An alliance of climate activists spoke with one voice on Friday, demanding that all newly elected party leaders who made a promise to tackle climate change during the campaign start immediately chipping away at their proposed policies.
“To the Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc, get started now on the policies and solutions you agreed on in the election,” said Catherine Abreu, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network while speaking to reporters at a press conference in Ottawa.
Abreu stood alongside representatives from Unifor, Leadnow, Greenpeace, and 350.org to recommend the immediate next steps they believe politicians must take, collaboratively, to act on climate change.
First step, she said, is to double down and pledge to cut emissions to net zero before 2050 – as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“Acknowledge that Canada has a long history of missing targets, so the second step is to create mechanism like legislation and criteria to assess government progress on climate action that keep governments accountable.”
Abreu addressed anxieties in Western Canada about oil and gas production, saying any transition plan should take those into account. However, the group stood firm that any enhanced production of fossil fuel infrastructure would be a step in the wrong direction –something provincial politicians in the West view as the only solution to economic disparity.
Their final demand is that leaders implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Abreu said “is not a matter of debate.”
“Those of us who voted for you will not accept you backing down now that your climate credentials have put you in power. Maintaining your credibility means immediately implementing the ambitious climate policies and solutions your parties promised,” said Abreu.