As the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris begins, government leaders are all talking about how urgent it is that we take action to reduce emissions contributing to climate change. They’re right.
Actions need to match rhetoric
But as the Prime Minister and provincial Premiers say the right things in Paris, what’s being proposed doesn’t match the rhetoric. There is no plan to commit to the kind of targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are needed to prevent further serious damage to our planet.
“There is also nothing being said about how we transition to a green economy,” says James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). “Properly implemented, the changes needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be an opportunity. Where action is being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, new jobs are being created. But a transition program is needed to ensure workers in sectors that are likely to decline are not left behind.”
Governments also need to realize the scale of change needed to deal with climate change will not happen if decisions are left to “the market.”