Even if geoengineering can help mitigate climate change, is it ethical?

(Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/Getty Images)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and scientists from around the world have said it time and again: CO2 emissions need to be radically reduced in order to stop the world from warming to a point where it will trigger catastrophic climate change.

But radical reductions aren’t in place right now, which is why some scientists and policymakers are considering a controversial option: geoengineering, or the deliberate manipulation of the environment.

The discussion has recently taken centre stage as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. received $4 million to research geoengineering, with no confirmation as to what that might look like.

One of the more popular methods of geoengineering is solar radiation management (SRM). In this method, particles of sulphur or calcium carbonate are sprayed into the stratosphere, which makes solar radiation “bounce” off clouds back into space, creating a cooling effect. It’s the same process that happens after a large volcanic eruption.

There are many issues concerning the potential of employing such a method, including whether it is scientifically possible, economically viable and how a body like the United Nations might govern its use.

But another big one is whether it is ethical.

Thus far, geoengineering studies have been done primarily in labs using models. It’s unknown whether it would produce the desired effect on a larger scale or what the consequences might be.

However, several studies that have modelled SRM find that large-scale use of it could increase precipitation in some parts of the world — potentially in some of the regions in the tropics.

“If you’re talking about justice and equity, then the impacts of changing rainfall patterns are going to fall disproportionately on the poorest around the world,” said Emily Cox, an environmental policy researcher at Cardiff University as well as the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the U.K.

Cox also noted that there is a philosophical discussion around intentional versus unintentional harm. For example, burning coal and emitting CO2 isn’t limited to borders and is already causing unintended consequences. Similarly, if we employ SRM, we could be causing unintentional harm for other countries.

“Everything we do affects other nations,” she said.

David Keith is a Canadian professor of applied physics at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, which is home to one of the leading geoengineering labs in the world. He disputes the findings that state SRM will increase precipitation.

“We had a big paper that was very well reported last year in [the journal] Nature Climate Change that contradicts that assumption,” he said.

There is clearly still dispute over the effects of geoengineering, but given the potential differences in outcome, it’s unlikely every country in the world will agree on the specifics of SRM. So what happens when one country says it doesn’t support it? How ethical would it be for another country to simply proceed?

There are “big philosophical questions here,” said Cox. As a result, “there’s a real danger of polarization.” SOURCE

Thunberg says only ‘eight years left’ to avert 1.5°C warming

Climate change is a top priority at the Davos meeting for policymakers and business leaders though Donald Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement

Photo: Anders Hellberg/Wikimedia)

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg called on Tuesday for far tougher action to limit climate change, telling the World Economic Forum in Davos the world has just eight years left to avert severe warming.

Thunberg, 17, speaking on a Davos panel with three other youth delegates from around the world, also expressed doubts that the world could develop technologies in coming decades to suck carbon dioxide from thin air to limit rising temperatures.

“A lot,” she said, when asked what she wanted in the coming year or so. “Especially that we start listening to the science and that we treat this crisis as the crisis it is.”

Governments are due to meet in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, seeking to ratchet up the ambition of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The deal aims to limit warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, while pursuing efforts for a tougher ceiling of 1.5°C

Climate change tops risks for world in 2020 – Davos report

Thunberg said there was only eight years left at current levels of emissions to keep temperatures below 1.5°C. Average global temperatures are about 1.1°C above pre-industrial times, according to the United Nations. And the rise is causing more extreme weather, such as heatwaves, wildfires and rising sea levels.

Climate change is a top priority at the Davos meeting for policymakers and business leaders although US President Donald Trump, who is also attending, is pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement. He frequently doubts mainstream climate science.

Extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss and human-made environmental disasters top most likely risks to the global economy in 2020, according to the survey for the World Economic Forum among business leaders, investors and policy-makers.

Thunberg and other youth activists on the panel did not mention Trump by name.

Thunberg quoted a table on page 108 of a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that says the world can emit only 420 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from January 2018 to have a likely, or 67% chance, of keeping temperatures below 1.5°C

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“With today’s emissions levels the remaining budget is gone within less than eight years,” she said. She noted that current emissions were about 42 billion tonnes a year, meaning a remaining budget in 2020 of about 340 billion tonnes.

