Environment Opinion

Caledon Resident Demanding Accountability In The Climate Accountability Act

Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

Caledon resident Betty de Groot expresses an urgent need to strengthen Bill C-12 (the Climate Accountability Act) before it passes final reading in Parliament in the very near future. Drawing attention to the strong examples set by New Zealand and the UK’s Acts she shows that there is clearly room to make Bill C-12 more effective, and yes, more accountable.

Dear Caledon,

So what is Bill C-12?  In theory and in name, it is a Climate Accountability Act.  Wow – you think – Canada is putting some real muscle behind its intentions to lead us to a healthy and sustainable climate!  An Accountability Act is exactly what we need to bring our carbon emissions down, move towards clean energy reliance and get off fossil fuels.  Right?

Yes, right – IF we do it right!  But that is the problem with the current version of Bill C-12.  It had its first reading back on November 19th and began the second a few days later.  It is due for its third and final reading any day now, as parliament resumed as of Monday, January 25th. Our opportunity to push for amendments is NOW, before it is passed into law. So what is wrong with it?

From a nonprofessional perspective, there are two huge gaps.

To begin, the first milestone year is set for 2030.  A milestone year is the year by which an emissions target should be reached.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 published a very clear report stating that the years leading up to 2030 were critical in reversing direction if we are to stay below 1.5 degrees of global warming.  If Canada does no self-evaluation until 2030, we run the very real risk that we will achieve nothing by then. Solution: Every five years, beginning in 2025 or sooner, is how often, and when, we should be looking at our progress towards such a critical goal.

Secondly, C-12 calls for the creation of an advisory body, which would oversee Canada’s progress in reducing emissions.  This advisory body is to be appointed by the Minister of the Environment. The problem here is evident in that there is no arms-length distancing to give independence to the advisory body.

Time for some perspective from a policy analyst, Ken Love, of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  According to Ken Love, we can compare C-12 to two far superior Climate Accountability Acts: those of England and New Zealand. Ken suggests a multi-party committee be set up to choose a Commissioner of the Environment along with a nomination team.  This team would in turn select individuals possessing expertise in the field of climate science, to serve on the advisory committee.  In this way, successive governments would be less inclined to dismiss the body and its advice.

Ken’s YouTube video is a great resource for anyone wishing to dig deeper into these and other weaknesses of Canada’s C-12 Bill, compared to the other two superior models.

Urgency always seems to be the mandate of the day, when it comes to Climate Change.  The government needs to hear from us now, before our weak-on-climate Conservative Party votes to support our wavering-on-climate Federal Liberal government’s proposed and unamended bill.

Speak up now by petition, by email, by phone.  Let our MPs know, including our local Conservative MP, that current and future citizens of Caledon and Canada deserve a truly accountable Climate Accountability Act.

Yours in a Just Recovery,

Betty de Groot

Petition Links:

From ecoJustice

From the David Suzuki Foundation

From Environmental Defense

From Toronto 350.org

From Leadnow.ca

About the author

Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ brings you Caledon-specific community news, events, personality & business profiles, restaurant reviews, & Town Council highlights.

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