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This government is being reckless in the face of dangerous climate change


They must:

By ignoring the need to take serious action on climate change,
the federal government is putting Canadian’s health, our economy, our resources and our environment at risk




Recognize that this is an urgent problem that needs urgent solutions.

o   It is not too late, but impacts are already being felt around the world

o   If rich countries like Canada show leadership and act now we can prevent the worst harm — both in other nations, and here at home

o   Canada is vulnerable to climate impacts on many fronts — failing to prepare for those impacts and prevent further damage would be reckless and irresponsible

Recognize that Canadians want to see action and leadership from our government on climate change

o   the conservative Senate has just defeated the only piece of climate change legislation we had. They are acting recklessly and irresponsibly in the fact of a global crisis

o   numerous polls have found that Canadians want the government to show  leadership on climate change and take action now

o   more than 80% of Canadians live in provinces that have more ambitious climate change policies than the federal government has put in place

o   the majority of Parliament has called for stronger action and accountability on climate change [ie. Bill C-311]

 As one of the world’s top-10 climate polluters, Canada needs to stop making excuses and take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions at home

o   Canada is among the top-10 polluters globally on a per capita, absolute and cumulative scale

o   Canadians produce about three times more global warming pollution than people in China and Europe, and more than 14 times more than people in India Canada continues to insist on letting the U.S. define our climate change policy, even though our two countries have very different energy systems and the Canadian government has all the tools it needs now to regulate greenhouse gas emissions

Clamp down on emissions from big polluters like the tar sands by setting and enforcing pollution limits

o   While the rest of the world is working on a deal to significantly reduce emissions by 2020, the Alberta government is planning to allow emissions in the province to grow by 20% in that time period.  

o   The tar sands will account for 95% of the growth in Canada’s industrial emissions between now and 2020 under a business as usual scenario 

o   The federal government’s climate change policy is designed to accommodate the growth of the tar sands and the emissions that will produce — we’re the only country that reduced our ambition on dealing with climate change since signing the Copenhagen Accord 

o   If Alberta were a country, it would have the highest per capita greenhouse gas polluter in the world.The province of Alberta’s per capita emissions are 70 tonnes per/capita and are continuing to grow (compared to around 24 tonnes per/capita on average in the rest of the country). Alberta is responsible for over half (52 per cent) of Canada's emissions growth since 1990, despite being responsible for only 18 per cent of GDP growth and 19 per cent of the growth in population. Combined with Saskatchewan, the two provinces account for an astonishing 74 per cent of national GHG growth, but only 20 per cent of Canada's GDP growth and 19 per cent of population growth.

 

Stop fuelling the problem by handing out billions of dollars in tax breaks to big oil companies;

o   The Canadian government currently gives at least $1 billion dollars in tax breaks to some of the richest companies in the country, while failing to provide sufficient support to carbon-free energy sources

o   Given our commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, giving financial incentives to industries that contribute substantially to Canada’s emissions doesn’t make sense, especially when we could be providing those incentives to industries that help to meet our climate commitments and keep our air and water clean, like renewable energy.

o   In the next federal budget the government should move to eliminate these tax breaks

o   Let’s stop fuelling the problem and start investing in a clean energy future.

 

Stop trying to kill clean energy and climate policy outside our borders,

o   Canada has systematically tried to kill progressive clean energy and climate change policy in California, federally in the U.S. and in Europe;

o   The Department of Foreign affairs has a secretive ‘Oil Sands Advocacy Strategy’ to promote the tar sands and ensure no good climate policy gets in their way;

o   Canada is risking our future economic stability and competitiveness by banking billions on the dirty energy sources instead of the clean energy future the world is moving towards.

 

Make meaningful investments in clean, renewable energy;

o   The only federal program focused on supporting renewable energy ran out a year ago

o   Eco-energy, a popular home retrofit program, also ran out in 2010

o   The government has shown no indication of renewing or replacing either of these programs

o   If you compare President Obama’s most recent federal budget request to Canada’s most recent budget request, federal investment is 18 higher per capita in the United States

 

Do our fair share to support poorer countries adapt to climate change and adopt clean energies

o   Developing countries are most affected by climate change and yet they are least responsible for it;

o   Many vulnerable countries urgently need help to survive a more hostile climate and to tap into clean energy;

o   Leaders from developed countries have agreed to provide US $30 billion over the next three years to support poor countries as they adapt to climate change and build clean energy economies. They also agreed to find US $100 billion a year by 2020—although studies show that much more funding will be needed;

o   Canada has announced $400 million in funding, but nearly three-quarters of that money will have to be paid back, and the rest was robbed from the aid budget

o   Developing countries must have full participation in deciding how, when and where this money goes as well as how it is administered.

By ignoring the need to take serious action on climate change, the federal government is putting Canadian’s health, our economy, our resources and our environment at risk.

  • Even if we see just 2°C of average warming globally, we will face serious challenges in Canada:

o   Average temperature increases for Canadian provinces from 2−6°C, with the largest increases in the Arctic.

o   Heat-related deaths. In Ontario, the number of days at or above 30°C is projected to double, with a consequent doubling of heat-related deaths, and an increase in deaths due to air pollution.

o   More droughts. Although total precipitation is expected to increase in most provinces, its timing — coupled with less snow accumulation, earlier thawing, greater evaporation, and receding glaciers — is projected to contribute to more frequent and severe drought conditions.

o   Stress on wildlife. Declining sea ice, more severe winter storms, shifting ecosystems and loss of wetlands will negatively affect many iconic and culturally important Canadian species, such as polar bears, ringed seals, caribou and ducks.

o   Sea level rise in some places higher than the global average, increasing the risks of coastal flooding, more frequent and severe storm surges, and rapid erosion. Regions most at risk include much of Atlantic Canada, the Beaufort Sea coast and the Fraser River Delta. 

o   Stress on forests. Increased drought and more favorable conditions for pests are projected to greatly increase the mortality of susceptible tree species, including jack pine, whitebark pine, and white and black spruce. 

o   Thawing or thinning of frozen soils. Over 50% of Canada’s permafrost is at risk of thawing in the near future, threatening critical infrastructure and potentially releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide. 

o   Loss of sea ice. The summer extent of sea ice is projected to decline by 50−60% this century in the North, with some models predicting a possible complete loss of summer sea ice.