Time to take the Leap

“Canadians believe that Canada and the provinces can become world leaders in addressing climate change.”

An article headlined “G7 nations pledge to end fossil fuels subsidies by 2025” in the May 27 edition of The Guardian outlines how Canada and its G7 partners have committed to ending most government subsidies for oil, coal and gas companies by the year 2025. That is in less than nine years!

The G7 leaders are joining those from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, who have previously made similar calls.

Interestingly, more and more our attention is drawn to the necessity of taking bold actions in order to change our power structure. We are currently operating under an old economic model. Some world leaders even suggest that we have to re-design our way of living to meet today’s challenges. By daring to put all life on the planet and the environment at the centre of our decisions, we will end up with legislation reflecting our real needs. The translation to all of this is a shift in our thinking.

Our children and grandchildren will bear the burden of the decisions we make today. Committing, in a meaningful way, to addressing the impacts of climate change and the collective agreement Canada signed in Paris is imperative to reaching our goal of a maximum global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celcius.

Closer to home, Canada has the tools, technology, ideas, innovation and many sources of renewable power (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) to meet the goals set in this international agreement made last December. Building an economy based on sustainable and renewable energies will result in reducing extreme weather events, improving human health, reducing our carbon emissions and creating new jobs.

In concrete terms, it is suggested we look at the following actions and policy decisions:

  1. Eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuels industry.
  2. Seriously engage with the provinces, in transitioning from fossil fuels to sustainable / renewable energy sources.
  3. Stop coal power for producing electricity and engage in an investment plan for sustainable / renewable energy.
  4. Concentrate on the electrification of the transportation system / sector (eg. Light Rail project in Montreal).
  5. Engage with the provinces in energy efficiency programs for businesses and homeowners.
  6. Do not allow or promote oil / gas exploration and exploitation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Canadians believe that Canada and the provinces can become world leaders in addressing climate change. In light of this, the Leap Manifesto appears to be a common sense approach and not so radical. It is now part of mainstream conversation.

Raymond Cusson / Shoal Brook, N.L.

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