The summer of 2021 was unlike any other we have experienced in BC: a heat dome that killed hundreds of people, wildfires that ravaged communities and record-breaking heat waves. These are the types of events scientists had been predicting for decades. The climate emergency is no longer a distant threat, but a present reality, and unless emissions go down, it’s only going to get worse.
The latest IPCC report asserts Earth is reaching a tipping point, and that there could be irreversible impacts from climate change if left unchecked. It warns of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and changing weather patterns. The UN Secretary General says the report is “code-red” for humanity, and its findings must sound a “death-knell” for fossil fuels before they destroy our planet.
The good news is that the report does not say it is too late to do anything about it. However it does say the window of opportunity to act is running out. If the world can drastically reduce its emissions this decade, a lot of the worst effects from climate breakdown could be avoided. Many like myself would like to see Canada lead on this issue, but unfortunately so far this has not been the case. Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have increased since the Paris Agreement in 2015.
That’s why this election is so important. We need to elect MPs that will champion and put forward strong, bold measures to reduce emissions and create jobs at the same time. We need MPs in parliament that will support a Green New Deal, a timely phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, funding for public transportation and incentives for EVs, a transition plan for oil and gas workers, legislation and funding to protect old growth forests, and cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline with funds redirected to clean energy projects.
Let’s turn out and vote on Sept. 20 for our planet, civilization and our future.