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Federal and Provincial Governments Fail Climate Audit
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Federal and Provincial Governments Fail Climate Audit

[caption id="attachment_36177" align="alignleft" width="150"] Stephen Hazell, Director of Conservation and General Counsel[/caption] Federal and provincial governments are not on track to meet their commitments to reducing GHG emissions and are not ready for the impacts of climate change says a collaborative audit by Auditors General from across Canada and the Federal Environment Commissioner. Nature Canada’s view is that this collaborative audit is a staggering rebuke to provincial and federal governments in terms of the actual performance of governments (as opposed to promises and intentions)  in addressing climate change. The Auditors General conclude that: “Canada is not expected to meet its 2020 target.  Meeting the 2030 target will require efforts and actions beyond those in place” . . . “Most Canadian governments have not assessed, and, therefore, do not fully understand what risks they face and what actions they should take to adapt to a changing climate” The response of federal and provincial deputy ministers of Environment  to the collaborative audit is baffling in that they barely  acknowledge the criticisms of the Auditors General, claiming that “good progress has been made”, when that is clearly not the case. Nature Canada strongly urges all governments to consider nature-based solutions to climate change (e.g., protect forests, wetlands and  grasslands that store carbon and mitigate effects of extreme weather events) rather than building subdivisions or monoculture agricultural fields on top of them.  

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Right Whales closer to the brink
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Right Whales closer to the brink

[caption id="attachment_22697" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Stephen Hazell Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel[/caption] Twelve highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whales have been killed in the past month in the Gulf of St Lawrence and U.S. eastern seaboard by ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement. Unfortunately, the global population of these whales is only 500. Nature Canada applauds the decision by the Government of Canada to slow ships to ten knots (19 km/hour) in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence where the whales have been frequenting this summer. Clearly this decision will not be enough to reverse the decline of this species. First, the decision applies only to a small part of the range of Right Whales, and not to other important habitat such as the Bay of Fundy. Second, other threats to Right Whales such as oil spills from tankers, oil and gas drilling, seismic blasts and ocean pollution such as toxics and plastics garbage remain unaddressed. Nature Canada has been an active intervener in the Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain, and Energy East primarily to ensure that the impacts of these proposed oil pipeline and tanker projects on marine birds and mammals are well-understood before decisions are made. Nature Canada has joined the conversation and you can too-visit the Government of Canada’s Let’s Talk Whales to learn more. https://www.letstalkwhales.ca/  

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