Canada's Election Cools Climate Policies


Canada's federal election on May 2 giving Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party a majority in Parliament means that it is unlikely Canada's climate change policies will change much, if at all, from its previous wait-and-see-what-the-U.S. does approach. This would leave climate policy up to individual provinces, four of which have said they would join with California in a cap-and-trade program. Those efforts, however, may have to await the outcome of procedural and appellate challenges to a March 2011 court decision that suspended implementation of California's AB 32.

Federal election

Monday's election resulted in Canada's Conservative Party achieving a solid majority for the first time in Harper's leadership. The post-election commentary assesses this as a stay-the-course outcome for Canada's climate change policy. The Globe and Mail in an article headlined "Green energy sector not cheering Tory majority," said after years of Prime Minister Harper providing "lukewarm support for green energy" when he had a minority government, industry executives don't expect the him to "change his stripes" now that he has a majority.

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