This election was essentially a referendum on climate change action, and Canadians voted a strong “yes!” Although a majority of Canadians didn’t vote for any one political party, a majority of Canadians did vote for a more ambitious climate action plan. Now the parties and members of parliament must work together across party lines to forge an alliance to deliver action in line with what Canadians are expecting and what science tells us must be done.
As a first order of business, the federal government must legislate a new greenhouse gas reduction target for this country and increase our level of ambition to ensure Canada does its part to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. The government must also create an accountability mechanism to ensure that the plan it develops will be followed and the target it sets is met. A commitment that is not supported by a rigorous action plan is unacceptable.
The government also needs to bring a swift end to fossil fuel subsidies, reign in the disinformation campaigns paid for by the fossil fuel lobby, and craft a transition plan for workers and communities who will be impacted by the phase out of fossil fuels from our economy.
In addition to a renewed mandate to fight climate change, Canada also needs to move forward with the reform of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to protect Canadians from toxic products and ingredients, lay out a framework to protect Canada’s freshwater, and make good on the commitment to ban unnecessary single-use plastics and make producers responsible for the waste they create.
Environmental Defence wants to thank all the candidates and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to making this country a great place to live. We look forward on working with elected representatives on protecting Canada’s environment and fighting climate change to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the prosperity, security and healthy environment that is so integral to being Canadian.
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ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org