Skip to main content Start of content
Start of content

431-00188 (Environment)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

We, the undersigned Citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

WHEREAS, Climate change has escalated into a global climate emergency; the world is on pace to warm nearly 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 and extreme weather events are growing with increasingly severe impacts, including floods, forest fires, rising temperatures, killer heat-waves, massive storms, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems;

WHEREAS, in order to act to avert further catastrophic climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) states that the scientific consensus is that we need to immediately move to reduce net human-caused greenhouse gas emissions to 45 per cent below 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2050;

WHEREAS, Canada must address this climatic emergency with the ambition and urgency required, on behalf of present and future generations;

WHEREAS, Canadians are living through unprecedented, catastrophic climate events and at the same time, our society is suffering from worsening socio-economic inequalities, with almost half of Canada's population reporting they are $200 away from insolvency at the end of each month;

WHEREAS, climate change impacts threaten physical & mental health (particularly young people, the elderly and persons with disabilities), surrounding environments by affecting the food we eat, the world's water supply, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and how well local communities can adapt to climate change;

WHEREAS, the impacts of climate emergency are far more severe for those living through the immediate consequences of climate change; Indigenous Peoples, frontline and vulnerable communities, like people seeking refugee status or asylum and those displaced by climate change, are disproportionality affected, resulting in the increased risks to their health;

WHEREAS, it has never been more urgent that Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, while ensuring that all Indigenous Peoples and Canadians benefit from the substantial public investments a low-carbon economy requires, like energy efficiency retrofits, affordable housing, renewable energy, infrastructure, public transit, pharmacare, dental care, childcare and eliminating student debt and tuition fees;

WHEREAS, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and the recognition of inherent rights, title and treaty rights, while fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), must be at the heart of Canada's approach to addressing the climate emergency;

THEREFORE, your petitioners call on the Government of Canada to support Motion M-1, a made-in-Canada Green New Deal, the first initiative before the House of Commons, which calls on Canada to take bold & rapid action to adopt socially equitable climate action to tackle the climate emergency and address worsening socio-economic & racial inequalities at the same time; while ending fossil fuel subsidies, closing offshore tax havens, and supporting workers impacted by the transition and creating well-paying, unionized jobs in the shift to a clean and renewable energy economy.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

To contribute to the achievement of the Paris Agreement, and in pursuit of efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the Government of Canada is committed to exceed Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada’s climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, adopted on December 9, 2016, is a comprehensive plan which includes both individual and joint federal, provincial and territorial climate actions to reduce emissions, accelerate clean economic growth, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. This plan was developed in collaboration with provinces and territories, and with input from Indigenous Peoples, businesses, civil society and Canadians across the country.

The Pan-Canadian Framework outlines over 50 concrete measures to reduce carbon pollution, help us adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, foster clean technology solutions, and create good jobs that contribute to a stronger economy. Key measures include:

  • Regulating methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, which will reduce carbon pollution by about 16.5 million tonnes in 2030;
  • Accelerating the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030, as part of our efforts to have 90% of electricity from non-emitting sources, and supporting workers and communities transition to a low-carbon economy;
  • Developing “net-zero energy ready” building codes to be adopted by 2030 for new buildings;
  • Establishing mandatory labeling of building energy use to provide businesses and consumers with information on energy performance, and setting new standards to improve the energy efficiency of appliances and equipment;
  • Increasing the stringency of emissions standards for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, and taking steps to improve efficiency and support fuel switching in the rail, aviation, marine and off-road sectors;
  • Adopting a Climate Lens to ensure that future climate impacts are considered and addressed in all federally funded infrastructure projects; and,
  • Establishing a new Canadian Centre for Climate Services, giving Canadians better access to climate science and information.

