Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for South Surrey—White Rock.
Today, I am pleased to speak to Motion. No. 8 regarding the Paris agreement.
The Paris targets are the same targets that were put in place by the previous Conservative government, so obviously I am not going to try to change them. However, targets without a concrete plan are just dreams. As a new member with over 32 years of experience in business, I want to see that plan.
The Liberal government promised that a concrete plan would be presented within 90 days of the Paris agreement. That did not happen. Then, the Liberal government said that it was going to consult the provinces to come up with a plan. However, it has already consulted them and it still has no plan.
The Liberals said that they would have a complete plan in less than a year, but there is still no plan and no agreement with the provinces with regard to a plan.
I am pleased to have a chance to correct the misperceptions that exist regarding Conservative views on climate change and the Paris agreement.
I am a scientist. I use fact and evidence-based decision-making as a way of life. As a chemical engineer, the first female engineer to sit in the House, I have the understanding of the science behind what is happening to the planet. Indeed, we are seeing climate change on the planet. The permafrost is melting, extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, and the pH of the ocean is rising as evidence of the change.
It is clear from research that a combination of natural phenomena and human factors are influencing this issue. A volcano in Iceland erupts and in four days generates more of a carbon footprint than we have erased globally with carbon emissions reduction projects in years. Each year forest fires in North America alone increase the emissions, and clearly, we have emissions from transportation, buildings, industry, and mammals
There are ways to absorb these carbon emissions. Scientific data show that 36% of emissions enter the atmosphere, 27% are naturally absorbed by water, and 25% are absorbed by vegetation, with forests absorbing a larger share. Still more carbon is absorbed by carbon sinks through sequestration and convergence.
However, the meeting in Paris was about figuring out how to solve the problem of this global change. The assumption made is that it is all related to the increasing temperature of the planet and that by holding the temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees we will avert catastrophe. I am not convinced that temperature is the only consideration, but let us deal with that one today.
The linkage is then made that to reduce the temperature increase of the planet, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we are focused now specifically on carbon emissions. Certainly greenhouse gases are a factor and CO2 a significant portion of these gases. However, when it comes to solving the global problem of carbon emissions, let us be clear on the facts. Canada makes up less than 2% of the carbon footprint of the planet. It is a scientific fact that we could eliminate our entire carbon footprint in Canada and this would have no significant impact on the temperature increase we are trying to solve.
Let me say that again for those who did not get that. We could totally eliminate our carbon footprint in Canada, spending billions of dollars to do it, and it would not fix global warming. The approach of the Liberal government is wrong, especially this newly announced federal carbon tax. This would just kill Canadian jobs and move the carbon footprint elsewhere on the planet.
The scientific fact is that of the 36 megatonnes per year of carbon emissions on the planet, China is responsible for nearly one-third. Between China, India, the U.S., and Europe, they make up 60% of the carbon footprint. Unless their emissions are addressed, the permafrost will continue to melt, the oceans will continue to get more acidic, and weather events will increasingly occur.
While I am supportive of Canada doing its part to lead in helping the planet, it is critical to see that we must move in concert with these other substantive contributors to the problem. Otherwise, we will bankrupt our nation, spend millions to eliminate our footprint, as well as the jobs associated with them, and we will achieve nothing.
Canada has superb low carbon energy technologies and tools that could be used to help other countries. We should maximize the potential of Canada's expertise to help countries with higher levels of carbon emissions.
For example, China is still building coal-fired power plants. Canada could help improve the situation by using alternatives, such as liquefied natural gas, nuclear energy, and renewable energy. Promoting carbon sequestration and biotechnology will create high-paying jobs in Canada and help the planet.
However, what we should not be doing are some of the following.
The U.S. is already receiving power from Canada made with renewable energy in Ontario, which we have a surplus in. It costs us 40 cents per kilowatt hour to produce it through the Ontario Liberal green energy program, which it has currently suspended, recognizing it was economically detrimental to the province. It costs us 40 cents per kilowatt hour to produce it, but we are giving it to the U.S. for four cents per kilowatt hour. Quebec is also giving them surplus hydro. We are certainly helping the U.S. reduce its carbon footprint this way, but it is economically punishing to Canada.
Similarly, the cap-and-trade system introduced in Ontario is resulting in us paying California $300 million per year. Is this helping reduce the footprint? No, it is just transferring money to the U.S.
Within my riding of Sarnia—Lambton, this cap-and-trade tax has already caused one major industry to cancel its $105-million expansion. All those well-paying jobs are now going to the United States, which does not have a job-killing carbon tax.
We have another $2-billion polyethylene project under consideration that we believe will go to the U.S. gulf coast, which does not have a job-killing tax or the threat from the Minister of Environment, which is now a reality, of a second forced level of tax. This means another 1,500 construction jobs and hundreds of well-paying, long-term Canadian jobs will go to the U.S., along with the carbon footprint.
Therefore, the planet is not better off and Canada is less well off. This is what will happen if we do not move in concert with our competitors on carbon taxes.
The U.S. makes up 40% of our GDP in trade. Two levels of additional tax in Canada that do not exist in the United States will cause much of our business to move to the United States, especially with the increase in protectionism we expect to see based on what both U.S. candidates for president have said.
The implementation of a greenhouse gas emissions criteria for projects, which has defined no criteria for acceptability, will cause further uncertainty for those thinking of doing business here and will cause additional cost and delay, which will certainly drive business to more friendly environments such as the U.S.
Therefore, what we need to do to not just lead the world in achieving our targets but to actually work collaboratively with the world to address climate change is to take the efforts that are already happening in Canada and enhance them, where it does not cost us jobs and can further reduce the world's footprint and develop our leading-edge technology, and to leverage that to the substantive contributors of the global problem. We need to move at a pace on reduction that matches those regions that need to do the most.
If we do not adopt this approach, we will feel warm and fuzzy about the climate change initiatives we are embracing, but we will do nothing to prevent the permafrost from melting, extreme weather from happening, and the ocean's destruction.
In Paris, we created an opportunity for the world to come together and do something, but if only we do something, we are doomed to failure and will bankrupt the country. Let us be fact and evidenced based, let us be smart, and let us take an approach that leverages our technology to create Canadian jobs and help the planet.