Responding to the Climate Emergency: A 26-Week Transition Program for Canada - GTEC Green Technology Education Centre

Editors Introduction

Many books, articles and presentations about the climate crisis outline the facts and lament their implications, but very few offer well thought and researched solutions. The following article does just that. The article is an abbreviated version of a ‘thought experiment’ researched and developed by Canadian author, futurist and anthropological economist, Guy Dauncey, published with the author’s permission. The objective of this abbreviated version is to make it accessible to a larger audience. For readers who have questions about the rationale and costing of Dauncey’s proposals I refer readers to the original, more complete document available online at:

https://thepracticalutopian.ca/2020/01/05/climate-emergency-a-26-week-transition-program-for-canada

and in PDF form at: https://guydauncey.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/pdf-climate-emergency-1.pdf

The premise of this thought experiment is that the government of Canada and its Ministers, MPs and civil servants actually understand the severity of the climate emergency and recognize the urgency of the need to take concrete and immediate steps. The result is a 26 week, evidence based program of policies and programs targeting a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030 and 100% by 2040. It proposes 164 new policies and programs, financed by $59 billion a year in new investments, without raising taxes or increasing public sector borrowing.

Editor’s Note: And then, the unexpected intervened in the form of Covid-19. When I began editing An Abbreviated Version of Climate Emergency: A 26-Week Transition Program for Canada two weeks ago the virus and its powerful impact had shown up in China. Now the city of Vancouver and the province of BC are in a state of emergency. No doubt the impact of this virus will require further evolution of the 26-Week Transition Program.

Nevertheless, it some ways the Covid-19 crisis heightens the importance of this excellent template because impact of Covid-19 provides us with a glimpse of what the climate emergency could look like and more. The present crisis also demonstrates how quickly governments can act and the resources at their commands when the recognize the imperative.

Week 1  Initial Legislative Framework for Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

In December 2019 Mark Jacobson and his team of researchers at Stanford University released a report showing how a transition to a world powered by 80% wind, water and solar energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050 is possible for 143 countries, including Canada.

The message is clear: the transition to 100% renewable energy is the most effective solution to the climate crisis, and will bring enormous financial and healthcare benefits  to Canada and the world, while generating more new jobs that it destroys.

As of week 1, the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister meets monthly. All MPs who are concerned about the climate crisis are invited to participate. The Committee’s mandate is to upgrade the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change targeting a 65% reduction in Canada’s 716 megatons (Mt) of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

The government then introduces a Climate Accountability Act, establishing legally binding five-year emissions-reduction targets for every sector of Canada’s economy. At the beginning of each year, an independent Climate Commission will produce a professional assessment of progress and make recommendations for further action. The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act makes it a legal requirement for all public bodies to consider the long-term impact of their decisions and how they will affect future generations. The Act defines well-being broadly, following the example of countries such as New Zealand and Bhutan, and measures it annually. Legislation affirming the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is passed.

Additional legislation is advanced prioritizing climate issues in areas such as procurement, economic modelling and lobbying.

Week 2  Green New Deal

The government negotiates a Green New Deal with all stakeholders including indigenous communities. The Green New Deal framework focuses on the development of a million new green jobs over the next 20 years and incorporates measures to support the transition of workers in the fossil fuel sector to sustainable industries and agriculture. The Just Transition Act and the Transition Income Guarantee provide a legislative and policy framework for this shift in the economy.

Week 3 Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax

The current tax of $30 per tonne in 2020 increases by $10 a year to $50 by 2022. Revenue is returned as tax rebates. 90% of the carbon tax revenue goes to consumers as rebates, and 10% to small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations. The purpose of the tax is to incentivize citizens, businesses, organizations and utilities to switch to low or zero carbon energy.

