The recently completed meetings between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial and territorial leaders led to the agreement on a game plan and national strategy towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by Canada. A consensus was reached by all leaders in Vancouver this past weekend on the concept of putting a price on carbon. What that price will be and how it will be implemented is still up for negotiation, but Canada is moving in the direction of a cleaner economy.
This is the start of the progress that needs to be made to save our country and indeed our planet from the catastrophic events that will happen should we fail to acknowledge and defeat this man-made challenge. After all, Canadians and citizens of other countries are all in this together. Not just those living now, but those who are born tomorrow, next year and in the coming decades. As Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief Perry Belgarde said, “We have to start making decisions that will affect seven generations down the road.”
Indeed, this is a human-caused problem that necessitates a global response and solution. In China air pollution, mostly caused by the burning of coal, kills an estimated four thousand people DAILY according to Bloomberg Business. In Beijing in 2015 it was estimated that breathing in the air was the same as every man, woman, and child smoking 1.5 cigarettes EACH HOUR. In India in 2013 outdoor air pollution was the 5th largest killer in India, a country where about 30 million people suffer from asthma.
These statistics should cause great concern, but they should also inspire a sense of responsibility.
Here is a great opportunity for the world and Canada to show innovative technologies to rectify this problem. Canada, specifically, has an opportunity to take the lead in the world and develop green technology that would not only benefit Canada but also other countries around the world, such as India and China. If Canada shows that innovative strength, and leads in clean technology it will be an economic and strategic leader in the 21st century and perhaps after.
Every generation or two encounters a challenge. How we respond to the challenge of global warming, pollution, and decaying environmental situations, will define us. We are at a crossroads with this planet on which we live. We can either choose to ignore the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist or we can roll up our sleeves, and figure out how to tackle climate change so that we not only stop it but enable our economies to grow and stabilize.
How will we react to