Canada’s Clean50 leaders urge all Canadians to make climate the top priority in upcoming elections
An open letter was published in the Globe and Mail on April 22, 2019, Report on Business, urging Canadians to make climate the top priority in upcoming elections by voting for parties that support immediate action to limit climate change, and mitigate its impacts. The document was signed by past and present Clean50 award winners, including Paul Mertes, President & CEO of CircuitMeter. Canada’s Clean50 Award winners, represent Canadian thought leadership across a broad spectrum from business, science, government and academia, and they all stand united in fighting climate change and promoting smart, economically responsible public policy.
The open letter, which refers to evidence based scientific research, states that global temperatures are, in fact, rising. The five hottest years on record have been the last five years, contradicting earlier scientific predictions that temperatures should have been decreasing over the past 6000 years. Climate change is real and it is a man made problem; by burning too many carbon based fuels alongside cutting down trees needed for carbon absorption.
A recent sobering study illustrates that Canada, on a per capita basis, is the worst performer in the G7 with Canada’s climate warming twice as fast as expected. The study further points out that Canada’s emissions are, in fact, increasing when countries around the globe are reducing their carbon footprint. As an example, the study indicates that Canada’s carbon pollution, on a per person basis, is two to three times worse than the Japanese, English, French and Germans and 5% higher than our neighbours to the south, the USA.
There is consensus among leading economists around the globe that putting a price on pollution is the best way to cut emissions. Evidence in multiple jurisdictions indicates that the taxation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) leads to reductions in harmful emissions and funds collected from taxation spurs investment in infrastructure, new technologies and building renovations which creates jobs while improving the environment. According to the open letter, “Leading the fight against carbon pollution offers Canadians the chance to share in a massive $30 trillion market opportunity by 2030. That’s 18 times Canada’s entire present GDP.” Currently, over 280,000 Canadians are employed in “green economy” jobs, and at the preeminent 2019 Cleantech Forum San Francisco held earlier this year, Canada ranked third on the Cleantech 100 list. CircuitMeter concurs that putting a price on pollution will increase the variety and number of Canadian cleantech innovations that are market-ready and will create not only more jobs in the future but better paying skilled jobs.
We urge all Canadians to vote for the candidates who have climate as their top priority and a strong plan for a low carbon future. A low carbon future will not only create a healthy environment for future generations but will lead to economic growth and prosperity for all. We urge everyone to take climate action now.