World leaders are currently gathering in Glasgow, Scotland for the UN international climate conference COP26. Over 12 days, they’ll have an opportunity to make critical decisions about tackling the climate emergency globally.
With the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaring this moment a “code-red for humanity,” it’s never been more important for leaders to take bold action on the climate crisis.
Further below you’ll find a letter sent to Prime Minister Trudeau from Jane Jenner (local resident and founding member of the Burlington Community Climate Action Hub) and Amy Schnurr ( BurlingtonGreen’s Executive Director), calling on the Prime Minister to put Canada at the forefront in global climate action.
November 2, 2021
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau
*An Open Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau*
The Rt. Hon Justin Trudeau, PC MP
The Office of the Prime Minister
The House of Commons
November 2, 2021
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau
BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association and the Burlington Community Climate Action Hub are reaching out to you at this pivotal moment in history with a plea to make Canada a leader in climate action. Our organizations, while focusing on local advocacy, action and awareness-building on the climate change front, join many others at the national and international level in advocating for real, concrete and effective change in the way governments have been approaching the now-existential threat of climate change.
Canada, in particular, has lagged behind in its efforts to rein in our greenhouse gas emissions with per capita emissions among the highest in the world. And while many of us believe climate change to be a real and present threat, demonstrating actions to reduce our carbon footprint at the personal level, this is not enough to move the needle on our country’s emissions. It is clear that government must do far more to ensure Canada is doing its part within the next nine years to ward off the worst-case scenario, and keep global warming at or below 1.5 degrees.
There is no need to repeat the warnings of climate scientists – they have been growing steadily more urgent and we are now facing what the United Nations is calling a “Code Red for humanity.” It is time to collectively roll up our sleeves and get the job done. A minimum target of 50% below 2005 levels is needed to do this – anything less and we will be unable to avoid the risk of natural tipping points that will precipitate runaway warming.
Canada must, immediately:
- Cut off all government subsidies to fossil fuel industries, as was previously promised, within the next year, and mothball the Trans Mountain pipeline;
- Invest in clean energy and clean technology/transportation industries, capitalize on the growth in the global multi-trillion dollar green tech sector, and retrain oil patch workers to power a new green economy that is well-diversified and less dependent on extractive industries to support Canada’s prosperity;
- Incentivize uptake of personal vehicle electric transportation, electrify and invest in public transit, and create a robust network of electric charging stations across Canada;
- Invest in making buildings green through retrofit subsidies and new standards to mandate net-zero future building;
- Protect wetlands, farmlands and forests, move forward with tree planting on a large scale, and support farmers in implementing net-zero farming practices;
- Engage with our Indigenous Peoples as full partners in implementing a just transition of our economy;
- Provide meaningful assistance to poorer countries to support their own transition to a green economy.
Finally, we encourage you to bring together energetic, committed MPs in a cross-party Climate Cabinet whose mandate will be to lead this government in developing and implementing a robust, results-based plan that puts Canada at the forefront in global climate action.
We can and must step up, as Canadians have done throughout history when the need is great; indeed, your government’s and Canadians’ response to the COVID threat has proven that we are equal to the climate change challenge. Organizations like ours stand ready to lend a hand. Our sleeves are already rolled up. Let’s do this!
Burlington Community Climate Action Hub
BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
The Honourable Karina Gould
Pam Damoff, MP
Adam vanKoeverden, MP