Canada and a just transition off fossil fuels

2021-03-18

in Canada, Economics, Politics, Science, The environment

At a town hall tonight on a just transition away from fossil fuels — organized by 350.org and attended by Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May and NDP climate change critic Laurel Collins, but which environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined to attend — May repeatedly brought up the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities as a model. In particular, she emphasized the importance of countering the narrative that escaping our fossil fuel dependence will be bad for jobs, and of respectfully consulting with the most affected communities when making policy.

The central nonsense of Justin Trudeau’s climate change policy is his unwillingness to accept that only fossil fuel abolition will let us avoid catastrophic climate change. Canada has already more than used up our fair share of the global carbon budget, and building new long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure will only increase the costs of our transition when we need to scrap them early and scramble even faster to build climate-safe replacements. Canada’s assertion that we can keep expanding bitumen sands and LNG production and exports is also entirely at odds with what fairness and pragmatism demand globally. The richest and dirtiest states need to lead the way, not keep making excuses, or the global logjam against sufficient action will be impossible to overcome.

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