OTTAWA – The 50th anniversary of Earth Day comes at a moment in history when the entire world is grappling with COVID-19. The terrible pandemic has underscored the interconnected nature of the earth and humanity, the relevance of science and the importance of heeding scientific advice.
The world’s climate scientists say that by 2030 we must be halfway towards the goal of virtually eliminating greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2050. If we miss the 2030 target, we risk triggering runaway global warming.
Since 1970, Earth Day has galvanized the global community, and Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) has been there from the beginning.
“The challenges humanity faces with the climate crisis will necessitate the same ‘all hands on deck’ approach and global cooperation we are currently witnessing,” said Ms. May. “I’ve been particularly encouraged by the non-partisan collaboration that has taken place here in Canada during this unprecedented time. We now know that this is possible, that we can adapt in an emergency and get things done to protect Canadians while cooperating on a global level to tackle a common threat.
“While it’s understandable right now that we remain focused on getting through this pandemic, we must not lose sight of the underlying climate emergency, that literally threatens the very survival of humanity and the planet as we know it.
“I have been encouraged by some of the decisive actions our government has taken and their acknowledgement that we are still in a climate emergency. Employing fossil fuel workers and subsidizing companies to reduce emissions is a start. With global oil prices plummeting some fossil fuel companies are reading the writing on the wall and eyeing the renewable energy sector. The post COVID-19 rebuilding phase presents an ideal moment for robust investments in the renewable sector, employing thousands of Canadians and pursuing Canada’s legacy of global leadership in climate action.
International stability rests on all nations being able to provide their people with basic needs and security. These are articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Green Party endorses the 17 SDGs designed to lift people out of poverty, provide everyone with clean water and air, food security and education, and ensure a livable climate.
Mission Possible - the Green Climate Action Plan presents a robust platform for a just and fair transition to the green economy of the 21st century.
“There will be many lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will be applicable to addressing the climate emergency as we move into recovery,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts.
“We’ve seen the extraordinary response and rapid mobilization that has unfolded in Canada and around the world, so we know that this kind of response is possible. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in our health care systems and our food supply chains. It is also time to have universal programs in place to eliminate poverty and provide better care for older Canadians.
“The climate emergency will affect all these issues, and we must prepare now for what is to come. Scientists have been warning us for years. It’s time to heed those warnings and act accordingly.”
Green Party members are invited to join this exclusive members-only event: Looking Back: A virtual “Teach-in” with Elizabeth May and caucus on April 22, 2020 - 8 - 9.00 p.m. EDT
# # #
For more information or to arrange an interview:
613-562-4916 ext, 204