BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Autumn, 2021
The crisis is here
It’s time to stop fiddling
After a year like this, there can be no doubt that the climate crisis is fully upon us – and happening faster than many scientists anticipated.
Human activity is “unequivocally” the cause of rapid changes to the climate, including sea level rises, melting polar ice and glaciers, heatwaves, floods and droughts, the International Panel on Climate Change reported in August, 2021.
The world’s leading climate scientists said widespread devastation and extreme weather is likely to become inevitable within the next two decades.
Only rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in this decade can prevent such climate breakdown. Even then, some climate changes are irreversible.
Good words are not enough
Although the federal Liberals talk a good game, they have presided over steadily increasing emissions, missed every climate target they have set, and achieved the worst climate record in the G7. The Trudeau government spent $18 billion to support oil and gas companies in 2020. And he spent more billions to buy the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline.
The O’Toole Conservatives’ position on climate change is even more laughable. Conservative convention delegates even went so far as to vote against recognizing that climate change is real. The imaginary world they live in bears no resemblance to the reality Canadians are seeing all around themselves.
Let’s find the courage to act before it’s too late
The federal NDP describes the climate crisis as “an urgent priority and an existential threat.”
“We cannot afford to waste more time. People are suffering from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during a visit to Penticton.
“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals failed to make life better for workers and their families. And instead of tackling the climate crisis, they bought a pipeline,” said Singh.
“We need action to quickly create good jobs that will better position us to fight the climate crisis and support workers,” he said.
The New Democrats’ commitments on climate change include:
• Reduce emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, as a step towards net-zero by 2050.
• Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and redirect these funds to low carbon initiatives.
• Set a target of net carbon-free electricity generation by 2030, and 100 per cent non-emitting by 2040.
• Modernize and expand public transit.
• Make it easier to purchase and use a zero-emissions vehicle.
• Large scale retrofits of buildings in all sectors to reduce emissions.
• Improve the National Building Code to ensure that by 2025 every new building built is net-zero.
• Work with provinces on a framework for corporate climate accountability.
• Create a Climate Accountability Office to provide independent oversight of progress.