COP27 can be the start of a better path – for Canada and the world
The climate crisis is a global problem: it requires a global response. COP27 is an essential moment that brings governments together to come together to solve this global emergency.
For Canada, it’s a moment to take stock of our disappointing climate record. Canada has the highest emissions growth in the G7. This is an opportunity for Canada to come forward with stronger, more concrete plans, that close the gap between science and action.
Globally, countries must focus on implementation that delivers ambitious climate action, that keeps warming to 1.5°C of change or less. We’re running of out of time and this decade is critical – failure to do so is a death sentence for so many people around the world, including here in Canada.
What we should expect from Canada at COP27
A strong, clear plan that will reach our climate targets
Canada must do our fair share to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of climate change by ensuring that global warming stays as close to 1.5°C as possible. So far, Canada’s plans fall short, and our emissions keep rising. We’ve made some strong, hopeful, bold commitments – now we must follow through.
Acknowledgement that oil and gas expansion must end and that production must decline.
Canada is still planning to produce more oil and gas than what is consistent with a climate-safe future. There is no way around this: 82% of carbon dioxide emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels. It’s time for governments to simply say “no” to new fossil fuel licenses and permits that lock us into decades more pollution.
An end to fossil fuel subsidies.
Canada is still providing billions of dollars of government money to the oil and gas industry each year. Last year, Canada joined 39 other countries and institutions in signing a landmark agreement to stop providing public finance for fossil fuel projects abroad and prioritize support for clean energy by the end of 2022, known as the Glasgow Statement. But while other countries have begun taken action, Canada is falling behind.
A commitment to contribute fairly and whole-heartedly to loss and damage funds
Canada has become wealthy by using fossil fuels – this created pollution that has impacted other countries. Loss and damage refers to climate impacts that involve permanent loss (from sea level rise or desertification) or damages with very high costs such as powerful cyclones that damage infrastructure in Pakistan recently. The projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 are estimated to be between USD 290 and 580 billion in developing countries alone – without including non-economic losses such as loss of life and culture.
A plan for workers and communities impacted by the transition to a zero-carbon economy
Canada has repeatedly committed to a ‘just transition’ on the international stage, but has yet to deliver. Many countries around the world have established transition plans that centre workers and communities so that as we transition to zero carbon economy no if left behind. It is time Canada table a robust just transition legislation.
The drive to get the vital work of reducing emissions done, back in Canada
COP27 is an important two weeks, but it is just two weeks. The work of implementing climate action must happen in Canada the other 50 weeks of the year, through: a cap on climate pollution from the oil and gas industry, a plan for a just transition, a standard to promote clean electricity and more.
The pressure, attention and support of people across Canada, working with millions around the world, will make climate justice and a rapid reduction of emissions, a priority at COP and throughout the year.
Oil and gas lobby blocks climate action and climate justice
- The oil and gas industry will present be at COP, trying to undermine the agenda – they have spent the last 50 years denying, delaying and blocking climate action, through the UN process and here in Canada.
- Last year, there were more than 500 oil and gas lobbyists in various national delegations, more than any country’s delegation. These polluters know they are wreaking havoc on the planet but seek to extract as much profit as possible in the near term. They want to keep extracting and producing fossil fuels – the main drivers of the climate crisis – even as the situation worsens.
- European countries are currently scrambling to access Africa’s gas resources. The Don’t Gas Africa campaign draws attention to the risks associated with Europe’s dangerous and short-sighted “dash to gas.” There is real concern that expanding gas production will saddling African countries with debts for export-oriented gas production for which there will be fewer and fewer customers as demand drops, and worsening the climate crisis.