The Green Party recognizes that both misuse of the living surfaces of the planet and energy choices play a significant role in the present climate instability. The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act requires that the province reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level at least 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. While a number of gases contribute to global warming, the situation with carbon dioxide is of particular concern.
The carbon cycle, one of life’s sustaining systems, is out of balance. We need carbon dioxide in our atmosphere but the concentration is elevated and continuing to rise, with planetary consequences. We have released too much carbon dioxide, particularly through the use of fossil fuels, at the same time as we have reduced Earth’s ability to absorb carbon oxide by our destruction of plant communities, particularly forests.
An important factor in the rising carbon dioxide levels is the loss of biologically diverse vegetation to biologically impoverished or inanimate cover. Failure to protect terrestrial and aquatic flora communities from toxins, over-use, and destruction has significant impacts on carbon dioxide levels as well as other negative impacts on all life cycles.
Carbon dioxide from our use of fossil fuels for energy has been identified as a major contributor to the carbon cycle imbalance. However, evaluating energy choices is not just about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As well as addressing climate change issues, the goal is to reduce the environmental, health, and security risks of our energy choices. Also, our energy options must be assessed from starting materials to waste products.