FROM WORDS TO ACTION
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The science is clear. We have entered an era of disruptions to our climate and there is an urgency to act. The United Nations Secretary-General declared that “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change…” and called on the civil society of all countries. We are here to answer that call.
The urgency of the situation requires unprecedented mobilization and strong collective action, to protect the world we live in, the water, the air, the soils that feed us, ourselves and our children.
The science also tells us that it is absolutely possible—technologically, humanly and economically—to limit global warming. Political will is a necessary element of the solution.
So, let’s go from words to action.
All together, we citizens across Quebec—from cities and towns, business and communities, beyond our political differences and in unity with Indigenous peoples—hereby express our firm desire to take the necessary actions to protect the world we live in and to move towards a low-carbon future!
The Quebec of tomorrow is undergoing an ecological transition of our economy, particularly through a just energy transition that will make better use of our expertise, common resources and renewable energies.
Deep, smart lifestyle changes will usher in a better quality of life and maintain the creation of jobs. With the physical and human resources at its disposal, and its innate sense of cooperation and innovative spirit, from permaculture to green building to artificial intelligence, Quebec can and should become a leader and inspiration for the world.
We have a responsibility, to both the land and those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We have a duty to fight to reduce the impacts on people, animals and ecosystems.
We therefore propose the following pact—a pact that is not meant to be perfect, but rather a solemn commitment to reduce our ecological footprint. With strength in numbers, we are convinced that together we can turn the tide for the rest of the world.
Everyone is invited to do their fair share, according to their means, and to sign:
a pact for the transition
Reducing my oil consumption in whichever way possible, by reducing the use of my car and prioritizing public transit, active transport (cycling, walking), carpooling, car sharing, electric transport and telecommuting, and by ensuring my next vehicle, if I must have one, is energy-efficient;
Minimizing the number and length of flights I take and offsetting the emissions of those I do;
Improving my home energy efficiency and using renewable energy for my heating system as much as possible;
Taking serious steps to divest my savings from the fossil fuel sector.
Reducing my consumption, waste production—by reusing, recycling and composting—and wastage in all its forms, including wastage of energy;
Reducing my consumption of farmed meat and opting for locally produced and organic foods, understanding both regional realities and loss of food security in Indigenous communities associated with biodiversity loss.
Evaluating my ecological footprint (via an online calculator) to measure the effects of my commitment, developing my own strategy to reduce my emissions permanently over the next two years;
Offsetting my emissions (e.g. by planting trees and contributing to forest and protected area preservation).
Sharing my solutions with my close family and friends at home and at work, to encourage them to take on this pact;
Using my power as a citizen—through petitions, letters, community involvement, transition groups, demonstrations, and so on—to accelerate the ecological transition in my community and in businesses.
In return for my individual efforts, given that the sum of individual gestures will not be sufficient to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and that political action is essential in the face of this urgency,
I demand that our governments commit to:
Adopting laws and actions compliant with our climate commitments, ensuring that all decisions made at the federal, provincial and municipal levels pass the test of their climate impacts;
Adopting a plan by 2020 to ensure that governments meet and exceed their greenhouse gas reduction targets and that they respect the Paris Climate Agreement;
Initiating a major energy efficiency and electrification project in Quebec, in sustainable transport and mobility, buildings and industry
Setting an example by reducing their own emissions by 50% by 2030;
Developing, in the short-term, a plan for ceasing any fossil fuel exploration and exploitation in Quebec and abolishing all forms of fossil fuel subsidies;
Deploying in 2019 a national education campaign on climate change and the unifying measures to be implemented;
Rapidly adopting a National Policy on Biodiversity Protection, and an Architecture and Planning Policy;
Holding a Land Use Planning Summit and rapidly adopting a National Policy on Architecture and Planning;
Ensuring a harmonious relationship with nature in land use planning, respecting our biodiversity protection targets (17% of land should be protected by 2020) and protecting the St. Lawrence, our farmland, our groundwater and surface water, as well as our forests;
Adopting a strategy to ensure that the energy transition brings social justice for workers and their communities that will face economic impacts.