Finance and public policy are the biggest drivers of change in most industries, and the oil and gas industry is no different. Banks have often been overlooked as a lever for change. Their complicity in profiting from climate disaster is now coming into sharper focus with groups like Rainforest Action Network and Bank Track publishing annual reports about the extent to which these institutions are funding fossil fuel extraction.
Canada continues to lose more critical land, freshwater and oceanic habitats than it conserves every year. Habitat loss problematically increases ecosystem GHG emissions through the release of ecosystem carbon, reductions in the carbon storage capacity of our landscapes, and the loss of critical climate adaptation and resilience services. Canada’s response to the biodiversity crisis is being significantly limited by these feedback loops. These impacts are also limiting Canada's ability to leverage nature-based solutions to help meet our climate change adaptation and mitigation goals.
At the same time, ongoing colonialism continues to override Indigenous rights and land stewardship. We see this evidenced across the country as Indigenous land-defenders stand on the frontlines, confronting destructive projects that are backed by industry and government. Ongoing environmental racism also shows in high pollution rates, as seen in Grassy Narrows and Canada’s Chemical Valley.
Systems that perpetuate harm need to be called out and ended at the same time investments in programs like Indigenous Land Guardians, projects like those highlighted in Power to the People and support for non-market mechanisms that ensure biodiversity protection increase. As noted in the Indigenous Leadership Initiative blogpost, UN Biodiversity Report Calls for Greater Role for Indigenous Peoples, “If Canada places Indigenous-led conservation at the core of its biodiversity approach, we can sustain even more lands and waters.” 
The rate of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves is 40 per cent higher than in the general Canadian population. Indigenous people living in urban areas have been similarly hard-hit. The crisis represents another in a long series of failures of the Canadian state to achieve justice and reconciliation with first peoples. For an effective recovery, Canada must renew its commitment to upholding Indigenous sovereignty, laws, values, customs and traditions by investing in Indigenous communities. Collaboration and partnership will be required to develop and enact solutions that adequately address the needs of Indigenous communities.
Here is a version of our budget submission part 4 of 7, with some simple calls to action that you can take added in.
Art by Corrina Keeling for justrecoveryforall.caRead more
Decarbonizing Canada is a critical step to ensure a climate-safe and resilient future. An effective National Decarbonization Strategy can help us build back better, creating inclusive, green communities and quality green jobs (e.g. jobs in renewable energy). This strategy must include equitable partnerships with Indigenous communities, investing in renewable energy projects on Indigenous homelands and continuing to expand Indigenous ownership.
Here is a version of our budget submission part 3 of 7, with some simple calls to action that you can take added in.
To make the shift to a low-carbon future, we need an energy transformation! The second installment from TO350's budget submission deals with a shift to clean energy, active and Zero Emission Vehicle transportation and retrofits. We've added in some quick action call-outs for each section. Stay tuned for part 3!
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COVID-19 has shown us that people’s health and wellbeing must be prioritized. It has highlighted the need for strong social infrastructure and a resilient, sustainable economy that supports a livable future in the midst of ongoing and coming crises. To achieve this livable future, a low-carbon economy that ensures worker’s rights and the good of communities is a must.
Art by Corinna Keeling - see justrecoveryforall.caRead more
Now's the time to make your voice heard as Toronto City Council finalizes the budget for 2021 in the context of COVID recovery. Let them know we must #BuildBackBetter! Call or email your city councillor. You can find their contact information here. You could also weigh in in support of the motion brought forward by Jennifer McKelvie and Mike Layton to call for the swift phase-out of gas-fired electricity in Ontario. For Toronto to meet net-zero by 2050 goals, we need this phase out!
TO350 member Natasha Bartels and her father, Dennis Bartels, were among the first to start talking about and researching the concept of a war level effort applied to climate change, including taxing the ultra-rich. They were quoted in an article by Sarah Berman in Vice, a way back now, in November 2019 called "We Need to Tax the Super-Rich to Save the World." It is just as pertinent, if not more so now, to consider tackling climate change as a war-level threat, as we enter 2021 with the knowledge that 2020 tied for the hottest year on record. To quote the article....
(Image by Dave Hoefler via unsplash.com)
Three simple steps can make all the difference.
While the federal government’s Climate Accountability Act, Bill C-12, is a step forward, it leaves much to be desired. There are critical gaps in this proposed legislation(1) that must be addressed if Canada has any hope of fulfilling its climate commitments and doing its part to avoid climate catastrophe.
TO350 encourages everyone to participate! We are planning to join in on January 29th with some of our own socially distanced actions. Stay tuned for more details, signs & shareables.