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WHITEHORSE - The Yukon Party Official Opposition has voted for keeping greenhouse gas emissions targets at 30 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030 as outlined by the Our Clean Future climate change strategy. Under legislation passed on Thursday, the Yukon will now have to meet a 45 per cent target that was a product of the Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement.
During debate, the Yukon Party proposed amending the legislation to revert to the commitments made by both the Yukon Party and the territorial Liberals in the 2021 election, which were set out in the Liberal Government’s Our Clean Future strategy document. Both the Liberal and NDP caucuses voted against this proposed amendment, despite the fact that this was the plan that the Yukon Liberals had campaigned on in the 2021 election.
“We support taking strong action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the Yukon, but we need to be realistic and honest with Yukoners about what is possible,” said the Leader of the Official Opposition Currie Dixon. “Increasing the targets without any implementation plan, any modeling, or any financial costing is simply disingenuous and will not do anything to help combat climate change.”
In 2020, the Liberal government released the Our Clean Future report that was developed after considerable consultation with Yukoners, modelling to support the targets, and a complete implementation plan for achieving the targets. Both the Yukon Party and the Yukon Liberal Party included support for Our Clean Future in their 2021 platforms.
Following the 2021 election, in a bid to cling to power, the Yukon Liberals agreed to adopt the NDP climate change position, including the new targets that were 50 per cent more stringent and were agreed to in the Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement. Now, the Liberal government is proposing legislation that would enshrine the NDP’s targets into law.
“The Yukon Party and the Liberals campaigned on implementing the Our Clean Future climate change strategy, and the majority of Yukoners voted for that plan,” added Dixon. “Just weeks after the election, the Liberals abandoned the targets and plans they campaigned on in order to secure NDP support and stay in power. Enshrining these new targets into law, without any plans to achieve them is not sincere.”
All Yukon Party MLAs voted in favour of setting the targets at 30 per cent below 2010 levels as committed to in Our Clean Future but voted against the 45 per cent targets set out in the Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement.