Mr. Speaker, I probably have a sum total of about seven minutes. I know that my colleague who has fought with me for many decades on environmental and climate issues would be deeply disappointed that I will not have more time to speak and that she will not have an opportunity to speak.
I am appalled at the dialogue that has gone on here today, particularly from the Liberals. I am sick and tired of the line “We are all in this together”, and then the Liberals stand to speak and they do nothing but insult us. I am sorry, but there are a good number of people in this place who have spent more than just the past four years, more than this afternoon, more than four decades fighting for stronger federal, provincial, territorial and municipal environmental protection and climate change laws and programs.
I am hoping that the next Parliament will actually believe in “Let us work together.” I do not have much time, but I want to share what those of us in this place should know and wake up to. The youth of this country and this planet are fed up. They do not believe that the previous Conservative government or the current Liberal government is doing enough to address the crisis of climate change. They are leaving their schools and taking to the streets. They want action, and they want it now.
A number of speakers here today made fun of us because we are calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies now. Gosh darn it, back in 2008, the Conservatives promised to move on it right now. Now we are 10 years later and the Liberals twice promised it. They say we are demanding action now. How about an action plan that says that 10 years from now they have to have removed their perverse subsidies? Yes, we do need action now, a compliance plan.
I would like to share the words of one of the most incredible spokespeople on this planet today for action on climate, and that is Greta Thunberg, the 15-year-old from Sweden. These are her words: “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire.... I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
She also said:
[H]ardly anyone speaks about the fact that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction [backed up by the UN report just issued].... Nor does hardly anyone ever speak about the aspect of equity or climate justice, clearly stated everywhere in the Paris Agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.... What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation can’t undo in the future.... We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.... Everything needs to change—and it has to start today.
That is our mission today in this motion. We have to have action today. That does not mean we do not give time to comply, but for heaven's sake, the government is coming up with policies written on the back of a napkin. At one point in time someone in the United States said to reduce methane by 40%, so we said we would reduce methane by 40%.
The Liberals criticize those of us on this side for not bothering to get the facts. I attended the detailed technical briefing on what is possible with existing technology to reduce methane and make a profit. I call on the government to step up and actually apply the technology. Yes, we need more investment in better technology, but where is the regulatory agenda?
I brought forward a motion calling on the government to enact a law modelled on the United Kingdom law. The Liberals have been briefed on that, just as I have. That law puts binding targets, which are required to be updated every five years, and there is an independent commission that gives advice, audits and reports publicly. Why are we not getting real measures like that? They talk about accountability; it is in all the mandate letters. Let us see some real accountability. Let us see real measures set in stone, in law.
I do not have the time to list all the measures that are possible. The technologies are there. What we need are the regulatory measures and the removal of the perverse subsidies so that we can have a level playing field, so that the clean energy future can happen now.