All of us volunteering in ClimateFast have been shaken and, those of us who are not of Muslim or Indigenous background, further awakened over the past month, by the devastating fall out of the white supremacist culture we have grown up in and continue to live in. In view of recent events and ongoing conversations around equity, diversity, and inclusion we are looking to strengthen our anti-oppression lens as individuals and as an organization and are planning to participate in training to this end. Our hope is that a deepened understanding will bring us more clarity about the work of participating in climate justice.
We recently sent out an action alert calling upon people to write to the Ontario Minister of Education to update the Ontario curriculum with Indigenous content. Here is a sample letter.. Regarding the crisis of Islamophobia, we have attached a link to a powerful and insightful letter we received from Leadnow. If you did not receive the letter yourself, please read it.
We at ClimateFast believe that it is crucial to stand up against racism and colonialism in our fight for climate justice. Thank you for taking action and for your support in this work.
CLIMATEFAST ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
FOSSIL FUEL NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY - STEP UP TORONTO!
ClimateFast, MobilizeTO and Fridays for Future Toronto are among 32 member organizations of TCAN - Toronto Climate Action Initiative - that are calling on the City of Toronto to join Vancouver, Los Angeles and Barcelona in endorsing the campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. We are hoping a motion to endorse the Treaty will be presented at the July meeting of City Council (July 14 - 15). You can help by contacting Mayor Tory and your councillor to express your support. We are asking Council to write to the federal government asking them to negotiate this treaty which will mean no more fossil fuel infrastructure - funding or permits - and phasing out existing fossil fuel infrastructure in favour of renewables.
You can find out more about this campaign in this short interview (5 min) with Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the FFNPT campaign, and in the June 14th Toronto launch recorded here. Nearly 200 people attended the launch and many are keen to see this be adopted by the City Council. The motion is in line with the recent call by the International Energy Agency to immediately stop permits and funding for fossil fuel infrastructure. There is an excellent Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy report from the University of Technology in Sydney Australia.
We can do this, we just have to push for it!
Go to www.climatefast.ca for info on how to ask your councillor for a meeting, or for a cut and paste letter for the Mayor and your councillor go to www.climatefast.ca/Act-Now.
It will take hundreds of people expressing their support for this to be a go! Please be one of them! To volunteer for the campaign email [email protected].
Individuals and groups can endorse the campaign at fossilfueltreaty.org and academics and researchers are invited to sign this open letter. It will give great momentum to the international campaign to have Toronto's support!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
On June 18th our Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty group had a great meeting with Seth Klein! He provided us with some good ideas and challenges as we launch our campaign. Pictured above from the top, l-eft to right, is Valerie Endicott, Lyn Adamson, Jill Marzetti (Green 13), Diane Keating (Mobilize TO), Cathy Nosaty (Toronto East End Climate Collective), Ray Nakano, Seth Klein, Paul Stevers and Chloe Tse (Fridays for Future TO).
Food systems have a huge impact on climate and climate has a huge influence on food.
Research has shown that the global food system produces almost a quarter of the world’s
greenhouse gas emissions. This five part series on the food system - from the politics, justice,
sovereignty, access, and climate - is in preparation for the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit this September.
GROUNDWORK: TRANSFORMING THE FOOD SYSTEM: Monday July 12 at 7 pm
The Challenge and Promise of Regenerative Agriculture
ClimateFast, DrawdownTO, EcoJust Food Network and Green Thumbs Growing Kids bring you part 2 of a 3 part series on food and farming through a climate lens. with Mary Delaney of Land over Landings, Rachel Parent of Kids Right to Know, Darrin Qualman of Farmers for Climate Solutions and Lily Phan of National Farmers Union
GROUNDWORK: BRIDGING THE RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE: Monday August 9, 7 pm
Growing our Future Together
Part 3 of a 3 part series, with Sunday Harrison of Green Thumbs Growing Kids, Sally Miller of Fair Finance Fund, and more on urban agriculture and rural connections!
Trying to keep up with climate literature but feel like it is getting away from you? Attend our first ClimateFast book club meeting! Climate fast volunteers will be reading and then hosting a moderated public discussion of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells, which will be followed by an open discussion with the audience. Whether you have read it or not, all are welcome! Tentative date: July 28 at 6:30 - check our Facebook page for event details and registration link. For more information contact [email protected]
Say NO to Nuclear Reactors
- Tell Ontario: NO to a new nuclear reactor in the GTA and YES to renewables.
