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e-2827 (Environment)

Initiated by Amita Kuttner from Lasqueti Island, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled

  • The climate crisis and destruction of ecosystems (ecocide) are the result of many years of harmful industrial activities permitted by law, with many of the risks having been known for decades by the companies choosing to continue these practices and the governments who subsidize those activities;
  • Canadian citizens and residents can and must take some responsibility for what is consumed, but it is industry, finance and government who make high-level investment and policy decisions;
  • The international community lacks a legal framework ensuring shared-nation responsibility for financing humanitarian and environmental aid and assistance to ecocide territories despite numerous treaties, agreements and civil lawsuits;
  • As a UN Member state Canada shares a collective legal duty "to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom" in terms of the Preamble to the UN Charter 1945; and
  • Amending the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include ecocide as a crime, alongside genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression, could provide a simple, effective deterrent for those in positions of corporate and financial responsibility and mandate a duty to protect for government officials, enforceable within existing criminal justice systems.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to declare its support for an amendment to the Rome Statute and advocate its adoption internationally in the knowledge that many countries must stand together for the long-term protection of all life on Earth.

Response by the Minister of International Development

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Karina Gould

The Government of Canada has made environment and climate change a top priority, both in terms of working with the provinces and territories to develop a domestic action plan, as well as contributing meaningfully to international efforts to transition towards a low-carbon economy. The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to the goal of exceeding its Paris Agreement target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada is also committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Responsible business conduct is at the nexus of many priorities for Canada such as the respect for human rights and rights of Indigenous communities, the global fight against climate change, and inclusive trade. To this end, the Government of Canada expects Canadian companies active abroad to respect human rights, to operate transparently and in consultation with host governments and local communities, and to work in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, while respecting applicable laws.

At the global level, the Government of Canada recognizes that many countries cannot implement the measures required to face the global climate crisis without help. The Government of Canada therefore remains firmly committed to the collective goal of mobilizing US$100 billion in climate finance annually in 2020 and beyond. The Government of Canada will also continue to play a leadership role in supporting developing countries to address climate change and encouraging innovative approaches and partnerships to financing sustainable development to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries.

Canada is committed to be a world leader for climate, both in terms of environmental action and peace promotion, and will continue to follow closely the discussions on ecocide at the international level.

Open for signature
September 2, 2020, at 12:03 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
October 2, 2020, at 12:03 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Jenica Atwin (Fredericton)
November 19, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00249)
Government response tabled
January 25, 2021
Photo - Jenica Atwin
Liberal Caucus
New Brunswick