June 23, 2019 11:00 am

Scheer argues climate plan will bring about ‘technological revolution’

WATCH ABOVE: Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer tells Mercedes Stephenson his environmental plan will see Canada meet its agreement on the Paris greenhouse gas emission targets, and that his platform will be a magnet for entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is defending his climate plan after accusations last week that it fails to set concrete targets.

And he says if implemented, his plan to force major polluters to invest in green tech would lead to a surge in innovation.

READ MORE: Scheer’s climate plan puts focus on ‘tech not taxes’ with $2.5B in pledges

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In an interview with the West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, Scheer said his plan will act as a “magnet for entrepreneurs and innovators from all around the world to come and bring their expertise here to Canada, which will unleash a technological revolution.”

His plan, released on Wednesday, pitched $2.5 billion in new spending on clean technology and put an emphasis on incentivizing private-sector green investments by setting emissions standards for industries that would require them to invest in research and development.

And while he described the plan as the best chance for Canada to be able to hit its Paris Agreement emission reduction targets, Scheer was criticized by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. She said that while the plan has some good ideas, like home renovation tax credits, it fails to outline how each of its proposals would lead to a marked reduction in emissions.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna also said at a press conference after the plan was shared that the Conservative plan was “fake” and that “there are almost no details.”

WATCH: McKenna says Scheer’s environment plan has ‘almost no details’

Under the Paris targets, Canada is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, based off 2005 levels.

Scheer’s plan hinges heavily on a proposal to ditch the carbon tax and instead implement a series of varying emission caps by industry that would require companies that emit more than 40 kilotonnes per year to invest different amounts of money into green technology.

Big polluters could meet those investment requirements by investing in subsidiaries of Canadian companies to do eligible research and development for emissions-reducing technology, a pool of industrial research and development green tech investments, and Canadian green bonds or financial tools focusing on emissions-reducing technology.

They could also invest in Canadian clean technology companies that are piloting or adopting similar technology to reduce emissions, or into programs at Canadian colleges or universities focused on developing clean technology.

WATCH: NDP says Conservative climate plan is collection of tax credits

He also pointed to estimates put out by officials like the parliamentary budget officer who note the Liberal carbon tax, implemented this year, will not reduce emissions enough to meet the Paris targets unless the price on pollution increases significantly.

“The choice for Canadians is a plan that is proven not to work or a fresh new approach,” he said, adding his plan will allow for more regional flexibility.

“This is not one-size-fits-all.”

WATCH: An extended interview with Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer

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