December 3, 2018
The Group of 78 (G78) is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1981, dedicated to the promotion of a progressive foreign policy based on principles of sustainable peace, justice, and global survival in the face of contemporary challenges. Its report Meeting the Climate Challenge: Accelerating the Transition to a Post-Carbon World, G78 Conference Report and Policy Recommendations, published today, is the outcome of a policy conference held in Ottawa September 28-29.
The G78 report addresses the urgency for stronger actions internationally, by all levels of government in Canada, and by society at large, to avert catastrophic climate change. Taking such actions is an existential as well as moral imperative. This is clear from the weight of scientific evidence, as underlined by the October 8 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Climate change is happening now and its effects are intensifying, affecting the lives of all Canadians and people around the world. The costs of inaction, already high, will only increase. There is no time to lose. Accordingly, as detailed in the Executive Summary, the G78 report’s key messages and recommendations call for: concerted efforts at changing mindsets to embrace the necessary transition to a post-carbon economy; achieving more aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas pollution; building resilience at home and abroad to climate change impacts and vulnerabilities.
On December 2, the 24th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change began in Katowice, Poland (https://unfccc.int/katowice), with the key objective of implementing commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement that are crucial to limiting warming to 1.5ºC. The G78 calls on the Government of Canada to exercise leadership in efforts to reach that objective. Nothing less than our global future is at stake.
As G78 Chair Roy Culpeper and Conference chair Susan Tanner put it in a recent commentary, “We must press our governments to act with more ambition and take the lead both in attacking the causes of continued carbon pollution and preparing Canada and the world for the challenges of climate change now and in the future.”