Right across our community, I’ve heard it loud and clear. From every neighbour, every age group: we know this is our last chance to follow the science on the climate crisis. And we expect all levels of government to step up.
This past month there were several key climate announcements in Ottawa. A word of warning: we still have so much work to do.
First, the federal government released their latest climate plan, as required by recent legislation. It in were some promising investments – like almost $460 million in loans for home energy retrofits to low-income households – but these were completely overshadowed by a commitment to bring in a new subsidy for oil and gas, in the form of a tax credit for carbon capture and storage, and unproven technology.
Later in the month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report, a 2,900-page stark warning telling us it’s “now or never” to act. In describing it, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries increasing the production of fossil fuels.”
Two days later, the federal government approved a new deep water oil drilling project off the coast of Newfoundland called Bay du Nord. Production won’t even start until 2028 and emissions from this oil will be equivalent to 100 coal fired power plants operating for a year. It was, to put it mildly, a disappointing decision.
And finally, on April 7, the federal government released their proposed 2022 budget. While there were some critical investments made in housing, this budget confirmed at least $7.1 billion for oil and gas companies for this new tax credit. This is on top of $6 billion of public dollars we’ve already invested in carbon capture, which has only removed 0.05% of Canada’s carbon pollution per year.
In sum, it means our chances of holding on to a livable planet – and the chances for ensuring workers across the country are supported in a just transition away from oil and gas – went down this month.
But that’s no reason to stop advocating.
Our community and our country need all of our voices, to inject some reason into these important conversations at a time when so many of the decisions can seem so unreasonable.
See more on my work to end fossil fuel subsidies to the oil and gas industry as they reach record-breaking profits:
Key moments of my advocacy in the House of Commons
Related petitions I’ve sponsored
My Private Members Motion
Find related media coverage on my work