This Friday, April 22, 2022, we celebrate the 52nd edition of Earth Day, an opportunity to promote concrete ideas to protect our planet and remember what has been done and what still needs to be done.
1. History of Earth Day
Established in 1970 in the United States, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22 to invite everyone to think about their impact on the planet and the concrete actions they can take daily. Every small action counts in the fight against climate change, which are accessible to everyone. Awareness and communication carried out on April 22nd aims to incentivize impactful initiatives and habits throughout the year. First celebrated in Quebec in 1995, Earth Day has become a major date worldwide.
In Canada and in France, the organization Jour de la Terre was founded in 1990 to “help people and organizations reduce their impact on the environment“. The organization advocates eco-gestures and initiatives to promote better everyday practices such as the fight against food waste, zero waste or clean mobility. Their programs can be found on their website.
This year, Earth Day’s awareness campaign is entitled: “Call in sick for Earth Day” with a focus on eco-anxiety.
2. Will 2022 be a milestone year?
In April 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the last part of its 6th climate assessment report. Following the first part (the physical science basis) and the second part (impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability) published in August 2021 and February 2022, this third part (mitigation of climate change) alerts us to the urgency of acting. To ensure a “livable future“, it is now necessary to quickly implement concrete and effective actions. From the energy sector to agriculture, from transportation to buildings, the report shows step by step how important it is for governments and organizations to take ambitious measures.
The report shakes up experts and citizens around the world, highlighting the importance of reversing the CO2 emissions curve within three years. It also shows the impossibility of building new fossil fuel infrastructure to stay within the trajectory of limiting the global warming to 1.5°C set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, despite the shockwaves of the report, this has not prevented some counterproductive advances. While in Europe the issue of Russian oil and gas is still pending in Brussels, the Canadian government has just announced the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan presented on March 29 by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault. The $9.1 billion investment plan aims to reduce emissions by 40% to 45% compared to 2005 and includes measures related to carbon pricing, energy efficiency and clean mobility. Recently, the federal government published its budget, which is in line with the desire to act in favor of the ecological and social transition. This program aims to revitalize the Canadian economy and move it towards a greener, more sustainable alternative by accelerating the ecological transition. This program aims to revitalize the Canadian economy and shift it towards a greener, more sustainable alternative by accelerating the ecological transition. One of the key elements of the JGF is innovation and clean technologies, a source of productivity and increased competitiveness, which the Canadian government wishes to emphasize in the coming years.
Innovation is also at the heart of the IPCC report: according to the experts, solutions must be found to massively decarbonize industry and all sectors of the economy, particularly the energy sector, the largest emitter in the world. Developing clean energy sources, promoting the circular economy, or even putting forward “green” buildings are all solutions to reduce emissions in the years to come. To do so, investments 3 to 6 times larger are necessary.
One of the main tools put forward in the 2022 Budget is the collaboration between the private and public sectors to ensure investments that match the commitments made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the federal budget, the fund is announced to be capitalized at $15 billion over 5 years. Combined with the Emissions Reduction Plan, these announcements bode well for getting on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Nevertheless, these figures seem to be far from the mark and new efforts will have to be made soon: at the end of 2021, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated that public and private investments of $60 billion are needed each year to reach carbon neutrality in 2050.
In Quebec, the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy re-emphasized the province’s position as a leader in the clean energy sector. The objective of reducing emissions by 37.5% by 2030 is an opportunity to stimulate the Quebec economy, which wishes to encourage innovations, but also to promote the “green” development of other sectors, particularly transports, the largest polluting sector in the province. Electrifying the entire economy with hydro energy and supplying North America are actions that shape the image of tomorrow’s Quebec.
3. I want to act! But how?
Recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that on March 29, more electricity was generated from wind power than from fossil fuels (coal) or nuclear power. Although Canada is one of the largest producers and exporters of fossil fuels in the world, the growing development of renewable energy in North America is a unique opportunity to fight climate change and to decarbonize energy.
This also encourages people to act at the local level. As promoted by the Earth Day organization, easy to do everyday actions are possible and even essential. A few suggestions: change your eating habits (turn to organic and local food, eat in season, and reduce waste), limit your waste and encourage recycling, prioritize clean transportation, opt for energy sobriety, and limit your digital impact (reduce emails and sort them, reduce online videos).
At the organizational level, there are many ways to get involved: assess your carbon footprint and be accompanied by a specialized consulting firm, reduce direct and indirect emissions by promoting eco-responsible practices within the organization, or invest in decarbonized projects.
The Montréal Climate Summit, organized by Partenariat Climat MTL and the City of Montréal, will soon bring together stakeholders from all walks of life at the Bonsecours Market. This first summit will be an opportunity to highlight initiatives and trigger concrete projects with an impact. In the same vein, on May 18 and 19, the Sustainable Finance Summit organized by Finance Montréal will bring together the major players in the sector to discuss and promote solutions for financing the transition and highlight best practices for sustainable and responsible investments.
Blue Vision Capital is fully committed to invest in breakthrough innovative startups that contribute to the decarbonization of our economy. BVC will report carbon reduction and GHG avoidance of its portfolio companies to better understand the impact of its investments and do our part to contribute to a cleaner future. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.