Climate action urgently needed

Recently, Canada signed on to the Paris agreements.

To the editor;a

Recently, Canada signed on to the Paris agreements.

Today, the federal government must swiftly move beyond symbolic gestures and high-flown rhetoric into urgent climate action. That action simply cannot be undermined by more pipelines.

With the last 11 consecutive months the hottest in recorded history, 2016 is on track to be the year we surpass 1.5C of warming.

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s actions matched his rhetoric, the Kinder Morgan and Energy East pipelines would be non-starters, yet he has given every indication he favours proceeding with these suicidal ventures.

Credible action on climate cannot include exporting emissions to other countries, as if so-called “downstream” emissions simply didn’t exist. The fact is we are all “downstream” when those same emissions turbocharge the growing climate crisis.

Here in British Columbia, the provincial government must also up its game from unsupported boasts of climate leadership and shift into real action. That means abandoning its irresponsible push to build an LNG industry that will be just as damaging to our climate as tar sands pipelines. Studies have shown fracked gas is as bad as coal when it comes to emissions.

New research has shown the fossil fuel era could be over in as little as 10 years, if governments commit to the right policy measures.

While other governments move more decisively, Canada risks being left behind. Fossil fuel projects, such as pipelines, tar sands and LNG terminals, will become stranded assets, with our economy and workers suffering as a result.

Workers who depend on fossil fuels for their livelihoods deserve government action that will give them economic security into the future, not bridges to nowhere. We have seen what the collapse of the price of oil has done for workers in Alberta.

The solution is not to double down on a losing bet – it’s to give workers the opportunity to transition to steady, local work in the clean, green economy that gives them a chance to pay their mortgages and send their kids to school in a stable, healthy climate.

Larissa Stendie

Sierra Club BC energy

campaigner