75 North American groups call Prime Minister and Premiers to take swift action to meet Canada’s new climate goal.
Vast Majority of Carbon Reserves Must Stay in the Ground to meet 1.5C target
January 27, 2016
On the eve of a meeting of Canada’s Environment Ministers in Ottawa to talk about the national climate strategy, 74 organizations, representing millions of people in Canada and the U.S., sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers outlining the steps Canada needs to take to fulfill its international commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 C, as agreed to by 195 countries at the Paris climate summit.
The letter explicitly states that new tar sands pipelines like Energy East and Kinder Morgan cannot be built if Canada is to meet its commitment. Instead, the Prime Minister and the Premiers, must work to decarbonize Canada’s economy and speed the rapid uptake of renewables, efficiency and sustainable transportation options.
“We’re reminding the Canadian and provincial governments of the tremendous work that needs to be done for Canada to meet its global climate commitment,” said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. “1.5 degrees is a level vital for the survival of millions of people and the safety of all life on the planet . We don’t have much time to make the 100% renewable transition and we simply can’t afford to build new pipelines that send us in the opposite direction.”
“To have a decent chance at limiting global warming to even 2 degrees, 80% of fossil fuel reserves globally must stay in the ground – the 1.5 degree limit requires us to go even further faster,” says HannahMcKinnon of Oil Change International. “This is especially true in a country like Canada that is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world. We cannot lock ourselves into decades more of unwanted pollution by expanding pipelines and production in places like the Alberta tar sands, instead we need to move the other way.”
“What we need now is leadership on a pathway towards energy and economic diversification, not more short-sighted attempts to force pipelines across our country - Canadians didn’t stand for it before and we won’t stand for it now,” says Graham Saul Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “Canada has exceptional opportunities in the clean energy economy – we could completely redefine ourselves as a renewable energy superpower, create tens of thousands of jobs from coast to coast to coast, and show the world what it means to responsibly transition to zero-carbon within a few short decades. This is what will build a strong economy, not saddling ourselves to decades more of last century’s dirty energy.”
The full letter and signatories can be seen here www.one-point-five.ca