FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1st, 2019
Representatives from labour, climate, social justice, and youth movements speak to the need for rapid, cross-partisan cooperation when it comes to climate change
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA] – On the heels of Canada’s first climate election, movement leaders from across Canada came together on Friday morning to say that the new minority Liberal government must move quickly to show Canadians that it will fulfill its climate promises, working with New Democrat, Green and Bloc parties on their shared climate mandate. Speakers representing Climate Action Network Canada, Unifor, LeadNow, 350.org/Our Time, and Greenpeace Canada outlined key policies that are reflected across party platforms, and whose swift implementation are essential.
Though these representatives came from a variety of backgrounds, they all agreed that the new government needs to focus on common ground and fostering cooperation. Those present at the event emphasized that this new government must prioritize the following
- Listen to scientists. Ratchet up Canada’s Paris goal in line with the science of the latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and limit warming to 1.5°C.
- Create mechanisms like legislation to keep government accountable and on track to meet our climate commitments.
- Ensure a just transition for workers by collaborating with communities.
- Redirect investment away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy: eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, stop expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.
- Fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Respect free, prior and informed consent.
“Voters have been clear with this election that they won’t elect leaders or parties who ignore the climate emergency. The Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc all committed to immediately amping up Canada’s climate commitments, putting measures in place to make sure we fulfil those commitments, starting a real conversation about economic diversification and good, clean jobs, and implementing climate solutions that touch peoples’ everyday lives. To those leaders whose climate credentials helped put you in power: we will not accept you backing down now. Maintaining your credibility means immediately implementing fair, ambitious climate policies and solutions.”
Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada.
“Unifor believes Canada needs strong federal leadership on our climate change policies with a clear and comprehensive commitment to including worker just transition programs.”
Ken Bondy, National Representative: Health, Safety, Environment, Unifor
“Without a doubt, this was the climate election. Two-thirds of voters supported parties committed to tackling the climate emergency and rejected the big oil agenda of the Conservatives. Canadian voters make up a climate majority and now it’s time to see our political leaders work together to deliver on their climate promises.”
Logan McIntosh, Co-Executive Director, Leadnow
“Our generation is rising behind the call for a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. From the climate strikes, to the ballot box, to Monday’s sit-in on the floor of the House of Commons, youth and millennials have made our demand for bold action on climate change and inequality crystal clear. We were the largest voting bloc on October 21st, and we’ll be the loudest voice demanding bold action on climate change, Indigenous rights and a just transition for as long as this government lasts.”
Amara Possian, Campaign Director, OurTime and 350.org
Represented by Lauren Latour
“We need a firewall between politics and the fossil fuel industry. With Exxon on trial for climate crimes as we speak, now is the time for the federal government and all parties to put a stop to industry’s efforts to undermine climate action. Greenpeace is calling on all parties to commit to ending fossil fuel subsidies and to implement a Green New Deal that will unite people across Canada — from Indigenous, racialized and low-income communities to oil and gas workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who should be supported in the coming energy transition.” Patrick Bonin, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace for Greenpeace Canada
Exit polls confirm that climate was for the first time a vote-determining issue for a significant portion of Canadians who cast ballots in this election. 77% of non-Conservative voters polled by University of Toronto place climate change among their top vote-determining issues, and climate action is one of the top three issues voters polled by Abacus Data want to see parties working together on under this minority government.
About Climate Action Network Canada: Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy issues. A coalition of more than 100 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast, our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
About Unifor: Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 315,000 members across the country, working in every major sector of the Canadian economy. Unifor has strong core policies on a wide range of environmental, value-added economic development and energy sustainability issues.
About Leadnow: Leadnow is an independent, member-based organization that runs campaigns to build and defend a just, sustainable, and equitable Canada.
About OurTime; OurTime is a youth and millennial-led campaign that is pushing for a Green New Deal for Canada. We elected 8 Green New Deal champions on October 21, then got straight to work delivering 338 mandate letters from our generation.
About Greenpeace; Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity.
Lauren Latour – Climate Action Network Canada
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