It’s time for Canada to do its “fair share” to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and confront the impacts of climate change, Climate Action Network Canada argues in its Road Map to Paris, a document released earlier this month and summarized Friday by Alternatives Journal.
“Canada has a lot of catching up to do,” the Road Map states.
“Since 1992 when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was negotiated at the Earth Summit, our country has contributed less than its fair share to the work we all need to do to protect the climate. The result in 2015 is an economy over-reliant on fossil fuels and investing less than it could in the transition to a 100% renewable energy system to power our economy and to ensure a healthy quality of life.”
The Road Map “includes not just what we will do at home to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but also what we will contribute financially to the world to help other countries move forward as well,” CANC Executive Director Louise Comeau told Alternatives. But “current targets are not in line with what we need.” CANC is calling on Canada to reduce its emissions 35% below 2005 levels by 2025 and contribute $4 billion to help developing countries meet their emissions targets.
Canada’s current target, set by the former government of Stephen Harper, calls for a 30% reduction by 2030. The new government will carry that target into negotiations at the United Nations climate summit in Paris, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said last week.
“Increased provincial engagement is needed to truly change Canada’s climate change mitigation,” Nourse writes, citing the CANC roadmap. Canada’s past attempts to cut carbon were unsuccessful because they relied on “top-down” approaches. But now, “Canadian provinces are engaged and have made significant commitments. Provincial governments have jurisdiction on energy and transportation, which are key areas for reaching targets.”
In an interview Saturday with CBC’s The House, McKenna stressed that “you can’t just come up with targets out of thin air” and hope to make them work. The 30% by 2030 target “ is a floor, not a ceiling. But you have to do the hard work to figure out how we change our economy and move to a low-carbon economy.”
The federal government has promised to meet provincial and territorial premiers within 90 days of the Paris talks to come up with a new national emissions plan.