Tomorrow Today report

2008-03-14

in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment, The outdoors

A group of Canadian environmental NGOs has put out a 28 page list of suggested areas of action and recommendations for Canadian policy. Tomorrow Today (PDF) is divided into sections on energy, wild species and places, oceans, water, food and agriculture, human health, and economic signals. The report reflects the work and positions of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Greenpeace Canada, Nature Canada, the Pembina Institute, Pollution Probe, Sierra Club Canada, and WWF Canada.

Some of the more interesting recommendations include:

  1. Carbon prices of “$30/tonne CO2e in 2009 and increasing to $50/tonne by 2015, and to $75 a tonne by 2020,” with revenus from taxes or auctions to be “directed mainly towards investments in further actions to reduce GHG emissions.” (i.e. not revenue neutral like the new B.C. carbon tax)
  2. Reduce total GHG emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below by 2050.
  3. “A Nuclear Accountability Plan that includes legislation requiring full-cost accounting of nuclear energy; fully shifts the liability and cost of insurance for nuclear power and long-term waste disposal facilities onto electricity rates; moves oversight of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission from Natural Resources Canada (where the department is in a conflict of interest overseeing sales and safety of reactors) to Environment Canada; and eliminates all direct and indirect taxpayer subsidies to nuclear energy.”
  4. “In 2008, announce a federal initiative to reconnect children with nature by providing outdoor natural experiences for all children in grades 4 to 6.”
  5. “Immediately prohibit bottom trawling and other harmful forms of fishing in sensitive areas, prohibit expansion of bottom trawling into previously untrawled areas, and restrict its use to areas that have already been heavily fished for decades.”
  6. “By 2010, implement mandatory labelling policies that include comprehensive nutritional information, country of origin, fair-trade, organic standards and genetic modification content. And amend Canada’s Food Guide to provide information about the climate impacts of food choices.”
  7. “By 2012, implement a comprehensive program to encourage organic agriculture, the production and consumption of locally produced foods, and to educate Canadians on the health advantages of low-meat diets.”
  8. “Immediately implement the precautionary principle by regulating toxic chemicals in the federal Chemicals Management Plan. In particular, implement bans or phaseouts for all non-essential uses of substances known to be harmful where safe alternatives exist and maintain such restrictions until credible evidence is presented that the chemical can be safely used or released.”
  9. Reducing existing subsidies for the mining and oil-and-gas industries and committing to a ban on any new subsidies or financial incentives for mining or oil-and-gas projects, such as for the Mackenzie Gas Project.

Clearly, some of the suggestions are more feasible and realistic than others. It is interesting to see what priorities and approaches NGOs agree on when they collaborate.

Given how slick the report overall is, the PDF is of rather poor quality. It has a bunch of layout calibration marks all over it, and selecting text doesn’t work properly because of large, irregularly shaped invisible elements.

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