An open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
During the election campaign, you positioned yourself as someone who was prepared to take strong action on climate change, the greatest threat faced by humankind. I am one of many Canadians who breathed a sigh of relief, believing that you would stand by your word.
Now you have approved two new pipelines, locking us into another 30-plus years of dependence on fossil fuels, while at the same time effectively cancelling out the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions gained by your three good initiatives – a carbon tax, a phaseout of coal-generated power and the Clean Fuels Strategy.
The additional production of tar sands oil needed for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the combustion of that oil, and the upstream emissions in Canada associated with the Line 3 Pipeline will create more GHG emissions than all the projected annual GHG emission reductions from your three initiatives.
Canada signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement pledging to do our part to reduce GHG emissions sufficiently to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, while at the same time striving to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5ºC. Under current policies, the world is headed for a 3.6ºC warming above pre-industrial levels by 2100, or possibly much earlier.
Even if all 193 countries that signed the Paris Agreement fully implement their pledges, scientists calculate that the global temperature will still rise 2.8ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Clearly, the Canadian government needs to do more, not less, toward ensuring a habitable Earth for children and future generations.
I urge you to end all subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, cancel the two pipeline expansions and provide funding to support and retrain affected workers. Canada needs a clean energy economy, not prolonged fossil fuel dependency.
Anne Morris,KAIROS Committee