To be climate resilient, we must not get complacent

To avoid environmental catastrophe the fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change must continue

Photo Credit: "Tar Sands: Canada's Carbon Bomb" by Peter Blanchard (CC BY 2.0)

 

By: David Lochead

 

Before Texas froze over, it had been a good stretch for climate news. The United States will be rejoining the Paris Accord, signalling the Biden Administration’s seriousness about tackling climate change. Just over a month ago, our federal government made a bold move for once and hiked up the carbon tax. Even in the private sector, major investment bank Blackrock stated their intention to have net-zero emissions in their investments by 2050.

Instead of commiserating over the future doom of our planet’s environment, Canadians have a reason to be positive when we desperately need one.

That positivity, however, cannot turn into complacency. Good climate news is a sign that pushing for the public and private sector to be more climate conscious is working. Instead of complacency, Canadians should be emboldened to put more pressure on governments and corporations to continue addressing the climate crisis.

Gurratan Singh, the NDP MPP for Brampton-East is adamant that government must continue to be pushed on climate policy.

“I think there’s a lot of complacency with the issues of the climate crisis” Singh says, adding that saying nice words of climate change is not enough.

“What we need is direct, clear policy.”

He mentions his own province as an example, as Ontario’s Conservative government has previously attempted to axed protections to greenbelts that will allow condos, homes and buildings to be developed on those natural areas.

To ensure that Ontario prevents climate change Singh points to his own party’s Ontario Green New Deal, which is a plan to make Ontario carbon-neutral by 2050 through policies such as green investment, job creation and making buildings more eco-friendly.

“There’s already going to be an impact,” Singh says about climate change. “But if we all act collectively we can avoid the catastrophic impact.”

Professor Jackie Dawson’s research echoes what Singh says. As someone who studies the implications of the Arctic melting Dawson says the polar ice caps disappearing during the summer is going to happen and will not be reversible. 

“We’re locked into this,” Dawson says of climate change.

While there is research for how to mitigate and adapt to climate change is available, Dawson agrees that complacency or despair is not an answer. 

“I don’t think we’re screwed,” Dawson says of climate change’s effects. 

“We just need to be more proactive.”

Countries like Canada and the United States may have taken small steps to be proactive, but much more is needed. 

The Trudeau government committed to passing the Just Transition Act in our last election, a piece of policy that intends to create green jobs as Canada transitions from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy. But the Just Transition Act promised has yet to be tabled in Parliament. 

Singh says reaching more climate action is the next step.  

“It’s incumbent on each and every one of us to be decisive and committed.”

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