Ontario has 81 Drinking Water Advisories in 44 First Nations communities, with 68 of those classified as long-term
Of mining companies around the world are headquartered in Canada, many of which have reputations for infringing on human and environmental rights
Cost of total damages due to natural disasters in 2016
Climate change affects us all.
- Climate change refers to the change in the distribution of weather patterns over an extended period of time through increased human activity from the burning of fossil fuels (i.e. oil, coal and gas).
- Recent shifts in the Earth’s weather patterns, resulting in extreme heat, flooding, droughts, violent storms, rising sea levels, smog and habitat loss are already taking a toll on local economies and the environment.
- In 2016, on a global scale, the cost of total damages due to natural disasters amounted to $175 billion; the highest it has been since 2012.
- 2016 is also a year that falls within the top 10 costliest years due to natural disasters on record.
- Heat related mortality could more than double in southern and central Ontario by 2050.
The first communities to be impacted by the effects of climate change are often the most vulnerable.
- In Canada, First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities contend with unsafe drinking water.
- In some regions, Indigenous youth in their early 20’s have gone their whole lives without accessible clean drinking water.
Globally, countries that contribute the most to climate change are often the last to feel its effects, while countries contributing the least tend to bear the brunt of environmental changes. This was evident in 2017:
- Widespread hurricanes and earthquakes across the Central and Southern Americas, the Southern United States and in Asia.
- Heavy flooding and landslides in Southeast Asia and parts of Northern and Western Africa.
- Droughts in Somalia and South Africa.
- Wildfires across North America and Australia.
Student’s concern with climate change is not new and they recognize that to combat climate change we must prioritize widespread government action over individual behaviour changes.
- For many international students, this concern is further compounded with seeing their home countries suffer from Canadian companies’ resource extraction projects and/or from the effects of climate change.
- Many students are looking beyond individualized approaches such as changing light bulbs or riding a bicycle.
- Government must implement stricter environmental regulations on resource extraction companies, both within Canada and globally, and give them harsher penalties when they infringe on human rights or threaten environmental standards.
Students and institutions know that to make real progress on climate change, what must be created is the political will and commitment to hold one another accountable at the individual, institutional, provincial, national and international levels.
Become a part of these efforts by pressuring political parties to:
- Advocate for institutions to reduce its carbon footprint through initiatives such as the creation or retrofitting of buildings to make them LEED compliant, going bottled water free and divesting from fossil fuel companies.
- Address the drinking water crises in First Nations communities.
- Commit to stronger regulations against resource extraction companies both in Canada and abroad.
Fairness for students is immediate and large-scale government action to combat climate change.