Petition to Jim Prentice, Minister for the Environment
THIS PETITION IS OVER! THANKS TO ALL WHO SIGNED! Honorable Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice, STAMP – Students Taking Action for Medicine and Peace – speaks from the grassroots of McGill Medical and Dental faculties, as well as for all students and others who are profoundly concerned about climate change, and the effects it will increasingly have on all of us. From its global impact on health and ecology, livelihoods and social stability, the devastating toll of climate change will begin with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, but will inevitably reach developed countries such as Canada. In our petition to you, we echo and emphasize the concerns of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, in their open letter to you. Here we include some of the salient points relating to the health and wellbeing of people around the world, and in Canada: “…Malnutrition, heat-stress, diarrheal disease, extreme weather events, infectious disease, population displacement, and conflict over depleted resources are all expected to increase as a result of climate change… up to half of the world’s population could face severe food shortages by 2100… climate change has the potential to displace 200 million people by 2050, an almost twenty-fold increase in the number of refugees worldwide today…” “…According to Health Canada… climate change will bring with it an increased risk of extreme weather, frequency and severity of heat waves, infectious disease and diminished air quality…the Ontario Medical Association estimates that each year 5,800 Ontarians die prematurely, 60,000 visit the emergency room and 16,000 are admitted to hospital as a result of smog…” “…Canadians now emit over 22 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per capita – among the highest in the world… Earlier this year, the World Wildlife Fund ranked Canada as having the worst performance out of all G8 countries interms of CO2 emissions and climate policy…” We are deeply unsettled by Canada’s reticence thus far to take a leadership role in finding a global resolution to this grave problem. This December the world will gather in Copenhagen, providing an opportunity to limit the impacts of climate change, and offering Canada an occasion to reverse its dismal climate change record and reputation. We call on the government of Canada to help create and adhere to a fair, ambitious, and binding global treaty at the Copenhagen summit on the effects of climate change. We ask the government of Canada to take meaningful steps towards reducing emissions, for the wellbeing of not only Canadians and Canada, but that of the entire world community and ecology. As Canadians deeply concerned about our present and future, we ask you to make these and other responsible and brave choices in Copenhagen this December, STAMP – Students Taking Action for Medicine and Peace, and all signatories of this petition.