- Tell Ottawa: NO more funding for new nuclear reactors
Stop the Big Sprawl
Environmental Defence warns that if we don’t act fast, huge areas of southern Ontario’s most beautiful natural heritage and productive farmland will soon be swallowed up. Sprawl is environmentally destructive, carries huge infrastructure costs for municipalities, and perpetuates the car-dependent subdivision. They have provided a letter template to make it easy for you to take action today to STOP THE BIG SPRAWL.
Stop the plans to drill and frack in Okavango Delta
A Canadian company, ReconAfrica, holds petroleum licenses for 8.75 million acres of land in Namibia and Botswana, upstream from the Okavango Delta, an area that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Canadian company is currently doing exploratory drilling in the Kavango Basin area, potentially including the use of hydraulic fracking. This type of fracking requires significant amounts of water in an already water-scarce area of the world. ReconAfrica expects this area to produce up to 120 billion barrels of oil, which when burned will produce the equivalent of one sixth of the remaining world’s carbon budget. This will have significant repercussions for the climate, not to mention the immediate impacts felt by the local communities who fish, farm and rely on tourism for their livelihoods.
In a June 4th letter, 185 organizations from around the world called on the Canadian government to investigate the actions of ReconAfrica for the threats the drilling poses to human rights, Indigenous rights, right to clean water, local livelihoods and global climate. Read the letter and consider signing the petitions below:
Tell big corporations to stop plastic pollution
Large corporations like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Nestlé are three of the top contributors to plastic pollution in the world. These brands not only use fossil fuels but are reliant on single-use plastic packaging for their products. Despite the brand’s claims of taking action and reducing their usage of plastic, a 2020 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation revealed that no real efforts have been made by the companies. Greenpeace Canada has put forth a petition to attempt to hold these companies responsible and push them to invest in reuse and refill.
Tell these big consumer brands to stop polluting our world with plastic
Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
On June 22nd The House of Commons passed Bill C-12, the Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and on June 23rd it passed the second reading in the Senate.
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Bill Passed by Senate
On June 16th Bill C-15, which will harmonize Canada's laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, passed third reading in the Senate, paving the way for the bill to be enshrined into law before a possible federal election. Read the article.
G7 Summit yielded disappointing results for climate action
At the end of the G7 Summit that took place June 11-13, leaders agreed to raise their contributions to meet their previous spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions and cope with global warming, but only Canada and Germany made firm cash commitments. Many have observed that the promises made in the summit's final communique lacked detail and the developed nations should be more ambitious in their financial commitments. And the optics of the summit didn’t go unnoticed. Greta Thunberg tweeted: “The climate and ecological crisis is rapidly escalating…“This calls for steak-and-lobster-BBQ-celebration while jet planes perform aerobatics in the sky above the G7 resort! The G7 leaders really seem to be having a good time presenting their empty climate commitments and repeating old unfulfilled promises.”
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
On May 28, 2021, MPs voted unanimously to fast-track Bill C-5, a bill to create a statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada. It was also passed unanimously by the Senate and received royal assent on June 8, 2021. Sept. 30th will become the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and will apply to federally regulated workers.
Despite this gesture, we think Parliament needs to take a more substantial approach to reconciliation. Watch this 5 minute interview with advocate Cindy Blackstock in which she covers what we need to do for Indigenous children now. Consider writing a letter to your MP and making a donation to The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society on July 1st in lieu of celebrating.
City of Toronto supports reduction of single-use and takeaway items
On June 8th Toronto City Council approved Stage 1 of the Voluntary Measures Program, designed to support the adoption of “ask first/by request” measures for items including, but not limited to bags, straws, and utensils along with accepting reusable containers for takeout containers and beverage cups. The City will identify how the program can be implemented at City-run facilities and events. A guidance document will be developed for business to help support COVID-19 green recovery and reopening plans, including the reduction of single-use and how to avoid using items that are difficult to recycle. A second stage that may include mandatory restrictions will be presented to the City Council in 2022. At the same meeting, Council adopted a recommendation to urge the Federal Government to Take Action to Manage Plastics.
