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Will Trudeau’s Infrastructure Plan Exacerbate Climate Change?

Source: Rabble.ca

Source: Rabble.ca

When most people think of taking action on climate change, infrastructure isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

But infrastructure plays a big role in adapting to a changing climate. Our infrastructure planning can worsen the climate crisis, or it can prepare us to live more sustainable and less carbon-intensive lives.

During the recent federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a new infrastructure plan. He’s also promised serious climate action. However, some are now concerned that the new infrastructure won’t align with our climate needs.

From Rabble:

“The federal Liberals ‘historic infrastructure plan‘ acknowledges that infrastructure will need to be beefed up to deal with climate impacts such as flooding from more intense storms and rising sea levels. But when it comes to reducing the carbon pollution that threatens everything humans value, the plan is silent. And that leaves open a big door to provincial, municipal and regional governments getting billions in federal funds for projects that make the climate crisis worse. There is money in Trudeau’s budget allocated to a public transit fund which can reduce carbon pollution, but even ‘green infrastructure’ is mainly focused on replacing sewer pipes and the like rather than reducing carbon pollution….

“The cliché ‘you can’t build your way out of congestion’ is well supported by studies and experience, and has important implications for climate policy. In a 2007 study Clark Williams-Derry, Research Director of the SightLine Institute, found that ‘considering the increased emissions from highway construction and additional vehicle travel, adding one mile of new highway lane will increase CO2 emissions by more than 100,000 tons over 50 years.’…

“Trudeau has urged us to ‘take an active part in’ ensuring the success of the Paris climate agreement. Every dollar of public money spent on roadway expansion is a dollar spent to sabotage the Paris Climate agreement, and to push humanity towards truly catastrophic global warming. Let’s help Justin succeed in this tough work, by demanding that not one dollar of public infrastructure money go to increase carbon pollution.”

Read more from the article here. 

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