Our members are concerned about climate change
On Earth Day last year, we launched a short survey asking our members about their views on climate change.
- Over 92% of survey respondents indicated they were “very concerned” about:
- water pollution,
- the exploitation of rivers, lakes and oceans,
- habitat destruction, and
- air pollution.
- Over 80% of survey respondents felt PSAC should work with other unions and groups to address climate change issues by:
- protecting wilderness and national park areas,
- promoting public transportation,
- retrofitting homes and workplaces, and
- investing in alternative energy.
We’ve accepted this mandate from our members, and recognize that all Canadians — as well as our children and their children’s children — will be worse off unless we take climate change seriously and act sustainably with future generations in mind.
The impacts of climate change are happening faster than scientists had first predicted. Sea levels are rising, heat waves and extreme floods are becoming more common, and ice is melting at an alarming rate in the north.
2015 is an important year
Every December since 1992, governments convene in a different city around the world to negotiate an agreement to reduce harmful Green House Gas (GHG) emissions as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
These meetings are called Conference of the Parties (COP), and in 2011 at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa 2011, governments agreed to establish a binding international climate agreement in 2015 (at COP 21 in Paris) that will act as a blueprint for future international action on climate change. They must not fail.
2015 is also an important year for our members and their families, as Canadians will need to decide whether to elect a federal government that will take climate change seriously and address its impacts.
The current government’s record on climate change
The current government has weakened environmental protections, eliminated the jobs of thousands of public service workers who protected the environment, and has played a destructive role at UNFCCC meetings. Although some provinces have made efforts to reduce GHG emissions, the federal government has retreated from its commitments.
Instead of taking meaningful action to address climate change, this government has made the problem worse. Canada ranks 58th out of 61 developed countries in the 2015 Climate Change Performance Index report jointly published by Climate Action Network Europe and GermanWatch, which says:
In Canada (58th) nothing has changed and nothing is going forward at state level. Canada is about to miss its 2020 emissions reduction target by about 20% and the only effective policies in place are provincial initiatives.
At PSAC, we are committed to working towards a country that creates good sustainable jobs, protects the environment and fosters equality among all of its citizens.