OTTAWA - In its "last chance " assessment report released yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a veritable call to arms.
“It is not hyperbole that this is a ‘last chance’ report. Given the intense work and multiple year process of each IPCC assessment, the next will inevitably land when we will either have done what was required to give our children a habitable world, minimizing climate risk, or we will be admitting collective failure,” said Green leader and MP Elizabeth May. “There is no more wiggle room, no room for procrastination. As Winston Churchill once said in another context: The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…”
Yesterday’s report summarizes all the science contained in reports released by the three IPCC Working Groups’ Sixth Assessment in 2021 and 2022. It is crystal clear that the global scientific, expert climate community has reached a consensus: Now or Never.
“We know without any shadow of a doubt that all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, any and all projects expanding fossil fuel production and on-going subsidies in support of fossil fuels must be canceled and reversed,” said Deputy leader Jonathan Pedneault. “With Canada’s budget due next week, now is the moment to demand policy coherence between science and finance.”
“ The federal government must follow what climate scientists have been telling us for decades, and what they have reaffirmed in this most recent report: proven climate solutions abound, and must be invested in with the greatest urgency, “ said Mike Morrice, MP for Kitchener Centre. “ By eliminating all subsidies, public financing, and other forms of financial support directed to the production and expansion of fossil fuels - including the canceling of any new fossil fuel infrastructure - we could invest in climate solutions at the scale and urgency this crisis demands of us, with the same courage and resolve as was mobilized in past crises, such as World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. “
With atmospheric CO2 concentrations surpassing anything seen in at least 2 million years, it is clear that any additional emissions will increase the severity of the damages extreme weather events caused by ongoing planetary warming already have had on our planet’s ecosystems, food-production systems and infrastructure.
As per the policies implemented as of the end of 2020, the world is set to experience a disastrous average temperature rise of 1.5 Celsius by the end of this decade and a deadly 3.2 degree Celsius rise by 2100. This will result in greater heat-related mortality and morbidity, biodiversity losses, food and water insecurity and food, water and vector-borne diseases.
“ We must at once abandon empty hopes and turn to drastic, urgent action if we are to avoid the most distressing consequences of climate change and preserve the planet’s ability to be a welcoming homestead for us and future generations “ said Jonathan Pedneault, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada. “ At this junction, support for further fossil fuel projects is nothing short of criminal, not only against all those living among us but also all those to come. We will hold this government accountable at every possible turn for its failure to protect our future. “
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Fabrice Lachance Nové