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It’s Earth Day: 100 business leaders, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists & environmental leaders from across Canada teamed up to send an urgent message to Canadians: Demand a thought out climate action plan from your politicians!

Monday, April 22nd 2019 10:56:25am

Over 100 past recipients of Canada’s Clean50 Awards shared a message today in an open letter to all Canadians:

- Climate change is real, and needs to be treated as the emergency it is, at every level of government

- On a per-capita basis, Canadians are amongst the very worst GHG polluters in the world and worst in the G7.  We cannot expect others to act when we do not.

- Canadians need to address our carbon pollution on an urgent basis

- It’s not all cost and negatives: There’s a $30 Trillion market opportunity in fighting climate change in which we need to share - new technologies, new companies and lots of jobs.

- Charging for creating carbon pollution is the fastest and most effective way to cut GHG emissions and drive change

- Most importantly, the open letter asks all Canadians to demand action from their politicians, to treat the climate as the single most important issue in every election, and to only support politicians who have a well-articulated plan to take climate action on an urgent basis.

The letter appears on the Clean50.com website, and in the Report on Business of the Globe and Mail. Full text and signatories are attached.

About the Clean50 Awards:

Each fall,  Canada’s Clean50 Awards honour 50 individual leaders, 10 Emerging Leaders and 20 sustainability projects selected from over 500 nominations from across Canada, and drawn from every segment of Canadian life, to recognize the individuals and projects that have done the most to advance sustainable development in Canada over the prior two years.  

For more information Gavin Pitchford, CEO Delta Management Group / Executive Director, Clean50 - 416-925-2005 x 2300 / gpitchford@deltamanagement.com



The full text of the letter follows:

AN OPEN LETTER to OUR FELLOW CANADIANS

We, past and present Canada’s Clean50 Award winners, represent a wide cross section of Canadians from business, science, government and academia. We are very concerned that some Canadians and politicians alike have failed to recognize both the tremendous economic opportunity in decisively addressing the increasingly urgent climate crisis, and the looming threat to our shared future, should we continue to ignore it. We are asking all Canadians to make climate their very top priority in upcoming elections.

Taking immediate action to limit climate change, and mitigate its impacts on Canada, needs to be considered an emergency at every level of government. A recent study shows that Canada’s climate is warming twice as fast as expected. The best time to act is now. We simply cannot afford to postpone a response any longer.

Some individuals will try to claim that Canada is not the problem - that the problem is China or India or the USA. Unfortunately, that is simply not true.

Countries don’t cause carbon pollution: People do! Canadians may be surprised to learn that on a per-person basis, we Canadians are the worst offenders in the G7*. Canadians, on average, produce 2.5 times more carbon pollution per person than do the Chinese, 9 times more than do Indians, and 5% more than Americans*. We are two to three times worse than the Japanese, the English, the French, and the Germans*. We simply cannot reasonably expect other countries to take meaningful action to reduce their country’s emissions, when our emissions are actually rising.

Others will claim that present warming trends are part of a “natural cycle”. Science clearly tells us that is not true, that in fact temperatures should actually have been decreasing each century over the past 6,000 years*. Instead, temperatures have risen steadily, and the 5 hottest years ever recorded have been the last 5 years*. Climate change is real - and by both burning too many carbon based fuels - and cutting down the trees needed to absorb that carbon, humans are responsible*.

Some politicians claim that “Carbon Taxes Kill Jobs” or that they don’t work. Neither claim is true. Leading economists around the world agree: Charging polluters is the very best way to cut emissions. Overwhelming evidence shows that taxing GHGs leads to reductions in GHGs and spurs investment in infrastructure, new technologies and building renovations by companies and individuals. Growth that creates companies, and more jobs - not fewer - while improving the environment.*

Leading the fight against carbon pollution offers Canadians the chance to share in a massive $30 trillion market opportunity by 2030*. That’s 18 times Canada’s entire present GDP*. As current leaders in the clean tech industry, Canada is well positioned to continue growing with this market. Over 280,000 Canadian workers are already employed in “green economy” jobs*, and Canada ranked third on a recent list, with 12 of the top 100 clean tech companies in the world*. Charging pollution taxes will only increase the number of Canadian companies creating clean tech solutions and jobs. And while we know many of our industries are declining, jobs in the “green economy” continue to grow, and at $94,000, pay 48% better than the average Canadian job.

