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Canada, and not just Mexico, may be in for a rough ride when it renegotiates NAFTA with the United States. When it comes to fighting climate change, however, the ride will be rougher. Trade provisions will likely continue to be a stumbling block in any efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
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It's estimated that about 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from the cars we drive and how we drive them. With almost one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions coming from our cars, there's a lot we can do to drive change and minimize our impact on the environment as motorists.
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Found in a wealthy, heavy emitting country, the tar sands are a carbon bomb that needs to be defused. Extracting Canada's 173 billion barrels will drive ever-greater numbers of the planet's most vulnerable over the edge.
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I have now realized that most economists operate under a very different concept of the nature of atmospheric carbon then ecologists like myself. Their paradigm turns any and all carbon into a market commodity to be manipulated by price and economic tools. They don't share the ecologist's concern that such a simplistic model can lead to truly dangerous and perverse public policy.
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The reverse Robin Hood philosophy has been fully embraced by the Ontario government, an odd turn of events for the self-proclaimed "social justice premier." Nothing shows this philosophy better than the government's newest costly experiment, the cap-and-trade carbon tax.
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Imagine this. You open your mailbox this month. Voila! Here is your first carbon dividend cheque from the province. Suddenly, combating climate change with a price on carbon pollution doesn't hurt your pocketbook like conservatives said it would. Ontario could have a climate plan like this. It's called carbon fee and dividend.
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Climate change is "Made in China," but they get off scot-free. We need to admit one simple truth: handicapping Canadians with a tax will have zero effect on global climate change. However, that doesn't mean we can't exert influence and pursue real solutions.
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As Justin Trudeau prepares to meet with the premiers in early December to finalize a pan-Canadian climate plan, a key contradiction remains in the Liberal's framework for a low-carbon economy. Namely, that the government's steadfast commitment to expanding fossil fuel exports is fundamentally antithetical to real action on climate change.
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Climate change is no longer a suspected diagnosis. It's a health emergency that is already causing systemic damage to the health and well-being of many around the world. Consequences reach beyond borders: climate-related drought and crop failure has been implicated as an exacerbating factor in the conflict in Syria. So what does it mean for Canada?
Carbon emissions from power generation are down 40 per cent.
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The federal plan calls for a $10-per-tonne tax starting in 2018 and increasing to $50 per tonne by 2022.
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Justin Trudeau has become less the pipeline pusher that Stephen Harper was, and more of the fossil fuel industry appeaser. Championing Alberta's climate plan, Canada has offered the fossil fuel industry it's own Sudetenland, a 30MT expansion of the tar sands and at least one pipeline.
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As the summer draws to a close and the smell of BBQ still hangs in the air, the idea of a beefless world is for many of us just too terrible to contemplate. But as we'll see, beef's savoury taste also presents us with some rather unsavoury problems. Beef is a huge contributor to global emissions.
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The province has had its own cap and trade system since 2013.
I'm outraged. Like you, my cost of living is going up. Home insurance premiums are up due to extreme weather. Food prices are up due to extreme drought. Taxes are up to pay for infrastructure that's been destroyed by ice storms and flooding. This climate thing is starting to cost -- a lot. Nature's response to our pollution is like a tax on everything. Since carbon pollution keeps getting worse, nature is digging even deeper into my pocket. So, what is government going to do to put an end to this cash grab?
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Four climate and energy experts weigh in.
David Dodge, Green Energy Futures
But chicken and pork are A-OK.
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Although B.C.'s emissions initially fell under the Climate Action Plan, they have been creeping up in the past few years and are projected to continue rising without stronger climate policies. It's now clear the province is on track to miss its legislated targets for reducing carbon pollution.
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Canada fell woefully short of 2012 emissions targets and in December 2011 became the only country to pull out of Kyoto, the world's only binding climate treaty. That was in the dark decade of Stephen Harper. Prime Minister Trudeau led a younger, far more optimistic and enlightened entourage to Paris.
I've always believed that if you shut people in a room for long enough, they'll find something to agree on. A fiery debate maybe more fun, particularly over a drink with friends, but if it never reaches resolution it never actually achieves anything. Agreements can come naturally, but more often they don't -- in which case they require capitulation or compromise. Given that no one likes capitulation (unless it's by the other person) compromise has to be the norm. So it was at the COP21 in Paris.
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A future federal-provincial deal will probably have much more impact.
On Sunday morning, like for many first day dieters, the reality set in.
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Canada has a rare opportunity, indeed an obligation, to be a world leader in the conservation of natural habitat and by doing so to contribute directly to the fight against climate change. Conservation of our natural ecosystems is integral to any effective Canadian strategy to slow climate change and to mitigate its effects. Significant scientific evidence shows that the destruction and clearing of forests, grasslands and wetlands, in addition to the burning of fossil fuels, has resulted in a substantial increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere.
Curbing fossil fuel use, China's leaders understand, would dampen its already faltering growth and provide an existential threat to their rule. While they may talk a good game at the UN's Paris talks, they will make no binding commitments to reduce C02.
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If you want change; be the change. Remember the power of one. If you don't do anything, nothing will change. So do something. Our future depends on it. No act is too small. How will you contribute?
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"Increasingly hawkish climate geopolitics" could harm Canada if the country doesn't take action on carbon reductions.
The message to Canadians who care about health, the environment and the economy is clear: on October 19, voting is the most important thing you can do to protect the people and places you love. The sooner Canadians speak up in favour of a coal phase-out, the sooner we can rid ourselves of this deadly fuel for good. While the U.S. looks to coal for nearly two-fifths of its power, the figure in Canada is just 12.6 per cent. Some provinces, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, burn a lot of it, with serious environmental consequences, but as a country our reliance is fairly modest. In comparison with America's challenge, ours looks straightforward.
The electrical generating sector reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5.8 per cent in 2014 and 22 per cent over the past five years, according to the Canadian Electricity Association's annual report....
"I think that's absolutely critical, they shouldn't define the how."
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Stephen Harper’s G7 commitment to a no-carbon economy by the end of the century isn’t about to cause mass disruption in the oilsands because the industry is already changing faster than the Canadian g...
When carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere it doesn't just stay there -- about 25 per cent of emissions are absorbed into the ocean, increasing the acidity of the ocean. An ocean increasing in acidity is not a very friendly place for its creatures, many of which play critical roles in marine food webs and are vital sources of human food. I recently travelled to Italy and across North America investigating how ocean acidification could impact marine life. While I like to remain hopeful in most things, what I learned has made me very worried about the future of the ocean.
WINNIPEG - Canada has set a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target as it prepares for international talks later this year, but critics say the goal is the weakest among G-7 countries.Environment...