Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, M.P.
Minister of Environment
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Re: Living Up to Our Climate Change Promises
Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
On behalf of Canada, your government made a promise to the world to reduce our GHG emissions by 17% by 2020, from a 2005 base year. The world expects Canada to live up to that promise. Canadians expect our government to live up to that promise. I expect you to fulfil that promise.
Before you left for the Warsaw COP conference, you affirmed your government’s commitment to our 2020 Copenhagen reduction target. I would welcome this announcement if it was credible. However, based on your own analysis (Environment Canada, 2013: Canada’s GHG Emissions Projections), there is no plan in place to reach our 2020 goal.
I urge you to develop and implement a plan to meet our 2020 GHG emission reduction target. There are multiple analyses available as to what needs to be included in a credible plan to reach our 2020 target. At a minimum, this plan needs to put a price on carbon pollution and phase out subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
In his speech at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. …We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’”
It’s already too late for the victims of climate change enhanced extreme weather like Typhoon Haiyan, Super Storm Sandy, and Hurricane Katrina. By the time our children confront extreme heat, terrifying storms and complete loss of summer arctic sea ice, it might well be too late for all of us. It isn’t too late for us to act … yet. We can still avert what could be a disastrous climate crisis. There are no excuses for delay.
I am willing to do my part to avoid dangerous climate change. Are you willing to do yours?
Copy: Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, Cheryl Gallant, Megan Leslie, John McKay, Elizabeth May