Now is the time to encourage political leaders to move beyond recognition of our climate emergency and commit to reducing emissions to at least 1.5 degree C as quickly as possible
Canada’s political parties are competing for climate credibility
With five months to go before the next federal election, Canada’s political parties are competing for climate credibility, seemingly engaged in a battle to show they care more about the environment, reports The National Observer.
This is a climate activist’s dream. Not only will climate be the top issue in the October election, but having politicians compete for climate action supremacy is dizzying. I frankly did not see this coming.
Image credit: Bernd Hildebrandt, Pixabay
Liberals are poised to declare a climate emergency
The Liberals have filed a motion which asks Members of Parliament “to recommit to the Paris climate-change accord by meeting the existing targets for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and toughening them as is required to meet the accord’s stated objective of keeping global warming as close to 1.5 C as possible,” writes Mia Rabson of The National Observer.
The Liberal motion …brings Canada closer to a declaration of climate emergency following the U.K., Ireland and Switzerland. This is precisely the kind of climate leadership activists and environmentalists have been calling for since the Liberals came to power in 2015.
We may not always agree on which solutions are best, but surely we can agree on the problem — that climate change is an emergency like none we have ever faced before. The science is clear. Climate change is impacting our environment, our nature, our health, and our economy. pic.twitter.com/SaKYPjV02P
— Catherine McKenna 🇨🇦 (@cathmckenna) May 16, 2019
NDP goes much further than Paris targets
The NDP motion (full text found below) also seeks to reach the Paris targets but goes much further by calling for the cancellation of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says “pipelines and fossil-fuel subsidies are not congruent with climate-change action.” However, he will not go so far as to oppose the LNG project in his NDP-led home province of British Columbia.
Greens would double the emission-reduction targets
Meanwhile, the Green Party is calling for a 60% cut in greenhouse gases based on 2005 levels, in effect doubling Canada’s 30% reduction promised in the Paris Accord. Elizabeth May is very emphatic that Canadians need to heed the warnings of the IPCC 1.5°C report and Canada’s own Canada’s Changing Climate report that shows we are warming twice faster than the global average.
Somewhere below two degrees is the tipping point to where we run into something (that) scientists call runaway global warming—a self-accelerating irreversible global warming that could lead to temperatures that call into question the survival of this biosphere.
In order to ensure that action follows rhetoric, the Greens would create a non-partisan ‘war cabinet’ modeled after Winston Churchill’s during WWII to tackle the existential threat of climate change.