When deciding who will earn your votes, now and in years to come, we urge you to vote only for candidates who have a credible plan to cut carbon emissions.

We ask you to demand that our leaders seize this opportunity to ensure we both slow down climate change, and build the most prosperous, lowest carbon future we can give to ourselves and our children: An economy that will offer Canadians a healthy environment, and growth and prosperity for years to come.

Signed:
Where shown, both the Clean50 honouree and their organizations support this message:


Guy Adam Alliance Magnesium
Wayne Addison Kiko Water Systems
Kerry Adler CEO, SkyPower Global
Meredith Adler Student Energy
Kazi Ahmed CEO, Betterfrost Technologies
Celine Bak Analytica Advisors
Kody Baker CEO, VeloMetro Mobility
Helle Bank Jorgensen Competent Boards
Lisa Bate Chair, WorldGBC
Mike Battistel President, Cascadia Windows
Eric Bauce Université Laval
Eric Beckwitt Freightera
Mikele Brack UPPlift
Kevin Brady Sustainable Enterprise Consulting
Bryan Buggey Vancouver Economic Commission
Stephen Cheeseman Chinook Power
Eric Chisholm Purpose Building
John Coyne Vice President, Unilever
Ron Dembo CEO, Zerofootprint Software
Frank Dottori CEO, WRC Timber
Frances Edmonds HP Canada
Stewart Elgie Smart Prosperity Institute
Ted Ferguson President, The Delphi Group
Aaron Freeman Pivot Strategic Consulting
Miranda Fuller Oxford Community Energy Coop
Mike Gerbis CEO, GLOBE Series
John Grace UBC
Tim Gray Environmental Defence
Jim Harris Strategic Advantage
Brett Henkel Inventys
Charles Hopkins UNESCO Chair York University
Celesa Horvath Ventus Development Services
Mohamed Khalil CEO, Pyrocycle
Dr. Patrick Kiely CEO, Island Water Technologies
Joanna Kyriazis Clean Energy Canada
Trevor Langdon President, Green Standards
Dustyn Lanz Responsible Investment Assoc.
Jean Luc Lavergne CEO, Lavergne Groupe
Steve S.J. Lee 3% Project
Peter Love Love Energy Consultants
Damon Matthews Concordia University
Paul Mertes CEO, CircuitMeter
Alex Mifflin SK FILMS
Tyler Mifflin SK Films
Rob Niven CEO, CarbonCure
Sandra Odendahl CMC Research
Nicholas Parker Parker Venture Management
Emily Partington Quinn & Partners
Simon Pickup CEO, Hydra Energy
Gavin Pitchford CEO, Delta Management
Mario Plourde CEO Cascades
Catherine Potvin McGill University
Tony Pringle Quinn & Partners
Joan Prowse CineFocus Canada
Juergen Puetter Renewable Hydrogen Canada
Grace Quan CEO, Hydrogen In Motion
Francisca Quinn Quinn & Partners
Tom Rand ArcTern Ventures
Fidel Reijerse CEO, RESCo Energy
André Rochette CEO, Ecosystem
Dianne Saxe Saxe Facts
Craig Scott Ecology North
Elizabeth Sheehan Climate Smart
Merran Smith Clean Energy Canada
Shirley Speakman Cycle Capital
Christie Stephenson Dhillon Centre UBC
Coro Strandberg President, Strandberg Consulting
Katie Sullivan Managing Director, IETA
Bruce Taylor CEO, Enviro-Stewards
George Tsintzouras CEO, Alert Labs
Wal van Lierop Chrysalix VC
David Van Seters Sustainability Ventures
Doug Webber Purpose Building
Jonathan Webster CEO, EnvAerospace
Lloyd A. Bryant
Jim Burpee
Chris M Campbell PhD
Richard Corley
Dana Decent
Brian Denney
Audrey Dépault
Chantale Despres
Ron Dizy
Tom Ewart
Diane Kilcoyne
Karen Lockridge
Jennifer McLaughlin
Antony Marcil
Darryl Neate
Chad Park
Kevin Quinlan
Dan Rames
Shoshanna Saxe
Kekinusuqs Judith Sayers
Ron Seftel
Vicky Sharpe
Serguei Tchertok
Keyvan Cohanim

*every claim made in this letter is backed up by fact. Full explanation of the details are available at the on-line version of this statement, which
can be found at www.clean50.com/2019openletter