Environmental racism bill one step closer to becoming law
Bill C-230, a private member’s bill aiming to address environmental racism successfully passed through parliament’s environmental committee on June 21st, with amendments, and is due back to the House of Commons for a third reading the same week. The scope of the bill has been expanded to include not only Indigenous and racialized communities but also other marginalized communities. Also, its name has been changed to “a national strategy respecting environmental racism and environmental justice”. See articles in Canada’s National Observer and The Guardian.
Climate change to blame for 37% of heat deaths
A new study of heat deaths in 732 cities around the globe from 1991 to 2018 calculated that 37 per cent were caused by higher temperatures from human-caused warming. Read the article.
Vancouver Council Votes Against Delay for Climate Emergency Plan
This City of Vancouver bylaw will require new homes built after Jan. 1 to use zero-emissions heat and hot water systems, effectively banning natural gas hookups. Read the article.
Update on campaign to phase-out Ontario gas plants
The Ontario Clean Air Alliance reported that on May 25th the Town of Oakville became the 27th municipality to pass a resolution calling on Premier Doug Ford to phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants. The 27 municipalities represent just over half of Ontario’s population. They encourage you to sign their petition calling for the phase-out of Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030. Share it with your friends and distribute their gas plant phase-out pamphlet to your friends and neighbours. Order them here - they're free! Working together we can make Ontario a climate leader, once again!
Government of Canada to phase-out coal power generation
Thermal coal currently contributes to over 30% of the global carbon emissions. Phasing this out will get rid of over 12.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Read the articles:
Leaked IPCC report steps up warning on climate tipping points
Climate scientists are increasingly concerned that global heating will trigger tipping points in Earth’s natural systems. A draft of the IPCC report, which was leaked to Agence France-Presse, warns of a series of thresholds beyond which recovery from climate breakdown may become impossible. Read the article here.
The Ontario Biodiversity Council is hosting several free virtual sessions from May through September. The theme is nature-based solutions for the 21st century, with a focus on protecting and celebrating Ontario’s biodiversity. The complete list of sessions is available on the website with brief descriptions of each session.
WWF-Canada’s Nature x Carbon Tech Challenge looks to develop cost-effective, innovative and user-friendly technologies and approaches to facilitate the community-led measurement of carbon in nature. The Challenge takes place from June 15 till September 7, 2021. Five finalists will get $25,000. Register
We Don’t Have Time and partners present a series of Circular Table Talks under the theme: A Proper Carbon Price - A Key to Higher Climate Action? The series will explore the circular economy with new and exciting ideas that have the potential to benefit people, the planet and build green economies locally and globally.The first episode on July 12, 9:00 EDT, will focus on C02, the main greenhouse gas and will look at whether a circular economy transforms it from a problem to a useful resource. Registration
The Ecological Constitution: Reframing Environmental Law.
University of Ottawa environmental law professor Lynda Collins would like to see the right to a healthy environment added to the Canadian Constitution. She has created a clear roadmap in her new book, The Ecological Constitution integrates the insights of environmental constitutionalism and ecological law in a concise, engaging and accessible manner, setting out the necessary components of any constitution that could be considered "ecological" in nature.
The Our Climate, Our Stories project aimed to engage and address the climate concerns of BIPOC communities specifically. Areej Riaz, director of climate programs at EnviroMuslims, one of three community groups involved in the project said: “We wanted to bring out climate stories and climate narratives and look at the lived experiences especially of youth ... because they are usually the ones that are the most ignored voices,” The official launch of the digital book was on June 5th, World Environment Day. Read more about the background of this project.
Breaking Boundaries, a new film on Netflix, tells the story of the most important scientific discovery of our time - that humanity has pushed Earth beyond the boundaries that have kept Earth stable for 10,000 years, since the dawn of civilization. Watch the trailer here - but let's make sure we turn our concern into action by supporting the end of our reliance on fossil fuels.
ClimateFast participants are volunteers; your donation will be used for expenses such as flyers, room rental and transportation. Your support is very much appreciated!
If you would like to donate by cheque, make it payable to:
and mail c/o Lyn Adamson
60 Lowther Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, M6E 2Y4
Contact Us: Email us directly at [email protected] or through the contact form at www.climatefast.ca/contact.
Telephone: (416) 731-6605