I had the honour of responding on behalf of the BC Green Caucus to the Statement from Minister George Heyman on Earth Day.
Today on Earth Day national governments are meeting to announce new climate targets. They acknowledge that a certain amount of global warming is already locked in. This is already having devastating effects, especially for less wealthy nations experiencing increased events like flooding, droughts and storms. Here in Canada, we’re warming at twice the natural average. But we have already had climate targets for decades.
Canada remains the only G7 nation that has increased emissions since signing the Paris climate agreement, largely because of our continued expansion of the fossil fuel sector. Here in B.C., our emissions are growing as well. This is simply incompatible with halting global warming and the devastating impacts that go along with it. We need to seize the moment to build a clean economy and embrace a just transition that takes care of every community.
Today we join people around the world in recognizing this amazing planet we call home, which gives us everything we need. As I reflect on the importance of this day to focus our attention on the global effort, I return back closer to home to the W̱SÁNEĆ teachings about how we relate to each other, how we relate to our planet and to all other species that live here, big and small.
Last week I shared a core W̱SÁNEĆ teaching describing the responsibility that we have to look after each other. I have in the past and will continue to in the future demand that we do better. We cannot take refuge in rhetoric. What’s missing here is action.
As my ancestors well knew, everything here on earth is interconnected, creating a beautifully diverse web of life. It’s that biodiversity that this government promised with their words to protect in legislation, now silenced. So what will future generations say about their ancestors?
As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s remember that the people elected to sit in this chamber — the policy-makers, the decision-makers, the lawmakers who make the decisions — will shape our future. We must, with urgency, make better decisions that preserve our natural ecosystems.
HÍSW̱ḴE SIÁM. Thank you.