VANCOUVER | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) FIRST NATIONS — The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change today published its latest assessment of the climate crisis, following its 2021 “code red for humanity” warning.

The David Suzuki Foundation echoes the UN’s recommendation to end public investments in fossil fuels because of their continued harm to the environment and contribution to intensifying extreme weather events around the world. The Canadian government continues to direct billions of dollars in public funding to subsidize the fossil fuel industry.

The report, aimed at policy-makers, states that we face “a critical decade” for climate action. It found global emissions were higher from 2010 to 2019 than in any previous decade.

Sabaa Khan, Director of Climate Solutions and Director-General of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, said:

“We have absolute certainty from the world’s leading scientists that our relentless use of fossil fuels is driving the climate crisis. This report reveals that promises from governments worldwide to reduce global emissions are not being met. Burning coal, oil and gas has consistently increased.

“The report makes it clear that you can’t stand for the environment and survival of life on Earth if you invest in fossil fuels. Continued public investments in fossil fuels vastly exceed public investments in mitigation and adaptation measures.

“In Canada, fossil fuels are the largest and fastest-growing source of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Canada’s government faces a critical moment with its federal budget next week. It must stop public spending on fossil fuels and instead direct public funding to proven, cost-effective, widely available climate solutions. This includes wind, solar, clean electricity, electrification of cities, energy efficiency, investment in natural infrastructure and reducing food waste.”

Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Executive Director of the David Suzuki Foundation, said:

“We must end the era of fossil fuel supremacy. The pervasive burning of coal, oil and gas poses a direct threat to our existence and the ecosystems that support us.

“But the UN’s assessments tell us we still have a chance: if we rapidly and substantially reduce our emissions, we can still limit global temperature rise and limit the devastation.”

“We are all decisionmakers when it comes to the climate crisis. We decide what the next chapter holds by pushing governments and companies to act, and by getting off fossil fuels ourselves. If humankind is to survive on this planet, we must dramatically reconcile our relationships with the planet and each other, and we know it’s totally possible; the choice is ours.”

Today’s “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023” is based on the content of three working group reports for the sixth assessment cycle: WG1 – “The Physical Science Basis,” WG2 – “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and WG3 – “Mitigation of Climate Change,” as well as three special reports: “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” “Climate Change and Land” and “The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.”

The UN IPCC reports also state:

  • We need to reduce emissions dramatically and quickly to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, with reductions of at least 45 per cent by 2030.
  • The “Global Warming of 1.5°C” special report gave the Paris Agreement the context needed and provided much of the ambition framing and targets used in climate conferences (known as “conference of the parties” or COP).
  • WG1 showed that humans have already permanently changed the climate system.
  • WG2 showed what happens if governments fail on Paris targets.
  • WG3 showed how to avoid the worst impacts and what our best choices are.

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