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LETTER: Before a child born today turns 30

From KAIROS BC/Yukon

This letter is sponsored by the Kootenay region chapter of KAIROS, B.C./Yukon, an interfaith organization that works for environmental justice in Canada and the world.

The sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in August concluded that climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe, with human influence contributing to many observed changes in weather and climate extremes. Many of the changes are unprecedented and some will be irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.

According to the report, “Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas — these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30.”

Furthermore, “We need transformational change operating on processes and behaviours at all levels: individual, communities, business, institutions and governments. We must redefine our way of life and consumption.”

According to independent scientific analysis, the pledges and targets that Canada has made to date are quite inadequate. Furthermore, Canada has missed every emissions reduction target it has set to date. The climate crisis requires strong leadership.

We submit that Canada must join the global climate effort by reducing domestic emissions by at least 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and implement five-year interval carbon budgets to help ensure Canada never misses another target.

Canada must end the expansion of fossil fuel production in this country and reject all new and proposed fossil fuel projects

Canada must commit to ending all subsidies, public financing and other and other fiscal support to the oil and gas sector by 2022.

To quote a plea from the worldwide global climate strike, we are facing the crisis of the century, but also an opportunity for enormous positive change. Will you be a leader, a thinker, an innovator?

The goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change.

Sandra Hartline and nine others for

Kootenay region chapter of KAIROS, B.C./Yukon