Where's the climate change action?

January 30, 2016

At the current rate, Canada is not going to meet its climate goals – goals that fall far short of what the science says we need to protect us from the devastating impacts of climate change.

The National Energy Board projects fossil fuel consumption in Canada will rise by 22 percent over the next 25 years resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions unless there is concerted policy action on the part of government.

The big plays by national, provincial and territorial governments are important – the phase out of coal-fired power, putting a price on carbon – but they won’t be enough.

We need to turn to our communities for inspiration and resourcefulness.  There are success stories across this country where local climate change actions are reducing emissions.  The best need to be touted from one end of the country to the other.  Federal, provincial and territorial governments need to move quickly to develop policies and programs that will promote their replication in other communities.  There are dozens of ways that senior levels of government can accelerate action at the local level and support every community – big, small, urban, and rural – to make a difference on climate change.

We talk about climate change being an existential crisis.  Yes, we talk about it.  It is within all of our power to make a difference.  Anyone who is in a position to influence change has a global obligation to act – not soon but now.

The great untapped opportunity for our communities is not just to be part of the global effort to address climate change but to improve the wellbeing of each and every Canadian.