Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner October 21, 2021
As a way to change the world for the better as I’ve understood it, I’ve spent most of my life and activism on the gender question. Inequality between the sexes looms large over our world, a toxic and damaging reality that will take 200 years to dismantle.
I expect that this work to dismantle inherited patriarchy in all its harmful forms will continue into the future, shaped by bright young people from every part of the globe. The movement for gender justice is unstoppable.
Just as has happened with the adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine, gender equality has been accomplished in the Nordic countries, and has made large inroads in the developed world. It has brave adherents everywhere, in every country. The last bastions underlying it, the fundamentalist religions, including my own, are rattling at their foundations. The faiths themselves aren’t in question, but their organized structures need to be set aside.
Perhaps then, at this point we can unite - just in the nick of time - to pour all our passion, fear, energy for reform and political clout into environmental justice.
Since I have never suffered through a climate disaster, living as I do in the favored land of southern Ontario, I cannot bring to this cause the searing eloquence or poignant witness of those who have lived through drought, deadly forest fires, ravaging storms, food shortages, sea level rise, death by heat, and unbreathable air.
The words of such people must be privileged two weeks from now in Glasgow, Scotland, at the 26th United Nations World Conference on the environment. More than 20,000 delegates will be there; heads of state, ministers, legislators, scientists, artists, activists and ordinary people.
This two-week meeting is called our last best chance to really decrease greenhouse gases and increase green spending. Change our hearts and habits before the temperature rise reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.
The question is, what can the rich world say with sincerity, when it is the poor areas of the globe such as Africa and Southeast Asia, who have done the least to cause the crisis in greenhouse gases, and now stand to suffer the most?
I offer up the name of a super-smart, modest Canadian, who simultaneously comes from the far north and from the financial sector.
Mark Carney, age 57, is a public servant, a climate finance reformer and a devoted Edmonton Oilers hockey fan. He grew up in Fort Smith, NWT, was educated at the University of Alberta, and at Harvard and London. Married to a British- born development expert with 4 daughters, he lives in Ottawa.
Do follow him, if you are into Twitter.
Every financier, central banker, insurance company leader and politico around the world will take his calls. After all, he was governor of the Bank of Canada and then of the Bank of England.
How then to use this prominence for the common good? Well, by accepting a one-dollar-a-year job for the United Nations, leading up to COP 26.
Carney, over the last 2 years, has introduced “GZFANZ.” That set of letters should be committed to memory. It stands for “Glasgow Alliance for Net Zero.”
We will have to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Carney calls the campaign “Race to Zero,” and needs $100 billion over the next 30 years. Amazingly, he has gathered pledges for this sum from almost every world bank. Six Canadian banks came aboard last week.
It will be spent on science-based projects as follows: 12 percent in Africa, 50 percent in Asia Pacific and 25 percent in Europe and North America.
In his book “Values,” Carney outlines his ethical thinking: that markets not dominate society, but rather that human values must. Irish singer Bono calls it “radical.”
Carney’s green financing project will make COP26 extra special for us Canadians. He has worked with our minister of the environment, Jonathan Wilkinson, for 25 years. They may well emerge as the heroes of the conference. Maybe the 21st century will indeed belong to Canadian leadership.
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or from >Amazon<