Group of 78 2018 Annual Policy Conference
Cartier Place Suites Hotel, Ottawa,
September 28 & 29, 2018
Key Message 1: It is Essential to Change Mindsets to Embrace the Post-Carbon Economy
To reduce greenhouse gas pollution at the rate necessary will require the widespread adoption of a new mindset—one that recognizes that human beings are part of the interconnected web of life which is now endangered by human activity. Canadians’ willingness to undertake the measures necessary to meet the climate emergency will depend on their knowledge and understanding of the facts of climate change and their willingness to engage in a rapid social mobilization similar to that adopted during wartime. We recognize that to achieve this, valuable contributions will be required from all levels of government and all sectors of society including the formal education system, the media, non-profit civil society, the private sector and national programs such as the Creative Canada policy framework.
Key Message 2: Our World Faces an Urgent Need for More Aggressive Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution
If the world is going to reduce the pace of global warming to the relatively safe level established by governments in Paris in 2015, we must limit greenhouse gas emissions to a tight global carbon budget. Since carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels, can stay in the atmosphere for as long as 1,000 years, past emissions from the beginning of the industrial revolution are contributing to the global warming we are seeing today. This accumulated carbon pollution limits the new emissions that we can safely add to the atmosphere. This can be seen as giving us a carbon budget.
Key Message 3: It is imperative to Build Resilience at Home and Abroad to Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerabilities
Climate change is already wreaking devastation in every area of the world and we can expect further damaging impacts because of past emissions. But the number of fatalities and extent of damage in the poorest developing countries—the countries least responsible for climate change—are far higher. There is accordingly a moral obligation by the countries that have done the most to precipitate climate change, including Canada, to help the poorest developing countries build their resilience against extreme events such as droughts, floods and massive storms. Indeed, all countries, rich and poor, have not planned sufficiently for adaptation to climate change. The longer we wait, the greater will be the risks and the costs.