MARRAKECH, Morocco (November 16, 2016) – Citizens from global communities experiencing the impacts of climate change called on Canada to reconcile their climate ambition with their plans for energy infrastructure at COP22 today.
Benson Ireri from Christian Aid Africa and Lidy Nacpil from the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice asked Canada to stop approving fossil fuel infrastructure in order to stay within its fair share of the global carbon budget.
“It is a serious concern when we see the international community not honouring their commitments and we are concerned Canada is still pursuing their fossil fuel projects,” said Ireri. “Developed countries have a moral obligation to honour the Paris Agreement.”
This call was echoed by Chief Kevin Hart, Manitoba Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations, as he shared his concerns about the climate impacts experienced by his community. “Indigenous people feel the full effects of climate change and therefore we cannot support any pipelines in Canada. It affects our water, our climate, our communities. We can and should be champions of green energy moving forward.”
Analysis by Oil Change International (OCI) shows that emissions from existing fossil fuel projects around the world already exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement. If Canada approves new fossil fuel projects and allows for major new oil sands expansion, it will consume up to one fifth of the global cumulative carbon budget. According to OCI’s analysis, the pipelines and other energy infrastructure under consideration would result in Canada significantly exceeding their fair share.
“Canada is on a pathway to reduce domestic emissions and meet the 2030 targets domestically while also increasing the amount of fossil fuels it exports” says Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada. “This contradiction is not lost on the countries that are experiencing sea level rise, drought, increased storms, and other climate impacts.”
According to the Canadian Labour Congress, Canada could create one million climate jobs with public investments in clean energy infrastructure, such as solar, wind, geothermal power, energy efficiencies in buildings, public transit jobs and higher speed rail transport.
“Public investments in clean energy infrastructure paired with a just transition strategy supported by workers, employers and governments is the right path for Canada to take.” says Lucien Royer of the Canadian Labour Congress.