Minister Guilbeault, Will you Give it up for the Earth!?

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

C.c. The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P
Minister of Natural Resources

Dear Minister Guilbeault,

As a member of a faith community, I am deeply committed to protecting the natural environment and promoting the well-being of all creation. I understand that the current state of our planet is a matter of grave concern, and I am determined to enact change in my own life and community, as well as advocating for change at a political level.

I write to you today to advocate for specific actions that Canada must take to avoid ever greater climate catastrophes. I am encouraged by the government's recent efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to invest in a just transition to a green economy. However, Canada can and must do much more to honour its fair global share to achieve the emissions targets set by the Paris Agreement:

  • Specifically, I ask that Canada increase its greenhouse gas emissions target from reducing emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, to 60% in the same timeframe.[1]
  • In addition, I ask that Canada increase its support for climate adaptation from 40% of its international climate finance commitment to at least 50%, in line with the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. I also urge Canada to increase support for gender-responsive resilient food systems.[2]
  • I also strongly urge you to champion several pieces of climate justice legislation currently before Parliament: Bill C-226, which strives to create a national strategy on Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice, and Bills C-262 and C-263 to improve Canadian corporate accountability internationally, particularly on resource extraction issues.[3]

In the collective quest for climate justice, it is crucial that the perspectives, experiences, and rights of Indigenous Peoples be acknowledged and incorporated. Indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental degradation caused by Canada’s genocide that targeted Indigenous Peoples and attempted to destroy their relations with the land. In addition to the disastrous ecological impact, this also leads to food, housing, and economic insecurity, physical and mental health crises, and stands in the way of meaningful reconciliation. Including Indigenous knowledge and honouring Indigenous rights in proposed legislation is essential for achieving a sustainable and just transition for all and is a legal obligation of the Government of Canada as a signatory of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

I urge you to consider these recommendations and to take immediate action to prevent an even greater climate crisis. Only through ambitious, rights-based and evidence-based action will we be able to honour our commitment to preserving the diversity, sustainability, and beauty of creation.


[Your name]

[1] This is in line with the recommendation made by the Mennonite Central Committee Canada to support stronger climate mitigation efforts.

[2] Increasing adaptation finance is in line with the recommendation made by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank regarding investments in resilient food systems to improve global food security.

[3] These bills address critical gaps in Canada's legislation regarding climate and environmental justice and are in line with the KAIROS call for a comprehensive ecological justice strategy.

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