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of tackling climate change while growing the economy as a means of creating jobs and ensuring competitiveness. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has committed about $60 billion to reduce emissions, adapt to a changing climate, and support clean technology innovation and the transition to a clean growth economy. Commitments include:

  • More than $28 billion to support public transit, including over 1,211 transit projects approved;
  • $26.9 billion to support green infrastructure, including support for renewable energy, electric vehicle charging, natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations, clean energy in rural and remote communities, and climate adaptation and resiliency initiatives (e.g., flood mitigation under the $2-billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund);
  • $3 billion to support the development, adoption and scale-up of clean technologies;
  • Over $2 billion to help cities and towns adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change, delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (e.g., $75 million for the Municipal Climate Innovation Program, $50 million for the Municipal Asset Management Program, and over $1 billion in support for building energy efficiency investments);
  • $2 billion to generate clean growth and reduce carbon pollution from buildings, industries, forestry, and agriculture, by leveraging investment in projects through the Low Carbon Economy Fund;
  • The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, to improve marine safety and responsible shipping;
  • $1.3 billion for nature conservation;
  • $300 million to provide Canadian drivers and businesses with purchase incentives for zero-emission vehicles;
  • Over $64 million to help rural, remote and Indigenous communities transition off diesel fuel;
  • $108 million to establish the Canadian Centre for Climate Services, which is improving access to trusted, useful and timely climate information and data to support adaptation decision-making; and
  • Over $100 million in targeted federal funding to support specific economic sectors (such as transportation, agriculture, and health) and communities, including Indigenous and Northern communities (e.g., $52 million for the First Nations Adapt Program and $47 million for Climate Change Preparedness in the North).

To support the participation of youth in the clean growth economy, in August 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada announced that it would invest more than $14 million to support almost 1,000 green jobs for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates across the country through the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program. Similarly, Natural Resources Canada announced that it is investing more than $16 million to create 1,200 green STEM jobs for Canadian youth in the natural resources sector, via the Green Jobs - Science and Technology Internship Program. The abovementioned funding is part of Budget 2017’s additional $395.5 million investment over three years, starting in 2017-2018, for the Youth Employment Strategy, in which 11 federal departments committed to providing opportunities for Canada’s youth.

Canada’s climate plan is working. Canada’s 2019 GHG emissions projections show a widespread decline in projected emissions across the economy, reflecting the breadth and depth of the Pan-Canadian Framework. In fact, the policies and measures now in place, including those introduced in 2019, are projected to reduce emissions by 227 million tonnes in 2030, the greatest drop in Canadian history. However, the Government of Canada recognizes that more action is needed. This is why the Government will be implementing new climate measures including:

  • Setting legally-binding, five-year emissions reduction milestones based on the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians;
  • Appointing a group of scientists, economists and experts to recommend pathways to net-zero;
  • Working with businesses to make Canada the best place to start and grow clean technology companies;
  • Completing all flood maps in Canada;
  • Planting two billion incremental trees over the next 10 years as part of a broader commitment to nature-based solutions that also encompasses wetlands and urban forests; and
  • Introducing a new ambitious plan to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s land and 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent of each by 2030. This plan will be grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives.

The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable populations to a rapidly changing environment and is committed to renewing the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation on a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government basis. This includes collaborating with Indigenous partners on climate change action through structured, collaborative approaches, based on robust, ongoing and meaningful engagement based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent.

In taking action on climate change and in moving forward on the implementation of Canada’s climate plan, the Prime Minister issued joint statements with each of the National Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations, the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the President of the Métis National Council. These joint statements committed to establishing three senior bilateral distinctions-based tables between the Government of Canada and First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation. These partnerships seek to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are full and effective partners in advancing clean growth and achieving climate change goals to mitigate and reduce emissions as a necessary precursor to the mitigation of climate impacts.

The Government of Canada understands the importance of limiting temperature increases to as little as possible, and that Canada must do its part. That is why Minister Wilkinson supports the goal of the Paris Agreement to ensure that global average temperature rise does not exceed 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to below 1.5°C. The Pan-Canadian Framework was established to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions in line with these goals and our commitments under the Paris Agreement. The Government of Canada is committed to implementing all of the measures in our climate action plan and we’re making good progress in doing so, as described in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change annual report (https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan-canadian-framework.html

 

Presented to the House of Commons
Lloyd Longfield (Guelph)
May 14, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00188)
Government response tabled
July 20, 2020
Photo - Lloyd Longfield
Guelph
Liberal Caucus
Ontario

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

Disclaimer regarding petitions