The Liberal government is proposing climate change initiatives it promises will spur the creation of one million jobs to help Canada recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
Climate change was emphasized as a central pillar of the Liberals’ goals for the upcoming session of parliament, when legislation integral to putting Canada back on track will be tabled. Details of the plan to meet emission goals while mitigating the effects of the pandemic were outlined during the throne speech, which Governor General Julie Payette read Wednesday.
“The world came into this pandemic facing the risks and consequences of climate change. A lesson that COVID-19 has taught us is that we need to match challenges with decisiveness and determination,” Payette said.
“Climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country. This is where the world is going. Global consumers and investors are demanding and rewarding climate action.”
Watch: Execution matters more than throne speech promises, Jagmeet Singh says. Story continues below.
The speech didn’t reflect a transformative vision, instead recycling the Liberals’ campaign promises they have yet to act on, said Environmental Defence program manager Julia Levin.
However, the advocacy group was pleased the party reaffirmed its environmental commitments and vowed to immediately table plans to exceed Canada’s 2030 greenhouse gas target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The timeline for that legislation had been unclear leading up to the speech, despite the accelerating rate of climate change, Levin said.
“We were glad to see the recognition that we can’t go back to business as usual,” Levin told HuffPost Canada. “What we need to see as a country experiencing climate change is a plan to get off fossil fuels.”