Media Release: Climate-Concerned Citizens Urged to Participate in Budget Consultations #YourBudget

Climate-Concerned Citizens Urged to Participate in Budget Consultations

For Immediate Release: January 16, 2020
Media Contact: Cathy Orlando, cathy@citizensclimatelobby.org , 705-929-4043


Sudbury ON:
  Today it was announced by NOAA and NASA that the Earth’s warming trend continued in 2019, making it the second-hottest year in the 140-year climate record just behind 2016. The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015, with all 10 warmest years occurring since 2005.

The unprecedented Australian wildfires currently, as well as the 2019 fires in the Congo Rainforest and Amazon Rainforest, are also huge wake-up calls.

There should be no doubts that we are in a climate emergency.

Disappointingly, Canada is a climate laggard. The Climate Performance Index ranks Canada 55th out of 61 countries for overall performance and our national climate targets are not in line with the science. As well, with the current suite of enacted policies, we are unlikely to reach our woefully inadequate targets.

Here is something Canadians can do from home right now to help build political will for a liveable world: make recommendations for government budgets to address the emergency we are in.

It is the right of Ontarians to comment on government decisions affecting the environment under their Environmental Bill of Rights. It is also our right as Canadians to give input under Article 6 of the UNFCCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.

As Greta Thunberg and many #FridaysForFuture youth around the world have told us, “Change is coming, whether we like it or not.”

A shockwave went through the financial world on January 14, 2020. Larry Fink, the CEO Of BlackRock, the largest investment and finance management organization in the world, valued at about $7 trillion dollars, made a blockbuster announcement that climate change will be a defining factor in BlackRock’s long-term prospects.

Larry Fink proclaimed, “In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant reallocation of capital.”

The federal government says that climate change  will be a key element in the next budget. They are on a tight deadline for pre-budget consultations, and while there is no official closing date, submissions should be made as soon as possible. Please use the hashtag #YourBudget on social media. You can submit your ideas by email at budget2020@canada.ca or online at https://www.budget.gc.ca/2020/prebudget-prebudgetaire/index-en.html

The deadline to submit ideas for the Ontario budget is February 11, 2020.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/2020-budget-consultations.

Since 2010, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada has been advocating for Carbon Fee and Dividend: an incrementally rising price on carbon pollution where 100% of the fees collected are returned to citizens. This revenue-neutral carbon pricing system is similar to Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

The evidence is clear that we need carbon pricing to avert disaster but carbon pricing can’t do it alone. Citizens can test the efficacy of their favourite climate policies on two simulators:

Now the question remains, how do we pay for the transition?

“Nearly half of Canadians are within one paycheck of financial disaster. And that is why we have steadfastly said carbon pricing policies must not put a burden on the taxpayers,” says Cathy Orlando, National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada recommends closing the stock-option loophole, tightening tax havens laws, ending subsidies to fossil fuels and tax reform to help pay for the low-carbon transition.

Canada’s tax system has not had an overhaul in over 50 years. In August 2019, the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada released its Budget 2020 recommendations and called for a tax overhaul towards a low carbon economy.

There are also rising home insurance costs and risks which the consumer is bearing. In September 2019, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Insurance Bureau of Canada released striking data demonstrating the urgent need for action. The consumer must be protected from all the rising costs associated with the climate crisis. This is yet another reason to keep carbon pricing revenue neutral and for our governments to act now.

For more instructions and motivation, people are encouraged to view Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada’s recent discussion with Dr. Dianne Saxe, the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario: https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/budget-2020-discussions-with-dr-dianne-saxe/

 
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