Last weekend’s Edmonton Journal featured a detailed article by Ed Struzik about Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA). The story covers the history and current status of SARA, highlighting examples of the Polar Bear, Nooksack Dace, Greater Sage-Grouse and Woodland Caribou as species that the existing legislation has failed to protect. In two of these cases – the Nooksack Dace and the Greater Sage-Grouse – legal action has been necessary to move forward protection of these species. In the article, our conservation ecologist Ted Cheskey says: The Species at Risk Act “itself has a lot of potential … “It requires the government to identify and protect habitat in which species need to survive and recover. And habitat loss, we know,… 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 →
We are approaching the mid-way point of the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen, and things aren’t looking good for our future. Canada has been named “Fossil of the Day” 3 times, blocking progress on an agreement that sets fair and binding targets for greenhosue gas emissions from 2012 onward. It’s time to tell our leaders that we want a real deal to come out of this summit. This weekend, people like you will be coming together all over the world for positive events that reinforce the message. Friday December 11th – Vigils for Survival Join groups as they light candles to stand in solidarity with those who live in nations imminently threatened by climate change. Saturday December 12th –… read more →
All three opposition parties have made it clear that Canada should define targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change before heading to international climate talks in Copenhagen next month. The Bloc Quebecois introduced a motion to Parliament, supported by the NDP and Liberals, that stated That, in the opinion of the House, Canada should commit to propose at the Copenhagen conference on climate change: 1. reducing, through absolute reduction targets, greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries to 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020; 2. the necessity of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees C higher than in the preindustrial era; and 3. supporting the developing countries in their efforts to… read more →
Members of Parliament have the opportunity to be champions for species at risk in Canada. Last night, Nature Canada – along with the All Party International Conservation Caucus, conservation partners Ecojustice, David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence, and industry partners Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) – hosted MPs on Parliament Hill for a Species At Risk reception and awareness event. The event was supported by the Ivey Foundation, MAC and FPAC. Dubbed “Help Make SARA Work,” this joint event highlighted the consensus among environmental groups and industry associations that Canada needs a strong Species At Risk Act (SARA) to protect our at-risk species and their habitats. Strong legislation is good for business and… read more →
Climate Day at Parliament Hill in Ottawa was intense, moving and energizing. Mara Kerry, Nature Canada’s Director of Conservation and I were very glad to be there. There was a strong sense of urgency, but also of hope: the event was organized by young people that want to make sure world leaders in Copenhagen set us in a new course: a 350 future. Dr. John Stone, one of the IPCCC’s scientists that won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping the world understand Climate Change, had a simple message: “We are running out of time.” A young leader from the Northwest Territories also had a simple message: “We have a right to be cold.” The Executive Director of Oxfam Canada reminded… read more →
Representatives of the KYOTOplus Coalition – 100 diverse groups and organizations, including Nature Canada – presented the first 100,000 signatures to the KYOTOplus petition to the Prime Minister’s Office this morning. At a news conference including speakers from Greenpeace and Oxfam, banners with the names of over 40,000 signatories were unfurled and held high in front of the Parliament Buildings. I have to say, it’s an impressive sight! Members of the NDP, Bloc Québecois and Green Party also spoke and commended the Canadians who have already signed the petition, encouraging all MPs to pay attention to the demands of the public for positive action on climate change. The KYOTOplus petition calls for science-based greenhouse gas emission targets in Canada and… read more →
As we told you earlier this week, Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, is currently passing through parliament. Yesterday was a crucial vote to move the Bill to Third Reading in the House of Commons. It has been stuck in the House Environment Committee since April. In yesterday’s vote, the Liberals and Conservatives decided to leave the Bill at the Committee for further study. This decision means that Canada will go to international climate talks in Copenhagen this December without a clear plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is the only country in the world to renounce its climate change commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Read more about Bill C-311 and yesterday’s vote on NetNewsledger.com.