“Every fraction of a degree matters,” she said.

And she said that the IPCC scenario did not include “tipping points”, sudden changes for instance that Greenland´s ice sheet could start an irreversible thaw or that tropical waters could get too hot for coral reefs.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last year urged world leaders to cut emissions by 45% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050 to get on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

Thunberg noted that few scenarios used by the IPCC reckoned such deep cuts were likely to happen.

“Most models assume that future generations will somehow be able to suck hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 out of the air with technologies that do not exist today at the scale required, and perhaps never will,” she said.

Thunberg said that global awareness about climate change had surged in the past year, spurred by youth activists around the world. But the pressure to cut emissions had not yet translated into policy.

“From a bigger perspective, basically nothing (has happened) … it will require much more than this, this is the very beginning,” she said. SOURCE

California is on track to miss its climate targets—by a century

And it’s likely to get harder, not easier, for the state to achieve ever deeper cuts in emissions

Photograph of smoke from the Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.
AP / NOAH BERGER

California has established itself as a global model on climate issues, with Teslas filling its roads and solar farms stretching across its sun-baked Central Valley.

The state set up the nation’s first economy-wide cap-and-trade program, put in place aggressive vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and passed a series of ever stricter climate pollution rules. That includes the landmark 2018 law requiring all of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by the end of 2045.

But for all its regulatory achievements, California also offers a case study in just how hard it is to make progress on the only thing that really matters: reducing emissions.

The state’s climate pollution declined by just 1.15% in 2017, according to the latest California Green Innovation Index. At that rate, California won’t reach its 2030 decarbonization goals (cutting emissions to 40% below 1990 levels) until 2061—and wouldn’t hit its 2050 targets (80% below 1990 levels) until 2157.

If a state that’s actively trying to slash emissions is on pace to miss its targets by a century, that bodes poorly for progress in the many other parts of the world that are barely bothering. Crucially, the UN’s climate panel says the world as a whole needs to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2050 to halt warming at 1.5 ˚C, or by 2070 to stay below 2˚ C.

What went wrong?

Transportation emissions, the state’s largest source, have steadily risen since 2013, as the improving economy put more cars on the road and planes in the sky. Emissions from waste dumped into landfills have also been ticking up since the recovery took hold. Meanwhile, highly potent greenhouse gases from the aerosols, foams, and solvents used in refrigeration and air conditioning are rising sharply.

These increases have offset the highly touted declines in emissions from the electricity sector as a growing share of the state’s power comes from renewable sources like wind and solar. Emissions from in-state generation are down 35% since 2000.

The new math means California will now need to boost its annual emissions cuts to 4.51% per year to pull off its 2030 targets—or 5.34% annually to achieve its 2050 goals, the report found. And of course, every year the state comes in below those rates will only push those numbers even higher.

The problem is it’s likely to get harder, not easier, for California to achieve ever deeper cuts in emissions. To understand why, consider three areas:

Slowing progress for renewables

Electricity is actually the easy part of decarbonization, because we have relatively cheap and reliable wind, solar, geothermal, and other carbon-free sources. But new renewables projects commissioned by the state’s investor-owned utilities, like PG&E and SDG&E, have been nearly flat for the last three years.

The report says that’s mainly because utilities had already achieved the state’s 2020 renewables targets years early—indeed, they’re way ahead.

But energy observers stress that deeper, systemic problems are building: the state’s utilities are losing loads of customers to community choice aggregators. These programs allow local communities, like Marin and Berkeley, to buy electricity from in-state or out-of-state sources on behalf of their residents and businesses, but still lean on the utility’s transmission and distribution infrastructure.

That’s left utilities with more power plants than they need, and thus no reason to enter into additional deals with developers to build renewables facilities. In fact, they could go deep into the next decade without adding contracts for new solar or wind farms and remain in compliance with the state’s tightening renewables standards, says Matthew Freedman, staff attorney with the Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy group, and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Bottom line: It could take years before the state starts to see a real uptick in new renewables projects again. Recognizing the growing challenges presented by this fragmentation of the state’s energy system, some California legislators have proposed tasking a state agency with ensuring the necessary levels of clean electricity development.

