Report on climate change impacts in Canada demands urgent action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Ottawa, ON: April 2, 2019Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) has long advocated for Canadian climate and energy policy that aligns with the Paris temperature goals. Central to a plan to meet and exceed emissions reductions of 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 is the amplification of the federal carbon pricing commitment, follow-through on the promise to end fossil fuel subsidies, and a reallocation of funds towards renewable energy and efficiency measures.

Canada’s Changing Climate Report” brings into stark relief the implications of a warming world for Canada. It lays out, in no uncertain terms, that Canada must immediately invest in a just transition towards a decarbonized economy.

Authored by a team of scientists at Environment and Climate Change Canada and released today, “Canada’s Changing Climate” adds urgency to the call for significant emissions reductions within the next decade as signalled by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October.

The range of impacts – particularly for Canada’s far north and coastal regions – is striking (glacial melt, flood risks, seasonal shifts, more snow and rain in winter, and more), but it is also clear that no part of the country is immune to climate impacts. Notably, a warmer climate will “increase the severity of heatwaves and contribute to increased drought and wildfire risks.” At the same time “more intense rainfalls will increase urban flood risks.”

In sum, “Canada’s Changing Climate” says, “Scenarios with limited warming will only occur if Canada and the rest of the world reduce carbon emissions to near zero early in the second half of the century and reduce emissions of other greenhouse gases substantially.”

“It is certainly no accident that this report was leaked on the same day as the federal carbon price came into effect in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick,” says CPJ’s senior policy analyst Karri Munn-Venn. “It is our hope that Canadians from coast to coast to coast take these findings to heart and recognize that ambitious action on climate change is not at all optional.”

“We also trust that the on-the-ground realities that this report presents will factor into the consultations on eliminating inefficient non-tax fossil fuel subsidies announced by Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, on Friday,” says CPJ Executive Director Willard Metzger. “As Christians, we have a clear mandate to care for creation. It is long since time to move away from a model that supports the devastation of the Earth and brings hardship on the world’s most marginalized.”

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For more information, contact Deb Mebude at ac.jpc@bed or 613-232-0275 x. 225. 

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