By Isabelle Turcotte
This article was published by Pembina Institute on Oct. 9, 2019.
While climate and environmental issues have been important for decades, this year feels different. With climate action a top issue for the federal election and youth-led climate strikes across the country, the demand for climate action has never been clearer. The emphasis on climate plans and discussion around environmental issues shows us that Canadians are taking the United Nations IPCC report (you know the one — the much needed wake-up call that the world has less than 12 years to take action) as seriously as they should be.
We’ve all seen the scary headlines, and heard the polarizing conversations around carbon pricing and pipelines. Canadians need to be coalescing around a shared view for the future, one we can all get behind.
This might seem utopian, but hear us out. The transition to a decarbonized economy — one that does its part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — is full of opportunities.
It’s not just the future we need, it’s the future we want — a transformation that represents a trillion dollar economic opportunity. A low-carbon economy presents us with opportunities to create more just, equal societies, more livable cities, and healthier communities.
A strong climate plan doesn’t just move the needle on emissions reductions (but you know we at Pembina love crunching the numbers on that, too). A strong climate plan also creates jobs to make sure everyone is brought along on the transition to a low-carbon future, and considers how we can clean our air and contribute to improving all Canadians’ quality of life.
In this blog series, we’re presenting what we believe Canadians should consider when they look at party platforms in this critical election.
1. A Canada with healthy, livable communities — one with cleaner air, more efficient buildings, and better walking, transit and cycling options
2. A Canada with an innovative, competitive economy — the world is moving toward a low-carbon economy, and Canada needs to support its workers to seize those opportunities
Canada has made progress, but we have a ways to go. We cannot afford to lose momentum, and this means building on progress already made, and digging deeper in areas we can do better. Canadians should demand ambitious and achievable climate policies that ensure a competitive economy and job creation. Let’s focus on the opportunities.
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