Hard-to-solve sectors

Achieving deeper cuts in other areas is even harder.

The glimmer of good news for transportation is that electric vehicles do represent a growing share of new vehicle sales, at just under 8% in the state last year. But they still make up only 1.5% of registered vehicles in the state, with hybrids accounting for 3.4%, the report notes.

At the same time, overall car ownership rates are rising, public-transit use is falling, and consumers are still shifting toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. And the 92% of vehicles sold last year that weren’t EVs will, on average, still be on the roads more than a decade from now.

Accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles is likely to require far stricter policies, far more generous subsidies, cheaper EVs, and a massive build-out of charging infrastructure. And even California’s efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the state have been complicated by the Trump administration’s legal challenges.

California has created some novel programs to help cut emissions in other areas, including agriculture. But there simply aren’t available technologies yet to fully decarbonize some of the state’s emission sources, including aviation.

Wildfires

Finally, California’s worsening wildfires are also complicating its efforts to cut emissions. Burning forests pump out massive amounts of greenhouse gases stored in plants and trees. And rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns have already extended the fire season by 75 days across the state’s sprawling Sierra Nevada range.

The raging wildfires in 2018 produced about 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s nine times more than the amount by which the state cut emissions the previous year. SOURCE

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Tackling climate change means purging privilege from politics

Image: Global Climate Strike
Image: Global Climate Strike

Our national political arena often seems dominated by unproductive partisan potshots and misplaced accountability, with corporate interests prioritized over people’s.

Behind the noisy partisan sniping, a quiet majority — 70 to 75 per cent of Canadians — is largely disengaged from politics, according to McAllister Opinion Research. It’s not that people don’t care about climate change, affordability, equity and creating a healthier, more just and secure future for their children and grandchildren. Polls show they do — as do this month’s climate strikes and actions. They just don’t see politicians as relevant.

How can politicians earn back our trust and act on issues that matter?

With climate disruption, Simon Fraser University resource professor Mark Jaccard says we must distinguish between climate-sincere and climate-insincere politicians.

Three-quarters of Canadians say they’re worried about climate change. With floods, wildfires, heat waves and health threats like Lyme disease increasing, anxiety among Canadians is also rising.

Polls show that fairness matters to Canadians. We want to support action that takes that into account. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate change will disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable, who have contributed least to the problem.

Technical and policy solutions to climate change are known. All that’s lacking is political will — not only to implement solutions but to address the power imbalances in our political system that obstruct them.

One of the most glaring examples of the privileged few wielding disproportionate influence comes from the U.S. With funding from the Koch brothers and their allies, Americans for Prosperity has worked to hobble progressive groups and ensure the corporate agenda is prioritized. This, according to the Guardian, has curtailed Medicaid expansion to poor, uninsured adults, rolled back state efforts to address climate change, and given massive tax cuts to wealthy people and companies. Koch-related foundations have invested millions in Canadian think tanks and organizations that sow doubt about climate science and the most effective climate solutions.

In his upcoming book Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, University of Victoria professor William Carroll explains that fossil fuel corporations and their allies have a long reach into civil and political society that allows them to undertake organized, well-funded campaigns to block necessary climate action.

Our democratic systems need strengthening. Justice, equity and inclusion matter. Stifling these important values impedes our ability to act on societal challenges like climate disruption. Unequal privilege keeps the door open to those with influence who continue to manufacture distrust of climate science and meaningful solutions. MORE

 

Climate researchers launch online tool to help local governments set carbon targets

stock-photo-solar-panels-with-cityscape-of-modern-city-687032035.jpg

Researchers are using the latest climate science to help local authorities calculate their carbon budget and cut down on emissions in the midst of the current climate crisis.

Scientists from The University of Manchester and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research have developed an online tool which is now being used by local authorities including Manchester to understand their role in meeting the climate change objectives set by the UN.

The unique new tool, announced today, allows users to calculate a carbon budget for any UK administrative area larger than local authority scale, and set climate change targets which meet the objectives of the United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The tool is based on latest synthesis report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on how quantities of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities relate to global warming.

