Earth Day Message

On Friday, April 21st, 2017 in Events, Publications

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Did you know that the position of Parliamentary Poet Laureate was created in Canada in 2001? Each one serves for two years, and the position alternates between Francophone and Anglophone writers.

Parliamentarians may request a poem for special occasions, and so to celebrate Earth Day, Elizabeth requested a poem from our current Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke. Thank you to Mr. Clarke for his poem, Earth Day Emergency (click to view), and to Robert Paquin for the French translation, Urgence Jour de la Terre. You can learn more about the Parliamentary Poet Laureate here.

Earth Day Emergency reminds us that we cannot be complacent as we mark the 47th Earth Day. In the midst of a climate crisis, we must take action quickly. Together, we can face these challenges, and leave a better world for future generations.

Science recently published “A roadmap for rapid decarbonization” (Vox also published a good summary of the research ), showing how carbon emissions must be reduced by half every decade to meet the climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement. These scientists have shown that it is still possible to meet our global climate targets, but only with a serious and aggressive plan.

Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has launched #2020DontBeLate – and is calling on nations that signed on to the Paris Agreement to ratchet up their efforts in the next three years.

What should we be doing in Canada?

  • Press Trudeau to strengthen our weak national target. We need to cut emissions in half by 2030;
  • Push for decarbonized electricity across the country – and fast;
  • Upgrade buildings to energy efficiency; and,
  • Move to promote and install solar roofs and insulation, along with a wide suite of renewables.

For residents in British Columbia:

  • Call for an increased carbon tax; and,
  • Cancel all LNG fracking projects.

Step by step, we can achieve these things together. The Liberal Government is not doing enough. Never doubt the power of civic engagement.

There is much more work to do – for our children and grandchildren, and all living things on this beautiful planet.

Happy Earth Day!

Elizabeth May, O.C.
Member of Parliament
Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada

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