A Kootenay Conservative parliamentarian is pushing back against a party membership vote that stripped proposed language from a policy resolution recognizing that climate change is real during an online convention over the weekend.
Rob Morrison, MP for Kootenay-Columbia was blunt in acknowledging the reality of climate change.
“Climate change is real. Members of caucus, which are the elected members of parliament — 120 of us — all of us, have all said climate change is real,” Morrison said. “That’s never been a question in our heads.
“…Now, what’s happening with the environment as far as natural changes, is one thing, but what human intervention — that’s what we want to address. That’s where the Conservative Party is developing a climate change program to deal with that.”
The Conservative Party held its annual convention over the weekend, hosting policy workshops and presentations online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The membership vote on the climate change resolution, split at 54 per cent to 46 per cent, rejected proposed language included in three underlined paragraphs of the existing policy, which affirmed climate change is real, suggested that highly polluting businesses need to take more responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be held accountable for results, and advocated for pursuing green technologies.
Morrison said he didn’t know anyone who voted against it and “was as shocked as the media” when it did not pass the membership vote.
While the vote rejected some of the proposed language, the rest of the resolution recognized emissions reduction as a priority, and pitched a program of tax credits to promote environmental solutions in sectors such as transportation and entrepreneurial innovation.
On the Conservative Party’s proposed actions to address climate change, Morrison said he favours taxing heavy emitters with an emissions tax (cap and trade), while also supporting policies that harness and develop the power of solar energy.
“I’ve approached the Conservative Party,” Morrison said. “I believe our action plan should be emission tax; carbon tax has not worked — if it was working, I’d say let’s keep it, it’s not — let’s tax the high emitters, put those tax dollars into research and development so we can start developing green technology.”
Morrison also noted the need for international cooperation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from developing countries that are industrializing and consume energy from sources that may not be environmentally-friendly.
“The one thing that really doesn’t get mentioned too much is working with the international side on developing and working to reduce emissions worldwide,” he said, “so working with third-world countries that haven’t really done a whole lot that we could really make a big difference going from coal to natural gas to green energy as we move forward.”
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