For Immediate Release
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 4 April 2022:
Today’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that a climate-safe, more just future is possible – but current governments’ plans won’t get us there. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the world must cut in half global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The solutions exist and are cheaper than ever, but governments have not yet caught up; now, leaders must prove they have the political will to implement them.
The last two IPCC reports have illustrated the extent of the suffering and damage caused by rising global temperatures, to ecosystems and to people. The IPCC Working Group III report on Mitigation of Climate Change lays out a comprehensive roadmap to end the legacy of fossil fuel-induced destruction and build a just and equitable future.
Mobilization from citizens, youth, and Indigenous Peoples has played a critical role in increasing climate awareness and propelling action, but government action worldwide remains highly inadequate. Total net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are now 54% higher than in 1990, when international climate negotiations started. Governments’ current climate commitments would lead to catastrophic global temperature rise and far more frequent, far more devastating impacts.
While some countries have managed to cut emissions in the last decade, Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have increased since signing the Paris Agreement. The Emissions Reductions Plan unveiled last week shows that the federal government still believes it can have its oil-soaked cake and eat it too, buying into the fairy tale that it can significantly cut emissions while increasing fossil fuel production. The plan includes some promising measures and investments in line with the IPCC’s recommendations, but still fails to take responsibility for Canada’s gargantuan carbon footprint and massive fossil fuel exports.
The IPCC’s conclusions are clear:
- Rich countries like Canada’s overuse of fossil fuels are responsible for the suffering of millions of people around the world who face floods, droughts, fires, and famines
- The only way forward is an immediate phase-out of fossil fuel consumption and production
- There can be absolutely no new fossil fuel infrastructure or projects
- Current fossil fuel infrastructure alone would put the Paris Agreement 1.5°C target out of reach. Government should embark on decommissioning and early retirement of fossil fuel infrastructure
- Renewable energy – wind and solar in particular – are at their lowest costs ever, and these changes have occurred much more quickly than previously anticipated. They are credible alternatives to ensure energy security away from fossil fuels.
- Governments must rapidly scale up investments in renewable energy this decade, alongside energy efficiency improvements, reduced deforestation, restoration of ecosystems, soil carbon sequestration and methane emissions reductions
- Climate solutions are cheap, with half of them costing less than 20 USD per tonne of emissions reduction, and many even bringing cost savings compared to current practice
- All nations, especially wealthy and high-emitting countries like Canada, must strengthen their 2030 climate targets to align with the 1.5°C goal
- We have the money and the capacity to pay for these transitions, but all countries must shift their financial flows to align with the goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030
- Fossil fuel subsidies, which are blocking the energy transition and misaligning incentives, must end
- Meanwhile, investments in clean energy, efficiency, transport, agriculture and forests will need to increase by 3 to 6 times
- Significantly expanding climate finance and ensuring equitable distribution of resources is crucial, as access to finance remains a big barrier for developing countries, where people bear the least responsibility for the climate crisis but are facing its worst impacts
This report must spur governments to scale up climate action and prioritize people’s safety and well-being. The IPCC presents a clear pathway to ensuring a fairer and healthier future – but it requires rapid and transformational change and an unwavering commitment to climate justice.
Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada:
“Today’s IPCC report confirms that the world is on the brink of unprecedented change. Governments face a choice. They can either seize this moment of transformation, to build a more just world by accelerating climate action, and putting the needs of communities, Indigenous Peoples, and workers first. Or they can remain complacent amidst escalating destruction, conflict, and poverty, and allow the fossil fuel industry to burn our chance for a livable future.”
Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist, Greenpeace Canada:
“We are out of time — and governments, corporations and financial institutions are out of excuses. One way that Canada could punch above its weight is to redirect the money pipeline from fossil fuels to the climate solutions advanced by the IPCC. It is a national disgrace that Canada’s Big Five banks are all among the top 20 global funders of fossil fuels and that their fossil fuel funding grew by 70% last year. There can be no excuse for throwing more money into fossil fuels when we so desperately need to invest in a cleaner, more just future.”
Sabaa Khan, David Suzuki Foundation climate director:
“Humanity has never been better-equipped technologically and financially to decarbonize our economies and strengthen global resilience. We have all the necessary solutions — we’re just not implementing them fast enough. This report makes it clear: the next few years will be critical to ending the financial flows that are inconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 C objective. Canada needs to act on this IPCC report by setting an ambitious cap on oil and gas emissions.”
Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director, Stand.earth:
“Emissions from oil and gas production are Canada’s largest and fastest growing source of emissions, and the primary reason it cannot meet its Paris commitments. In their latest policy review of Canada’s energy system released in January, the International Energy Agency correctly identifies fossil fuel production as a barrier to achieving the country’s climate targets. To meet the Paris Agreement, Canada must stop approving and subsidizing fossil fuel projects.”
Julie Segal, Senior Manager Climate Finance, Environmental Defence
“Finance can be an enabler or a constraint for cutting emissions and keeping global warming below 1.5-degrees. Our global financial markets have enough resources, capital, and liquidity to cut emissions, but we need at least 3-times more investments each year in mitigation for this capital to go to good use. The private-sectors’ many voluntary “net-zero” initiatives have come up short, spurring limited new investment in climate solutions. Instead, we need regulation from Canada’s Finance Minister that requires investors to disclose climate-related financial risks and shift capital to reduce financed emissions.
“The IPCC mitigation report is clear: we have the capital to cut carbon, but we need private finance to flow this way faster. Stronger climate-related financial regulation can make this happen.”
