The House of Commons passed a motion last week declaring that Canada is in a state of climate emergency. This important decision came after Environment and Climate Change Canada released a report demonstrating how, driven by human influence, temperatures are rising across all regions of our country, particularly in the North. In fact, the report found the average annual temperature in Northern Canada has increased by an alarming 2.3° C since 1948.
Climate change affects all of us. It reaches into our daily lives — as just one example, look at the recent increase in wildfires in Western Canada, and the intensity of the smoke that blankets our provinces each summer.
The situation in which we find ourselves — one we have collectively created — demands an urgent response. Tackling climate change requires leadership, focus and concerted action, from individuals, governments and businesses. The financial sector, including banks and credit unions, have a big role to play in meeting these new expectations and creating positive outcomes.
That was made clear in a document published this month by the federal finance department. The final report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance does an excellent job explaining how our financial systems and markets must transition in order to identify, measure and minimize climate change risk, even as we expand our economies and encourage population growth.