Week 4 Investing in a Sustainable Future

Public banks all over the world create money for social purposes, guided by city, regional or national government policy and regulations. In Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain and France, community and state-owned banks serve as much as 64% of the banking market.  Working with the provinces and professional bankers and initially funded by the Treasury Board, the federal government establishes a Network of Public Banks across Canada, one for each province and one for Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

The government also enacts a series of green future financial instruments through legislation such as Climate Action Bonds issued by the Government of Canada, 5% Green Bonds, Interest-Free Public Bank Loans, Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) Utility Loans and Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Municipal Loans, (all?) guaranteed by the Bank of Canada, and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Transfers.

Week 5 Citizen Engagement

Supported by Canada’s Climate Action Fund the government forms a Climate Solutions Citizens’ Assembly of 50 people selected at random from across the country.  The goal of the Assembly is to provide feedback to government and develop further climate solutions. In addition, Canada’s federal government offers 500 Community Engagement Grants of $10,000 each to qualifying communities across Canada.

Non-profit societies are invited to organize teams of Climate Action Coordinators, each of whom help 1,000 people make the transition to 100% renewable energy and climate and ecologically friendly lifestyles over ten years. In partnership with the Climate Action Coordinators, festive and informative Climate Solutions Roadshows demonstrate local innovations and solutions.

Week 6  Transition of Frontline Oil & Gas Workers

Following up on Week 2’s Just Transition Act and the Transition Income Guarantee, a $5 billion Green Prairies Futures Fund ($500 million per year for ten years) assists front line workers and businesses with the transition to a successful post-carbon economy.  Prairie Solutions Citizens Assemblies collaborate with government’s efforts in making a smooth transition.

Week 7  Climate Education and Research

Funding for climate related research is a priority, as well as a range of programs that assure all students at all levels of education in Canada are informed about the climate crisis and its solutions and adaptations. The Canada Youth Service Corps is converted to the Canada Youth Green Team and expanded  to offer 5,000 jobs paying $30,000 a year by 2022, with a focus on climate, environment, and ecological restoration. Funding is available for the greening of all levels of the education system’s infrastructure. The Electric School Bus Purchasing Pool providing $540 million a year in interest-free loans for the purchase of electrified transportation by school districts is an example.

Week 8  Community Cohesion

Every community in Canada needs the capacity and skills to embrace the transition to green economy. The Cohesive Communities Fund supports social enterprise capacity building, comprehensive transition planning, urban greening, and ecologically sustainable community economic development in qualifying communities. The Fund emphasizes the inclusion of First Nations and low income applicants.

Renewable Energy Capacity Building Grants of $50,000 each to 500 communities ensure that First Nations and neighbourhoods and communities across Canada are able to form cooperatives and social enterprises to engage in cooperative residential home energy retrofits, the development of renewable energy systems to end the use of diesel and natural gas for electricity, heat and transportation, and similar projects.

Week 9  Green Buildings

Buildings produce 12% of Canada’s GHGs. The challenge is two-fold: new builds, and retrofitting Canada’s 15 million homes and 480,000 industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

New Buildings

Upgrade Canada’s building code to require every new building in Canada to be built to the Passive House Standard or an equivalent net-zero energy standards ready by 2025.

Continue Net Zero Homes Grants that offer up to $5,000 for newly built homes that are certified net zero-emissions.

Fund 50,000 Sustainable Buildings Skills Training Placements a year enabling architects, engineers, project managers, builders and trades workers to acquire Passive House and building retrofit skills. Establish a $5 million Sustainable Buildings Inspectors Training Fund.

Building Retrofits

Require every building that is listed for sale to carry an Energy Benchmarking Label indicating its level of carbon efficiency. Apply an annually increasing Climate Danger Levy to structures that continue to use oil and natural gas heaters and furnaces after 2030. Assist homeowners and landlords by offering interest-free Home Energy Retrofit Loans averaging $10,000 per unit for an average 1.5 million homes a year. This is a fourfold increase compared to the current target of 1.5 million homes over four years. Interest-free loans are reduced from $40,000 to $10,000 in order to stay within the current budget.

