I sat in the public gallery in the legislature today for the second time to observe a meeting of the Special Committee on Climate Change, a committee struck “to explore the options available to reduce GHG emissions and to make fully costed recommendations on how the province can best meet its emission reduction targets.”
The meetings, I have found, are quite interesting: last week’s meeting featured a report from Todd Dupuis and Erin Taylor from Prince Edward Island’s Climate Change Secretariat, and this week’s was a presentation by Dale Beugin, the Executive Director of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.
In both cases I’ve not only learned a lot about emissions, emissions mitigation, PEI’s climate targets and options, and about carbon pricing, but, perhaps more importantly, I’ve gained insight, through their questions, into the minds of the Members of the Legislative Assembly, about what they know about climate change (and what they don’t know).
From a purely emotional point of view, it is comforting being in a room filled with politicians who, without exception, recognize that GHG reduction is an urgent issue, agree that action is needed, and agree that, despite our small size, we need to act boldly, when, outside in the regular everyday world, one is pummeled by half-truths and propaganda to the contrary.
It is also heartening to witness the much-discussed collaborative spirit of the legislators in the room: the questions they have been asking have been insightful, genuine, and have been successful in drawing information from witnesses that would have not otherwise emerged.
The next meeting date for the committee hasn’t been published yet, but you can watch out for it on the Calendar of Committee Meetings.