Today, June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day. This day has been commemorated since 1974 with the intention of engaging governments, businesses, and citizens to focus their efforts on pressing environmental issues.
OSPE strongly believes in the importance of promoting sustainability, biodiversity, and thriving health for future generations.
As problem solvers, engineers have always worked to identify key environmental issues and provide important insights on system planning, efficiencies and integration, total lifecycle costing and scenario analysis for sound policy making.
On this day, OSPE would like to share its statement on climate change, reiterating the importance of coming together with evidence to fight this pressing issue. Our statement is as follows:
The science of climate change is clear and settled: human activities, especially greenhouse gas emissions, are the dominant cause of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century.
Impacts from recent climate-related events already include alteration of ecosystems, disruption of food production and water supply, damage to infrastructure and communities, and detrimental consequences for public health and welfare. However, this is only the beginning. Future extreme weather-related incidents beyond historical experience could cause system breakdowns of infrastructure networks and critical services such as electricity, water supply, and health and emergency services.
Despite this, the solutions are still within reach. A range of technological, infrastructure and behavioural measures can mitigate human interference in the climate system while supporting economic growth. Adaptation measures can contain the residual risks. However, the time for action is now. Delaying mitigation increases the challenges, limits the number and type of possible solutions, and could substantially increase societal costs in the decades that follow.
In order to address climate change, all orders of government should work collaboratively with each other, along with the private sector and other key stakeholders, to establish specific policies, with clear, ambitious and achievable targets, timetables and accountability mechanisms.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), comprised of thousands of scientists and experts from every corner of the world, has agreed on the importance of coming together and tackling climate change.
The IPCC provides an internationally accepted authority on climate change producing reports that have the agreement of leading climate experts and consensus from all participating governments. Numerous scientific bodies have endorsed and concurred with the findings of the IPCC. Some of these include:
- Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences.
- Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
- European Geosciences Union
- International Council for Science
- United States National Research Council
“The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus”.
As a non-partisan organization that supports sound science and evidence-based decision making, OSPE believes that carbon pricing is an essential first step for a comprehensive environment and climate change framework. IPCC research has shown that carbon pricing is the most effective way of both reducing carbon emissions and maximizing the economic opportunities when transitioning towards a low-carbon society.
A carbon pricing mechanism must be followed by significant public and private sector leadership in creating a strong regulatory framework, encouraging research and innovation in the development of new low-carbon technology, and a cross-ministry approach to ensure that all policy initiatives are coordinated, effective and result in the greatest benefits at the least cost and impact to society.