Climate Letter to Harper, May, Mulcair, Trudeau
I’m forwarding this letter to all four federal party leaders. The letter is about the need for a more ambitious leadership on climate change in Canada. It asks each of the four leaders four questions if they form the next government.
Image Credit: huffingtonpost
2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history. Wildfires are sweeping Canada, the warming in the Arctic is through the roof and heat waves and droughts threaten livelihoods and lives around the globe.
We Canadians are now in the midst of an election campaign, certainly the most important one in my lifetime. A few short weeks after the October 19 election, world leaders will gather at the UN climate negotiations in Paris to attempt to strike a binding global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But the slow pace of crucial negotiations that just ended in Bonn (Germany) is worrisome. Negotiators have failed to agree to common grounds that would have set the table for Paris in December.
Recent research shows that the current commitments to curb emissions fall significantly short of what is needed to limit global warming to 2°C which is the threshold beyond which the world will face catastrophic consequences. “This has the makings of a global failure of ambition,” wrote Cameron Fenton of 350 Canada in a recent email.
Canada’s commitment to cut carbon pollution by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 is a far weaker target than the US and EU. The Canadian plan is deeply flawed by failing to address the Alberta Tar Sands, the country’s largest source of carbon emissions. With this kind of commitment, we Canadians will shamefully continue to be a climate laggard internationally.
The time has come to change climate politics in Canada. I’m appealing directly to Stephen Harper, Elizabeth May, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau (the order is alphabetical) to make climate action a priority during the remaining weeks of the election campaign. What Canadians need is a much more ambitious climate leadership.
My question to federal leaders Harper, May, Mulcair, Trudeau – is: If you form the next government, are you prepared to:
- Exercise a leadership role at the Paris Climate Negotiations by attending the event and supporting a binding agreement on aggressive cuts to greenhouse gas emissions?
- Launch a national Carbon Pricing strategy in the first year of your government’s mandate?
- Develop a Renewable Energy framework that will get Canada to a zero-carbon economy by 2050
- Ensure the highest safety standards for the transport of refined oil from a new (to be built) Alberta-based refinery that would eliminate the transport of dirty bitumen from the Tar Sands during the time it will take for Canada to transition away from fossil fuels?
My message to Canadians is simple: SPEAK OUT NOW. Please help me challenge our political leaders to change Canada’s climate politics by writing a letter to the four leaders whose email is available below.
Stephen Harper – firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth May – Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca
Thomas Mulcair – email@example.com
Justin Trudeau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to use my letter or excerpts from my letter or write your own. But make sure to contact the four party leaders vying to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.
Change starts with you, but it doesn’t start till you do.
You may also find my letter at Unpublished Ottawa and follow the Letter Writing Campaign to contact our political leaders about Climate Politics in Canada.
Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a blogger and a Climate Activist. Rolly has been published widely – Toronto Star, The Hill Times, Kingston Whig, the PEN, UnpublishedOttawa, Climate Change Guide, World Daily, Examiner, The Canadian, 350Ottawa, ClimateMama, MyEarth360, GreenDivas, The Elephant, Countercurrents, County Weekly News.
He’s a member of Climate Reality Canada, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Ottawa) and 350.Org (Ottawa). You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Looking at poll results, Canada looks like it will have a coalition government – NDP and Liberal being the most likely candidates.
While polls aren’t always indicative of election day, I truly doubt Stephen Harper will be successful this time around. Usually the Liberals come back after PC domination in Canada… but people are looking for something new – and the NDP seem to be in most poll results as most popular (just).
The Green party has made some commitments towards action on climate change, but at less than 6% of the popular vote, they are not going to make a huge difference to the political climate.
I think all Canadians must rally to make all the candidates aware that climate change matters!
It will affect Canadians in so many non-apparent ways. For instance, if one looks at the current migration of Syrian Refugees into Europe and the chaos associated with displacement due to war, one can 100-fold the migrations of people displaced by rising oceans, coastal flooding and drought and flood associated with global warming. Is Canada prepared for the world to knock at its door? Is it prepared for the cost associated with housing, schooling and providing health care to refugees who will arrive with no skills, no resources and little to give back initially?
The repercussions for not tackling climate change with cleaner energies, reduced greenhouse gasses, and penalties for those who don’t comply, will be economic first (everyone will be hit hard in their pocket-book), and socioeconomic next (Rich over Poor), and then will come the real hardships hitting health, resources and the basic needs of life.
Canada cannot afford to be complacent – a rich country will be targeted fast by the poor and desperate from dying communities. No army will ever contain the rush of migrants you will need to cope with!
Colette – I see that you’ve posted the same comment on both of my letters. In actual fact, I’m removing the first one from my site due to technical issues. Anyways, thanks for your comments as usual very insightful.
Canada most certainly will be targeted by climate refugees. And we are not ready for this. Canadians for the most part believe or hope that climate change will just pass them by. In fact, many Canadians want to believe that climate change will be a boost for Canada. With a warmer climate, Canada will become one of the leading producers of corn – the corn belt will move North from the US. Also, our water resources will become the next “oil” for Canadians. So we have nothing to worry about, right?
As for Harper, the sooner he’s removed from Canadian politics, the sooner the new government can become part of the international community seeking solutions for climate change. As you know, Canada has been a laggard for the past decade.
I really appreciate your insights on the Canadian reality.
The Canadian Green Party platform just came out: http://www.greenparty.ca/sites/default/files/platform_english_web.pdf
“Climate change is both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity that Canada has
ever faced. While the consequences of failing to address climate change would be catastrophic, our transition to a green, sustainable economy will create good local jobs, shorter commutes, more livable cities, and cleaner air and water. Our plan is to move to the virtual elimination
of fossil fuel use in Canada by mid-century. Our short-term target is 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while we are calling for 80 percent reductions below 1990 levels by 2050. These are ambitious targets, yet the scale and urgency of this challenge demands nothing less. As Canadians, we will rise to this challenge and, in doing so, create a strong, stable, and prosperous economy today and for our children and grandchildren tomorrow.
“DEMONSTRATE CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AT THE UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE SUMMIT IN PARIS
The United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) will take place in Paris – starting a mere forty days after our federal election. COP21 represents the last, best and only chance for humanity to avert an intensified climate crisis and to prevent runaway global warming.”
Julie – thanks for sharing part of the Green platform. I particularly like the “80 percent reductions below 1990 levels by 2050”. And I also agree that “COP21 represents the last, best and only chance for humanity to avert an intensified climate crisis and to prevent runaway global warming”.
I think I will post something on the platform. Can you help me with this. Better still, do a post for GreenHearted and I’ll post it on BoomerWarrior as well.