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The Green New Deal

Cut carbon emissions. Divest from our dependence on fossil fuels. Invest in sustainable energy sources. Create progressive building standards and boost retro-fits.

There is no excuse for ignoring climate change. PEI’s very existence depends on immediate actions to curb the destructiveness of human-caused greenhouse gasses.

Change is doable. We know that from the success of the smoking cessation movement of past decades: through strategies of taxation, standard-setting and regulation, promotional education, incentives and innovative methods, we can safeguard the environment.

In matters of energy and climate change, particularly electricity, NDP PEI is guided by the principle of security through public (governmental) regulatory control and ownership where advantageous.

windmills

NDP MLAs will fight to:

  • 100% conversion to non-toxic renewable energy generation within 15yrs.
  • Develop a rebate system, progressive like income tax, to compensate low-income people for the extra costs they incur from carbon-pricing.
  • Ensure public investment in measures to replace carbon-producing activities (power generation, heating/cooling of buildings, etc.)
  • Support innovation in sustainable engineering and architecture
  • Cultivate geothermal energy, heat pumps and next-generation technology
  • Modernizing building codes; making them keep up with developing technology
  • A clear plan to increase retrofits for existing buildings (private and public), by enhancing, for example, the Home Insulation Rebates program to make it more useable for more low-income households.
  • Increased incentives to encourage people to purchase electric or other low-pollution vehicles
  • The increase of electric powered public transit and access to consistent transit between Charlottetown and Summerside. Publicly led development of Island-wide charging stations for electric vehicles.

Renewable Energy

We stand for full 100% conversion to non-toxic renewable energy generation within 15 years.

PEI can do it, and we need to.  part from the climate damage of oil-burning power generation, importing that energy costs the Island $465 million a year.  For both the economy and the environment, we must cut down. Let’s harness the power of the sun, wind and sea, to generate electricity, and beat the reliance on burning fossil fuels. Already about 25 percent of the province’s electrical needs are met by wind.

We can use the strategies of:

  • publicly funded research into and investment in renewable energy generation, including wind and solar power, and adoption of advancing technology.
  • support for small businesses, farms and fishers to undertake energy conversions including the ability to develop alternative generation.
  • public education and household incentives to reduce unnecessary consumption of electricity and fuel.

Carbon Pricing

We stand for curbing carbon emissions in a carefully thought out way that focuses on emissions caused by businesses and households. Through this the NDP PEI aim to cut pollution rates, while not causing financial harm to people.

The principle is simple and sensible: raise the price of carbon-containing fuel significantly so that people will move to use cheaper alternatives and reduce usage. While increasing subsidies and supports to retrofit and renovate current buildings for non carbon based heating/cooling systems and general electricity.

The 2018 Nobel prize-winner for Economic Sciences, Professor William Nordhaus, showed that “the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gases is a global scheme of universally imposed carbon taxes.”

This is to be fiscally neutral. That is, Government does not make money out of this, but rather uses the revenues from carbon charges for two purposes: (i) a rebate system, progressive like income tax, to compensate low-income persons for the extra costs they incur from carbon-pricing; (ii) public investment in measures to replace carbon-producing activities (power generation, heating/cooling of buildings, etc.)

Heating and cooling buildings

We stand for conservation, not wasting energy on inefficient buildings.

Island homeowners spend on average close to $3,500 on energy for their homes every year.  Think of what businesses and institutions spend.  Let’s reduce that and help the environment by implementing energy-efficiency and conservation measures:

  • Supporting innovation in sustainable engineering and architecture
  • Cultivating geo-thermal energy — heat pumps and next-generation technology
  • Modernizing building codes; making them keep up with developing technology
  • Promoting retrofits for existing buildings — by enhancing, for example, the Home Insulation Rebates program to make it more useable for more low-income households — a good use of Carbon Tax revenue.

Transportation

We need a dramatic shift to energy-efficient vehicles and public transit.

What is the biggest user of fossil fuels here on PEI?  It’s transportation, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.  That pollution is actually increasing, and it’s a trend that has to be stopped — by such strategic actions as:

  • East Point to North Cape public transit service for passengers and parcels.
  • Vehicle registration fees to reward energy-efficient (hybrid, electric, new-tech) vehicle.
  • Increased incentives to encourage people to purchase electric or other low-pollution vehicles.
  • Publicly led development of Island-wide charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • All new passenger vehicle government purchases will be electric .

Regulation

We stand ready to use government’s powers of law-making, contract muscle, and public education to get people and companies to actively combat climate change.

The Province can use its strength to set standards, create incentives, and educate young people and the general population. In particular, NDP PEI wants to:

  • Lead Maritime Electric to cut its reliance on fossil-fuel generation, and cultivate wind, solar and possibly marine sources of energy — as Summerside Electric strives to do.
  • Have the Province take a seat on the Maritime Electric board of directors make MEC a public corporation.
  • Tap into innovative investors, for the love of PEI’s pure air, to put their money into sustainable-tech innovation and bonds to support it.
  • Use the school curriculum to provide basic science skills and critical thinking, and motivational advertising to shape people’s ideas about the environment and how to protect it.

NDP PEI believes in using all the instruments in government’s arsenal to address climate change.