On Earth Day 2021 Green party says Canada is no climate change champion


The Green Party of Canada says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate change plan which was outlined Thursday to world leaders falls way short of what is needed.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the Leaders Summit on Climate on Earth Day when Trudeau declared his intentions.

Canada is extending its 2030 emissions target as emphasised in the recent Liberal budget, from the previous 30 per cent to a 40-45 per cent range, compared to emissions in 2005.

Green Party leader Annamie Paul said it’s an improvement but still inadequate.

“The reality is that Canada is a top ten emitter of greenhouse gas emissions,” Paul said at a Facebook Live event Thursday. “We have barely succeeded in moving the needle in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at all. We have never succeeded in meeting our target.”

Paul asserted Canada is a top five emitter per capita of greenhouse gas emissions, which actually increased last year in the midst of the pandemic.

The Green leader said the country needs to do better in terms of the climate crisis.

She referred to the European Union which is reducing its target emissions to 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

In comparison, Paul said the EU targets make Canada’s commitments seem that much less profound.

“It’s hard sometimes for people in Canada to accept this reality because it’s painful and doesn’t correspond to our image of ourselves,” Paul said.

Never the less, Trudeau called his new plan “bold”, said will lead to bold results and suggested other countries should do the same.

“If all sectors and Indigenous Peoples can come together and work together then we should be able to find solutions and create real change. And that is why we’re here today,” Trudeau said in his address.

In response to Trudeau’s commitments the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said it welcomed the plan.

“Inuit welcome today’s announcement by the federal government on an enhanced emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement,” said the the ITK in a statement. “Inuit Nunangat is at the forefront of climate change and Inuit are already adapting to a changing landscape including sea ice loss, permafrost thaw, and coastal erosion. This impacts all aspects of Inuit life – including our infrastructure, water supply, food systems, and livelihoods.”

“There is no greater threat than climate change, and ITK applauds Canada for taking action on this Earth Day.”

At the summit meeting Biden said addressing climate change is not only everyone’s responsibility but particularly of those representing the world’s largest economies, who need to “step up.”

Biden affirmed going green is in everyone’s best interest, which is something private sectors recognize as hundreds of billions of dollars ae being invested worldwide every year.

“Those that do take action and make bold investments in their people in a clean energy future will win the good jobs of tomorrow and make their economies more resilient and more competitive,” Biden told world leaders.

He called climate change not only a threat, but said it also represents the largest job opportunities in history.

Reporter / Ottawa

Originally from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi on the eastern coast of James Bay, Quebec, Jamie has lived in Ottawa since 2015. Trained in journalism at Carleton University, he has worked as a freelance print journalist and as a writer/researcher for the Cree unit of CBC North out of Montreal. Jamie was hired as the reporter/correspondent for the Ottawa bureau in October 2019.