CUSJ Joins CANRAC for Green New Deal

 

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau P.C., M.P.

Prime Minister of Canada

Langevin Block

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A2

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.

Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

Minister of Finance

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A6

CC. Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister Catherine McKenna, Minister Steven Guilbeault

Dear Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister,

Imagine if, when any person anywhere in Canada flicked a light switch, the electricity was clean, renewable and affordable. Imagine if, when a person purchased a car or renovated a home, the options that produced the least amount of emissions were the most affordable.

Imagine if Canadians could go through daily life with the security that their everyday actions will not perpetuate climate change, but rather are part of the solution. Imagine if Canadians young and old could see good paying, long term jobs that lay ahead of them, either as they graduate into the job market or shift jobs later on in life.

Canada has a once in a generation opportunity to stop imagining and start creating this future.

With the massive economic stimulus and strategic policy decisions required to jumpstart our economy in response to the impacts of COVID 19, you are in the driver’s seat. This historic responsibility must be taken seriously.

The current trends for economic response are extremely worrying: research shows that Canada and its provinces and territories have pledged substantially more support to fossil fuels than clean energy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are expecting your government to turn this trend around and lay out a vision for a truly transformative just and green recovery in your September 23rd throne speech.

This moment in time we are in – when people’s lives are so impacted by the pandemic and with climate impacts increasing – is not about staying the course of subsidizing major emitters while slowly chipping away at the edges of our emissions profile with less than perfect climate policies. This is the time to make the hard choices that pivot Canada towards exceeding the current 2030 target and on the path to zero emissions by 2050 while building jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.

We expect your government to lay out a vision for a truly transformative just and green recovery in your September 23rd throne speech including a commitment to:

1. Signal to the private sector and all Canadians that the commitment to reach zero emissions by 2050 requires immediate action today.  Focusing just on the 2050 timeline allows lagging companies, industry associations and other actors to promise strategies that are either rooted in technological optimism, depend on offsetting of emissions which will be of no value in 2050, or emphasize products such as natural gas (both domestic and for export) that are not compliant with the 2050 objective yet come at significant and often locked in, long-term cost. It’s like saying we’ll have zero cases of COVID-19 in 2050 and taking no immediate action to address the pandemic that’s killing people today.

This government must demonstrate, through policies, legislation, and recovery spending, that the path to 2050 begins today. We cannot lock ourselves into fossil fuels and other industries that veer us off this path, nor leave the next generation with an unattainable task as a result of our delayed action.

By contrast, increased climate ambition on our 2030 target in the short term will provide the private sector, the provinces and territories, and the public with the signals they need to spur widespread and critical climate action. This government should:

• No later than the Fall of 2020, announce a new 2030 climate target and a plan to reach the new target;

• No later than Fall 2020, appoint a diverse and justice-oriented Ministerial Advisory Board to identify the pathways to zero emissions by 2050;

• Introduce legislation that holds this and future governments accountable for reaching zero emissions by 2050 by December 2020;

• Introduce Just Transition legislation by December 2020

2. Apply conditions and principles to all government departments that ensure economic recovery spending steers the economy towards zero emissions by 2050.

While there are myriad policies and regulations that will be required in the years and decades ahead to wean us off fossil fuels, right now your office needs to apply conditions and principles to all stimulus funding and response to ensure Canada is on the right path to recovery and to zero emissions.

We urge you to adopt a whole of government approach and ensure all departments apply the seven conditions and principles outlined in the report Green Strings: Principles and Conditions for Green Recovery from COVID-19. This report was co-signed by 14 of Canada’s major environmental organizations. The principles cover financial conditions, strengthening environmental policy, increasing equity and wellbeing, establishing transparency and accountability, and more. Support for low-carbon sectors and infrastructure must take precedence, and support to high carbon sectors must only occur with enforceable conditions to incent rapid reductions in emissions.

3. Build public understanding of the pathway to zero emissions by 2050.

This government has shown leadership in responding to the pandemic. Decisive actions and critical information were communicated to Canadians through daily briefings which created confidence and calmness at a time of deep social and economic upheaval. We need the same leadership and communications to change how Canadians engage with the issue of climate change, whose impacts will be greater and longer-lasting.

