Climate Health Emergency Requires Action Today

The following is the Media Release issued on October 17, 2018 regarding the fact that several organizations were denied the opportunity to address the Standing Committee conducting hearings on Bill 4, conceived to repeal Ontario's Climate Action Plan that was in place until the recent provincial election:

Climate Health Emergency Requires Action Today

Toronto – October 17, 2018:  CAPE is one of several organizations that was denied the opportunity to speak to the Standing Committee conducting hearings on Bill 4 which aims to repeal Ontario’s current Climate Action Plan.  It is a sad statement that public consultation on this Bill is so limited given the catastrophic outcomes that can be associated with climate change.

Climate change is a health emergency.  The new report from the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it clear that climate change is happening faster that we thought and that the impacts will be deeper and more severe than was expected.  The new IPCC report makes a compelling case for keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees C, rather than the 2 degrees C target that was agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.  It also concludes that we could reach that temperature as early as 2030.

“By taking immediate and sustained actions, we can reduce our exposure to heat waves, extreme weather, and infectious diseases at home, and prevent malnutrition and malaria in millions of people around the world” said Dr. Edward Xie, an Emergency Physician and lecturer at the University of Toronto.  “In Canada, we would be reducing evacuations and pollution from wildfires, and deaths from heat waves, floods, and tornados.  In every way, we’d be extending a more liveable world to our children.”

“In Ontario, where the greatest sources of climate emissions are the transportation sector (33%), buildings (22%), and industry (18%), we need policies and programs that cut emissions deeply and quickly from these sources” said CAPE Executive Director, Kim Perrotta.  “Ontario’s cap-and-trade program was lined up to cut climate emissions from Ontario’s industrial sector in a cost-effective way, while collecting $2.8 billion in funds that were being used to fund public transit, the electrification of the transportation sector, cycling infrastructure, and energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for farms, hospitals, schools, businesses and residences.”

“Many of the solutions needed to address climate change will produce immediate health benefits for Canadians while also reducing climate emissions” noted Kim Perrotta. “Climate change is on course to make the world uninhabitable for our children.  There is no time to play politics with this issue.”

Contact:            Kim Perrotta 

Kim Perrotta MHSc, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)

Office: 416-306-2273 ext 2