Dr Chris Jones from The University of Manchester who helped develop the tool said: “Our approach applies principles from the Paris Agreement to scale this global carbon budget down to the UK and a set of clearly stated allocation principles to share the carbon budget between local areas.

“This is a practical and straightforward way for local and devolved governments in the UK to translate the implications of the Paris Agreement into carbon reduction commitments based on the latest science.”

The Tyndall carbon budget tool is a particularly relevant resource for local authorities who have declared a climate emergency. By using the tool authorities can better understand the scale of the challenge when addressing climate change through local action.

…“Having seen the carbon budgets, the important thing now is to work with all of our stakeholders in a concentrated effort to develop and undertake action to move us forward.”

The tool calculates a maximum carbon budget for the selected area, as well as projected emissions reduction pathway, interim carbon budgets and average emissions reduction rate. The tool provides a downloadable PDF covering the method, results and recommendations for the carbon budget. The tool is free to use and is compatible with the SCATTER carbon footprint tool  and CDP sustainability reporting. MORE

UN IPCC Report Recognizes Indigenous and Community Land Rights as Vital to Slowing Climate Crisis

Image result for canada land rightsNative protesters take part in a mass sit-in in front of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria on Oct. 22, 2012 to protest the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Aug. 8, 2019 – Washington, DC, Aug. 8, 2019 — A United Nations (UN) report on climate change has for the first time cited strong land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities as a solution to the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, released today in Geneva, analyzes the role of land management decisions in both reducing and adapting to the worst of what climate change will throw at us—and highlighted indigenous and community land rights as key to both endeavors.

In response, indigenous and community leaders from 42 countries—spanning 1.6 billion hectares of land customarily used or managed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities and accounting for over 76 percent of the world’s tropical forests—issued a statement emphasizing the long-awaited recognition of the role of forest peoples in protecting forests. The statement also noted that the report’s findings add to a growing body of evidence showing that secure land rights for forest peoples is essential to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

“Finally, the world’s top scientists recognize what we have always known. We—Indigenous Peoples and local communities—play a critical role in stewarding and safeguarding the world’s lands and forests. For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today recognizes that strengthening our rights is a critical solution to the climate crisis,” the statement reads.

“Our existence has always been threatened when our lands are desired by governments and corporations,” said Sonia Guajajara, executive coordinator of Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB). “These interests would kill us or lock us up behind bars so that our lands can be changed to fit whatever scheme has been concocted. Now with this report there is recognition that how we have safeguarded our forests and lands benefit the entire world—but our rights to exist and manage these lands need to be strengthened. Will the world listen?”

While the IPCC report emphasizes the global need to increase food production, forests are often cleared to produce agricultural commodities that do not address food security needs, such as beef, palm oil, and soybeans. In their response statement, Indigenous Peoples and local communities worldwide discuss the false choice offered between managing intact landscapes to keep carbon out of the atmosphere and clearing landscapes for economic development projects that include agro-industrial plantations.

The statement notes: “Where our rights are respected, by contrast, we provide an alternative to economic models that require tradeoffs between the environment and development. Our traditional knowledge and holistic view of nature enables us to feed the world, protect our forests, and maintain global biodiversity.” MORE

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How eliminating food waste can help the fight against climate change

‘People need to be aware and learn how their choices contribute to the problems that we face,’ expert says


Food waste occurs from farm to fridge and, according to the latest IPCC report, is contributing to CO2 emissions. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There’s a strange smell coming from your kitchen, and you finally trace the scent to its point of origin: the fridge. You dig through reusable containers full of mouldy food, toss the wilting lettuce into the compost bin, and are too afraid to open the sour cream leftover from a nacho night held months ago, so you toss the whole thing into the garbage.

This is food waste — and it’s contributing to climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report Thursday, entitled Climate Change and Land, that found better land management use — from forests to agriculture — would play a significant role in mitigating climate change.

But the authors also noted that tackling food waste is a factor that could help limit warming to 1.5 C to 2 C, the point where we will be unable to adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

Reducing food loss and waste can, in turn, lower greenhouse gas emissions for an obvious reason: Less waste means less land is needed for food production.

