- The Premiers and Prime Minister Trudeau
The climate crisis is urgent: July & August were the hottest months ever, one third of the Great Barrier Reef has died, and Arctic ice is melting more quickly than anyone thought possible. If that isn’t dire enough, experts report the Earth is now hotter than it has been at anytime in the past 115,000 years.
How have our politicians responded?
Canada’s targets for cutting carbon emissions are woefully inadequate. Climate Action Tracker, which analyzes whether nations will meet the goal of holding warming below 2 degrees Celsius, ranks Canada below its major trading partners (USA, China, Mexico) as well as lesser-known nations like Bhutan, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan.
We must do better. We'll have an opportunity to do so this Fall, when a First Ministers’ Meeting will be held to hash out the details of a national carbon price.*
Before that meeting, send the Premiers a message. Show them you care about climate change. Tell them you want national carbon pricing that: (1) begins at $30 per tonne of carbon pollution; and (2) increases by at least $10 per tonne annually.
If enacted immediately, a national carbon price like the one described would increase to $100 by 2024. It's estimated we'll need to reach (and probably exceed) this price point to trigger the emission reductions necessary to curb the worst effects of climate change.
If self-preservation isn't reason enough to act, consider the benefits we can reap by enacting an ambitious carbon price. By speeding the transition to renewable energy, Canada can save $107.6 billion in annual health costs and see the creation of 293,000 construction and 463,000 full-time operation jobs.
But to realize these advantages, we must act NOW.
Canada's share of clean tech has declined since 2008, and our global ranking has fallen from 14th to 19th. In the meantime, nations like China have embraced green tech, and are well-positioned to capitalize on the global market for renewable energy options.
Since when has Canada waited for other nations to take the lead? Tell the Premiers you want Canada to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change. It's good for the planet, it's good for us, and it's good for the economy. All we need is the courage to act. Let's do it.
* * *
*Carbon pricing is considered by many the “best first step” to combat global warming. Done right, it can create business opportunities, stimulate the economy, and protect low-income households.
On Monday, the Prime Minister made history when he announced a national carbon price of $10 per tonne beginning in 2018, with the price increasing $10 per year thereafter until it reaches $50 in 2022. This is a significant step in the fight against climate change and we applaud the PM's proposal.
Having said that, it's necessary to point out the proposed carbon price won't be enough to meet Canada's current goal of reducing emissions to 2005 levels by 2030. As well, the 2030 goals were established by the previous government, and are themselves inadequate. These targets won't keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone the 1.5 degrees Celsius committed to in Paris.
In summary, the current climate price is a good starting point, but it isn’t enough.
We, the undersigned, want a national carbon price that: (1) begins at $30 per tonne of carbon pollution; and (2) increases by at least $10 per tonne annually.
The Enact a strong, rising carbon price petition to The Premiers and Prime Minister Trudeau was written by Citizens' Climate Lobby and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.