Charest launches plan to drive clean growth and real environmental results

April 26, 2022, Fredericton, New Brunswick – The Jean Charest campaign released its Environment and Clean Growth plan. After the last federal election, it is clear, that Canadians expect the Conservative Party of Canada to bring forward a genuine and serious plan to deal with climate change and the environment. The Conservative Party of Canada will balance the interests of our energy sector, our resource-producing provinces, and our economy with those of the environment.

Canada has a historic opportunity to create jobs and drive billions in investment in areas such as Carbon Dioxide Removal and Carbon Capture. Jean Charest’s plan will make Canada a world leader in these technologies, allowing us to decarbonize our economy while creating tens of thousands of jobs at home. This will also allow us to responsibly develop our energy sector and maintain Canada as an energy superpower.

Having a credible plan on the environment is the table stakes for any national 2022 Conservative leadership candidate who wants our party to win the next federal election,” said Jean Charest. “Conservatives have a proud environmental record.”

The Trudeau government has made it almost impossible to build any major projects in Canada, and the Trudeau Consumer Carbon Tax, which was implemented without the support of most provinces or industry, only punishes hard-working families and farmers, acting as a wealth transfer from rural to urban communities. A tax on consumers alone is not a climate plan.

Canadians deserve a real and credible climate policy – not ideology. Charest’s environment plan takes a comprehensive approach to net-zero, creates jobs, supports our energy sector, is fair for rural communities, and grows the economy while reducing GHG emissions and air pollution. The plan will:

  • Repeal the Trudeau Consumer Carbon Tax and replace it with an industrial carbon price to slash emissions while giving provinces the flexibility to choose their path to emission reductions.
  • Boost pathways for clean energy solutions by working collaboratively with Premiers and industry and investing in Canadian technology in areas like nuclear, hydrogen, and carbon capture including enhanced oil recovery.
  • Make Canada a world leader in Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technology and create jobs at home while exporting our technology to help the world decarbonize.
  • Unlock major projects by speeding up the approvals process for all big infrastructure projects that will result in emissions reductions.
  • Eliminate the HST on products that help reduce our carbon usage like electric vehicles, electric tractors, heat pumps, Energy Star appliances, and high-efficiency windows.
  • Introduce Right to Repair legislation to ensure Canadians have a right to repair their appliances, vehicles, farm equipment, electronic devices, and other household items that otherwise end up as waste.

This plan will meet and eventually exceed a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050, allowing us to keep pace with our allies in the developed world and responsibly develop our natural resources.

Details of the policy are available in the backgrounder below.

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Media Contact: Laurence Tôth, Press Secretary 581-305-4501 media@jeancharest.ca

Backgrounder

As Canada’s former Environment Minister, Mr. Charest signed the world’s first-ever agreement to tackle climate change.  At that time, the government played an influential role in convincing other nations to join in signing the Accord. Canada’s leadership on the world stage was recognized and respected. Jean Charest’s Environment and Clean Growth Plan will allow Canada to once again lead the world and will do this without dividing the country or holding back our resource development.

The Charest Environment and Clean Growth plan were developed with feedback from industry stakeholders including  Conservatives for Clean Growth.

Jean Charest’s plan is concrete and actionable path to net-zero which includes working collaboratively with Premiers and industry and investing in Canadian technology in areas like nuclear, hydrogen, carbon dioxide removal, and carbon capture.

The core elements of the plan include:

  • Repealing the Trudeau Consumer Carbon Tax
    • The cost-of-living crisis is bad enough without piling more taxes on hard-working families.
    • Many Canadians do not have a choice in how they heat their homes or fuel their vehicles. The Trudeau Consumer Carbon Tax puts an unfair burden on these people, especially in rural Canada.
    • A Jean Charest government will repeal it.
    • Instead, the Charest plan will place a heavier focus on industrial emissions while using other measures like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and increases in Zero-Emission Vehicles to tackle emissions from transportation and home heating.
  • Cutting Industrial Emissions
    • Putting the focus where it belongs – on the industry, not on families. I will implement a price on carbon at the industrial level.
    • The Charest plan will respect provincial jurisdiction and give provinces the flexibility to make their own choices.
    • Charest will sit down with all the provinces, and industry, to work out an agreement that reduces emissions and ensures everyone does their fair share without crippling our energy sector or making industry uncompetitive.
    • This plan will give industry the much-needed certainty about long-term investments and reward companies that reduce emissions.
    • Charest will propose to the United States a minimum North American standards for key industrial sectors, backed up by border carbon adjustments to prevent leakage of emissions – and jobs – to countries with lower environmental and emissions standards like China. This will allow us to achieve greater reductions from trade-exposed sectors.
  • Technology Leadership Strategy
    • Making Canada a leader in key technologies including Small Modular Reactors, hydrogen, and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), and enhanced oil recovery so that we can export the energy and clean technology the world needs while putting our country on a path to net-zero.
    • Making nuclear energy a major focus, including bringing it into the green bonds program.
  • Unlocking Major Projects
    • The Trudeau government has made it almost impossible to build any major projects in Canada. We need to fix this to grow the economy and meet our climate goals.
    • Speeding up the approvals process for all projects and fast-track those projects that will result in emissions reductions.
    • Giving investors and project sponsors confidence and regulatory certainty to spur the $2 trillion in investments over the next 30 years to evolve our energy systems. The economic potential for Canada is significant if we use market-based solutions.
    • Adopting a Contracts for Difference model based on those used in the UK to give investors confidence and cost certainty over the life of major projects and lower the cost of borrowing.
  • Canadian LNG and Hydrogen for a cleaner and more secure world
    • Increasing production of LNG and both blue and green hydrogen to help Europe and Asia transition off coal – and Russian gas – while creating jobs here at home.
    • Supporting the infrastructure around LNG and hydrogen transmission like coastal export facilities and pipelines.
  • Incentivizing Environmentally Friendly Choices the Right Way
    • Eliminating the HST on products that help reduce our carbon usages like electric vehicles, electric tractors, heat pumps, Energy Star appliances, and high-efficiency windows.
  • More Zero-Emission Vehicles
    • Requiring 30% of light-duty vehicles to be zero-emission by 2030 and further increasing these targets over time.
    • Working with industry to create binding targets for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks.
    • Working with the United States to strengthen North American vehicle emission standards.
    • Investing in transmission infrastructure to bring clean energy to where it’s needed and be able to support the increase in electric vehicles.
  • More Renewable Natural Gas
    • Introducing a Renewable Natural Gas Mandate, based on British Columbia’s policy, requiring 15% of downstream consumption to be renewable by 2030.
    • Supporting the creation of Renewable Natural Gas from methane, backed by clear rules around reducing fugitive methane emissions.
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard
    • Achieving a 20% reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels, based on British Columbia’s policy.
  • Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)
    • Major investments and tax credits for CCUS will make Canada a leader in this important technology while significantly reducing the carbon intensity of our energy sector and other key industries.
    • Providing production tax credits for Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) facilities that match or exceed those being offered in the United States, to make Canada the world leader in CDR technology and create jobs at home while exporting our technology to help the world decarbonize.
    • Prioritizing and fast-tracking CCUS project approvals that will lower our emissions.
  • Net-Zero Electricity Generation
    • Moving towards a net-zero electricity system by 2035 as the foundation of a net-zero economy and greater use of electric vehicles.
  • Natural Climate Solutions
    • Partnering with our farmers, forestry companies and non-profit organizations to invest in our natural environment, including management of forest, crop, and grazing lands and wetland restoration and protection.
  • Right to Repair Legislation
    • Introducing legislation to ensure Canadians have a right to repair their appliances, vehicles, farm equipment, electronic devices, and other household items that otherwise end up as waste.
  • Carbon Border Tariffs
    • Standing up for Canada in the world by insisting that major polluters like China clean up their act.
    • This will support industrial decarbonization at home while ensuring Canadian businesses can compete on equal footing with global competitors.
  • Clean Buildings Plan
    • Part of our transition to net-zero by 2050 will involve the retrofitting and renovation of millions of Canadian buildings. Incentivizing property owners to make these investments, and giving Canadians the tools to do it, are some of the most impactful green investments we can make. It also has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in the coming years.
    • Providing tax credits for property owners and small businesses to undertake deep retrofits to homes and places of work.
    • Investing in trades to ensure they have the skills and information to help homeowners choose low-carbon options like heat pumps, electric water heaters, and effective insulation.