“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels” - UN Secretary Antonio Guterres.
The warning that the latest IPCC report has sounded is clear: we don’t have time for incremental change or false solutions. Change must be transformational, and it must include phasing out our dangerous dependence on fossil fuel use and production.
Last week, the federal government released their Emissions Reductions Plan mandated by Bill C-12, or Canada’s Climate Accountability Act. The plan has some positive elements such as modeling sectoral emissions that outline important climate funding and mechanisms, but ultimately exposes a blatant desire to play at the margins and avoid tackling the root cause of our GHG emissions.
Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have increased since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015, yet we continue to bank on false solutions that don’t add up to the emission reductions needed to keep our ecosystems and communities safe.
The IPCC report outlines a number of solutions to the climate emergency. Renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar are affordable, scalable solutions that will ultimately lead to overall cost-reductions. In order to cut our emissions in half by 2030 we need to shift spending on fossil fuel towards proven solutions to mitigate GHG emissions. Protecting our natural ecosystems, improving agricultural practices, upgrading efficiency of our buildings, and shifting funding to support communities are actions that we can finance and accelerate today.
The IPCC report demonstrates a pathway where we can create healthy social and ecological systems, but time is running out. Due to failed and inadequate climate commitments, transformative change is now the only possible, yet achievable pathway to securing a just, livable future for all.