Mr. Speaker, given the shortness of time, I want to focus on a couple of key themes in this debate about our response to and our plan for climate change and the Paris process.
The first thing I want to remind all colleagues is that this has nothing to do with ideology. It is not ideology, it is not voodoo; it is science. There are 2,200 Nobel Peace Prize winners and IPCC scientists telling us that we have to hold global temperature increases to between 2°C and 4°C. We have droughts, we have floods, we have sea levels rising. Ask the mayor of Miami. We have the insurance industry that blew the whistle two decades ago and told us there was a canary in the coal mine. Major storms are becoming more frequent, claim costs are way up, and insurability is way down. Ask Lloyd's of London.
Scientists are also telling us that if we see a 4°C to 6°C temperature increase by 2100, then 30% to 40% of all known species—and we do not know all the species yet—will be threatened. As one of my kids might say, “Houston, we have a problem”.
First, we must stabilize global emissions by 2050 and then reduce them. That is what we have decided to do as a planet, and it is clear why we are doing this. It is the right thing to do. In fact, it is the only thing to do.
I believe that our plan is about a new generation of politics. It cuts across genders, it throws out the old notion of a left-right spectrum, and cuts across all age groups, all socio-economic clusters, all cultures, all Canadians. Why? It is because there is only one atmosphere, one world, one people, one destiny.
Apparently, we are so insane on this side of the House that we want to get as much as we can from the $3 trillion environmental technologies market, which Goldman Sachs says is only getting bigger, and getting bigger faster. I think we are all with Sir Nicholas Stern from the London School of Economics, who has said that we can pay now and make the shift and prosper, or pay later and pay an awful lot. That is why he called on the planet to invest 1% of global GDP now to avoid a potential loss of 20% of global GDP by 2050. This is about winning the race and leading the world.
We are heading as a country and a planet at breakneck speed into a carbon-constrained future. As one of the world's top environmental economists once said, we did not get out of the stone age because we ran out of stones. We are also not going to get out of the fossil fuel age because we are running out of fossil fuels. We are going to transition from the fossil fuel age to a new carbon-constrained world.
We spent last week debating national security. This debate, in my mind, is partly about national security, but it is largely about natural security and whether we are going to learn as a species to live within the carrying capacity of the planet. Scientists have told us there is a theoretical threshold that we do not want to cross. They do not know where it is. That is why we continue to invest in science. That is why we have so many data collection points on climate all over the world, in order to monitor and know the effects.
We do not want to play Russian roulette with the atmosphere, do we? No one wants to play Russian roulette with the carrying capacity of the planet, because we have all agreed to take a precautionary approach. We have to take a long, hard look at the planet's carrying capacity to sustain us, and our economies and consumption patterns, all the while assimilating our waste.
We should also be cognizant of this: two billion more people will be coming to join us on this planet in the next 30 years. We cannot feed 900 million of them now, so how in the name of God are we going to deal with this challenge? How are we going to move with our agricultural production processes? How are we going to deal with the consumption trends?
I should say here that I will be splitting my time with the member for Vancouver Quadra. I am sure that member will be coming back to many of these themes.
I want to close before today's statements by members by saying this. When we burn fossil fuels, we are asking our atmosphere to assimilate greenhouse gases. Is it not interesting to note that when construction containers are filled up with waste, a tipping fee has to be paid to drive them over and dump the waste into a dump site, but when we burn fossil fuels we pay very little, if anything, for the privilege of emitting greenhouse gases into the one solitary atmosphere we have.
That is why pricing carbon pollution is all about crossing the Rubicon. Every single economist tells us that this is the right thing to do. In fact, soyons honnêtes, Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada went to London, England, where he gave a global energy superpower speech and said that by 2018 carbon would be priced at $150 a tonne in Canada under his cap-and-trade system.
This is about internalizing a cost that heretofore has remained outside our economic measurement, outside our economic accounting. It is time for us to internalize that cost, because it will have a profound influence on efficiency.
This is a race about becoming the cleanest economy in the world. Therefore, we have to choose. We are competing. What does it mean to be the cleanest economy in the world? It means being the most efficient economy in the world, most efficient with energy, most efficient with material and matter, most efficient with water. That is the race we are embroiled in, and the jurisdiction that gets it best is the jurisdiction that is going to win, that is going to have the jobs, that is going to create the wealth, and that it is going to lead the way in a trajectory for the future.