The IPCC report notes that roughly 25 to 30 per cent of total food produced annually is lost or wasted — and that has consequences. From 2010 to 2016, global food loss and waste contributed eight to 10 per cent of human-caused GHG emissions.

Waste from land to homes

Not all the waste comes from households; much of it comes from another source: Farms.

That’s why the report’s authors suggest that improved harvesting methods, on-farm storage, better packaging and education can significantly reduce agricultural food waste.

Together with these improvements, as well as overall improvements to land use and the reduction of fossil fuels, the report’s 107 authors (who come from 52 countries) conclude that humanity will greatly benefit across the board. MORE

 

 

David Suzuki decries pipeline approval, calls for unity on ‘existential crisis’ of climate change

‘If the Raptors could get all of Canada united, then what the hell?’ says Suzuki


Environmentalist David Suzuki joins Green Party Leader Elizabeth May during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 14, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Environmentalist David Suzuki says Canadians have little time to reach greenhouse gas emissions targets recommended by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last October.

The report detailed that annual carbon dioxide pollution levels, which are still rising now, would have to drop by about half by 2030 and then be near zero by 2050.

“We’ve got very little time to make a major shift in our energy use … basically reduce our emissions by 50 per cent. That’s a big ask,” Suzuki said.

Speaking with Cross Country Checkup on Sunday, Suzuki, host of CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things, criticized the federal government for re-approving an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan on Tuesday.

That announcement came just a day after the House of Commons passed a non-binding motion declaring that Canada is in the midst of a “national climate emergency.”

Suzuki spoke with Checkup host Duncan McCue on Sunday about the politics of climate change and he took calls from listeners.

Here’s part of that conversation.

What was your reaction when the Canadian government re-approved the Trans Mountain pipeline?

I didn’t know what the hell is going on. I mean, we have our Parliament now declaring a climate emergency, which is right on, and at the same time, approving pipelines.

So long as we’re down there discussing pipelines — and the threats to the southern resident whales, the possibility of spills, carbon taxes being too big — we’re not going to do what has to be done.

Your caller Geoffrey said it right at the beginning: read the IPCC report that came out in October of last year. And that said, we’ve got very little time to make a major shift in our energy use … basically reduce our emissions by 50 per cent.

That’s a big ask.

Environmentalist David Suzuki says Canadians have little time to reach greenhouse gas emissions targets recommended by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last October.

The report detailed that annual carbon dioxide pollution levels, which are still rising now, would have to drop by about half by 2030 and then be near zero by 2050.

“We’ve got very little time to make a major shift in our energy use … basically reduce our emissions by 50 per cent. That’s a big ask,” Suzuki said.

Speaking with Cross Country Checkup on Sunday, Suzuki, host of CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things, criticized the federal government for re-approving an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan on Tuesday.

That announcement came just a day after the House of Commons passed a non-binding motion declaring that Canada is in the midst of a “national climate emergency.”

Suzuki spoke with Checkup host Duncan McCue on Sunday about the politics of climate change and he took calls from listeners.

Here’s part of that conversation.

What was your reaction when the Canadian government re-approved the Trans Mountain pipeline?

I didn’t know what the hell is going on. I mean, we have our Parliament now declaring a climate emergency, which is right on, and at the same time, approving pipelines.

So long as we’re down there discussing pipelines — and the threats to the southern resident whales, the possibility of spills, carbon taxes being too big — we’re not going to do what has to be done.

Your caller Geoffrey said it right at the beginning: read the IPCC report that came out in October of last year. And that said, we’ve got very little time to make a major shift in our energy use … basically reduce our emissions by 50 per cent.

That’s a big ask.


Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of the Canadian government’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project lies at a stockpile site in Kamloops, B.C., on June 18, 2019. (Dennis Owen/Reuters)

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says there’s no inconsistency: we can expand Trans Mountain and meet Paris emissions targets. What do you make of that?

As long as we’re in the political arena, then we’re not going to be serious about dealing with the IPCC challenge.

