[PARIS, FRANCE – December 12, 2015] – Today 196 countries have agreed to a global climate deal in Paris at the UN climate summit. Governments have signaled that they are seeing the writing on the wall and beginning to catch up with the reality that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. Business as usual is over for Big Oil, and the global transition to clean jobs and 100% renewable energy is well underway.

“After a decade of Canada dragging down the climate talks, the new Canadian government came prepared to turn over a new leaf,” says Montana Burgess with the West Kootenay EcoSociety.

Canada increased financial commitments for vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impacts, pushed for the inclusion of human and indigenous rights in the deal, and stood with scientists to ensure the agreement stated that we must keep global warming from going above 1.5C by the end of the century.

“The only way to make sure global warming doesn’t go beyond 1.5C by the end of this century is to keep dirty oil in the ground. We need to make plans now to transition to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050. We need to support our local governments to show the federal and provincial governments what real leadership looks like in this transition to 100% renewable energy and transitioning workers from dirty oil and gas to clean energy jobs.”

Canada’s efforts in Paris will require an unprecedented scaling up of action at home. There is a significant gap between where Canada currently is and where they will need to be to live up to their promises to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.  

Additionally, Canada received two Fossil of the Day awards for trying to keep compensation and liability financing for the most vulnerable developing countries forever out of any future agreement. Trudeau has promised to work with provinces to come up with a more ambitious Canada-wide plan to take real climate action within 90 days following the Paris climate summit. Canadians must now prioritize holding the Liberal government accountable to this timeline and promise.

“This global agreement is playing catch-up to where the rest of the world is already moving,” says Burgess. “The people powered climate movement is growing in strength and diversity each day. Today in Paris I witnessed over 15,000 people take to the streets to say that regardless of the outcome of the climate talks, we the people are continuing to push for climate justice. Citizens of the West Kootenays are more connected, organized and prepared to build the change we need and to hold governments accountable. People across-faiths are coming together to say we have a moral obligation to take climate action. We’ve been driving climate action forward through marches in the streets like today’s in Paris, by having conversations in churches, by pulling investments out of dirty oil, and by electing climate leaders. We are winning this conversation globally and locally because we are having it everywhere, with everyone in the West Kootenays.”

Sign the EcoSociety’s petition calling for municipalities to adopt a target and a transition plan for 100% renewable energy by 2050 for all transportation, buildings, and industry in the West Kootenays.