LETTER: Calling for climate justice

Group of letter writers wants government to "get serious about moving to a zero-carbon economy."

If we do not seriously reduce Green House Gas emissions and get to a zero-carbon economy soon, our Canadian landscape—from coast to coast to coast—will be entirely different than we experience today. (For a greater exploration of the data presented in this letter, please consult Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars.)

On a per capita basis, only 25.7% of our energy usage comes from low-carbon sources; the world average is 18.3%. Sweden’s per capita use of low-carbon energy is 68%! We can do better than 25%!

On a per capita basis, our average energy consumption is higher than the developed world; we consume twice the average of Europeans. In other words, we Canadians contribute to Green House Gas levels at a greater proportion per capita than the rest of the developed world.

It is time to get serious about moving to a zero-carbon economy. BC and Québec have put a price on carbon, and Ontario will very soon. As BC has proven, putting a price on carbon will NOT kill the economy in spite of what Prime Minister Harper asserts. FYI, clean technology jobs numbered 23,700 (and growing) versus the tar sands jobs numbering 22,340.

Canada committed to reducing Green House Gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, but that target is not achievable. Canada also set a goal of holding global warming to less than 2 degrees C, but the federal government does not have a strategy for achieving this. We need a national strategy with respect to a price on carbon. We need the elimination of subsidies to fossil fuel companies and increase of subsidies to alternate energy initiatives and research. The Clean energy sector needs a level playing field so that it can grow even more in our move to a zero-carbon future.

Our provinces’ premiers are meeting in Québec City on April 14th to talk climate. Mr. Harper has refused to create meaningful climate justice strategies; it is therefore incumbent upon our premiers to set the direction for pricing carbon and for implementing a carbon fee and dividend program together.

Send your provincial premier a strong message to act!

David Boyd, Laura Sacks, Andromeda Drake, Mike Geisler, Shirley Moon, Judith Fearing, Elizabeth Ellis, Gerda Lang, Evan McKenzie, Matt Schmidt, Marylee Banyard, Irene McIlwaine, Cynthia Quinn-Young, Louise Benner, Bryan Reid, Ron Robinson, Lisa Bramson.

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