Canada officially declares climate emergency in parliamentary vote

Jun 18 2019, 6:38 pm

The Canadian government has declared a national climate emergency after passing a motion on the subject by a vote of 186-63, this week.

Put forward by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the motion calls climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity.”

See also

The motion also stated that “Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change today, from flooding, wildfires, heat waves, and other extreme weather events which are projected to intensify in the future.”

Climate change, it added, “impacts communities across Canada, with coastal, northern, and Indigenous communities particularly vulnerable to its effects.”

At the centre of the motion was a call to vote on supporting “clean growth and meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all parts of the economy are necessary to ensure a safer, healthier, cleaner, and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren; and, therefore, that the House declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency.”

Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna (Eric Zimmer / Daily Hive)

Further to this, it added, declaring a climate emergency requires that in response, “Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement’s objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

The motion passed with the support of the Liberals, NDP, Greens Party, and Bloc Quebecois, with the Conservative Party voting against – a fact not lost on McKenna.

“Yesterday, the Conservatives voted against declaring a climate emergency,” she tweeted. “Canadians expect leaders to take climate change seriously — but it’s clearer than ever before that the Conservatives just aren’t ready to join Canadians in this fight.”

In response, Andrew Scheer, Conservative Party Leader, tweeted that “Canada’s own Environment Commissioner knows Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax is a phoney emissions reduction plan.”

McKenna said “the science shows that Canada is warming at twice the global average and that we need to meet our international obligations.”