Quantcast

'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

A tropical storm above Bangkok on Aug. 04, 2016. Hristo Rusev/ NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.

Read More Show Less
orn_france / iStock / Getty Images

By Susan McCabe, BSc, RD

Dioscorea alata is a species of yam commonly referred to as purple yam, ube, violet yam, or water yam.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Left: MirageC / Moment / Getty Images Right: Pongsak Tawansaeng / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Sole water is water saturated with pink Himalayan salt.

Read More Show Less
People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.

Read More Show Less
A man protests against the use of disposable plastics outside the Houses of Parliament on March 28 in London. John Keeble / Getty Images

Plastic pollution across the globe is suffocating our planet and driving Earth toward catastrophic climatic conditions if not curbed significantly and immediately, according to a new report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.

Read More Show Less

Mitshu / E+ / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism is a way of living that tries to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty.

Read More Show Less

6okean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A federal judge ruled this week that the Food and Drug Administration must begin implementing regulations for the many types of e-cigarettes now on the market in the U.S.

Read More Show Less