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As a volunteer lobbyist with Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada, I (and my colleagues) regularly meet with Members of Parliament to discuss carbon pricing, climate policy, the transition to clean energy, fossil fuel subsidies and Canada’s emission-reduction targets. Helping politicians meet the most urgent challenge of our time is our goal. Our lobby group always has a leave-behind-one-pager that lists our current asks. But this time, the leave-behind is different. It embodies a thread of urgency, a #WeDontHaveTime message, a #WeMustStayBelow2C wish.

Most Urgent Challenge of Our Time

The urgency

We are in a global emergency. Youth, scientists, local governments and citizens worldwide demand major changes to keep global warming below 1.5 °C and to save our future from worldwide ecological collapse. Recent reports, such as the IPCC 1.5°C ReportCanada’s Changing Climate report, the UN 1 Million Species Extinction report and the latest Mauna Loa CO2 reading of 415 ppm, highlight the need for immediate action.

Canadians are demanding action

As of May 6, 2019, climate emergencies have been declared in 382 Canadian communities, covering over 10 million people. In August 2018, teenager Greta Thunberg from Sweden sparked the global Fridays for Future movement by striking from school to demand that leaders protect her future. On May 3, 2019, thousands of youth in 97 Canadian cities engaged in a nationwide strike. An international global Earth Strike is set for September 27.

The good news

Our present challenge calls for a whole suite of beneficial solutions. With the right policies, including pricing carbon as a core component of a cost-effective climate plan, we can help save lives, improve health, conserve nature, promote equity and be poised to capture part of the 26 trillion dollar opportunity in climate smart growth by 2030.

Why Carbon Fee and Dividend

A carbon fee offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. Fairness and political viability are maximized by returning all revenues as dividends or equal rebates to Canadians. Most families, including the most vulnerable, receive more in dividends than they pay in increased energy costs.

Support for pricing carbon

Canada’s Chamber of Commercemajor Canadian oil companies, the Canadian Mining Association and the Canadian Medical Association are among the many organizations that endorse pricing carbon. In the USA, 3554 economists, including 27 Nobel Laureates, have endorsed the Carbon Dividends model of pricing carbon.

In Canada, Carbon Fee and Dividend has been endorsed by Canadians for Clean Prosperity, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission and the Post Media editorial board.

We appreciate Canada being a world-leader on carbon pricing, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and the two years of negotiations for the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Our Asks

  1. Increase the national carbon price past 2022 as part of a plan for Canada to do its fair share in reducing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, as per the IPCC 1.5 °C report.
  2. Immediately identify and phase out federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry that distort the market signal a carbon price provides.
  3. Establish CO2 equivalent fees for other GHGs, including measurable methane, nitrogen trifluoride, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), nitrous oxide and perfluorocarbons, at a minimum.
  4. Study the replacement of the output-based pricing system for large emitters with border carbon adjustments to protect businesses that are genuinely vulnerable in the international marketplace.
  5. Set science-based, legally binding greenhouse gas targets, transparent progress reporting and cross-party cooperation. Ontario’s Environment Commissioner recommends the United Kingdom’s Climate Change Act (2008) as  a model in the Climate Action in Ontario: What’s Next? report.

CCL Canada is grassroots, nonpartisan and volunteer-run. We are here to help in this time of massive change. 

It’s time to treat the climate crisis as the nonpartisan issue that it truly is.

Articles of interest…
The Debunking of 10 Carbon Pricing Myths
It’s Time To Switch to Cathedral Mode

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License

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  1. Awesome Rolly, I notice the RDCK in BC as having declared a climate emergency, a location where I am working on a one planet lifestyle research site

    “legally binding greenhouse gas targets” are critical, as per my City of Calgary’s complete lack of achieving a 2011 council approved 2020 carbon target 🙂 once AB MLA David Swann agreed at the last Friday for Futures in Calgary 🙂

    • Yes, “legally binding” is the key phrase. If only the Paris Agreement had legally binding targets.

      Thank you for your comments/feedback Les. And keep up the good work that you do.

  2. Here in Alberta, your (very valid) ‘asks’ will be dismissed and forgotten in an instant. Somehow, the point has to be made available to the Albertan public that, with the recent price shifts in electric storage and… and …, using renewables is **cheaper** than using non-renewables. Jason Kenney will ignore these facts because he is in the pocket of the Fraser Institute and the Koch Brothers, but if, somehow, the general public becomes aware of them, there is a tiny chance that pressure can be brought to bear. Tiny chances are all Albertans have until the 2023 provincial election. The big question revolves around that “Somehow”. Any ideas, anybody?

  3. Hi Tom – welcome to Below2C.

    I agree that public education is key. Even when polls show a majority of Canadians saying “yes” to climate action, they really don’t know enough about the details to make informed decisions when they hear #climatemonsters like Jason Kenney and his twin evil brother Doug Ford espouse their mindless narrative on carbon pricing.

    • Their minds are closed and locked. It is those in the general public who actually use their brains — and there are many — who must be made aware. Somehow, somehow.

  4. In her latest research paper (ShortLink: ), Gail Tverberg, a highly respected researcher, focused on figuring out how energy limits and the economy are really interconnected, and what this means for our future, says that when it comes to fully explaining the global predicament we’re facing, the climate change story we’re usually told is “totally inaccurate.” Our focus on climate change as the primary problem has diverted our attention from significant other resource and environmental problems. In brief, Gail puts it this way:

    “The world’s predicament arises primarily from too little affordable resources, especially energy resources. … In particular, there is a need to consider the physics of how an economy really operates: Energy consumption cannot be reduced significantly at the world level without increasing the probability of collapse or a major war.”

    Elsewhere, she elaborates —
    “Climate change is one of many problems the world economy is facing, and the solutions we have for climate change at this time are totally inadequate. Because an increase in energy consumption is required for GDP growth worldwide, even voluntary cutbacks in fossil fuel usage tend to harm the economies making the reductions. If climate change is to be addressed, totally different approaches are needed. We may even need to talk about adapting to climate change that is largely out of our ability to control.”

    Gail’s analysis appears to be out of step with the Five Asks of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada.


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