Canada, Paris, Jordan Heath Rawlings discussed on The Big Story

The Big Story
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

And there are forces that are counting on you feeling that way on the fact that the task will seem to huge or your own contribution to insignificant to actually achieve anything. But of course, that's not true. That's a messaging strategy. Nobody's going to stop climate change by being scared or afraid or hopeless or by accepting that it's already too late. But you can do it by beginning by being to paraphrase, a famous story. The falling of small stones that start an avalanche in the mountains. And how do you do that you start by talking about it? I'm Jordan heath Rawlings. And this is the big story. Catherine Abreo is the executive director of climate action network Canada, and the author of an op Ed in the national observer about how fighting climate change is an act of love. Was there a time recently at all where you kind of felt like we were on the right track towards battling climate change. And your Optima stick. That's a great question and the years twenty fifteen in two thousand sixteen were unpredictably some of the most hopeful years in my career working on climate change how so so in two thousand fifteen I went to my first UN climate conference in Paris. You've probably heard of it cop twenty one. And that was when the Paris agreement was signed one hundred ninety five countries from all over the world came to the table and said, this is what we're willing to do to address climate change and the Paris agreement took shape it then went into force faster than any other international treaty in history. So within less than a year, we had an operating Paris agreement within that same span of time. We came back to Canada with a newly minted Trudeau administration who made climate change one of the key priorities early on in their mandate and within nine months. It had to separate first ministers meeting on the issue of climate change and drafted the pancanadian framework on climate change and clean growth. And you have to remember this was on the heels of a decade of the Harper administration, which was relatively uninterested in the issue of climate change and really hadn't done much to address it. And so suddenly we had this kind of history making international treaty and the most comprehensive climate plan that we'd ever seen in Canada. And both of those things were still totally insufficient. You know, that's one of the hooks of working on climate change is that more often than not the solutions put forward by governments are not as robust as they need to be however within the span of year, we had come to a place that I could never have imagined being in two thousand fourteen or even early twentieth. Fifteen so that was a time of great hope for me. And it seemed like things were moving it did. So what happened? What happened? Yeah. I mean, I can talk about the kind of details of how thing. Things get tricky when we get into the phase of implementation, and why that might be, but if I can make generalization I think what happened is the folks who have very vested interests in maintaining the status quo that causes climate change realize that there was a new level of seriousness that global governments were taking in terms of their attitudes to address the issue. And so we saw what they could do when they felt threatened those incumbent interests. And we are now kind of living the reality of their pushback, and they have tremendous amounts of power. I am talking about some of the richest companies in the world and some of the politicians who whether they genuinely believe or are doing the right thing work on behalf of the interests of those companies how much of this is a PR battle. I think it is for sure the case that the way in which the public understands climb. A change the way in which people like me or governments or private actors communicate about climate change to the public is really important. But I also think that we can sometimes overestimate the importance of that public campaign that public PR campaign..

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