We cannot spend tens of millions of dollars promoting a low carbon future while also spending tens of millions promoting extractives. With the Agreement in full force, Canada can pivot its approach to international assistance to reflect real policy coherence. We need to support small-scale, decentralized clean energy programs that promote pro-poor, gender sensitive projects.
Canada fell woefully short of 2012 emissions targets and in December 2011 became the only country to pull out of Kyoto, the world's only binding climate treaty. That was in the dark decade of Stephen Harper. Prime Minister Trudeau led a younger, far more optimistic and enlightened entourage to Paris.
As an economist who has focused on environmental challenges, I've long recognized that in my field it often takes a major crisis before cherished but unsatisfactory theories finally give way to new thinking. So it is with how economists think about growth and the environment. The tragic irony is that all this growth in the past few decades has done little to improve happiness in the 'developed' world. Meanwhile, their growing economies consume the ecological space desperately needed by poorer countries where growth still promises real gains in well-being.
Over 60 protesters have been arrested opposing Kinder Morgan's new pipeline, including environmental activist David Suzuki's grandson Tamo Campos. Kinder Morgan plans to bore two small holes and then drill 250 metres into the mountain to test whether it can tunnel through the mountain to drastically increase the flow of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.
The Charter is Canada's highest law and it applies to all levels of government across the country. It gives each of us inalienable rights -- ones that protect us from discrimination and guarantee our right to life, liberty and security of the person. We believe the Charter should include environmental rights too.
We've become impatient. We're so demanding that we're unwilling to slow down and ensure our major projects are sustainable for human society and the biosphere. Over the past century, we've burned increasing amounts of finite fossil fuels that were stored and compressed over millions of years, exacerbating conditions that lead to climate chaos.