Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

'An Unprecedented Opportunity to Build Justice and Prosperity': Canadian Coalition Launches Green New Deal Initiative

Politics
Common Dreams

By Andrea Germanos

A broad Canadian coalition representing scores of groups unveiled a visionary roadmap on Monday for a Green New Deal that tackles the climate crisis as well as social and economic justice.


The unprecedented changes in society necessary to rein in global warming, according to organizers of the new effort, are also "an unprecedented opportunity to build justice and prosperity."

That opportunity is laid out in The Pact for a Green New Deal.

The effort was launched at press conferences in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver Monday — the same day a bleak report from the United Nations detailed how the human-caused climate crisis and economic activity have pushed pushed up to a million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

As of Sunday, organizers say, the pact has been backed by 67 organizations, including Indigenous Climate Action, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, The Leap, and Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada.

Dozens of noted Canadian individuals are supporting the effort as well, including musicians Rufus Wainwright and Neil Young, scientists David Suzuki and Christina Hoicka, and actors Evangeline Lilly and Cobie Smulders.

The plan, organizers say, must be centered on two demands:

1. It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada's emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity.
2. It must leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us.

The newly-launched website for the pact — which draws its inspiration from a Quebecois call for a low-carbon future made last year — states, in part:

[We need] A bold and far reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science, create more than a million good jobs you can support a family with, and build inclusive communities in the process.
We need a Green New Deal — for everyone. And we need everyone to be a part of building it.

To put such a plan in motion, organizers map out three stages.

First, people are urged to sign on to "pledge to take action to create a Green New Deal." Supporters will then hammer out a shared vision at town halls. Once that's developed, organizers plan on presenting the vision to political leaders — an act of laying down the climate action gauntlet.

"We can build universal and far-reaching solutions that transform our economy, create dignified work, prioritize public ownership, and make our communities healthier," said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario. "But we have to come together with a plan to do it. That's what the Green New Deal is."

Niklas Agarwal, a student and youth organizer, praised the Green New Deal as "an opportunity to make our communities healthier and create a million good jobs in the process."

"In our lifetime," he said in a statement, "youth have seen both the degradation of our climate and any sense of stable livelihoods. We are the first generation in human history whose quality of life is predicted to be lower than our parents."

"The Green New Deal," added Agarwal, "is the first sign of hope our generation has."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations. Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm

By Kaya Bulbul

The ocean is our lifeline - we rely on it for the food we eat, the air we breathe, as well as for millions for jobs worldwide.

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations, many of which unidentified or insufficiently supported.

Read More Show Less
The coronavirus adds a new wrinkle to the debate over the practice of eminent domain as companies continue to work through the pandemic, vexing landowners. Patrick J. Endres / Getty Images

By Jeremy Deaton

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home.

Read More Show Less
Weeds dying in a soybean field impacted by dicamba spraying. JJ Gouin / iStock / Getty Images

A federal court overturned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approval of dicamba Wednesday, meaning the controversial herbicide can no longer be sprayed in the U.S.

Read More Show Less
Smoke rises from a cement factory in Castleton in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England. john finney photography / Moment / Getty Images

Human activity has pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide to higher levels today than they have been at any other point in the last 23-million-years, potentially posing unprecedented disruptions in ecosystems across the planet, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
People march along Hiawatha Avenue on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to protest the killing of George Floyd. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, James Bruggers

When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.

Read More Show Less
A helicopter view of a diesel fuel spill in Siberia on June 2, 2020. Andrei Marmyshev\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Arctic Circle.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The sun shines over the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. Rebecca Yale / Moment / Getty Images Plus

Atmospheric researchers have pinpointed the spot on Earth with the cleanest air. It's not in the midst of a remote jungle, nor on a deserted tropical island. Instead, the cleanest air in the world is in the air above the frigid Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less