The problem, you see, is that the issue now, the timeframes are so long.

Even [former prime minister Stephen] Harper, who was someone that didn’t want to even talk about climate, was forced ultimately to set a target — but he set it way the hell away. He knew he wouldn’t be around when the time came to say, ‘Have we met these targets?’

The Liberals accepted the Harper targets and … we’ve never met any of the targets we’ve declared that we’re committed to and we punt. We put off the decisions.

Well, time has run out. We don’t have time to wade through the next election and then have an argument to the next election after that. We’ve got to start now and we’ve got to make the commitment.

This is no longer a partisan issue. If the Raptors could get all of Canada united, then what the hell? Why can’t we all be united on an existential crisis now? This is no longer a political issue.

I agree with Jason Kenney. He needs a war room, but he’s got his guns aimed the wrong way. MORE

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Dialog on green new deal for Canada reaches Smithers

Coalition wants Canadian CO2 emissions cut in half by 2030


From left, Tina Portman, Jesse Hiemstra and Debbie Wellwood participated in a green new deal townhall in Smithers June 6. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Bulkley Valley residents had the opportunity to weigh in on elements that will constitute a “green new deal” for Canada at a townhall meeting in Smithers on June 6.

The event was put on by the Coalition for a Green New Deal (C4GND), which has been holding these meetings across the country.

“What these meetings are about is getting Canadians together to talk about what they would like to see in a green new deal for Canada,” said Tina Portman, environmental advocate and host of the meeting. “A green new deal for Canada is a large-scale national push to address what we need to do to meet our climate target.”

“People from all walks of life can be part of the solution if they want to be,” said Debbie Wellwood, a wildlife ecologist who attended the event. “We all have something to offer and we should also be ready to lend people a hand that need a hand. That’s an important part of the green new deal, that people don’t get left behind.”

“People have debates about whether its top-down problem solving or bottom-up problem-solving,” said Wellwood. ” I think that it has to come from all levels, going back to the individual, and the community, and the family. Everybody at all levels, because it is so urgent, needs to be thinking about this and working on it.”

Inspired by Le Pacte in Quebec, the core demand of this grassroots movement are that policies be implemented that would reduce Canadian carbon emissions by half within the next 11 years; that economic stimulus be provided for safe and renewable energy, green jobs and infrastructure; and that the autonomy and sovereignty of First Nations is respected by working alongside Indigenous communities with free, prior, informed consent.

Portman says that the danger of climate change has been ignored for too long.

“From the Rio climate convention, through the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord, Canada has a history of falling short of carbon-reduction goals, she said. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has presented us with a new goal: To reduce our CO2 emissions to the level of 308 megatonnes by the year 2030 (a 50 per cent reduction of 2017’s CO2 emission level).”

Portman and the others involved see this as a narrow window of opportunity to act before “runaway climate change.” MORE

Canada’s Green New Deal calls for a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent in 11 years

You can sign the Pact for a New Green Deal in Canada HERE

Prominent Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki (right) was among those in attendance at a press conference in Vancouver convened for the unveiling of Canada's

Prominent Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki (right) was among those in attendance at a press conference in Vancouver convened for the unveiling of Canada’s “Green New Deal”.350 CANADA

Today (May 6), a long list of Canadian organizations and individuals together unveiled a proposal to reduce emissions in the country by 50 percent by 2030.

“The climate crisis is here,” begins a statement at GreenNewDealCanada.ca. “Arctic permafrost is melting, forests, towns, and Indigenous territories are burning. States of emergency—declared for once-in-a-century floods—are becoming commonplace, and millions around the world already face dislocation and starvation.

“But that’s not the only thing keeping us up at night,” it continues. “Many of us are struggling to find an affordable place to live, or a decent job to support our families. Hate crimes and racism are on the rise. And promise to Indigenous peoples have yet to be implemented.

At today’s press conference, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip emphasized that something needs to be done, because the time that remains to avoid the worst consequences of climate change is quickly running out.

“As Indigenous people, our market place is the land and it’s disappearing rapidly,” he said. “The window is closing at an alarming rate and we need true, genuine leadership.” MORE

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