Federal Climate Action Advocacy

BIG WIN ON THE THRONE SPEECH!

Congratulations friends of climate justice– our organizing and letter writing has made a difference!  Our language around the need for a Just Recovery is echoed in the Throne Speech; now we need to make sure these words are translated into action in the budget decisions that follow.

You can see our ClimateFast response to the Throne Speech below

 

CLIMATEFAST RESPONSE to the Throne Speech

September 25, 2020

As Climate activists we are encouraged the Throne Speech. We are heartened by these words

RE: TAKING ACTION ON EXTREME RISKS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country. This is where the world is going” and “The Government will immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal. The Government will also legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.” The speech also promises that government will “Create thousands of jobs retrofitting homes and buildings, cutting energy costs for Canadian families and businesses” as well as promising support for transit and clean tech. We also note the government’s commitment to end coal.

The government seems to recognize the scale of transformation needed. What we need to see now is those words turned into action.

We call on the government to apply a SMART framework (Specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, timelineto the commitments in the Throne Speech so that results truly are measurable and for this detailed plans and timeframes are required.

For example:

Net zero by 2050 is too far away without setting out the goals along the path to achievement. We need a Climate Accountability Act that provides 3 - 5 year planning windows and annual accountability checks.

The government commits to a more ambitious target – science tells us we need to achieve a 60% cut in emissions by 2030 (Canada’s fair share) so we need to not only exceed current target – we need to change the target to one that is science-based and contributes our fair share to International Climate Finance.

In committing to the creation of thousands of retrofit jobs, will the government commit the funds required for full implementation of a mass deep retrofit program? $26 Billion is a minimum for serious investment in this goal.

What is the timetable for planting 2 billion trees? (we note this was first committed to last year). Let’s get on it!

We support the government’s policy of pricing pollution with a fee and rebate system of carbon pricing. This price will need to continue to rise to achieve pollution reduction goals. Putting the money back into the pockets of Canadians in a transparent way will contribute to voter support for this strategy, one of many needed to achieve the transition to a renewable energy future.

We welcome specific plans for these as well as to implement other commitments such as phasing out single use plastics and other worthy goals in the Throne Speech. These specifics will give us greater confidence and inspire us to work together with the government to achieve these goals.

INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND ANTI-RACISM

Climatefast welcomes the government's commitment to introducing legislation for the adoption of UNDRIP, the implementation of the MMIWG, and the measures to address racism in Canadian society.   It’s essential to see action here. To respect Indigenous rights and to meet our CO2 reduction goals we need to be sure there will be no more pipelines. While the admissions about systemic racism in the speech are a good step forward, we question whether the speech reflects the scale of the transformation needed.  We expect the government to listen to those in Indigenous and racialized communities in their plans

 

OTHER PARTY RESPONSES

With regard to the other parties’ responses to the Throne Speech, we are very concerned that the Conservatives do not recognize the need for climate action measures taken on the scale required by the climate emergency. The NDP in its official platform does support climate action (give link). We call on the NDP to press the government to further develop these commitments, and then support their implementation in full. The BQ objects on the basis of needing exclusive jurisdiction for Quebec. We note that the climate crisis does not recognize provincial borders or any other borders for that matter. It is a global crisis and we all need to cooperate for a livable future for all. The Green Party continues to push the measures needed to achieve the speed of transition required under the science.

We call on all federal parties to support the Canada’s Fair Share target of 60% reduction by 2030 which can only be achieved by both strong domestic programs as outlined in the speech and by doubling Canada’s contribution to the Global Climate Finance fund to assist a transition in less developed parts of the world.

The Climate Crisis should not be a partisan issue, but one for human survival. We urge all the parties to work together for the turnaround we need. This is the turnaround decade. We need not just talk, we need action.

We look forward to seeing a budget that provides the funds required to implement the programs outlined in the Throne Speech, and to further specific steps for implementation.

The lives of our children and grandchildren depend on us taking the steps we need - together.

 

Lyn Adamson

Co-Chair

ClimateFast


 

CANADIAN CLIMATE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT – we need one!  

Canada has missed every single emissions reduction target it has ever set.  The adoption of a Climate Accountability Act could change that.  The CAA proposal developed by Ecojustice and other organizations would get us on a pathway to a low-carbon future by legislating targets, establishing an independent advisory body, and mandating five-year carbon budgets, impact reports, and climate plans. 

We need to advocate for a CAA and we need to advocate for increased climate ambition – a target of 60% below by 2030. 

Call on the federal government to table a climate accountability law in Parliament by the end of 2020.

 

Read about the Climate Accountability Act and sign a letter here.

