Youth are preparing to lead in an uncertain future

Canadian students take to the streets in Toronto on March 15, 2019 as part of a global student strike to pressure governments to take serious action to address climate change. File photo by Carlos Osorio

The student climate strike on March 15 made it clear that young people have had enough. We are no longer waiting for others to secure our future. Students took to the streets on that day because we have big problems to solve and what we’re doing right now isn’t working. It’s time to be bold and innovative. It’s time to try something new.

By 2030, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we need to be well on our way to a carbon neutral society. Meanwhile artificial intelligence systems, complex global trade networks, and automation are about to completely reshape how we work. The Institute for the Future, a non-profit educational organization, estimates that 85 per cent of the jobs today’s students will be doing in 2030 don’t exist yet. That means we have to solve long-term problems while navigating a fast-changing world.

Eighty-five per cent of the jobs today’s students will be doing in 2030 don’t exist yet. That means we have to solve long-term problems while navigating a fast-changing world.

Youth will bear the brunt of the impacts of these problems and youth will be the leaders who overcome them. Yet our biggest challenge is that we face issues like climate change, inequality, and disruptive new technologies all at once. This means that leaders need to reach across boundaries, understand issues from multiple perspectives, and radically collaborate. They need to be adaptable, knowledgeable, and connected. So equipping young people with the skills they need to lead and innovate is in everyone’s best interest. The Trudeau government’s most recent budget emphasizes the importance of skills development, while the OECD encourages all its members to develop national skills strategies.

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New US oil and gas drilling to unleash 1,000 coal plants’ worth of pollution by 2050

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New US oil and gas drilling to unleash 1,000 coal plants’ worth of pollution by 2050. Creative Commons photo of coal mine in Wyoming

Amid mounting calls to phase out fossil fuels in the face of rapidly worsening climate change, the United States is ramping up oil and gas drilling faster than any other country, threatening to add 1,000 coal plants’ worth of planet-warming gases by the middle of the century, according to a report released Wednesday.

By 2030, the U.S. is on track to produce 60 percent of the world’s new oil and gas supply, an expansion at least four times larger than in any other country. By 2050, the country’s newly tapped reserves are projected to spew 120 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

That would make it nearly impossible to keep global warming within the 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial averages, beyond which United Nations scientists forecast climate change to be catastrophic, with upward of $54 trillion in damages.

The findings ― from a report authored by the nonprofit Oil Change International and endorsed by researchers at more than a dozen environmental groups ― are based on industry projections collected by the data service Rystad Energy and compared with climate models used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading climate research body. MORE

David Suzuki: Canadian pipeline push promotes false and misleading claims


ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

An Angus Reid poll found 58 percent of Canadians think lack of pipeline capacity is a national crisis. They can be forgiven for this. The company that owns a near monopoly on newspapers in Canada, aided by politicians and fossil fuel interests, has put significant effort into convincing them.

That the number rises to 87 percent in Alberta, with 96 percent believing that not building new pipelines would have a major impact on the Canadian economy, isn’t surprising. All mainstream newspapers there are owned by the same company, political parties across the spectrum prioritize oil and gas interests over everything, and even educational institutions like the University of Calgary have been compromised by industry influence.

What won’t help is continuing to dig up, frack, and sell climate-disrupting fossil fuels as quickly as possible

The economic and societal costs from the pollution and climate impacts of rapidly digging up, shipping, and consuming these fossil fuels, whether the end product is burned here or in other countries, continue to rise along with global emissions and temperatures. That’s a crisis! MORE

 

Federal Government Moves Forward to Fight Climate Change with Carbon Price Standards

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The Federal Government took a big step forward in its fight against climate change today [Dec 20] by releasing new standards for the big emitters of greenhouse gases as part of its carbon pricing plan. It released the draft Output Based Pricing System (OBPS) regulations for the jurisdictions where the federal carbon pricing system will apply.

“By putting a price on greenhouse gases from the big emitters, the Federal Government is using the marketplace to transform our economy away from the fossil fuels that are causing climate change,” stated CAPE President and Yellowknife Emergency Physician, Dr. Courtney Howard.

“According to authorities such as the prestigious medical journal, the Lancet Countdown, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), say that carbon pricing is a key policy tool needed to fight climate change. Many economists and the Business Council of Canada also emphasize this point.” MORE

Here’s what climate change could look like in Canada

‘This is real on-the-ground stuff that is costing us right now,’ says one expert


The City of Toronto set up seven cooling centres during this summer’s heat wave, including one at Metro Hall on July 4, 2018. (Bruce Reeve/CBC)

Climate change is here, experts say, and Canada can expect to suffer the consequences.

The effects of a warming planet are going to be felt from coast to coast to coast. And, if we stick to a “business-as-usual” scenario — no change to our emissions — it’s going to happen a lot sooner than scientists initially thought, according to a recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. MORE

COP24 delivers progress, but nations fail to heed warnings of scientists

UN conference reaffirms Paris Agreement commitments, leaving Canada and other countries with a lot more to do at home

[KATOWICE, Poland] (December 15, 2018) – The annual United Nations climate change conference in Katowice (COP24) ended today, making progress on some issues but putting the real work of addressing climate change squarely on the plates of national governments.

The conference took place in the wake of the IPCC’s latest report, which warned the world of the dangerous impacts should global warming exceed 1.5˚C, including more devastating wildfires, floods and famine. Like many countries, Canada is far from a trajectory that is compatible with a 1.5˚C world, and needs to commit to getting on track now….

Yet Canada failed to reiterate its earlier signal that it will increase the ambition of its climate pledge ahead of 2020, as other countries have done. This represents a missed opportunity to show leadership on the world stage. It is critical that Minister McKenna shows this leadership when she returns home, by announcing that Canada will have a process in 2019 to put the country on track to a 1.5˚C-compatible climate pledge. MORE