It’s never too late to reach our environmental goals

Climate change will cost the Canadian economy dearly. (Photo: 123RF)

guest blog. Is it too late to combat climate change? A tiny percentage of Quebecers, i.e. 29% according to scan liger for Canadian Press and 17% according to Climate Action Barometer 2021, I think so. Whatever the opinion of the pessimists, the scientific data proves that there is still time for action.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows: The global warming limit targeted by the Paris Agreement of 1.5 ohC could be reached as early as 2030. However, there is some hope for the future, as the embodiment of one of the two scenarios based on the largest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (C) – ie reaching carbon neutrality in 2050 or a few after years – 2 . warming exceeded can be avoided ohC by 2100. The scenario in which current policies seem to lead us, i.e. a decline in CO2 emissions only near the middle of the century, would result in an average temperature increase of 2.7 ohc in the year 2100.

Climate change will cost the Canadian economy dearly. A study conducted by international insurer and reinsurer Swiss Re last year revealed that the current scenario could lead to a 10% decline in the global economy’s GDP in the next 30 years. That drop would be about 7% in Canada, a drop larger than that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that cut GDP by 5.4%. “Inaction is not an option,” the company wrote when it released its report in April 2021.

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In my opinion, it is an understatement when we know that the year 2050 is fast approaching and that greenhouse gas emissions, in Canada alone, have increased by more than 21% in the past 30 years. This path – paved with pitfalls – towards a carbon-neutral society is the necessary transition we are talking about more and more. More than just a set of actions to combat climate change, socio-ecological transformation includes any fight against environmental disturbances. Because the loss of biodiversity on Earth is also costly, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in losses each year, according to the OECD report.

At the base of all the economic, technical, technological, regional and governance changes involved, the socio-environmental transition requires above all normative changes in the structures that govern our societies – read here: as in the capitalist system. These transformations, and the many challenges inherent in them, I will discuss monthly in this blog.

To use the words of Quebec’s net-zero emissions roadmap for the common front of the energy transition, we must stop the “reckless rush by relying on ‘miracle solutions’ that rely primarily on engineering and technologies. The responsibility to act is shared and the burden of transitions should not fall solely on individuals. For citizens. Companies, governments and societies have roles to play.The transition must be equitable, that is, it must take into account workers who will lose their jobs during transitions towards carbon neutrality.It must also be driven by social justice so that changes do not exacerbate social inequalities that are already borne by the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. .

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Of course, these changes will cause significant disruption to the Canadian economy and markets, as noted by the Bank of Canada in Report on the Assessment of the Transformation Risks of Canadian Finance. Analysis of different transition scenarios, however, shows that waiting before acting is not the right course, because a deferred intervention implemented from 2030 onward on a global scale “would require a more abrupt transition and would have stronger macroeconomic impacts” for Canadians. Economie.

We have to go now. Not too late.

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