STU students proposes to city for climate change warning labels for gas pumps

St. Thomas University students gave a presentation to the City of Fredericton’s Public Safety & Environment Committee, Tuesday, asking councillors to pass a by-law that would require gasoline retailers to place climate change and air pollution information labels on gas pump nozzles. The presentation was positively received and the committee voted unanimously for staff to research the matter to help inform their next steps.

Students Nicholas Decarie, Karen Buckle, Jeremy Trevors, and Daniel Desjardins presented the idea launched by the Canadian climate change non-profit called ‘Our Horizon’.

“In the past, Fredericton City council has made numerous environmental initiatives, like setting the groundwork to be the first Canadian city to reach the Kyoto Protocol. We as citizens of this great city, this province, and this country wish to continue this tradition with this by-law,” argued Decarie.

The students stressed the local impacts of climate change such as record-breaking rainfalls in the Magaguadavic River Valley in December 2011 and in the St. Stephen area in July 2013. They also cited research from Dr. Rick Cunjak showing how rising water temperatures have negatively impacted wild Atlantic salmon in the Miramichi River. Research from Dr. Heather Koopman also shows that the fecundity of female lobsters in the Bay of Fundy has declined due to warming ocean temperatures. The students argued that such impacts will only continue to negatively affect the New Brunswick economy.

“This proposal is quite possibly one of the least expensive climate interventions on the planet. The cost of implementing and maintaining this idea globally is negligible in comparison to the billions of dollars in external costs that must now be covered by taxpayers,” said Buckle.

Robert Shirkey, the Toronto-based lawyer behind Our Horizon’s initiative was encouraged to learn the news of Fredericton’s interest in the proposal.

“I’m really inspired by the actions of youth in Fredericton and communities across Canada,” said Shirkey. “I’m also encouraged that councillors are receptive to the idea and want to learn more about its potential impacts. It’s going to take leadership from all levels of government to address the challenge of climate change.”

The students look forward to working with councillors and staff as the City of Fredericton researches the idea to eventually bring it forward for a final decision




What:                   St. Thomas University students Karen Buckle, Nicholas Decarie, Daniel Desjardins, and Jeremy Trevors are presenting a proposal to the Public Safety & Environment Committee for the City of Fredericton to require gasoline retailers to place climate change and air pollution information labels on gas pump nozzles.


Where:                Fredericton City Hall, 397 Queen Street. Second Floor Committee Room.


When:                  Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm.


Why:                     – Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We must reduce our consumption of fossil fuels to ensure a stable climate.

– The proposed labels are an innovative way to link our consumption of fossil fuels to the impacts of climate change right at the point of purchase. The idea challenges the status quo and contributes to the creation of social conditions that favour reform.

– Cities such as West Vancouver, Berkeley, and San Francisco have voted to pursue this idea. In pursuing this proposal, Fredericton would be showing important global leadership on one of the greatest challenges of our time.


Who:                     Our Horizon is a national not-for-profit organization that’s asking municipalities to pass laws that would require climate change and air pollution information labels on gas pump nozzles. The campaign was launched by Toronto-based lawyer Robert Shirkey in 2013 and has already attracted interest from all over the world. To learn more, please visit

With the New ‘Ministry of Climate Change’, It’s Time for a ‘Just Transitions Law’

Re-blogged from Law of Works

The announcement of the new Ontario Liberal government cabinet included one new item that caught my eye. The Liberals have appointed Glen Murray as Minister of the renamed

Law of works
Just Transition Law as a New Legal Discipline?

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. How governments respond to climate change (or fail to do so) has great significance for labour markets, business, workers, and unions. Climate change will kill some industries and spawn new ones. Millions of workers worldwide will be affected. These are matters of great concern for labour law. Labour and environmental groups have had some success in forging common ground on ways forward to deal with climate change and still protect the economy. Environmental law scholars have proposed new legal fields like Climate Change Law, but they tend to ignore labour law and labour markets. Surprisingly, labour law–its lawyers and academics–has so far had little to say about climate change, and law’s response to it. Climate change law is considered to fall within the boundaries of environmental law and  Continue Reading —->