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Call to action: Sign AED petition for COVID-stimulus investment in clean energy

A petition is circulating among architects and allied professionals in Canada, calling on the government to invest in a transition to clean energy as part of its post-COVID economic recovery plans.

“On March 31st, the Alberta government announced their decision to give $1.5B to support the development of the Keystone XL pipeline,” notes Vancouver-based architect Jennifer Cutbill, who started the petition. “As we speak, the federal government is considering a multi-billion dollar bail-out for the oil and gas sector as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package.”

“While we need to be focused on health and equity for all Canadians at this critical time, we must also ensure that the stimulus decisions do not further exacerbate our concurrent planetary health pandemic,” she says.

The letter specifically asks for the backing of signatories to Canada’s Architects Declare letter, which committed architectural firms to sustained action on the climate emergency. It is also open to signatures from all architects, designers, and allied professionals.

The petition notes that earlier in March, the Oil and Gas sector wrote a letter to the federal government asking for support, using the sector’s employment of 100,000 Canadians as justification.  The green building sector employs almost 300,000 Canadians as of 2014 (as per CaGBC’s 2015 report)—and the organization’s new report, due out this summer, suggests this number has grown significantly.

“As architects and allied professionals focused on creating healthy built environments, it is important we add our collective voice to the calls already made by Canadian health care professionals, scientists, academics, indigenous land defenders, youth and eco-social justice NGOs to invest in regenerating planetary health—not the further expansion of fossil fuel production,” says Cutbill.

The petition can be viewed and signed at this link.

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