A Public Justice Vision for Canada's Climate Action Plan

Submission to Environment and Climate Change Canada
June 2016
Download the brief

As Christians, we believe we are called to respect the dignity of every human being as image-bearers of God. We know that God gifts every person with both rights and responsibilities. A rightful claim to live in dignity, be respected by others, and have access to resources needed to live out God’s calling. At the same time, we have a duty to act justly, care for creation, and work for peaceful and just relations within society at all levels.

We understand that as Canadians, living lives of relative affluence as participants in the global economy, we are part of the problem of climate change. And as people of faith, we know that we can be part of the solution. Canadian Christians from coast to coast to coast have pledged to do their part to reduce their personal, household, and community greenhouse gas emissions, but we know that the scale of the problem requires vast, system-wide change that can only be achieved through ambitious government action.

The Government of Canada has taken bold moves in recent months to promote social and environmental justice on the global stage. It is now imperative that these international commitments take root and are supported by concrete actions here at home.

CPJ is calling for a Canadian climate action plan that establishes a new emissions reduction target based on scientific estimates of the global GHG emissions budget, and contributes equitably towards the 1.5°C limit on global warming aspired to in the Paris Agreement. To achieve this target, CPJ calling for the implementation of clear, quantifiable, time-bound measures.

Recommendation #1: Reduce GHG Emissions

  • Set a responsible emissions reduction target
  • Put a price on carbon pollution
  • Regulate carbon-intensive sectors

Recommendation #2: Develop a Low-Carbon Economy

  • Eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel industry
  • Invest in low-carbon technologies, not high-carbon infrastructure

Recommendation #3: Provide Justice for those Most Directly Impacted by Climate Change

  • Fund domestic adaptation, especially in Northern, First Nations, Inuit, and coastal communities
  • Provide social supports and retraining for those currently employed in carbon-intensive industry
  • Increase international climate financing to $4 billion each year by 2020

Read CPJ's brief: "A Public Justice Vision for Canada's Climate Action Plan"

Below: CPJ's Board of Directors presents our brief to Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. (June 2016)

Catherine McKenna & CPJ's Board