We are standing on the edge of too late

Elizabeth May: We are standing on the edge of too late
Speaker: Ms. May
Time: 19/05/2022 18:35:24
Context: Question

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP): Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise tonight on this adjournment debate. I want to acknowledge I am standing here on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.

The question I am pursuing tonight I originally asked on April 27, so it had not been long since we had received the final chapter of the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with its most dire warnings ever.

I asked the Prime Minister how it could be, given we had been told by the IPCC that emissions must peak globally by 2025 and drop dramatically from there to at least half by 2030, that two days later the government approved the Bay du Nord project and how it could be that three days later the budget included continuing to build the Trans Mountain pipeline while somehow transferring this monstrosity to indigenous ownership.

The Prime Minister’s answer, as ever, was that the government was doing so much and had committed $100 billion to be spent between 2016 and 2030. One hundred billion dollars is a lot of money, but it does not save us. The government’s plan does not come close to holding to 2°C or 1.5°C.

We are facing some very serious realities and talking points will not do. I have to admit I made an error in my question of April 27. On how bad things were, I quoted from the IPCC lead author, who said that it was now or never. I read the report of the IPCC as saying, as I just did, that we have until 2025 globally to ensure that emissions have peaked and dropped from there. I was wrong.

I went back and reread page 22 of the “Summary for Policymakers” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report. We do not have until 2025; we have less time. The quote is that global emissions must peak between 2020 and, at the latest, before 2025.

This is not a political debate. I know the hon. parliamentary secretary is as good and decent a person as we are ever going to find in this place, and the minister is a good person and the Prime Minister is a good person, but it does not matter. The difference between policies developed by good people who fall short on climate change and policies by people who do not believe climate change exists, and this is in the words of Bill McKibben, one of our leading champions for climate action globally, is losing more slowly.

The Liberal plan before us does not deal with the science. It does not. Setting net-zero by 2050 as if it means anything is spin. It is not science. Net-zero by 2050 is only relevant if global emissions peak before 2025 and drop rapidly from there.

I know what the hon. minister has said in this place about Bay du Nord and the emissions not being Canada’s problem. Really? When did he lose his moral compass? The emissions do not matter if they happen somewhere else? Canada is to continue to increase producing oil and gas? It is not our problem if the emissions in other countries condemn our children to an unlivable world? That is what we are talking about; nothing less than that.

When we have a choice between now or never, please do not choose never.