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Letter: On climate change, the key is not to panic

‘It will be up to all of us to get us to a resilient and equitable world’
typewriter pexels-caryn-938165 (From Pexels by Caryn)

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the letter Climate change resilience still a ways off from reader André Clement, published Oct. 18. 

I do not completely concur that climate change resilience is still a way off. 

Apologies for the delay in responding. I was at the Womens7 meeting (W7) in Berlin in conjunction with G7 Equality Ministers meetings.

While I was at the W7 meetings in Berlin, our dedicated volunteers at Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada conducted a special online event. You can watch Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas and several other parliamentarians from across Canada engage with Drew Jones from MIT Climate Interactive on the EnROADS climate policy simulator. 

They explored what policies are most effective at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It is our second most-viewed video on YouTube and our most attended Zoom seminar. 

On my way home from the W7 meeting, I attended in person the 2030 in Focus: Getting the Next Decade Right on Net-Zero event. The ensemble of experts in the room was incredible. You can watch all the videos here. The take home message was we have everything we need to transition to net-zero, all we need now is courage.  

But what does that really mean? I have no doubts historians will tell a tale of how unscrupulous elements interfered with our Canadian democracy during this time of massive change. As well, the federal government is facing strong headwinds against evidence-based climate action from several provincial premiers, including our own Premier Doug Ford.

Here are two actions you can consider.

First, we need evidence-based policies.

Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteers have sent more than 250 letters to at least 120 different MPs and the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) asking for redo of  A Distributional Analysis of Federal Carbon Pricing under A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy (March 24, 2022). We are making a polite request that future PBO reports on the economic impact of the federal carbon pricing policy take into account the economic, health, and environmental costs of climate change, and the cost of Canada doing our fair share in keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5C by 2030. 

Secondly, we need to follow the money. 

Dr. Sanjiv Mathur will be a health delegate at 27 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 27, currently underweight until Nov. 18). Sophia Mathur will be a youth delegate at COP 27. I am helping Citizens' Climate Education delegates at COP 27. Sanjiv is my partner of over 35 years and Sophia is my youngest daughter. 

My focus at COP 27 will be following the policies and financial commitments made there. I am  on several teams at COP 27 that are doing just that. Our starting point for everything we do is policies must be steeped in human rights and gender justice. 

All Sudburians, including politicians, media, schools and citizens are invited to join us in a live 30-minute broadcast from COP 27 on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 10 am EST on the last day of COP. We will do our best to share with you all how much closer the world is to a resilient and equitable world. Here is the Zoom Registration.

In conclusion, it will be up to all of us to get us to a resilient and equitable world. And that could be far away if people are asleep at the wheel in our precious democracy or really close at hand if they have courage to face the monster of climate change and pervasive inequality with evidence and justice for all. 

The key now is not to panic. 

Cathy Orlando 
Climate Reality Leader trained in 2008 in Montreal
Citizens' Climate Lobbyists since September 2010