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Harper misrepresented climate change in French debate: Pembina

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made several inaccurate statements about his climate change policies in Wednesday night’s French language leadership debate, according to Matthew Bramley of the Pembina Institute.

"The spotlight in the environment segment of the debate was on Mr. Harper, because he's the only leader not to have released an environment platform,” Bramley said in a statement released Wednesday night.

Among Harper’s inaccurate statements, according to Bramley:

Harper said his government has created regulations for big industrial polluters, while in fact no regulations are yet in place. The Harper government has proposed that regulations take effect in 2010.

Harper said his target for greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most aggressive in the world. In fact, his proposed Canadian emissions target for 2020 is far weaker than the EU's science-based target. Canada's target is to reduce our emissions to 3 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020; the EU's target is to reduce its emissions to 20-30 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020.

And Harper said that a carbon tax would harm the economy. Bramley asserts that most economists say that a carbon tax would be the most cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas pollution.

Bramley directs the climate change program at Pembina Institute, which provides online analysis of the climate-related announcements by all federal parties.

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