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Policy Briefing: Environment Policy Briefing
The oil sands, pictured in Fort McMurray, Alta. Climate change is not a distant threat but rather a current reality. Without an immediate and accelerating transformation of our fossil fuel-based energy system, global average temperatures will rise more than 1.5-degree Celsius as soon as 2030. The Hill Times file photograph by Jake Wright

A successful low-carbon energy transition starts in cities and grows from there

Through collective effort and imaginative experimentation, cities can rise to the challenge of climate change and accelerate the transformation towards just, resilient, and low-carbon communities.
Opinion|David Crane
Ottawa needs to wake up before this becomes another lost opportunity.
This is a critical moment for redefining how governments approach health and climate change adaptation, and to respond effectively, Canadian policy-makers will have to expand their focus beyond public health and health care to also address the social and economic root causes of poor health and health inequity.
The clock is ticking for federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to reverse Canada’s current place as a climate-action laggard to the leadership position the Liberals promised for the country when Justin Trudeau became prime minister in 2015. But time is running out.
Many Canadian cities are struggling to meet their climate targets by 2030, making it urgent to find ways to align climate change and urban forestry policies to produce the best possible synergies. The big question is, how should this be done? We recommend the following steps.
Opinion|Madhur Anand
The federal government’s Bill C-12 offers a promising national approach. However, its plans must be transformative in all sectors and aspects of society in order to account for social systems.
With the recent announcement by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that Global First Power’s application for a licence to prepare site for an SMR project at the Chalk River Laboratories is moving into formal licence review, we are one step closer to bringing SMRs to market in Canada.
If such an approach, based on ‘nature-based solutions’ deeply integrated into planning were to be adopted on a national level, it would be an impetus for diverse stakeholder groups and different constituencies to find a common ground and help reduce acrimony in the political debates.
Will Canada finally get it right on climate? Rather than focus on what is probable, let’s focus on what is necessary.

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