Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna introduced three updates to Canada’s climate plan on Thursday that includes new regulations for vehicle emissions standards, pricing for heavy corporate polluters, and clean energy incentives for small businesses, not-for-profits, and indigenous communities.
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Trudeau is making an illegal push to end a major series of strikes. But unions can’t count on the courts to save them — only direct action can get the goods.
Justin Trudeau at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, March 2016. World Bank / Flickr.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the country’s most militant union, have been negotiating a new contract since November 2017. They have been fighting for job security, pay equity, and health and safety. Canada Post made a profit of $144 million in 2017, thanks to growing parcel delivery due to online shopping. With the legalization of cannabis in Canada — available only for online home delivery in the largest province of Ontario — profits are expected to climb even higher. MORE
UN summit urged to end all coal burning and introduce substantial taxes on emissions
Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.
The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date. They say fossil fuel subsidies must end and substantial taxes on carbon be introduced. MORE
You can’t fight nature in terms of the calamities that have hit their cities, but you can learn to accommodate it — or, at least, “Stay out of nature’s way.”
NEW ORLEANS — We rarely do much to protect our cities until disaster strikes. We fool ourselves into thinking we are safe, until a catastrophic event shows us how wrong we are.
New York discovered that grim fact in Superstorm Sandy. Houston in Harvey. San Juan in Maria. And, of course, New Orleans after Katrina.
Cities that have been through a disaster learn one important lesson: “Nature wins.” MORE
The first field trials using fungi to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are under way in Australia.
As carbon dioxide emissions increase in the atmosphere, scientists around the world are looking at solutions such as carbon sequestration. This process captures carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere for long-term storage.
Researcher Guy Webb from SoilQuest has fun with fungi, all in the name of science.
A group of Australian farmers is working with researchers to harness the power of fungi in soils. In the dry conditions of the Australian landscape, increasing soil carbon levels can help with water retention, boosting conditions for agriculture.
At the same time, by capturing carbon farmers can help contribute to addressing the problem of increasing greenhouse gases, climate change and global warming. MORE
Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape.
Focusing on pipeline projects that connect Alberta’s oil sands to export markets, the report examines how the press treats the relationship between jobs and the environment. More broadly, it asks which voices are treated as authoritative and used as sources, whose views are sidelined, which arguments for and against pipelines are highlighted, and what similarities and differences exist between mainstream and alternative media coverage of pipeline controversies. Read the report
“Efforts to reduce demand for fossil fuels are helping, but it is now quite clear that demand-side actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not enough,” Le Billon and Kristoffersen noted last week, as negotiations in Katowice, Poland reached a crescendo.
“Increasing carbon taxation on consumers has been relatively effective, but carbon taxes are facing increasing political resistance and can lead to a major backlash, as we are seeing with France’s current fuel riots. While the shift to renewable energy is gaining momentum, it is too slow. Per capita demand for energy has also been on the decline in the U.S. and many European countries for the past decade, but major new energy consumers such as China and India will take time to follow suit. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently pointed out, the current transition is still too slow to meet climate change targets.” MORE
This morning [Dec 18] in Edmonton, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced a $1.6 billion federal aid package for Canada’s oil and gas industry. The money is spread over a variety existing programs to help companies find new markets, invest in clean technology and train staff.
Throw in Ottawa’s summer purchase of the aging Trans Mountain pipeline — $4.5 billion, with a promise to spend as much as $7.4 billion more for a planned expansion — and Canadian taxpayers now find themselves on the hook for somewhere between $7.7 billion and $15 billion in new support for an industry that was already receiving more than $3.3 billion a year in government MORE
At the conclusion of the United Nations COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna boasted that Canada “played a leading role in laying the groundwork for a global carbon market.”
In short, this is a corporate-friendly approach backed by the World Bank Group in which a central authority allocates or sells a limited number of credits to corporations to discharge specific quantities of carbon pollution. Polluters that want to increase their carbon emissions must buy credits from other corporations willing to sell their excess credits. MORE