Canada’s emissions target gets further away as 2017 report shows increase


The oft repeated mantra that “We can create clean jobs, grow our economy, and protect our environment ” only works if the economy is not based on the tar sands ecocide. Present Liberal policy supports an expansion of this climate disaster rather than committing to leaving the dilbit in the ground–something climate scientists tell us  we are required to do prevent climate disaster.

A list of MPs’ emails is found here

The uptick pushes Canada even further away from its Paris climate change agreement pledge to slash emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 by 2030.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks to reporters during a press conference on the Climate Action Incentive at a Canadian Tire store in Ottawa on Monday, March 4, 2019. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions edged up for the first time in three years in 2017, pushing the country even further away from its international climate change commitments. JUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — The return of oil and gas production following the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire and a colder than usual winter pushed Canada’s national greenhouse gas emissions up in 2017 for the first time in several years, a new report says.

The latest national inventory report on emissions, filed this week with the United Nations climate change secretariat, showed 716 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were produced in Canada in 2017, an increase of eight million tonnes from 2016.

The uptick pushes Canada even further away from its Paris climate change agreement pledge to slash emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 by 2030.

Canada needs to get emissions to no more than 511 million tonnes by 2030 to meet its pledge, even though international scientists last year warned the country must have steeper reductions to prevent the impacts of a warming planet from becoming impossible to mitigate.

The report follows one released two weeks ago — made public amid a political battle over the new federal carbon tax — that said Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna defended her government’s record on emissions despite the uptick. She said the government’s “strongest” measures to fight pollution hadn’t been implemented in 2017, including the carbon tax, clean fuel standards and phasing out coal power.

“Canada’s climate plan is working, and the overall trend in emissions is downward toward 2030,” she said.

The 2017 emissions are two per cent below what emissions were in 2005.

Canada’s existing climate change action plan, which includes the carbon tax and subsidies to spur electric vehicle purchases, only gets Canada about 60 per cent of the way to its 2030 commitment. McKenna has previously said she thinks that gap will be closed as people adopt cleaner technology faster than expected. MORE


Quinte: Walking, rallying for action on climate change

Determined Quinte activists, young and old, send Todd Smith a message. But does anyone in the Ford government actually listen?

A group of marchers hold signs aloft that call for action on climate change in the Quinte region and abroad during the “Earth Hour: One Message, One Voice” walk and educational rally on Friday. PHOTO: BROCK ORMOND/INQUINTE.CA

Helping to educate future generations tackle the growing concern of climate change and raise awareness on supporting renewable energy was the goal behind the Earth Hour Walk and Rally on Friday.

About 80 people, including a small group of students from Centennial Secondary School, participated in a walk entitled “Earth Hour: One Message, One Voice,” and an educational rally to raise awareness on the realities of climate change and what kind of impact it will have on the younger people growing up.

The group marched from Zwick’s Park in Belleville, across the Norris Whitney Bridge to Todd Smith’s constituency office in Rossmore to hear speeches and view displays showcasing why people should be supporting renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar panels and other eco-friendly initiatives.

The group says they are not happy with the provincial government’s cancellation of renewable energy projects like the WPD White Pines Wind Farm Project in Prince Edward County.

Image result for Jen Ackerman White Pines WindOne of the organizers, Jen Ackerman, says she was generally pleased with the turnout, and was especially happy with the youth’s initiative to make their voices heard for their future.

“We heard them here today, they are strong and they are going to get stronger,” Ackerman said. “They care about the future, the planet, the inhabitance on this planet. Those kids are just wonderful.” MORE

Climate icon Greta Thunberg finds that political change is ‘complicated’

I keep telling you to unite behind the science — make the best available science the heart of politics and democracy.

Young activist tells European lawmakers they need to treat climate change as an ‘existential crisis.’

Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, 16, takes part in a press conference during a plenary session at the European Parliament on April 16, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France | Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images

STRASBOURG — Turns out that building a global climate change protest movement was the easy part.

Now 16-year-old climate icon Greta Thunberg is getting an up-close look at why politicians are having trouble turning her demands into policy.

“I have learned that anything can happen, but also learned how things work, how complicated everything is,” she told POLITICO on Tuesday about her political learning curve since starting her climate strikes last summer.

“It’s not just pressing a button and something happens, everyone has to agree — I have definitely started to understand more how everything works,” she said after watching the European Parliament’s Strasbourg plenary session from the visitors’ seats.

It’s a path traveled by other protestors who have tried to turn their demands into policy.

“Our house is falling apart, and we are rapidly running out of time, and yet basically nothing is happening” — Greta Thunberg

Her demands go way beyond the EU’s hard-won 2030 climate targets. Those goals reflect a careful balance between national interests, as well as concern about losing competitiveness to other major economies. But that doesn’t cut ice with a campaigner (and Nobel Peace Prize nominee) who sees climate change as the defining issue of our age.

“When I tell politicians to act now, the most common answer is that they can’t do anything drastic, because that would be too unpopular among voters. And they are right of course. Since most people are not even aware of why those changes are required. That is why I keep telling you to unite behind the science — make the best available science the heart of politics and democracy,” she told MEPs. MORE

Trans Mountain consultation approach ‘fatally flawed’ even with extension, says First Nations leader

The Trudeau government is in a clear conflict of interest as owners of the TransMountain pipeline and their duty to consult with the traditional legitimate title holders. Expect litigation and more delay.

‘Extending the timeline doesn’t address all these issues and approach to consultation,’ says Judy Wilson

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, elected leader of the Neskonlith band and a member of the executive branch of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau critical of the consultation process on the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

Even if the time period for consultation with Indigenous groups over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is extended by a few weeks, “it still doesn’t make up for the approach and the flawed way the consultations are being done,” says one B.C. First Nations leader.

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, elected leader of the Neskonlith band and a member of the executive branch of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week in which she described the consultation process as “fatally flawed” and detailed several critiques of the process that’s currently underway.

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, announced Thursday the consultation timeframe would be extended by a month, based on requests from Indigenous groups and advice from former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci who is leading the government’s efforts on consultation for the proposed expansion.

“Extending the timeline doesn’t address all these issues and approach to consultation,” said Wilson.

Among her criticisms is that Canada is in a “clear conflict-of-interest” when it comes to fulfilling its obligations to Indigenous groups, especially since it purchased the project from Kinder Morgan.

“As pipeline owners, they have a constant bias now because they’re looking at the interest of the pipeline as a national interest versus their Crown role for consultation to our Indigenous Peoples,” said Wilson in an interview Thursday.

She is also critical of the consultation process itself, because “it’s still bypassing our proper title holders, who are our people … they’re relying mainly on the band construct, which the federal government created,” she said.