Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.
It is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to the most important issue of our time as we examine the IPCC report. Ninety-one scientists analysed 6,000 scientific studies and are again sounding the alarm. This is not the first time that IPCC scientists have warned all governments that they must act now and that time is running out. To tell the truth, we are almost past the point of no return. They are saying that we are going to hit a wall in 10 or 12 years.
I listened to an interview with Aurélien Barrau, a French scientist, who said that there is no way to avoid the repercussions, but that it is not too late to reduce their intensity. The longer we wait to implement measures to combat climate change, the worse the impact will be. We need robust changes starting today, October 15, 2018, to safeguard my generation and future generations.
Nobody is making the decisions that need to be made now, decisions that should have been made 10 or 20 years ago, and people my age and our children are going to pay the greatest price. As a young Canadian, I find this demoralizing because our air, our water and our planet hang in the balance. I cannot believe that, in 2018, I, a federal MP, do not have more influence over debate in the House of Commons.
Catastrophic numbers are everywhere. On Sunday, a 730-page document sounded the alarm. According to the IPCC's urgent call to action, it is now or never and doing nothing could spell the end of humanity. What are we waiting for? I cannot believe this. They say the planet has already warmed by 1°C. If we do nothing, or rather, if we merely reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 45%, there will be no avoiding catastrophe by 2030, which is less than 12 years from now. The year 2030 is right around the corner. What will it take for the government to take action?
A few months ago, the government bought a $4.5-billion pipeline with taxpayer money. Money aside, the government bought a pipeline to triple oil production in the oil sands, even though we just signed the Paris Agreement and the government says we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Why did the government buy the pipeline?
We apparently need to limit global warming to 1.5°C. When people hear figures like 1°C, 1.5°C or 2°C, they are not sure what these figures actually mean. Just think of the never-ending heat waves this past summer. Farmers, those people who feed everyone, or at least we hope everyone, three times a day, are saying that this was the worst summer in 50 years. They are the ones feeding the world. They are telling us that they had poor harvests, which is a rather tangible effect of climate change.
Not even a month ago, six tornadoes hit the national capital region, in Hull and Ottawa. This was unprecedented, and these kinds of events are increasingly common: earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis, flooding, forest fires in British Columbia, and I could go on.
Why is the government not doing more? Why is it not spurred to action? The government is talking about changing some vehicles to electric vehicles, but it takes more than changing one car for another. It requires a change in lifestyle, a change in mentality. Behaviours need to change, and that will not be accomplished with one, 1,000 or even 100,000 vehicles. That is ridiculous. That is not even 1% of the vehicles in Quebec. What more will it take?
The environment commissioner has shown in successive reports over the past two or three years that the current government and the previous government, which was in office for 10 years, did not reduce fossil fuel subsidies. I believe $3 billion in fossil fuel subsidies are handed out each year when we should be reducing our oil dependency. That does not make any sense. What are we not doing?
Fourteen of the 19 federal departments, including Environment Canada, do not have a plan to adapt to climate change. That is ridiculous. Actually, it is completely absurd. The government cannot say that it is working on the international stage to become a world leader when even Environment Canada could not be bothered to come up with a plan to adapt to climate change. The Liberals are setting targets that they say are ambitious but that are modelled after the targets set by the Conservatives, who received two fossil awards. The government has not even bothered to say whether we are on track to meet those targets. Why? Because the government does not have any models or analyses of possible plans. No one is working on implementing plans to meet the targets.
We hosted the scientist Normand Mousseau from the University of Montreal in Quebec who said that Canada has no plan. Not only do we not have a plan, but we also have no method for assessing how to achieve our targets. If we cannot assess progress and make adjustments, how can we know whether we are going to achieve our bloody targets? It is impossible. The scientists are saying that this is just window dressing and, once again, simply rhetoric without any real intention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. How are we going to achieve it? How will we make sure that there are not between 200,000 and one billion refugees on the planet 30 years from now? I will still be alive 30 years from now. I will be 66 and my daughter will be 34. Do I really want us to live through that?
I am not the only one saying this. Aurélien Barrau, a scientist, has said that in 30 years, war could break out simply because people will no longer have any land. We are already seeing countries closing their borders to refugees for various reasons. There is a lot of hate speech and fear-based rhetoric. Even right here, some people want us to close our borders to refugees. There will be climate refugees. It will no longer be 1,000 or 2,000 more refugees per month or per year. It will be millions more refugees every year because of climate change. If we do nothing, it will not be just the economies of certain cities or certain countries affected, but the entire global economy.
It will cost us more if we do not than if we take action and implement plans. I sure hope this emergency debate is not all for show just so we can say that we debated it. If this is the case, we will see more tornadoes, more drought, more agricultural problems, and even more transportation problems and traffic congestion. More people will get sick. Lyme disease was an issue this summer, and the disease claimed a record number of victims, all because the number of ticks carrying the disease continues to rise as a result of climate change. This reality unfortunately hit hard in Montérégie. Children in this area are suffering and cannot even get diagnosed because doctors do not have the information they need. This is having a serious impact in all sectors.
We should have more than just an environment department, and it should work with the finance department, as is done in other countries, like Germany.
We need to work together, stop working in isolation, and work with scientific evidence.