Mr. Speaker, I rise in adjournment proceedings this evening to revisit a question I put to the government on November 2 of last year. At that point, we were a month away from the opening of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I hoped at that point that the very serious warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the 1.5° special report would result in the Government of Canada, at long last, yanking the Harper target under which the current government still developed its inadequate planning for climate disaster, a target that is the weakest in the industrialized world. I hoped that by looking at the IPCC report and its call for urgent action, its clear warning call that if we fail to hold global average temperatures to a 1.5° Celsius global average temperature increase, the risks are high of a trajectory toward runaway, unstoppable, irreversible climate disaster and catastrophic impacts, of which the end of civilization is not even the worst. Extinction of humanity and other species on this planet with us is where we are headed if we go above 2° Celsius to 3°, 4° and so on.
We really do not have time to continue to talk about this, but I will finish the point about the IPCC report and what happened at COP24.
I was horrified to attend COP24, because no country, except Fiji and the Marshall Islands, had improved their targets.
Young Greta Thunberg from Stockholm was there. She looked at the delegates and asked if they had any intention of ever acting. Then she said she did not expect them to act because they had been a disappointment for so many years and that it was the children who were leading. She went on to say they did not have the courage to tell it like it is, and to quote her exactly, “Even that burden you leave to us children.”
Here we are, months later, with no change to Canada's climate target. We are still holding to Harper's target to extinction. Greta Thunberg, on the other hand, has mobilized, and last Friday, March 15, 2019, over a million and a half children marched to demand that governments finally do what they have been procrastinating on, with politicians kicking it down the alley to the next government, maybe hoping someone else can pick up the challenge or that no one will remember that they are responsible for doing nothing when the clarion call was clear.
We do not have 12 years, as some would take it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said we have to reduce to 45% below 2010 levels and that we have to do it by 2030.
That does not mean we have 12 years. We only have now. We do not have years.
Let us take it in months. When the panel report came down on October 8 of last year, we had 144 months. We now have 139 months.
The clock is ticking, and without action, we in this place and legislators all around the world will be culpable for bequeathing to our children an unlivable world. We must set legislated targets to cut fossil fuel use, such that it is cut in half before the end of the next decade and completely eliminated by the year 2050.
At the same time, we must ramp up efforts of adaptation. We must plant trees. We must plant gardens. We must do everything within our grasp and anything beyond our grasp, anything in our reach, because we, this generation, must not give up on our children.