 Currently, citizens hear once a year through the media how close or far Canada is from some distant climate goal. Instead, as in other countries, a new approach can help Canadians better understand the richness of climate action taking hold across the country and how they can play a part in a national undertaking of great importance.  Through regular monthly briefings you can update Canadians on steps taken to:

• Reduce emissions from heavy emitters;

• Make the cost of climate-safe products and services more affordable;

• Help Canadians adapt to climate change;

• Establish job markets for workers of all ages;

You could also use this time to update Canadians on emissions trends in Canada and around the world.

Recovery and transition efforts by necessity are about making hard decisions: where funding is best spent and what policies are put in place to get us to the future we want. Most Canadians want to be able go about their daily lives without perpetuating climate change and they want to know someone is at the helm steering us in that direction. You can make that happen for them.

We ask for the opportunity to meet with you in the near future to discuss these recommendations and facilitate collaborative relationships moving forward.

Sincerely,

Catherine Abreu

Executive Director

Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada

SIGNATORY ORGANIZATIONS

1. 500 Women Scientists Montréal

2. Above Ground

3. ACTED Canada

4. Action Climat Outaouais (ACO)

5. Action Environnement Basses-

Laurentides

6. BC Climate Alliance

7. BC Council for International Cooperation

8. Canadian Interfaith Fast For the Climate

9. Canadian Union of Postal Workers /

Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses

des postes

10. Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice

11. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

12. CECI

13. Citizens Climate Lobby

14. Citizens Climate Lobby – Nanaimo

Chapter

15. Citizens’ Climate Lobby East Kootenay

16. Clean Air Partnership

17. Climate Action Network Canada

18. Climate Equity Reference Project Canada

19. Climate Justice Montreal

20. Climate Justice Saskatoon

21. Climate Reality Project Canada

22. ClimateFast

23. Coalition climat Montréal

24. Community Resilience to Extreme

Weather (CREW)

25. Conservation Council of New Brunswick

26. Cranbrook Climate Hub

27. Creating Heatlhy and Sustainable

Environments (CHASE)

28. David Suzuki Foundation

29. Demain Verdun

30. Drawdown Toronto

31. Eau Secours

32. Ecohabitation

33. Ecojustice Canada

34. Ecologos Environmental Organization

35. Efficiency Canada

36. Energy Mix Productions

37. Environmental Defence Canada

38. ENvironnement JEUnesse

39. Équiterre

40. Faith & the Common Good

41. Farm Radio International

42. Global Catholic Climate Movement –

Canada

43. GMob (GroupMobilisation)

44. GRAME

45. Grandmother Advocacy Network

46. Green 13

47. Green Majority

48. Green Wave West

49. Greenpeace Canada

50. Hot Planet Cool Athletes Canada

51. Jesuits of Canada

52. Just Earth

53. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice

Initiatives

54. La Planète s’invite au Parlement

55. Le Pacte pour la transition

56. Leadnow

57. Liana Environmental Consulting Ltd

58. Mennonite Economic Development

Associates (MEDA)

59. Mères au front

60. MiningWatch Canada

61. NON à une marée noire dans le Saint-

Laurent

62. Ontario Clean Air Alliance

63. Our Time – Yellowknife

64. Pro Information Pro Environment United

People (PIPE-UP) Network

65. Protect Our Winters Canada

66. Regroupement Des Universitaires

67. Regroupement national des conseils

régionaux de l’environnement du

Québec

68. Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures

Québec (RVHQ)

69. Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly-Milieu de vie

70. Saskatchewan Environmental Society

71. Shift Action for Pension Wealth and

Planet Health

72. Sierra Club BC

73. Spring Magazine

74. SumOfUs

75. Syndicat de professionnelles et

professionnels du gouvernement du

Québec

76. The Climate Reality Project Canada / Le

Projet de la réalité climatique Canada

77. The Global Sunrise Project

78. The United Church of Canada

79. University of Toronto Environmental

Action

80. West Coast Environmental Law

81. West Kootenay EcoSociety

82. WHEN Women’s Healthy Environments

Network

83. Wildsight

84. Wildsight Invermere

85. Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook Branch

86. Windfall Ecology Centre

87. Words with CJ & Co.

88. World Accord

89. Yellow Point Ecological Society

90. Youth Climate Lab

2 thoughts on “CUSJ Joins CANRAC for Green New Deal”

  1. In this letter is written:

    “Most Canadians want to be able go about their daily lives without perpetuating climate change and they want to know someone is at the helm steering us in that direction. You can make that happen for them.”

    As you can see, ninety environmental groups are behind this letter.

    Reply

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