The Liberal Party’s promises on international aid and the fight against climate change

Following the release of Development and Peace’s election guide, the Liberal Party of Canada sent us a formal response. The Liberals were the only party to do so. Since the Liberals will now be forming government, we would like to share this official response from the Liberals. The Development and Peace election guide included ten questions for candidates from the various political parties. These questions were related to two current priority issues in the advocacy work of Development and Peace, namely international aid and climate change.

In terms of climate change, Development and Peace applauds several of the commitments made by the Liberals, including the announcement that Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris this December. We appreciate the Liberals’ plan to define a framework for action on climate change in collaboration with the provinces. We also support the Liberals’ commitment to work in partnership with the provinces to develop a Canadian energy strategy. Finally, we are pleased about the Liberals’ promises to support the development of green technologies and to phase out subsidies to fossil fuel production.

However, Development and Peace wishes to remind the Liberal government of how urgent it is to act without delay so that Canada can positively influence the negotiations to be held at COP21. We feel that it is imperative to convene a Premiers meeting before the main Paris conference. We also emphasize the need for ambitious and precise targets for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2025, as well as the need for showing strong leadership on the national stage in order to meet the targets identified for 2020. As well, we hope that the government will significantly contribute to the Green Climate Fund in order to provide the most vulnerable people around the world with the necessary resources to adapt to climate change, and ensure that these resources are allocated on top of public development aid.  

Regarding international aid, Development and Peace is pleased to learn that the Liberal government plans to increase Canada’s contribution to overseas development aid and refocus it on the poorest and most vulnerable countries. This will undoubtedly restore Canada’s reputation internationally, and we will follow the evolution of this crucial file with great interest. Finally, we commend the fact that the new government intends to consult with international development organizations to review current policies and the financial framework, in order to guide its decisions in the fight against poverty.

However, Development and Peace wishes to remind the Liberal government of the importance of acting quickly and effectively to ensure that these intentions are not simply electoral promises but are actually translated into real commitments.

Development and Peace congratulates the Liberal Party for its openness to collaborating with international development organizations in Canada and around the globe, and we are committed to ensuring implementation of the new government’s commitments on global poverty eradication measures. We also wish to thank the Liberals for taking the time to answer the questions in our electoral guide. 

To read the formal response of the Liberal Party of Canada in its entirety, please click here.