This year, millions of young people have marched, demanding action from their governments about climate change. As young people, we are inheriting the planet -- we will have to make the difficult decisions when the climate emergency has reached such a level that ecosystems are being destroyed, and people’s homes are underwater.
Current Canadian environmental, economic, health and immigration policies do not address the multifaceted impacts of climate change, which primarily impact people of colour and disabled people both in Canada and abroad.
Taking a more holistic perspective on climate justice, the federal government must address the massive disparity in access to clean water by Indigneous communities. It must consider the impacts of climate change on the urban poor, and the rise in healthcare costs as marginalized communities are exposed to environmental toxins.
It must also address the ways that its extractive industries are degrading the environment and disabling people of colour abroad. Being transparent about the Canadian mining industry’s role in the fires in the Amazon, the Canadian government must regulate Canadian multinational industries who are responsible for human rights violations and environmental degradation.
Canada currently gives billions of dollars a year to the extractive fossil fuel industry. This industry’s practices, including offshore drilling, and fracking have created severe illness and disablement in nearby communities, and has destroyed the natural environment to the point where desertification has started in parts of Alberta. Canada must stop supporting its weapons industry, given its human and environmental impact.
Funnelling resources into unsustainable and damaging industries while passing ineffectual policies about plastic straws, or recycling shows a lack of integrity and a clear vision about climate justice.