 


WE WON!  VISTA MINE WILL FACE A FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Thanks to everyone who wrote, signed a petition, or called their MP and the Minister of the Environment Jonathan Wilkinson, regarding the need for the Vista Coal Mine expansion planned for Alberta to be subject to a federal environment assessment.  Now it will be! (just announced on July 30).  Our letter sent to the Minister and MPs

https://theenergymix.com/2020/07/31/wilkinson-orders-federal-environmental-assessment-for-vista-coal-mine-expansion/

TIME FOR A JUST AND GREEN RECOVERY!

ClimateFast has signed a number of initiatives for a just and green recovery from COVID.  The federal government is spending tens of billions of dollars on supporting the economy during this difficult time, as well as providing some support to individuals and retail business and so on. 

Our concern is that the federal government is putting most of its investment so far into oil and gas (give link to article) and not into Clean Tech.

Canada can lead on climate and we need to press our government to do so!

Mary Robinson called on Canada to lead on climate in The Globe and Mail in this op-ed July 29th, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-can-lead-on-climate-change-if-leaders-match-words-with-deeds/  

Adam Radwanski in the Globe and Mail:  “Trudeau is hesitating to seize the best opportunity he’ll have to fight climate change”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-trudeau-is-hesitating-to-seize-the-best-opportunity-hell-have-to/

RIGHT NOW WE CAN SPEAK UP TO FINA!

The Finance Committee is taking submissions until August 7th, 11:59 pm.

Here’s an excerpt from our letter to FINA:

A Just Recovery

Investment in climate action can drive a just transition for fossil fuel workers and their communities, leaving no one behind.  Spending on renewable energy projects, for example, creates up to three times the number of jobs as the same commitment to fossil fuels. Deep retrofit of buildings is a labour-intensive activity that provides opportunities for training and transitional employment, but must be organised on a mass basis to meet the country’s goals for greenhouse gas reductions and job creation.

Climate investments, and the budget as a whole, must provide a just recovery from the pandemic.  The Green New Deal, the Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan, and the Green Strings Principles  all provide pathways to integrate climate action with progress toward a more equitable society.  Climate actions must provide opportunities and reduce inequities through consultation with women and with Indigenous and racialized people followed by implementation that addresses the needs they identify. Projects on Indigenous homelands must be based on equitable partnerships. Important programs such as childcare, improved healthcare, employment protections, and EI/income supplements will be essential to address the issues that have been highlighted by the pandemic. 
 

If you want to submit the basic info is here:

https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/FINA/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=10877390  

 

FINA is the House Finance committee. Its membership is here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/FINA/Members
 

FINA is responsible for receiving pre-budget submissions that then get shared with the Ministry of Finance in the process of developing the federal budget. The consultation portal that’s open until August 7 is to make such submissions. The 2021 federal budget is all about COVID, and the things we might recommend to the budget process for post-COVID recovery might include investment in zero emissions vehicles and public transit, deep energy retrofits for buildings, greater investment in renewable electricity and less (no) investment in fossil fuels. 
 

Download ClimateFast's submission

We are using several reference docs to put our submission together including these:

 https://justrecoveryforall.ca/

The Green Strings Principles - International Institute for Sustainable Development    

·         5 Bold Moves for a Resilient Recovery- Task Force for a Resilient Recovery

·         Healthy Recovery Plan- Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

·         Building Back Better- Corporate Knights

https://thepracticalutopian.ca/2020/01/05/climate-emergency-a-26-week-transition-program-for-canada/    (Guy Dauncey)

 OTHER INFO ON STRENGTHENING FEDERAL CLIMATE ACTION 

ARTICLES ON THE WEIGHT OF AID TOWARD FOSSIL FUELS IN COVID RESPONSE

https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2020/07/15/aid-for-energy-heavily-weighted-towards-fossil-fuels-in-covid-19-response-3/#.Xw96aZNKj-Y

 https://theenergymix.com/2020/07/16/canadas-pandemic-response-sends-16-billion-to-fossils-just-300-million-to-clean-energy-global-energy-policy-tracker-shows/

For more info on Canada’s record: Canada’s COVID economic recovery plan -- the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) is actively monitoring the role of Federal and Provincial energy subsidies green and brown, compared to G20 members, latest update: https://www.energypolicytracker.org/ and https://www.energypolicytracker.org/country/Canada

This article is a reminder of just how urgent the situation is and how poor Canada’s record is: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/07/16/opinion/global-fossil-burning-breaks-record-2019-canadians-top-1

From the article: CANADA’S PER CAPITA FOSSIL FUEL BURN

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