To enable zero-down payment financing, require every utility to offer 100% Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) financing. Require Indigenous Services Canada to allow PAYS financing associated with retrofits done by First Nations social enterprises.

In conjunction with the provinces, Canada’s largest cities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities  establish a legal framework for 100% Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, enabling long-term building retrofit loans to be repaid by a charge on the property tax concurrent with the property, rather than the owner.

Week 10  Urban Walkability, Cycling and Public Transit

Transportation produces 174 Mt of CO2e emissions a year, accounting for 24% of Canada’s emissions. The goal is to reduce this to zero by 2040.

Develop a national transportation strategy promoting walking and cycling, including such measures as offering $1 billion to municipalities in 50:50 funding for Bikeway Infrastructure Grants, making the purchase of bicycles, cycling accessories and bus passes GST-free and tax deductible and allocating $1.6 billion a year to pay for Free Bus Passes for people under 25.

Develop a National Transit Strategy, targeting transit-oriented development with a transit modal share of 15% of all urban trips by 2030, 30% by 2040 and allocating $2 billion a year to provide 50:50 funding for Transit Infrastructure Investments on the condition that all new buses are electric and local plans are in place for 100% electric buses by 2030.

Week 11  Electric Vehicles

Advance the current target for the sales of light-duty, zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) of 10% by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 to 100% by 2030. All medium-duty trucks will be electric by 2035. All land vehicles and industrial equipment of every kind will be zero carbon emission (electric, hydrogen or synthetic fuel) by 2040.

Continue to offer the current federal iZEV Incentive, which provides $5,000 off the price of a new ZEV costing less than $45,000, and $2,500 to lease a ZEV for a minimum 48 months.

Continue a 10% rebate on used ZEVs up to a maximum of $2,000.

Starting in 2030 impose an annually increasing Climate Danger Levy on the price of every new gasoline or diesel vehicle, in addition to the carbon tax. Continue to allow businesses to fully deduct the capital cost of zero-emission vehicles.

Maximize the manufacturing of EVs in Canada, using Canadian steel. Eliminate all federal taxes on the operation of carshare groups and make carshare membership fees a tax-deductible expense.

Week 12, Zero Emissions Railways, Freight and Heavy Equipment

Canada has 46,000 kilometres of railways, almost all of which operate on diesel. In 2017, GHGs from the rail sector were 6.6 Mt CO2e, representing 0.9% of Canada’s emissions.

A Railways Zero Emissions Study of Canada’s most-used stretches of railway will consider and cost electrification and the use of hydrogen, zero lifecycle emissions biofuel or synthetic diesel as more cost-effective alternatives to diesel. A Passenger Rail Study will recommend changes to management practices to make passenger rail use faster and eliminate delays due to commercial traffic. Further cost/effectiveness studies will examine the viability of high speed rail.

Heavy-duty trucks produce 60 Mt of CO2e a year, representing 37% of Canada’s transportation GHG emissions and 8.4% of total emissions. Industrial projects depend on diesel-burning equipment. Studies on the adoption of electrified trucks and industrial equipment will be funded. Similar efforts will be initiated in relation to global shipping.

Week 13 Sustainable Aviation

Aviation represents 3% of Canada’s emissions. Fuel consumption and GHG emissions rose by 65.5% between 2005 and 2017, averaging 4.3% per year, in spite of a 17.6% increase in aircraft fuel efficiency. Progress towards the targets in Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation is insufficient to keep up with the increased number of passengers and flights.

Actions include banning the use of air miles and frequent flyer reward schemes and introducing a Frequent Flyer Levy. Funds raised from the levy will enable a $100 million a year Zero Emissions Aviation Fund. This fund offers $50 million in grants and prizes and $50 million in interest-free loans to help airline companies research electric, hydrogen, synthetic fuels, zero-emissions-lifecycle biofuels or other solutions.

