Harper underfunds green economy, says Greenpeace

January 27 – Greenpeace today condemned the Harper government for giving as much as $750 million dollars to nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage instead of investing those funds in the green economy Canada needs for the future.

“The Harper government’s millions to dangerous nuclear energy and the pipe dream of carbon capture and storage are an environmental travesty and an unnecessary burden to taxpayers, said Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy coordinator. These false solutions to our energy problems don’t deserve subsidies, green energy does.”

The Harper government’s budget is a miserable failure at seizing a golden opportunity to provide long-term investment for a green economy. The government promised to create the ‘jobs of tomorrow’ in the Throne Speech yesterday, it failed to deliver.

Greenpeace and other Canadian environmental groups gave the Harper government a wealth of ideas for building a green economy, including:

·         Provide significant, long-term investment in energy efficiency programs     

·         Invest sufficient funds to retrofit our homes and businesses to high standards of energy efficiency

·         Inject a massive increase in support into public transit

·         Kick start an Energy Revolution with a huge increase in green energy

A budget with significant green stimulus plans would have created new, long-term green jobs and helped nurture innovation and the manufacturing of green technology.

“Canadians should consider the bleak future this government’s budget will create for their children,” said Martin. “The green future that our children need will only come from a government with the vision to develop a green economy.”

The Harper government’s budget shows it doesn’t know how to lead in an economic crisis and take advantage of an opportunity to build a green economy for Canada. The Obama administration has demonstrated such leadership, announcing more than $50 billion for clean energy. Greenpeace has publicly praised the Obama green initiative.

The Harper budget also fails to contribute to the fight against global warming. The Harper government has ignored Canada’s target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. The target of the Harper government would reduce emissions only three per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Greenpeace and others call for a minimum reduction of 25 per cent by 2020.


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