For too long, political leaders could tick the box on climate change by expressing their deep, abiding concern, introducing largely cosmetic policy changes, then carrying on with business as usual.
In Canada, massive fossil fuel subsidies have continued with a nod and a wink, with self-styled climate leaders like British Columbia Premier John Horgan still finding billions in tax breaks for liquefied natural gas developments that will utterly defeat an otherwise solid effort at an ambitious provincial carbon target.
Climate intensity scarcely existed when Canadians last went to the polls, but it’s surging today.
With much of eastern Canada still recovering from epic floods, and the West heading into wildfire season, the demand for real action and consistent policies could become an irresistible force on the campaign trail.
The ‘circular economy’ (CE) concept is fast becoming a new model for resilient growth. A circular economy is one in which products and materials are recycled, repaired and reused rather than thrown away, and in which waste from one industrial process becomes a valued input into another.
The CE offers a promising alternative strategy for industrial development and job creation to the traditional manufacturing-led growth pathway. The CE continues to be understood primarily as a waste management and recycling strategy, but the economic opportunities are far broader and more diverse.
Developed-country governments have an important role to play in facilitating a meaningful dialogue on how the international dynamics of CE policies may best be managed.