Environment Commissioner: Liberals are “nowhere near ‎ready to adapt to impacts of climate change”

October 03, 2017
(OTTAWA) – ”Today’s Reports from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development reveal that the Liberals are failing to take leadership on climate action,” said Elizabeth May.

“These audits show that for all this government’s talk, they are not doing enough on the urgent climate crisis. Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand states it clearly: Canada is ‘nowhere near being ready to adapt to the impacts of climate change.’

“The Environment Commissioner’s report confirms what I have been raising in parliament: acting to avoid the worst of climate change while adapting to what we can no longer avoid is urgent. Gelfand shows that our woefully inadequate, Harper-era GHG targets by 2030 are contributing to a global failure in meeting our Paris Agreement target.

“These reports also reveal that Environment and Climate Change Canada is failing to provide adequate leadership, guidance, tools and resources to help other departments and agencies meet our GHG targets.

“The Environment Commissioner calls on parliamentarians to hold the government to account on its climate change commitments. That is exactly what I have done and will continue to do. The Liberals campaigned on ‘Real Change’ – it’s time for them to deliver on that promise and ensure that we leave a better planet for future generations. As it stands, we’re on a path to destruction,” Ms. May said.

“I was pleased to read the Commissioner’s finding that funds supporting the development of clean energy technology demonstration projects were working well,” Ms. May concluded.

Key statements from the report:

  • In two important areas – reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to the impacts of climate change – the federal government has yet to do much of the hard work that is required to bring about this fundamental shift.
  • “If Canada is to adapt to a changing climate, much stronger leadership is needed.”
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada did not provide adequate leadership and guidance to other federal organizations to achieve adaptation objectives.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada did not provide adequate tools and resources to help other departments and agencies assess and adapt to climate change risks. During 2017, the Department began to make progress under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.