TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - September 27, 2013) - WWF calls on Canada's governments to take immediate steps towards meeting Canada's 2020 climate targets in response to a report released today by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC's most comprehensive review ever shows that human-caused climate change is accelerating, that we are already beginning to suffer the consequences, and that if we don't rein in emissions quickly, the impacts -- including ocean acidification, sea-level rise, and sea-ice decline -- may be devastating. As a member-state of the IPCC, the Canadian government both contributed to and accepted this report.
According to recent figures from Environment Canada, current federal and provincial policies will achieve only half of Canada's 2020 emissions reduction goal. The gap -- approximately 113 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year -- is more than the total emissions from Canada's electricity sector.
Canada's five priorities for climate action
Canada's governments -- city, provincial, and federal -- can respond to the global imperative for climate action and secure waning credibility on the world's stage, if we act quickly. WWF calls for development of an Energy Strategy that puts Canada on the path to meeting and exceeding the federal government's 2020 greenhouse gas targets. Priorities must include:
1. Reassessing the projected growth of Canada's oil sector -- including infrastructure such as pipelines -- to ensure it is consistent with established climate targets
2. Setting world-leading oil and gas industry regulations that spur innovation toward bridging our emissions gap
3. Dramatically increasing energy conservation from buildings by supporting retrofitting efforts for current buildings and setting best-in-class building codes for new builds
4. Using price signals to drive low-carbon solutions, including a price on carbon and incentives for investment in renewable energy
5. Investing significantly in infrastructure for public transit and electrified transportation powered by smart "green" electricity grids
"Canadian decision-makers at all levels must heed what the world's best available science is telling us. This is about taking swift, strategic and decisive action to avoid serious environmental as well as economic risks. The starting point must be putting Canada on track immediately to meet and exceed the federal government's own 2020 climate targets."
- Josh Laughren, Director of Climate and Energy, WWF-Canada
"Where the IPCC report stops, governments must begin. We have more information now than ever before about the risks, and about the solutions. I have enormous faith in Canadians' collective ability to solve problems. Indeed, through initiatives like BC's carbon tax and the City of Toronto's climate strategy, we have already demonstrated that significant emissions reduction efforts are possible and work. This is a critical moment for Canada to become the climate and energy leader that the world needs. Our future depends on it. It is time to act."
- David Miller, President and CEO, WWF-Canada
Notes to editors
- IPCC WG1 website: www.ipcc.ch/index.htm
- WWF 2050 Energy Report, demonstrating the feasibility of a world powered by 100% renewable energy: www.wwf.ca/energyreport
WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca
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