Ahead of the feds’ March 3 climate meeting with provincial and territorial governments, a coalition of 55 social justice and environmental groups is demanding “decisive, positive action to arrest climate change.”
In a letter send to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, the coalition urged the leaders to come up with policy changes that would enable Canada to meet its global climate obligations. Now is the time to “set Canada on the path to a safer climate future.”
The Council of Canadians, Climate Fast, Ecology Ottawa and Greenpeace signed the letter.
“Climate change poses many significant threats to world peace if decisive actions are not taken,” the letter stated. “Urgent and concrete action is also intrinsically linked to the well-being of all Canadians, especially young Canadians, who would disproportionately bear the burden of inaction.
“Current and future generations are counting on you to be brave and wise and to lead us towards a prosperous, equitable and sustainable future.”
More than 140 Canadian physicians and medical students recently signed a letter demanding the kind of bold climate action that would see Canada phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and investing in renewable energy.
Canada embraced last year’s Paris Agreement, which, among other milestones, agreed to limit global temperatures to “well below 2” degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Canada upped the ante and committed to a long-term goal of limiting the temperatures to within 1.5 degrees. Leading climate activists declared the Paris agreement the “end of the era of fossil fuels.”
The coalition is asking Canadian governments to endorse the following six policy initiatives:
- A new science-based emission reduction target consistent with a 1.50C temperature rise. Canada needs to replace the previous government’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 30% below their 2005 levels by 2030 with a new science-based emission reduction target consistent with holding the rise in global temperatures to 1.50C.
- A clear and measurable plan for a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Canada needs to transition to 100% reliance on low-carbon electricity by 20352 and strive for 100% reliance on renewable sources for all forms of energy by 2050. Investing in renewable energy will create up to eight times as many jobs as investing in oil and gas extraction.
- Eliminating subsidies to fossil fuel industries and investing in a green economy. The 2016 federal budget is an opportunity to act on Canada’s 2009 promise to eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel industries and announce significant initiatives to support public transit, invest in green infrastructure and promote clean technologies as you promised during the election campaign.
- A carbon fee set at $30 per tonne of GHGs and a commitment to increase it over time. We urge the government to establish, in consultation with the provinces and territories, a national standard for pricing carbon emissions through a carbon fee set initially at $30 per tonne of GHGs and increasing in steps to a level consistent with limiting temperature increases to 1.50C.
- A far reaching, permanent regulatory approval process for assessing energy projects. A new, permanent regulatory approval process for assessing energy projects, including pipelines, must be put in place to replace the flawed process under the National Energy Board.
- $4 billion a year for climate adaptation and mitigation measures in the Global South. Prior to the Paris conference you announced $2.65 billion in funding, over five years, for climate adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries.
SPECIAL APPEAL: Please empower The Canadian Progressive and help us publish more stories like this by supporting this GoFundMe Fund-raising Initiative. Thank you!