Sustainable climate action

Key Message

Canada must take immediate action to stop and reverse climate change to make a greener, more sustainable future.

What is the state of our environment and the severity of climate change?

Global efforts so far have failed to sufficiently and effectively address the climate emergency.

Despite self-imposed pledges by almost 200 countries in the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the world is still not meeting its climate goals, which even if met, would not be sufficient to prevent severe global warming in the decades ahead.[i] 

References

[i] Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, 2018, “The World isn’t Meeting Its Climate Goals”, The New York Times, December 7, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/07/climate/world-emissions-paris-goals-not-on-track.html.

[ii] Government of Canada, Budget 2019, Budget Plan. https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html.

[iii] Anna Desmarais, 2019, “Ottawa committee will debate climate change emergency on April 16”, CTV News, April 4, 2019. https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-committee-will-debate-climate-change-emergency-on-april-16-1.4365762.

Here are some important facts about this issue:

1

Independent scientists

concluded that there is a 95% probability that climate change is caused by human activity.

2015
The 2019 Canadian Federal Budget

made modest steps to address the issue of climate change.[ii]

1

Cities and local governments worldwide

have declared a climate emergency including several Canadian cities.[iii]

The education policy gap

  • A Canada-wide analysis of climate change education policies based on ministry of Education policy documents and climate action plans revealed that K-12 curriculum reform to address climate change was mentioned by 8 of the 13 provinces and territories. This was the theme mentioned most often among the seven prevalent education themes identified.
  • The report states that while subnational climate policy calls for education to contribute substantially to addressing climate change, education policy is not aligned towards this call.

Three takeaways that emerged from the analysis:

  • Shallow engagement with climate change within education policies.
  • The predominance of energy efficiency upgrades for schools as a foremost education sector objective.
  • Policy gaps that show a lack of attention to many areas of climate education.

What needs to happen in education

  • There should be an increase in education for sustainability, which includes any teaching approach designed to promote understanding of issues of the environment.
  • Teachers should incorporate the perspective of sustainability in the teaching/learning process. Where appropriate, Education for Sustainability should be incorporated within pre-service and in-service programs.
  • Curriculum and related activities should incorporate, where appropriate, issues related to concern for the environment, including the preservation and conservation of the environment and its resources and the impact of human development on it.

What to ask your political party?

  • How does your party plan to increase climate change education for all Canadians?
  • How is your party going to address the adverse effects of climate change?
  • What can the federal government do to support curriculum dedicated to climate change?
Menu