Week 14  Renewable Electricity

In 2017, the generation of electricity from fossil fuels produced 10.3% of Canada’s emissions. Renewable energy has become the cheapest option for new power generation. Onshore wind and solar PV power are now less expensive than any fossil-fuel option, without financial assistance.

In 2018 Canada consumed 640 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. The Jacobson Stanford report estimated that by 2050 Canada will need 1,327 TWh of electricity, including planned storage by various means for grid stability. Existing data suggests that it is possible to phase out coal-fired electrical utilities in Canada by 2027, three years earlier than our current target, to phase out gas-fired electrical utilities by 2030 and to dependency on diesel as the primary source of heat and power in off-grid situations to end by 2030 Some of these sources may remain available for back-up grid stability and for use in emergencies.

Investments in renewable energy are encouraged by a tax rate cut of 50% for companies and social enterprises that develop, manufacture and install zero-emissions technology.

Legislation enables the community and cooperative ownership of renewable energy projects, guaranteeing the public’s right to participate in Canada’s energy transition and making it illegal for a power utility to discriminate against local power producers and social enterprises or to levy solar fees to discourage uptake.

To encourage local investment, expand the Clean Power Fund into a 5% interest $5 billion per year fund and establish a Community Renewable Energy Development Fund to ensure that smaller entities, including First Nations, farmers, cooperatives and social enterprises, are able to compete with private corporations and keep locally generated income within local communities.

New nuclear plants and extending the life of existing, obsolete facilities are not part of the picture because of the heavy opportunity cost resulting from the long period of time needed to plan, win approval and build or retrofit a nuclear plant, when the same investment could generate much more wind and solar power without undue delays. The non-sustainability of uranium mining, the health hazards at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the global security risk of nuclear weapons proliferation are also factors.

Week 15 First Nations and Rural Opportunities

In the Yukon, $200 million is spent each year to import diesel to provide power and heat for the territory’s 40,000 people, averaging $5,000 per person, $25,000 for a family of five. There are many renewable alternatives, including geothermal and biomass-based district heat, and wind and solar energy for power. In Finland, a country with a similar northern climate, 25% of their total energy comes from biomass.

To end the use of diesel for power and heat and to speed the transition to renewable energy in off-grid northern, remote and Indigenous communities, remove all barriers to the approval of community-based and social enterprise contracts and investments. This will strengthen the work being done in Natural Resources Canada’s Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative.

Week 16  An Efficient Renewable Energy Grid

Provide $100 million in Renewable Grid Research Grants over 10 years to develop an improved systems of utility power storage and grid reliability, expanding the work being done in the joint Canada-UK Power Forward Challenge.

Work with the provinces to enable utilities that adopt time-of-use pricing, as practiced by Hydro One and other utilities, to receive a one-time 10% corporate tax reduction. Offer power utilities that adopt tiered pricing, as practiced by BC Hydro and other utilities, an additional one-time 10% corporate tax reduction.

Reduce Canada’s energy demand from lighting, appliances and equipment, and make Energy Star certification mandatory for all new home appliances starting in 2022. Following Japan’s example, introduce an annual Efficient Appliances Award for the most efficient (‘Top Runner’) product for each type of appliance, from light bulbs to computer servers and vehicles.

Week 17  Fossil-Fuel Wind-Down

In 2017, Canada’s oil and gas sector accounted for 27% of the country’s emission. Between 2020 and 2024, oil and gas corporations plan to invest US$1.4 trillion in new extraction projects, 85% of which are in the US or Canada, 50% of which Mark Carney predicts will result in stranded financial assets. These future investments would release 148 gigatons of carbon COby 2050, the equivalent of 1,200 new coal-fired power plants.

Phase-out the use of coal by 2027, natural gas by 2035 and oil by 2040 except for emergency purposes. Discontinue efforts to win carbon offset credits for the export of LNG. Write off the  investment in the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Stop approvals of new fossil fuel projects including expansion of existing projects and licences for exploratory drilling for oil or gas. End all fossil fuel subsidies by 2021.

Protect front-line fossil fuel workers whose jobs are phased out with a two-year Transition Income Guarantee averaging $50,000 a year, job placement assistance, free college education, and business or cooperative start-up support.

As of 2010 require that all conventional and social media advertising for fossil fuels and for fossil-fueled electricity, vehicles and heat carry a Climate Danger Warning, including commercials for conventional cars. Starting in 2025 ban all such advertising.

Tighten existing methane regulations for the upstream oil and gas sector and add a Fugitive Methane Emissions Tax. The methane tax will also apply to landfills.

Week 18  Green Business

Put in place a Carbon Accountability Act requiring businesses with more than $25 million in annual sales to publish their annual carbon emissions, describe efforts to reduce their emissions, and disclose their climate risk, both physically and financially.

Offer Climate Smart Business Grants of between $500 and $2,500 (average $1,500) to Canada’s 1.18 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to assist them in reducing their emissions to zero. Establish a $4 billion per year Climate Smart Investment Fund, offering long-term 5% interest loans to SMEs.

Fund 20 Climate Smart Training Workshops that train Climate Smart Business Advisors. Each Advisor assists a cluster SME.

Work with our trading partners to adjust each of Canada’s 99 existing or planned trade and investment agreements and to impose Border Carbon Tax Adjustment Tariffs on imports from countries that pay no or low carbon taxes.

Week 19  The Circular Economy

In a fully circular economy there is no such thing as waste. At the end of its useful life, everything must either be repairable or recyclable for the re-use of its mineral and organic components.

To achieve this objective, build on the European Union’s circular materials re-use work to develop a Circular Economy Scorecard to be applied to every product, starting voluntarily and required by law by 2025. Evolve a Circular Economy Accountability Act that requires all businesses with more than $25 million in annual sales (a) to measure their wastes and unwanted surpluses, (b) to report plans for re-use or recycling, and (c) to analyze their supply chains and report on measures being taken by domestic supply chain contributors to increase the Circular Economy Score for each product. Develop a set of streamlined Circular Economy Reporting Tools.

Accelerate the transition to a circular economy by offering Canadian manufacturers $1 billion over 10 years in interest-free Circular Economy Loans to increase their products’ circularity. Enact the planned Ban on Harmful Single-Use Plastics by 2021.

Advance a Right to Repair Act that requires products to be designed in ways that enable users and repair specialists to make easy repairs that keep items in use and out of landfills, also reducing the cost to households.

Propose a Recycling Sales Tax on every product, graded according to its Circular Economy Score. Products that are easy to repair, re-use and recycle would pay a lower tax than those that are harder or impossible. Revenues are used to pay for product recycling and composting. Delays in implementation are permitted in northern and remote communities to allow time to put repair and recycling facilities in place.

Offer $10,000 grants to enable 50 organizations and libraries to pioneer the best ways to establish Repair Cafés and Libraries of Things, enabling people to share and repair basic domestic items instead of purchasing and owning them.

Week 20  Green Industry

In 2017 heavy industry accounted for 10% of Canada’s emissions, including non-fossil-fuel mining, smelting and refining, and the production and processing of industrial goods such as fertilizer, paper and cement.

Reduce the allowed emissions-intensity for heavy industrial polluters. Working with the provinces, introduce the government’s planned domestic carbon-trading system for industrial operations that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of CO2e a year, enabling them to purchase credits for emissions above the regulated level from another heavy emitter, or to pay the carbon tax on their excess emissions.

Expand Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund by investing an additional $200 million a year in Canada’s Industrial Bio-Economy and in GHG-reducing solutions such as  electric battery development, direct air CO2capture and biomaterials.

Refrigerants, fire retardants, halocarbon products and synthetic gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3) generate just under 2% of Canada’s GHG emissions. To reduce these emission sources, update Canada’s halocarbon regulations and phase in a Halocarbon Tax, targeting zero emissions by 2040, using the revenue to assist companies to develop alternatives.

