Response to the Vancouver Declaration

People’s Climate Movement

March 4th, 2016

Prime Minister and Premiers: Do Better for Canada!

A Response to the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change

As Canadians who are deeply concerned about climate change, we are encouraged by the First Ministers’ commitment to develop a national plan to build a low-carbon economy that aims to achieve critical reductions in our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. We are further encouraged that Indigenous leaders participated in Vancouver Declaration and hope to see this engagement deepen as the process moves forward.

While the Vancouver Declaration is a step in the right direction, it does not lay a clear, science-based roadmap for achieving this, nor does it establish any concrete basis for public accountability. As our leaders, we look to you to DO BETTER FOR CANADA.

Emissions Reductions

At the Paris Climate Conference, Canada committed to stabilizing global average temperature at 1.5°C. And yet, the Declaration does not set us on a path to achieving this goal. Our emissions continue to grow and we are not even on track to meet the unscientific targets set by the previous government. Canada must urgently set a new, science-based emissions reduction target, in line with keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C, that will be the foundation of our national strategy.

Carbon Pricing

The urgent need for a national carbon pricing standard (a minimum fee beginning at $30 per tonne of GHGs) should not be distorted by political motives. We urge you to consider models that are proven to result in immediate and sustained reductions in emissions and not undermined by provincial and regional political and economic interests. We further advocate for an equitable model that serves the needs of people and communities, and does not place a disproportionate financial burden on low-income households or Indigenous and remote communities, as prices rise.

Renewable Energy & Clean Economy

The Declaration does not go far enough in committing to making the full transition to 100% reliance on renewable energy sources by 2050. This must be the basis for our national energy strategy, and efforts from all levels of government must focus on charting a clear pathway to achieving this goal. This will involve not only making smart, evidence-based investments, but also a willingness to acknowledge the fact that Canada cannot continue to subsidize and provide political support to high-emitting industries and related infrastructure such as pipelines, if we hope to ever successfully transition to a clean economy on a timeline that aligns to our 1.5°C commitment.

We call upon you to demonstrate climate leadership by committing to more urgent and concrete action. Planning to plan will not cut it. Current and future generations are counting on you to be brave, wise and decisive to lead us towards a prosperous, equitable and sustainable future.

To download this response as a PDF, click here.

To read the full text of the declaration, click here.


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