Dr Olena Zotova, President of the Quebec Sustainable Health Network (Réseau d’action pour la santé durable du Québec):
“Healthcare professionals across the country are already treating victims of forest fires, heat waves and air pollution. We urgently need more ambitious action to reduce climate risks to health. The IPCC gives us solutions that are good for the climate and for people’s health. Investing now to implement them would save millions of lives and generate substantial savings in healthcare costs. Canadians deserve a healthy and sustainable future: we must act now to secure it.”
Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder / Climate Education Advocate for Children and Youth, The ChariTree Foundation:
“Millions of children are already impacted by the climate emergency and many more are worried. The latest IPCC report offers important scientific evidence that we have the tools and potential to mitigate climate change before it’s too late. Let’s show kids everywhere that we can turn this around by turning away from fossil fuels and embracing climate solutions advanced by the IPCC. Governments must take positive action now to stop this escalating humanitarian crisis.”
Louise Comeau, director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, Conservation Council of New Brunswick:
“Failing to drastically cut the pollution unbalancing the climate is a social choice. That’s the clear message from today’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Mitigation Report. We have effective and affordable solutions to deploy in all sectors and we can do so fairly. Failing to do so today sentences all life to an unhealthy, dangerous and life-threatening future. This moment calls on all of us to act ethically for the sake of all generations to come.”
Glenn Wright, Saskatchewan Coalition for Sustainable Development:
“There can be no doubt – we must stop expanding all fossil fuel infrastructure and direct all public finance and subsidies to clean energy. The climate crisis is more urgent than most people realize. We must electrify everything and power our society with renewable energy. Every time we retire a fossil fuel burning machine it must be replaced with a decarbonized machine. Governments that continue to finance fossil fuels are using public dollars to accelerate dangerous climate change.”
Mark Bigland-Pritchard, Climate Justice Saskatoon:
“Yet again, the global experts in the field have told us that over this decade we urgently need to make rapid massive cuts in fossil fuel consumption – and therefore also in fossil fuel production. Business as usual is not an option. Instead, at both federal and provincial levels, we need detailed plans for decarbonising each emissions sector, for large-scale investment in efficiency, renewables and electrification, and for a community-focussed just transition away from oil, gas and coal – and those plans need to be backed up by rapid implementation and enforcement. The urgency of the situation cannot be exaggerated – but the opportunities for real human flourishing in the new economy are substantial.”
Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Climate policy analyst, Équiterre:
“Reading the report, there is clearly a significant gap between what the scientists propose and the political actions of our governments. We won’t be able to realize the necessary transition without major changes in the way we get around, eat, consume and occupy the land. It’s time for our governments to face reality and stop taking half-measures.”
Ugo Lapointe, Independent consultant and spokesperson for Coalition Québec meilleure mine:
“For the first time, IPCC highlights growing concerns related to the extraction and use of minerals, metals, and other critical materials, including those used in energy transition technologies such as batteries. More than ever, IPCC recommends bold policies and investments in material efficiency, recycling, and circularity to reduce the environmental footprint and material supply risks to achieve the climate goals, especially for the urban, transport, and industrial sectors.”
Cathy Orlando, National Director Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada:
The latest IPCC Report says “it is now or never” and we say “follow the money”. The report looks “beyond technologies and demonstrates that while financial flows are a factor of three to six times lower than levels needed by 2030 to limit warming to below 2°C (3 6°F), there is sufficient global capital and liquidity to close investment gaps. However, it relies on clear signalling from governments and the international community, including a stronger alignment of public sector finance and policy.” Canada and governments around the world can create an equitable and resilient world if they enact evidence-based and socially-just policies that will redirect financial flows away from fossil fuels and towards a liveable future.
Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair, ClimateFast:
“The IPCC has shown us the deadly trajectory we are on. Denying the next generation a livable planet is a criminal act, as is continuing to cause damage to those least responsible for emissions. Canada must take leadership by supporting a global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This will require acting to cancel all planned oil and gas exploration and development, including Bay du Nord. We have a clear path toward a fossil fuel-free future that is economically and financially feasible. What are we waiting for?”
Marla Slavner, Board member, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
“Canada just announced $19B for fighter jets and $9B for climate action. It is imperative that we reverse these priorities and properly fund human and environmental needs. For countries struggling financially to implement climate mitigation measures, it falls on the wealthy nations, which have created this disaster through our emissions, to contribute to the worldwide implementation of a Just Transition to a renewable energy future. Women and girls are the hardest hit as floods and drought reduce food supply causing mass migration with water scarcity leading to violent conflict and war. Canada must cancel all new fossil fuel exploration and development, including Bay du Nord, and cancel all fossil fuel subsidies.”
Fiona Koza, Climate Accountability Strategist, West Coast Environmental Law, and Co-Author of Net Zero or Net Reckless (2022):
“Negative emissions technologies bring with them a slew of risks and limitations, uncertainties, and ethical questions. Yet given the importance of achieving a stable and safe climate, they cannot be dismissed altogether. To prevent an overly risky approach to negative emissions technologies, Canada must prioritize real emissions reductions and be realistic about the huge environmental, social and economic risks associated with these unproven technologies.”
June Kaminski, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment:
“It is critical that governments take steps to reform energy sources and work diligently to reduce the progress and impact of climate change. The health of people and the planet depend on concrete strategies that embrace clean energy and drastically reduce emissions.”
-30-Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 140 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead
PHOTO CREDIT: Joan Sullivan / Climate Visuals Countdown