MEDIA RELEASE: Youth Tells Adults to Clean up Their Mess at Queen’s Park Breakfast and Receives a Standing Ovation

MEDIA RELEASE: Youth Tells Adults to Clean up Their Mess at Queen’s Park Breakfast and Receives a Standing Ovation

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2019

Toronto ON: On Tuesday, March 26, 12-year-old Zoe Keary-Matzner spoke to 20 MPPs and over 40 guests at a Queen’s Park breakfast. Zoe stated “Climate change is threatening our future. The recent IPCC report stated that we only have 11 years left to act on climate change before we cannot stop it anymore. We will only be in our 20s when the 11 years are up. Our future is being destroyed at this very moment.” She went on to say, “You know how you tell kids we need to clean up our mess. You need to clean up your mess.” When Zoe left the podium, the room burst into a standing ovation.

Zoe was speaking at an event co-hosted the Member of Provincial Parliament for Nickel Belt, France Gélinas, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Other guest speakers included Aaron Freeman from GreenPac, Mark Cameron from Canadians for Clean Prosperity and Cathy Orlando from Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Their words were captured into graphic illustrations by Erica Bota from Think Link Graphics.

Aaron Freeman shared some of the highlights of the non-partisan work of GreenPac including how they are planning to have 100 town halls during election 2019 in October. Mark Cameron clearly outlined how Canada’s national carbon pricing policy is not “a pie in the sky” policy and should appeal to both conservatives and progressives. Cathy Orlando did a quick tour of carbon pricing around the world and shared how Canada is a global leader on carbon pricing.

There were 20 MPPs and a few staffers, including a researcher for the NDP at the breakfast. The MPPs were from all area codes in Ontario (519, 905, 416, 613 and 807) and all political stripes were represented.

Also in attendance were 31 Citizens’ Climate Lobbyists educating and relationship building with their provincial parliamentarians.

Ontario’s current plan for the climate is vague and is not in alignment with the IPCC 1.5 C report.

“Young people need adults to cooperate and listen to the experts. Their future is on the line,” said Cathy Orlando, National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “We are in a global emergency. We need World War II-like mobilization of resources and we can mobilize without putting an undue burden on the poor or middle class. Carbon fee and dividend is the policy all political stripes must consider to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It has something for both progressives and conservatives.”

Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s recommendation is that Ontario recognizes the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing a carbon fee and dividend program.  The previous night volunteers from across Ontario participated in workshops and discussions to get them ready for the breakfast lobbying event.

The MPPs were given a conference booklet and one-page leave behind detailing the urgency of the crisis and the mounds of evidence that carbon fee and dividend is the way forward. For example in the leave behind there were two statistics for the MPPs to consider:

  1. As of March 21, 2019, a Climate Emergency has been declared in 323 Canadian communities including Hamilton and Kingston (covering over 8 million people).
  2. In the USA, 3508 economists have endorsed the Carbon Dividends model of pricing carbon (which is similar to Canada’s federal backstop carbon pricing policy) including 27 Nobel Prize winners and economic advisors to both Republican and Democrat Presidents.

With the right policies, such as a clear market signal that carbon fee and dividend would provide, Ontario would be poised to capture part of the 26 trillion dollars in climate-smart growth by 2030 and help save the world $30 trillion dollars in climate damages by the end of the century.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cathy Orlando cathy@citizensclimate.org, 705-929-4043

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. With over 500 active chapters across the world, our volunteers work to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal