(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), released the following statement on Earth Day 2016:
“Today is the 46th year that I have celebrated Earth Day. April 22, 1970, when I was in 10th grade, I organized activities for that first Earth Day in my high school. This year’s celebrations will be particularly special as I will be attending the signing of the Paris Agreement in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
“While the Paris Agreement does not, on its own, protect our society from catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis, it does give us a chance to do so. 195 nations have committed to work collaboratively to ensure that global average temperature is held to no more than 2 degrees C above what it was before the Industrial Revolution, and to strive to meet the far safer 1.5 degrees C increase limit.
“I’m proud of Canada’s work in Paris to strengthen the world’s commitments, but make no mistake: Time is running out to take action. Canada’s climate target remains the one tabled last year by the Conservative government — the weakest target in the G7. Canada’s new government must put forward a more realistic target – one that is aligned with our Paris goals. Meeting tougher targets will not put Canada on the road to economic ruin. In fact, the transition to a 21st century, clean-tech economy will be a $1-trillion global industry in which Canada can lead.
“In September, when Canadian Premiers and the Prime Minister meet to finalize a carbon pricing scheme, Canada will have much work ahead to phase out disastrous energy sources like coal and transition to 100% renewable energy. But it is possible, it is economically viable, and it can unite us as Canadians as we complete this critical work for our children and grandchildren, and all species on this beautiful planet – our only home.
Happy Earth Day!”