Ottawa Seeking Input on Climate Change Policies: An opportunity to promote climate justice
The federal government has opened an on-line portal to receive ideas on how to shape Canada’s approach to climate change. Canadians can submit their ideas at http://eccc.publivate.ca/ideas
KAIROS together with our partners in Climate Fast sent an open letter to the leaders of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in February encouraging them to adopt six policy initiatives for climate justice. When these leaders met in Vancouver in early March they deferred decisions on concrete actions until they meet again in the fall.
KAIROS encourages everyone who is committed to climate justice to submit ideas to the government portal. Submissions received before the end of May will be forwarded to the four working groups the prime minister and the premiers set up to vet policy options. Submissions can still be made after that date to keep up the pressure on the federal government. We suggest that readers consider echoing the six policy initiatives developed by KAIROS and Climate Fast that were endorsed by 74 environmental and social justice organizations in submissions to the portal or at town hall meetings that are taking place across the country.
Canadians making submissions to the federal government’s portal soliciting ideas on climate policy (http://eccc.publivate.ca/ideas) or attending town hall meetings with Members of Parliament may wish to consider promoting the following policy initiatives submitted by KAIROS and Climate Fast to the prime minister and provincial and territorial premiers:
New science-based emission reduction target consistent with a 1.5 degree temperature rise
Cutting our emissions as much as possible as soon as possible will set us on a path to achieving this goal, whereas delaying action may preclude any possibility of staying under a 1.5 degree rise.
Clear and measurable plan for a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050
Canada needs to transition to 100 percent low-carbon electricity by 2035 and strive for 100 percent reliance on renewable sources for all forms of energy by 2050. Investing in renewable energy creates up to eight times as many jobs as investing in oil and gas extraction.
End to subsidies for fossil fuel industries and investments in a green economy
In 2009 at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Canada promised to eliminate subsidies to fossil fuels. Annual Canadian subsidies to fossil fuel industries averaged $2.9 billion over 2013 and 2014, with $1.7 billion of this from the federal government. Savings from cutting subsidies should be redirected to support public transit, green infrastructure and clean technologies.
Carbon fee set at $30 per tonne and a commitment to increase it over time
The government must establish, in consultation with the provinces and territories, a national standard for pricing carbon emissions through a carbon fee set initially at $30 per tonne of greenhouse gases and increasing in steps to a level consistent with limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Far-reaching, permanent regulatory approval process for assessing energy projects
A new, permanent regulatory approval process must replace the flawed National Energy Board process. It must respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior and informed consent as required by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the government of Canada has promised to uphold, and it must account for the large downstream carbon footprint of the products they carry as well as the emissions that result from their extraction.
$4 billion annual contribution to climate adaptation and mitigation measures in the Global South
Based on precedents where Canada has contributed 3 percent to 4% of multilateral funds, Canada’s fair share of the $100 billion (U.S.) promised in the Paris decision document requires a contribution of $4 billion a year by 2020.