Canada Has Declared A National Climate Emergency
A vote in the House of Commons passed 186-63.
Canada has officially declared a National Climate Emergency. The House of Commons voted on the matter late on Monday night.
The motion, which passed 186-63, officially declares that climate change is an urgent crisis that affects the health and security of Canadians, as well as it impacting the Canadian economy.
The motion does not put in place any new policies. However, it does affirm that one of Parliament's top priorities is to combat the effects of global warming.
Canadian scientists sounded the alarm a few months ago when they released a report which showed that Canada is warming at more than twice the average global rate.
The report states that "extreme hot temperatures will become more frequent and more intense. This will increase the severity of heatwaves, and contribute to increased drought and wildfire risks."
This report prompted the Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to put this motion forward.
According to Global News, the motion put forward in Parliament recognizes climate change as a "real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity, that impacts the environment, biodiversity, Canadians’ health and the Canadian economy."
It declares that "Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emission target under the Paris Agreement."
The motion goes on to say that Canada will pursue "efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius."
The motion was passed in Parliament with 186 votes for the motion and 63 votes against the motion. Conservatives and the leader of the People's Party of Canada voted against the motion.
Most party leaders were not in attendance for the motion's debate: Trudeau, Scheer and Singh were at the Raptors parade. Elizabeth May, the leader of the green party was in attendance.