Canada is at a crossroads. There is a growing consensus that we must get to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 in order to stop the worst impacts of climate change. But we are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to transitioning off fossil fuels. Not only have we built communities that are dependent on these fuels for energy but part of our economy and many jobs rely on the oil industry. Nevertheless, Canadians want their government to play a major role on climate action starting with the Paris COP21 climate talks.
The solutions to the climate crisis exist, solutions that: create low carbon jobs, respect Indigenous rights, stop the tar sands expansion and create a clean, renewable energy economy for you and me and our children and grandchildren.
It’s 100% Possible
We can solve climate change in our lifetime. It’s 100% POSSIBLE. In a few days on November 29, we have a historic opportunity to be HEARD by Justin Trudeau’s new government in its first month in power just the day before his first international climate meeting in Paris.
Clean, renewable energy creates electricity using natural systems such as the wind, sun, and water – harnessing that energy to power cars, heat homes, and sustain communities without harmful GHGs.
It is no longer technology that stands in our way. That’s why we call on Canada’s federal government to take the following actions to get us to a 100% clean economy by 2050.
How to Get There
Start Building and Supporting Clean Energy Infrastructure
In order to provide more clean energy to consumers, we need polices that allow solar, wind, and other clean energy industries to flourish. By creating a business friendly environment, Canada can attract investment and the clean energy sector will prosper. And the benefits are immediate. As more clean energy supplies the grid, less fossil fuel will be used to support your home and community..
Stop Building Infrastructure that Perpetuates Canada’s Dependency on Fossil Fuels
Energy infrastructure is big and expensive and it lasts a long time. Infrastructure that gets built now defines the world we live in 40 and 50 years from now and limits the choices we will be able to make. Building a pipeline, approving new tar sands mines, constructing oil rigs in the Arctic are the kinds of infrastructure that lock us into a fossil fuel dependant future. Getting to 100% clean energy by 2050 means weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and one of the first steps is saying no to more fossil fuel infrastructure.
Implement the International Declaration on Indigenous Rights
Any policies for a more sustainable future must start by respecting the rights and title of Indigenous communities. Indigenous peoples have been leading the challenge in protecting our shared natural environment from damaging resource extraction projects, including at the source of the tar sands and all associated pipeline infrastructure. Implementation and adhesion to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is critical in ensuring Indigenous peoples are equal participants in the decision-making and development of the strategies for new economic and energy transition plans.
Invest in clean, low-carbon jobs
Investing in a clean economy means supporting jobs in sectors that build a stronger, more livable country and providing retraining services for those in carbon-intensive industries to fully contribute to the clean energy economy. But low-carbon jobs don’t only involve clean energy. Many important sectors such as education, health care, and community service provide important services and yet these have often been the hardest hit by generations of austerity budgets.
We Will Do This
The climate movement is growing in size, diversity, and power – each and every month, in Canada and around the world. Already this year, we’ve seen 25,000 gather in Quebec City to tell Premiers they can’t Act on Climate while approving new tar sands pipelines, and one of the biggest marches in a generation saw 10,000 in Toronto for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate. And just last week Climate Welcome actions in Ottawa served as a reminder to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stick to the climate promises made during the election campaign. I was an active participant at all three events.
But we can’t stop now. The fossilized thinking of our political leaders is so embedded in yesterday’s economy that we need to keep pushing them to take the bold action necessary to solve the worldwide climate crisis.
The November 29 100% Possible March for Climate Solutions and Justice is organized by a growing alliance of national and Québécois environmental groups, community organizations, unions, First Nations, faith groups, and other communities. We are united by a vision that Canada can be a leader on climate change, by making the world better instead of being part of the problem.
100% Possible: Marching for Climate Solutions and Justice will take place in Ottawa on November 29, the day before the UN Climate Summit in Paris begins. Join us for a family-friendly march to celebrate climate solutions and justice as we urge our new government to take bolder action on climate change.
On November 29, let’s show our leaders that 100% clean is possible. Come March With US!
Time: 1:00 PM
Ottawa City Hall
Marion Dewar Plaza
110 Laurier Avenue West
Think green! Green is the symbol of renewable energy, so we are asking marchers to dress in green: clothing, posters, facepaint – anything and everything goes. We also encourage marchers to dress up as the climate solution that inspires you, like a windmill, solar panel, or electric car. Get creative! Build a renewable energy float, paint some banners, or turn yourself into a walking piece of art.
Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a Blogger and a Climate Activist. He’s a member of Climate Reality Canada, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Ottawa) and 350.Org (Ottawa), the Ethical Team (as an influencer) and Global Population Speakout.