Paris Cop21

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5 Issues The Liberals Must Address With The Return Of Parliament

After 83 days in power for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the House of Commons has resumed sitting. Ottawa will be back in full swing with hundreds of new staffers settling into their new roles. As ministers return to the question period briefed up, staffed up and, ideally, rested up from the holiday, we will see a more comfortable team working to deliver on the government priorities set out in their platform and Speech from the Throne: growing the economy for the middle class, providing Canadians with open and transparent government and fighting climate change.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trade Restrictions Can Give The Paris Agreement Some Teeth

Much attention is paid to the fact that, like its predecessors, the Paris Agreement is "toothless" because it isn't backed up by an enforcement mechanism. This pessimism is understandable. Without clear and binding targets, how can any of the signatories be assured that their sacrifices will lead to meaningful emissions reductions? How can they know that the potentially difficult transition towards renewable energy will be a shared burden? The bad news is that the Paris Agreement is unlikely to introduce strict targets or develop an enforcement mechanism in the foreseeable future.
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Paris Agreement Proves That Compromise Isn't A Dirty Word

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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Too Much Ambition Can Hurt Canada's Climate Change Efforts

If the Canadian government wants to make real change then it needs to figure out the most we can achieve and then commit to doing so. Empty symbolic gestures will certainly garner praise from activists and make for good headlines but it won't convince the premiers to get in line. We need the federal government to be practical and pragmatic and set achievable goals and then work hard to achieve them. Let's stop with the empty symbolism and start doing the groundwork to build the foundation for real change.
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Canada Should Be A Global Leader In Natural Habitat Conservation

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.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Climate Justice As A Matter Of Faith

The engagement of faith communities in the work of climate justice is important as it brings added dimension -- both moral and spiritual -- to an issue once considered the purview of environmental science alone. As institutions of faith, churches have significant resources at their disposal.
Council of Canadians

Europeans Have The Power To Defeat CETA

I cannot help thinking that, while countries rush to sign trade deals such as CETA and the new TransPacific Partnership, they cannot seem to get a binding climate change agreement. Very little at the UN or in previous climate conferences has been binding. CETA and TPP are both major trade deals that must be fought.
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Climate Change Is A Human Rights Issue

It has become clear that climate change will disproportionately impact the world's most vulnerable because they are heavily dependent on resources that will be affected by climatic change. Whether by virtue of socio-economic status, conflict, gender or geography, certain groups are more liable than others to be negatively impacted by climate change, which directly implicates the question of human rights. How will this differentially influence people's lives, living conditions and livelihoods, and who are the most vulnerable?