Week 21  Green Finance

Require all larger companies including banks, pension funds and insurance companies to apply climate stress tests to their assets and portfolios, and to disclose their physical and financial climate and ecological risks in their annual reports.

Apply a climate stress test to every type of insurance policy, to guide adjustments to policies and  increased premiums accordingly, and to provide customers and clients with three years notice of climate-vulnerable coverages, which may be withdrawn or increased by more than 10% a year, such as coverage against predictable floods and forest fires, and flooding caused by foreseeable sea-level rise.

Phase out the tax-free status of charitable foundation investments in fossil fuels by 2022.

Require the Bank of Canada, the Canada Pension Plan and all other federal funds to cease buying assets from companies involved in carbon-intensive and fossil fuel-related industries, and to eliminate all carbon-intensive assets from their portfolios​ by 2022.

Request the Bank of Canada to issue credit guidance to all banks, credit unions and shadow banks in Canada’s banking system, barring them from extending credit for the expansion of carbon-intensive and fossil fuel-related ventures.

Week 22 Regenerative Forestry 

All countries in the world need to reduce their emissions to zero AND contribute to sequestrating the excess carbon already in the atmosphere, based on its available land area. Terms such as ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘net zero carbon’ confuse our thinking by wrongly implying that planting trees to capture carbon can offset the need to reduce emissions. Both curtailing emissions and sequestering carbon need to take place.

Canada has 8.75% of the world’s forested area (3.47 million square kilometres), all of which stores carbon. When a forest is clear cut it takes over 10 years before the newly growing forest absorbs more emissions than are released from the cut area. Clearcutting destroys carbon in the soil and trees, causes erosion and dramatic flooding, and destroys wildlife habitat.

Ecological forest management methods that use small canopy openings protect the soil, watersheds and habitats and increase forest carbon, while still supporting a forest industry.

To reduce Canada’s forest carbon emissions, starting in 2022, commence annual accounting of carbon emissions and storage in Canada’s forests, reporting these annually alongside other reported emissions. Transition to Ecological Forest Management Methods, maximizing the forests’ ability to sequestrate atmospheric carbon while also fulfilling other critical functions.

Provide $500 million in Ecological Forestry Training and Transition Grants. Cost: $500 million one-off and in keeping with earlier legislation entitled the Just Transition Act, skilled and professional forest workers will receive free training in ecological forest management. Offer $100 million in Bio-economy Development Grants to increase the number of jobs generated per 1,000 cubic metres of timber harvested, both in value-added products and in the production of ecologically sustainable forest bioproducts.

Establish a Forest Carbon Commission with a mandate to establish a methodology for measuring forest carbon, study different forest management methods including in countries such as Finland, and recommend ways for forest companies to make the transition to ecological methods of management. Provide $1 million in Tree-Planting Research Grants to establish, plan and cost the best ways to plant trees in Canada.

Week 23  Regenerative Farming

Agriculture in Canada accounts for 8.4% of emissions. The CO2 and methane emissions result from animal production, manure, and the loss of carbon from agricultural soils. Nitrogen oxide emissions result from manure and the use of chemical fertilizers. When fertilizer production is added, the proportion grows. Globally, agriculture produces 25% of all GHG emissions, and the livestock industry (meat and dairy) produces 15%, more than all the world’s transportation. Methane production from cows, pigs and sheep presents a further problem, since over 20 years, methane traps 84 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2.

Introduce a steadily increasing Tax on Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers and use the revenue to provide a Regenerative Farming Transition Subsidy to farmers and ranchers who are making the change to regenerative farming for a maximum of five years, based on yields. Rapidly phase out harmful chemical pesticides.

Numerous studies have shown that regenerative organic methods of farming and ranching can produce similar yields while storing carbon in the soil, producing no GHG emissions, and allowing nature to regenerate.

