January 14, 2020
To: The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson,
I am writing to you, as a concerned citizen, about the issue of CLIMATE CHANGE. I take seriously, as I know you and our government do, the warnings of scientific research that dramatic and deep cuts in greenhouse gases are required to minimize the dangerous effects of climate change.
With this in mind, I feel it is vitally important that our government deliver on its promises and create real accountability, measurability and transparency for Canadian climate action – with legislation which will ensure that this government and successive governments deliver on Canada’s climate targets.
I read recently: “The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act was introduced in Parliament and is an important part of Canada’s work to address the threat of climate change and bring together innovations from across the financial sector, businesses, communities and Canadians themselves. This legislation would legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and require the government to report annually on key measures that the federal government, including Crown Corporations, has taken to manage climate-related financial risks and opportunities.” (This is from the fall Speech from the Throne https://bit.ly/37rq0gy.) This all sounds excellent.
In terms of “accountability”, I would like to see the Canadian government prepare and make transparent 5 year carbon budgets/targets. Most of the plans set by government in the fall Speech to the Throne have only 10-11 year timelines attached to them such as in the case of 1. The planting of an extra 2 billion trees, 2. The plan to restore our ecosystems, and 3. The new solution plans for agriculture. There is a proposed 7 year plan for providing grants to home owners to make their homes more energy efficient. But what if I want to start now on making my home efficient, where is the incentive? A proposed $25 million is earmarked to bring clean power to more communities by investing in predevelopment work for large scale transmission projects, but no timeline was given to this most important plan. Is there a timeline for this that I am not aware of? The one goal that the fall Speech from the Throne set within the next 5 years is the 3 year plan for infrastructure to be in place to support electric vehicles. That particular goal feels concrete and attainable and that is the type of action I am seeking as a potential consumer of an EV. So, you can see, what the government sets in place affects my personal choices.
Other countries around the world, like the UK and Finland, are putting in place the transparency and accountability measures used in financial planning– budgets, independent audits, long and short-term plans and their track record is clear. Countries with rigorous climate change accountability measures are already achieving their greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Canada has the opportunity to show itself as a climate leader. Let’s embrace that.
Would You Like to Join Me in Taking Action?
Maybe you would like to copy and paste/edit this letter, or write your own, and join me in connecting with our politicians about taking more concrete measurable, accountable, timely, and legislated action on the climate crisis. There is no vaccine to save the planet.