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The message to Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in a letter drafted by two members of GASP (Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet) is powerful. Lorraine Green and Carole Holmes express their disapproval of Wilkinson’s support of fossil fuels while acting as Climate Minister. You can’t do both.

There is not a person in Canada today who will escape the effects of the deceit of the Trudeau government climate plan which includes the expansion of fossil fuels. In May, the EPA called for a drastic scaling back of all new fossil fuel investments as it laid out a clear pathway to net-zero 2050. And the latest IPCC Report—which is sounding alarm bells around the world—also calls for a massive decline in CO² emissions to have just a 50-50 chance of keeping warming below 2°C. (Editor comment)

As Climate Minister, You Can’t Promote Fossil Fuels

Dear Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,

GASP was terribly disappointed when we heard your comments that Canada will continue to extract oil from the Trans Mountain Pipeline because the revenue is needed to help Canada achieve its long-term climate objectives. This comes on the same day, August 9th, 2021, that the IPCC published its report that forecasts catastrophic environmental consequences if humans continue burning coal and other fossil fuels.

In an interview with Katie Simpson, on CBC’s Power and Politics, you reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but as we see in the IPCC report, the planet cannot wait until 2050.

Our children, grandchildren, and children everywhere cannot wait till 2050

Forests and Canadian towns that have burnt down this summer in Canada cannot wait till 2050.

Crops, across the prairie provinces, that have withered this summer cannot wait until 2050.

The melting permafrost is impacting the Inuit way of life today. They cannot wait until 2050.

Canada’s commitment to lower emissions 40% – 45% is actually weaker than the IPCC called for. Canada has hugely benefited from extracting and burning fossil fuels and we now have a “CARBON DEBT “to the world. Decarbonization is our only path to survival.

Is it only, we grandmothers, who think it’s absolute nonsense to believe burning fossil fuels can transition us away from fossil fuels? That Canada needs the revenue from the Trans Mountain Pipeline to fight the proliferation of fossil fuels? That focusing on 2050 ‘long-term climate objectives’ sends a message of urgency?

Canada cannot waste time and money on false solutions being pushed by oil and gas companies that sanction more oil and gas production. As a top global and a major fossil fuel exporter, we have both the responsibility and the power to make a difference. We must cut emissions in half this decade, rapidly decarbonize all sectors of the economy, and phase out fossil fuels.

In the past, we have taken our issues to our Halton Liberal MPs – Pam Damoff; Anita Anand; Karina Gould; and Adam vanKoeverden, for whom we have great respect. They have always given us time to meet with them and have been excellent listeners. They all think very highly of you, your knowledge, and expertise, however, we feel they are reluctant to address our concerns with you.

There is no time for delay. The Climate Emergency is NOT a problem of the future, or the next government – it’s here and now and affecting every region of the world. 

If, as you say, Canada is serious about the climate crisis, your response to the IPCC report must be a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion in Canada; a freeze on projects like Trans Mountain; and immediate action to fast track just transition legislation.

Every degree of warming that we can prevent means more lives saved; it means more species protected; it means our grandchildren and future generations will inherit a world they can live in.

Lorraine Green is a grandmother, advocate for social justice and gender equality, a climate activist and Co-Chair of GASP (Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet). You can connect with her on Twitter, @lorraineagreen

Carole Holmes is Co-Chair of GASP, Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet, based in Oakville Ontario. 

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

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