The call for a fast and fair transition to a fossil-free world will be advocated for at a rally outside Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr’s constituency office on Saturday.
Called Rise For Climate, the organization behind the rally is being carried out by Kelowna resident Dianna Varga and Vernon resident Korry Zepik.
The rally comes on the heels of the Aug. 30 decision by the Federal Court of Appeal finding the National Energy Board’s review of the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal to be legally flawed on the potential environmental impacts on Indigenous people and the tanker traffic expansion on the B.C. coast.
Varga said the key theme of the rally will be to call out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for dragging its feet on getting serious about climate change.
“The rhetoric that Trudeau uses we have heard a million times before, now the economy and the environment have to go together. In fact, we all see how the go together very well as our reliance on a fossil fuel economy has wrecked out environment,” said Varga.
“A fossil fuel economy is not our economy for the future. We are not meeting any of our transition goals for the environment. This idea that we are in a transition phase is a steady excuse for them.”
Varga cited a 200-page report recently produced by the Global Commission on Climate and the Economy, a group more than 20 former finance ministers and prime ministers of different countries, stating that $27 trillion US would be accessible in economic spin-0ff benefits to engage more seriously in pro-environment, sustainable economic policies.
Varga points out two statistics about the impact of fossil fuels on Canada currently —it provides only 6.6 per cent of Canada’s current Gross Domestic Product economic output, while the oil and gas industry directly employs about 242,000 workers, which equates to about 1.45 per cent of our national workforce.
“The message we always hear is we need the Alberta tar sands for our economy, for our economic well-being, to pay for hospitals and schools and all of that. That is simply not true,” Varga said.
“We have to stop subsidizing fossil fuel development, and investment in renewal energy, replace aging infrastructure and focus on things that offer a sustainable economic future.”
The Rise For Climate rally will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday outside Fuhr’s office, 1420 St. Paul St., in downtown Kelowna.
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