An open letter to political leaders to cooperate for the climate

Protesters at the Vancouver climate march in October 2019.

The federal election may be over, but our work is just ramping up. It is up to us to hold our new government to account and let them know that dealing with climate change is non-negotiable. 

Enter your details to add your name to the following open letter addressed to Justin Trudeau, Yves-François Blanchet, Jagmeet Singh, and Elizabeth May:

Dear Mr. Trudeau, M. Blanchet, Mr. Singh, and Ms. May,

On Monday, Canadians sent a very clear message to you and your parties that urgent action is needed to avoid a climate catastrophe. They did this by not giving any one party a majority, but instead by electing candidates from across the progessive spectrum that ran on the promise to take climate seriously.

Now it is critical that each of you put partisanship aside and come together to address the climate crisis, because the challenge that humanity faces is greater than any of your political agendas or ambitions. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have just 11 years to act to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The four of you need to raise the ambition of our country's climate policy to meet the urgency that the science and voters have demanded.

Here are five steps that the next Parliament needs to take to meet the climate crisis:

  1. Set climate targets aligned with the ambition required by the science, including adopting a much stronger 2030 target before next year's UN climate conference and putting the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 into law.
  2. Stop the approval of new fossil fuel projects. This means no new or expanded pipelines, no new LNG terminals, no new coal mines, and no new tar sands mines.
  3. Create an exit plan that breaks our economic reliance on the oil and gas sector, while supporting workers and communities impacted by the shift to a sustainable economy.
  4. Stop giving tax breaks and subsidies to fossil fuel companies. Every year the government currently gives $3.3 billion of taxpayer money go to the very corporations that are causing the climate crisis. That money would be better invested in renewable energy sources and other clean technologies that will power our grandchildren’s world.
  5. Fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People with attention paid to free, prior and informed consent.

It is only by embracing these bold policies that you can hope to put our country’s climate record back on track, keep the trust of the voters that elected you, and answer the call of a generation of Canadian youth that have demanded in the hundreds of thousands that you protect their future. By deciding to step up and work together, we believe you can restore our place in the world and guarantee both a safe climate and a strong sustainable economy for generations to come.

Please don’t squander the mandate you have been jointly given. It may be both the last and best chance we have to solve this crisis!