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“People don’t understand how urgent it is”

By: Clément Badra, GreenPAC Parliamentary Intern for the Environment

Photo taken by Benjamin Parinaud during Universal Accessibility Issues in Universities, 2018

A Lifelong Connection to Nature

I’ve been interested in nature and biology since I was a kid. I grew up feeling connected to nature and I have always been fascinated by the history of the Earth. Unsurprisingly, I went on to study biology in university.

Looking for treasures in Bretagne, 1998

Looking at the last 200 years, you realize that something isn’t right. Even during my lifetime, I’ve seen changes in the biodiversity of places I have visited. The fact that I’ve always been in contact with nature gave me that sensitivity – and once you know what’s going on, you can either pretend it’s not happening or you can get involved.

Foraying into Politics

Moving from France and adjusting to life in another country with a disability, I had a lot to deal with. I didn’t get involved in politics until I was completing my Master’s Degree three years ago.

When I was the president of my Student Association, I looked into environmental problems and solutions. I was surprised to see that the solutions are all there – the problem is that they are not being implemented.

Our Time event at McGill during the 2019 Federal Election

It’s frustrating but a single piece of legislation can lead to vast changes that would be nearly impossible to enact as an activist ‘on the ground.’ I realized I needed to learn more about politics if I wanted to be an environmental champion.

Urgent Action is Needed

We are far from actually making the changes we need to make. People don’t realize how urgent it is. One of the surprising things I’ve learned during my internship is just how long it can take to enact change. I had no idea that it could take up to six years for a piece of legislation to become law. And when you know that we only have about 10 years before a predicted catastrophic rise in global temperatures, it is very upsetting.

At the debates during the 2019 election

I’m frustrated but remain hopeful because we know what the solutions are. We need strong environmental champions in Parliament to enact meaningful change. We have champions in civil society, activist groups, and even in industry doing their part. They need help from politicians willing to implement the necessary changes to make their work more effective.

GreenPAC identifies, supports, and helps elect environmental leaders, while also empowering the next generation of environmental champions.


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