Within hours of the IPCC’s release of landmark report on pathways to 1.5°C average global warming, 350 Canada was out with a petition calling on party leaders in the House of Commons to hold an emergency debate on the topic.
“Dear party leaders,” the petition states. “I demand that you and your party members [introduce a] motion for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Canada’s plan to limit climate change to 1.5°C. I urge you to read the latest report from the world’s most authoritative body on climate change, the IPCC, which makes it clear that we must cease fossil fuel expansion if we want to secure a safe climate. Tar sands expansion projects, LNG fracking, and offshore oil drilling put Canada on the wrong path.”
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“In Canada, the translation is simple,” 350 adds. “Any expansion of the fossil fuel industry—whether it’s via increasing tar sands extraction in Alberta, fracking LNG in B.C., or offshore oil drilling in Nova Scotia—is fundamentally in conflict with securing a safe climate. Equally pressing, as the country’s highest courts have confirmed, Canada’s pursuit of mass fossil fuel expansion is undermining the Trudeau government’s commitments to Indigenous rights and reconciliation.”
350 notes that the 1.5°C target was something that “Canada not only endorsed, but fought for at the 2015 Paris climate summit.” Nearly three years later, “we need action now. Sign this petition to call on all federal party leaders to hold an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Canada’s plan to limit climate change to 1.5°C.”
Yet “Canada has no immediate plans to increase its own ambition,” The Canadian Press reports. ” Instead, the focus is on implementing the current plans, which include a national price on carbon, eliminating coal-fired power plants, making homes and businesses more energy-efficient, and investing in clean technologies and renewable energy.”
“We all know we need to do more,” Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna told CP. “That’s why the Paris Agreement is set up the way it is. Every country in the world needs to take action, and then we need to be more ambitious about the action we are willing to take.”
Minister McKenna, I urge your party to hold an emergency debate in response to the latest IPCC report. Canada’s current plan under your government is inadequate to meet our Paris commitments. The opposition is even worse, promising to roll back a national carbon tax, and having absolutely no serious plan to address global warming. An emergency debate would be a chance for your party to explore additional measures to reduce emissions, and would put the Conservatives on the spot for their shameful refusal to address this issue.