Remember Bill C-311, the bill that many of us were hoping would set a scientific target for Canada’s commitments in Copenhagen? Well, we know how sadly Copenhagen turned out. But the Bill might still make a difference. That is, if we all contact our MPs before April 14th and ask them to support it! The situation the Bill is under is urgent and complex; best explained by the MP who introduced the Bill: “An urgent message from Bruce Hyer, MP Thunder Bay – Superior North who introduced Bill C-311 – The Climate Change Accountability Act: Because of a surprise procedural motion foisted upon the House of Commons by the Conservatives just as the debate on Bill C-311 was about… read more →
It’s the last scheduled day of international UN climate talks in Copenhagen, and it looks as though the hopes of the world for a strong, fair, ambitious deal to halt the climate crisis are fading. Although world leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, are staying beyond the end of the scheduled talks this evening, it doesn’t look like a legally binding document will be the outcome of these last-ditch negotiations. Draft text of the proposed Copenhagen Accord sets a base year of 1990 for emissions reductions with a goal of 50% reduction by 2050 – developed nations should aim for an 80% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions. These targets should limit global temperature increases to no more than 2… read more →
A letter signed by prominent scientists (including members of the IPCC and several Canadian universities) was just sent to the leaders of all eight boreal forest countries this week, asking that they protect their vital boreal carbon stores. From the letter: Globally boreal forests are a key carbon pool that has been largely overlooked in the climate change policy debate to date. In fact, boreal forest holds more carbon per acre than any other land-based ecosystem, perhaps two or three times as much carbon as in the tropics. The boreal region is also home to some of the world’s last intact forests, abundant populations of large mammals and birds and home to hundreds of indigenous communities. When boreal soils and… read more →
A fake news release from Copenhagen yesterday claimed that Canada had set bold new emissions targets for greenhouse gases and commited to billions of dollars of aid for developing nations to adapt to climate change. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as documents obtained by the media yesterday show the opposite – weaker emission targets have been investigated by the government for the oil and gas sector. Amid the confusion and controversy over Canadian commitments, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for negotiators to stop pointing fingers or risk making a serious mistake at the Copenhagen talks. World leaders begin arriving at the summit today in the hopes of reaching a deal before Friday.
The international climate talks in Copenhagen seem to be stalling, in large part due to the differences between developed and developing nations. Now, Canada has come under criticism from provinces and First Nations groups who are not impressed with the negotiating team’s stance. The governments of Ontario and Quebec are expressing concern that their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may hurt their provinces if emissions continue to rise elsewhere, particularly from the western tar sands developments. From The Globe and Mail: In Denmark on Sunday for the United Nations climate convention, Quebec Premier Jean Charest condemned the federal government for the potential economic consequences of its anemic fight against climate change. … Mr. Charest was backed by Ontario Environment… read more →
Climate change is happening. Over the last hundred years, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by an average of 0.74°C, and, in places, well above 2°C. The rise is almost certainly linked to human-produced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which rose by 70% between 1970 and 2004 alone. One global study estimates that 15–37% of species could be committed to extinction by 2050 as a consequence of climate change; another that each degree of warming could drive another 100-500 bird species extinct. Temperature rises beyond 2°C are predicted to lead to catastrophic extinction rates, with few practical conservation options left. There is a window between now and 2015 within which it may be possible to significantly slow down or lower the… read more →
I’ve been searching for a positive story to come out of the second day of the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen. Most of the media stories are centred around the “leaked text” by developed nations that would widen the gap between rich and poor and devestate the world. I also read a wonderful first-hand account of the Africa civil society meeting where Sudanese leader Lumumba Di-Aping movingly outlined the consequences of an unequal and unfair agreement. Looking for news closer to home, the National Post is reporting that Canada has been a “constructive negotiator” at the climate talks. However, with a second “Fossil of the Day” award at this summit – as part of a group this time –… read more →
Canada, once a world leader on environmental issues, is lagging behind on climate change yet again. The United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen began yesterday, seeking an international agreement for action on the climate crisis. On the first day of the negotiations, Canada was recognized with a “Fossil of the Day” award – given to countries that are blocking progress in the talks – for planning not to negotiate in Copenhagen. This position doesn’t represent the will of Canadians, as over 150,000 of us have signed the KYOTOplus petition calling for strong solutions in Copenhagen and concrete action here at home. There is still time for Canada’s team to show true leadership on the climate issue. The Copenhagen summit is… read more →