A coalition of, what was just last week, 55 Canadian environmental and social justice groups, has now grown to 75 – with Wintergreen Co-op as one of the signatories. The coalition is demanding that federal, provincial and territorial leaders embrace the policy changes needed for Canada to meet its Paris climate change commitments.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and all provincial and territorial leaders, the groups spelled out expectations to be taken into account at the intergovernmental meetings on climate policy, which will likely be held on March 3.
Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-op members believe that the six suggestions contained in the letter constitute a good framework for the ongoing federal-provincial discussions leading to a national Climate Action plan. We are pleased to have signed on to this letter. Read the full article here.
The six suggestions are:
1. A new science-based emission reduction target consistent with a 1.5 degree temperature rise. Canada needs a new science-based emission reduction target consistent with keeping the rise in global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Cutting our emissions as much as possible as soon as possible will set us on a path to achieving this goal, whereas delaying action may preclude any possibility of staying under a 1.5 degree rise.
2. A clear and measurable plan for a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Canada needs to transition to 100% low-carbon electricity by 2035 and strive for 100% reliance on renewable sources for all forms of energy by 2050. Investing in renewable energy creates up to eight times as many jobs as investing in oil and gas extraction.
3. An end to subsidies for fossil fuel industries and investments 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, green infrastructure and clean technologies. Annual Canadian subsidies to fossil fuel industries averaged $2.9 billion over 2013 and 2014, with $1.7 billion of this from the federal government.
4. A carbon fee set at $30 per tonne and a commitment to increase it over time. The government must 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 greenhouse gases and increasing in steps to a level consistent with limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
5. A far-reaching, permanent regulatory approval process for assessing energy projects. A new, permanent regulatory approval process for assessing energy projects must replace the flawed National Energy Board process. It must respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior and informed consent as required by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the government of Canada has promised to uphold, and it must account for the downstream carbon emissions of the projects.
6. A $4 billion annual contribution to climate adaptation and mitigation measures in the Global South. Based on precedents where Canada has contributed 3% to 4% of multilateral funds, Canada’s fair share of the $100 billion (U.S.) promised in the Paris decision document requires a contribution of $4 billion a year by 2020.