Dear Premier Ford,
Hoping to avoid any misunderstanding between us, I will use your vernacular and COVID terminology to discuss the climate crisis with you. I am hoping that by using a communication style you have created, my message will be clear to you.
WE ARE IN THE RED ZONE!!!!
Both the provincial and federal levels of government are failing to truly address the emergencies we face. While we have heard relatively progressive words at the federal level, in the Throne Speech and the recent Fall Economic Statement, actions do not support these words. They do not go far enough fast enough. They leave a gaping, industry-sized hole apparent across different legislation and in all current plans.
In fact, Canada is still supporting fossil fuel in a major way. The country ranks worst of the OECD countries in the G20 Scorecard for ending funding for fossil fuels, and the Production Gap Report cites Canada as one of the leading providers of fossil fuel producer subsidies. A loan guarantee was even given to Keystone XL as part of the COVID recovery package!
As COVID-19 chases us inside and shuts the door behind us, it also shines a bright light on the cracks in our society. People struggle to meet their families’ needs and care for loved ones who are ill, immunocompromised or disabled. They face isolation and uncertainty. Groups of people, including migrant workers and precarious workers, the homeless and low-income renters are especially vulnerable. Health care workers raise the alarm about inadequate supplies and resources.Read more
As the IPPC report, the recent Lancet report on health and climate change and others show, we are in a climate emergency and have very few years left to act, to keep global temperatures from warming over 1.5°C. Every incremental temperature increase matters, bringing with it more disastrous effects, such as life-threatening heat waves and extreme weather. As the environmental commissioner writes in her 2018 report, Climate Action in Ontario: What’s Next (ER Report), ”if we continue at current global emission rates, the toddlers of today will see severe, widespread and irreversible impacts, far beyond what they may be able to adapt to….Every tonne counts, and every action matters.”1
Since Ontario saw its new government instated, climate action in Ontario has been disrupted. At the same time, some of the most recent reports show that we have as little as 10 years to stop using fossil fuels and that emissions must be on a decided downward trend by 2020 - just fifteen months. The need for effective, targeted and immediate climate action is critical. We must speak up for good climate plans and demand accountable climate action from government.Read more