Paris deal on climate change met with calls to action from Canadians
Conservative environment critic warns of challenge keeping economy growing while meeting climate commitment
Experts and environmentalists tried to inject a practical note into Saturday's celebration over the Paris climate agreement, pointing out Canada still doesn't have a federal emissions target.
The agreement, which was passed by nearly 200 countries in Paris, asks all countries to restrict their greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. It limits temperature rise to two degrees Celsius.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna tweeted that the pact was made "for our children."
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But the document doesn't set an emissions target, and Canada hasn't released one either, Conservative environment critic Ed Fast was quick to point out.
He said all "major emitters" should be consulted before the government releases its targets in an effort to avoid "massive taxes" on emissions.
"We're now seeing tens of thousands of jobs being lost in our energy sector. That will continue, going forward," he said. "It's going to take realistic, prudent policies to allow us to meet our climate change commitment, yet ensure that our economy continues to grow."
Trudeau has promised to meet with provinces
But the chief operating officer of GLOBE Series, an organization that runs corporate sustainability conferences, said the agreement actually opens doors for economic growth in Canada.
However, the fact remains that Canadians can't know what's coming until the federal government comes out with its plan, Fast said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously said that his government will meet with the provinces and territories to develop emissions plans once the climate talks in Paris concluded.
Erin Flanagan, federal policy director of the environment think-tank Pembina Institute, agreed that Trudeau should have a federal plan to fight climate change.
"On their own, provincial commitments will not ensure Canada does its fair share to reduce emissions," she said in a news release.
And the New Democrats said the government should "enshrine" its emissions targets in a climate accountability law, to keep the government accountable.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair tweeted his support of the pact shortly after its release.
"Excited that the world has reached a climate change pact. Canada must now move from words to action," he wrote.