishing an independent climate advisory committee of experts, appointed by the Governor in Council, to advise governments on measures to meet targets based on scientifically, technologically and economically-sound analysis; for this committee to undertake audits based on progress indicators of the actions to deliver on these targets; and for the committee to submit to Parliament an annual report outlining the advice provided, actions taken and progress in meeting targets.

The legislation would mirror that enacted in the United Kingdom in 2008, 10 years ago. It would resemble measures taken by Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

As my colleague stated, her motion would deliver deeper action and accountability than the panel of experts the environment minister had proposed.

This is climate leadership and climate action, legally-binding targets with checks and balances to hold the government to account when it is not reaching them. A transparency and accountability model based on global best practices is what Canada needs right now. Instead, we have a toothless advisory panel for ad hoc consultations. We have Harper's targets. We also have the Auditor General and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change telling the government that even those targets will be missed and that there is no accountability.

The United Kingdom took steps toward real accountability on climate action a decade ago. Will the government support Motion No. 204 and hold itself accountable to meet the climate targets that Canadians, today and tomorrow, need?"

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