To  establish a full transition to organic regenerative methods of farming and holistic methods of ranch land management by 2040, establish a multi-stakeholder Canadian Farmland Transition Council and mandate it to research, cost, plan and implement such a transition. Establish a $5 million per year Regenerative Farming Research Fund to develop solutions to farmland transition problems as they arise and a $100 million per year Regenerative Farming Transition Fund to top up farm income that is insufficient to support farmers and ranchers during the transition.

Establish a multi-stakeholder Climate Friendly Food Council to recommend strategies and measures for consumers, retailers, farmers and governments to reduce emissions from meat and dairy production and consumption.

Week 24  Ecological Restoration

Overall, on land, in the air and in the sea up to a million species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

A part of the climate emergency is the critical state of the ocean. The ocean is absorbing 90% of the heat that is being trapped by our carbon emissions and 20% to 30% of our human-caused carbon dioxide, making the water more acidic and more hostile to shellfish, corals and other marine species. One in four species of sharks, rays and skates are threatened with extinction, due primarily to overfishing.

At the UN Biodiversity Conference in China in October 2020, re-affirm the goal to protect and restore 30% of Canada’s land ecosystems by 2030, 50% by 2050 compared to11.8% currently protected.

Reverse the decision allowing the Northeast Newfoundland Slope marine refuge to be opened for oil and gas exploration. Re-affirm the goal to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to protect and restore 30% of Canada’s marine waters by 2030, 50% by 2050.

Develop Science-Based Protection Targets for each of Canada’s ecosystem types, from deciduous to coniferous forests, prairie grasslands to Arctic tundra, freshwater to marine ecosystems. Expand the Species at Risk Act into a Species and Ecosystems at Risk Act to protect all endangered ecosystems across the country.

Support Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, such as Tribal Parks, with appropriate legislation, policies, and funding for land use planning, management and stewardship, and ecologically sustainable economic development in First Nations communities.

Expand the Ecological Gifts Program, which enables Canadians who own ecologically sensitive land to leave a legacy for future generations protected by a conservation covenant, offering significant tax benefits. Further develop ways to make it easier and cheaper for Community Land Trusts to issue and monitor conservation covenants.

Establish a $5 billion Endangered Habitat Acquisition Fund over 10 years to purchase and protect endangered ecosystems on private lands and to offer conservation financing for First Nations sustainable economic development linked to the implementation of Indigenous Protected Areas and old-growth forest protection.

Establish a $10 million per year Ecological Democracy Fund to enable local organizations to engage more volunteers to protect and restore local ecosystems.

Week 25 Climate Adaptation and Preparedness

Because of humanity’s failure to reduce and re-absorb our carbon pollution, and the continuing accumulation of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the climate crisis will continue to worsen and become costlier every year. As a consequence, as well as doing everything we can to reduce and recapture our emissions, we must prepare for rising air, water and ocean temperatures, more extreme storms, floods, forest fires, droughts, heat-waves, crop failures and diseases, melting glaciers and permafrost, biodiversity losses, invasive species and ocean acidification, continuing sea level rise, and appalling distress and loss for disaster-affected communities,.

Continue to support the Federal Adaptation Policy Framework and Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.

Complete all flood maps, including forecasts for sea level rise at the top end of the modeled ranges.

Week 26 Global Engagement

To support and encourage every nation to pull its weight, apply a climate and ecological emergency lens to all Canadian diplomacy with other countries and work with other nations to establish a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Pursue Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and continue to increase Canada’s international development assistance every year to 2030.

Increase Canada’s contribution to the UN Green Climate Fund to $4 billion a year and join the High Ambition Group of Nations committed to urgent action to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.

Bring Canada’s Nationally Determined Contribution of a 65% reduction in climate pollution by 2030 and 100% by 2040 to the table at the COP-26 conference in Glasgow, December 2020.

Brief Bio

Guy is the founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of ten books, including the award-winning  Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic and The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming. His most recent book is Journey to the Future – A Better World is Possible, an ecotopian novel set in Vancouver in the Year 2032. www.journeytothefuture.ca