Memorial sociologist co-signs open letter to federal leaders on climate change

Oct 8th, 2015

Janet Harron

Memorial sociologist co-signs open letter to federal leaders on climate change

Memorial University sociologist Dr. Mark Stoddart is joining a group of over 60 researchers from across Canada in releasing an analysis of the federal political parties positions on 10 key policy orientations on climate change. 

“The Sustainable Canada Dialogues network has assessed the policy platforms of all five main parties in order to help provide voters decide who best represents them as we move from the election to the Paris Climate Conference meetings (Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015),” said Dr. Stoddart.

“As our party platform assessment clearly shows, the parties have different environmental strengths and weaknesses. While none of the parties aligns completely with the Sustainable Canada Dialogues climate change action plan, the party platforms clearly show that all parties except for the Conservatives promise important steps towards climate change mitigation, lower-carbon energy systems, and more participatory forms of environmental decision-making.”

Dr. Stoddart and his colleagues across Canada evaluated the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democratic Party, Bloc, and Green Party on the following 10 orientations:


  • Put a price on carbon
  • Include aggressive goals for low-carbon electricity production in federal and provincial climate actions plans
  • Integrate the oil and gas production sector in climate politics
  • Adapt a multi-level energy policy with energy efficiency and cooperation in electrification at its core
  • Throughout Canada, rapidly adapt low-carbon translation strategies
  • Integrate landscape, land use, transportation and energy infrastructure planning policies at multiple scales to ensure climate change mitigation
  • Support evolution of the building sector toward a carbon neutral or carbon-positive sector
  • Safeguard biodiversity and water equality during Canada’s transition to a low-carbon society, while aiming for net positive approaches
  • Support fisheries, forestry and agriculture practices offering opportunities to limit GHG emissions, enhance carbon sequestration, protect biological diversity and water quality
  • Facilitate the transition to a low-carbon sustainable society through the implementation of more participatory and open governance institutions.

The Sustainable Canada Dialogues network has sent an open letter to all federal party leaders urging them to develop a national dialogue on climate change policy and to identify socially acceptable transition pathways to a low carbon society and economy.

The group will be launching a new report Acting on Climate Change, Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians on Thurs., Oct. 8 in Toronto. This report includes 28 papers from a range of sectors including First Nations, business, labour and non-governmental organizations.

“In an election campaign that has become increasingly about divisiveness and fear of others, I hope that this initiative by the Sustainable Canada Dialogues can help shift the debate back towards which party offers the best positive vision for Canada, which will allow us to take a leading role internationally in moving towards more environmentally sustainable and inclusive societies,” said Dr. Stoddart.