September 3, 2019
OTTAWA — Calling for an all-hands-on-deck response to the existential threat of runaway global warming, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) today reiterated her call to her fellow federal party leaders to form a cross-party Climate Emergency Cabinet to lead Canada as it confronts the climate emergency. Ms. May first called for this approach during climate emergency debates on October 15, 2018 and June 17, 2019.
The 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel report on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that unless the global average temperature increase is held to 1.5 degrees C, our hospitable biosphere is at grave risk. We have months, not years, to take drastic measures to prevent massive species extinction and, potentially, the unravelling of human civilization.
“If we are to succeed in keeping to 1.5 degrees C, we must prepare our nation to wage battle on a scale sufficient to the task,” said Ms. May. “We have to begin thinking like a country and develop a comprehensive energy strategy, one in which climate targets rule. You can’t negotiate with the atmosphere. The crisis we are facing will require all of Canada’s collective will and energy. It cannot be a partisan affair. We must more forward with joint purpose and unwavering resolve. We owe Canadians nothing less.”
An August 2019 Abacus Poll showed that 82 per cent of Canadians think climate change is a serious problem, including 47 per cent who call it an “extremely serious” problem.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, Ms. May proposes the creation of a cross-Party Climate Emergency Cabinet, conceived on the broadest possible basis and including all parties represented in parliament. Party leaders would form the Inner Cabinet, supplemented by other party representatives in high executive office. Parliament would be asked to declare its confidence in this Cabinet formation.
“The Cabinet will commit to leading our country as it confronts the Climate Emergency,” the letter states: “The act of its creation will reassure the Canadian people that their leaders are united in a national call to arms, and they will rally behind us in this vital endeavour, contributing all their mighty talents to the cause. With the Climate Cabinet in place, Canada can begin the 43rd Parliament with one goal in mind: victory. Victory for the future. Victory for our children. Victory, because any other outcome is unthinkable. For without victory, there can be no survival.”