David Suzuki Foundation calls on all levels of government to choose action instead of leaving the future to chance

VANCOUVER – Climate change is set to impact everyday affordability for Canadian families, according to the Second Installment of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report, which focuses on the impacts of climate change and how to cope with them (adaptation), outlines how sweeping changes to our climate from the buildup of heat-trapping emissions will mean higher food prices, direct threats to our homes and communities and a hit to our economy—unless all orders of government act now.

“Climate change is more than just an environmental issue,” said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Ian Bruce. “This is an economic and security issue that will impact everyone from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.”

“Communities and the families who call them home deserve our support now, and every level of government has a responsibility to help solve the climate change crisis,” Bruce said.

The David Suzuki Foundation is calling on all levels of government to take responsible action now to make sure Canadians don’t struggle to afford food and to ensure our economy remains strong. “One place where we can make a difference today is investing in green infrastructure,” said Bruce. “We need to get started on projects that help cool our cities during extreme heat and absorb water to reduce the kind of catastrophic flooding we saw in Calgary and Toronto last year.”

Bruce stressed that government can also help industry develop more sustainable practices to deal with a changing climate. “Every segment of Canada will feel the pinch—from forestry and seafood to farming and mining. That’s why it’s so important that we take action today, because the longer we delay, the higher the costs and losses will be.”

“We’ve seen leadership from cities and some provinces to address climate change, but we need to do more to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving this problem,” Bruce said. “After all, our health and safety will be determined by the choices we make now.”

Background on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

The IPCC produces the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change globally, based on the greatest consensus of international scientists, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. These reports collate current understanding of how the world’s natural systems that support human life are changing and will continue to change as a result of the unprecedented amounts of carbon pollution being released into the atmosphere. The previous assessment, the Fourth Assessment Report, was released in 2007 and sparked serious global debate on climate change action. In September 2013, the first of four installments of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report was released from Stockholm. It was about the physical science of climate change. Today’s second installment of the Fifth Report is on impacts and required adaptation to climate change. Subsequent installments of the Fifth Report will be released over the next six months. The third assesses mitigation strategies. The fourth will be a synthesis bringing together the first three.

The climate change impacts and adaptation report was released today from Yokohama, Japan.

For IPCC media release and report:

Contact: Alvin Singh
(604) 250-2651

Manon Dubois (Quebec)
(514) 679-0821