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The group of countries, known as the Climate Vulnerability Forum, argues current efforts to limit global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius is insufficient to protect many nations from the dangers of climate change. The leaders say lives, rights and the prosperity of billions are at stake in the globally agreed temperature limit.
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90 per cent of all new wells drilled in B.C. that would supply the province's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry will be fracked. Fracking demands massive amounts of freshwater, industrializes large areas of northeast B.C. and has major impacts on the climate. So, how is the B.C. government getting away with touting this industry as a "clean" energy resource?
Investors are realizing that divestment doesn't mean financial losses. Thanks in part to plummeting global oil prices and the booming clean energy economy, divested portfolios have been outperforming those with investments in fossil fuels. Divestment doesn't just mean pulling your investments from fossil fuel holdings -- it also means redirecting investment dollars to alternatives like clean energy, green tech and climate solutions.
In line with the hippocratic oath, we physicians-in-training make a formal request to our colleagues and mentors, we call upon the Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to divest from fossil fuels.
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From November 30 to December 11, 2015, world leaders will gather in Paris in an attempt once more to negotiate an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hence global warming. Whether or not society chooses to take the necessary steps to mitigate climate change ultimately depends on the extent to which we value the importance of intergenerational equity.
While the majority of Canadians see climate change as a serious threat to the planet, Canada has no climate legislation and, according to Environment Canada, growing emissions from the Alberta oilsands will prevent the country from meeting its emission reduction targets under the Copenhagen Accord.
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Environment Canada has been telling us for years that Canada is running off the climate track and -- because of growing emissions largely from the oil and gas sector -- we are getting farther and farther away from meeting our government's self-imposed climate targets. Because of that climate failure, Canada is holding all of us back from prosperity, jobs and better health. That's according to a new study of benefits from international emission pledges made in the lead up to December's UN climate summit. Developed countries around the world -- with the exception of Canada and Japan -- are unveiling their individual climate plans, which were due yesterday.
Canada's negotiators are working hard to sidestep the issue of the country's growing greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector while simultaneously keeping quiet about the oilsands as nations come up with their "intended nationally determined contributions" in the global climate agreement.
The situation in Canada is not different from the rest of the world. The country is already feeling the consequences of climate change: diminishing quality and quantity of water, increasing pollens and other allergens, coastal erosion, road and infrastructure degradation and floods. The health consequences of those climate change impacts are already being strongly felt.
With coal often as the elephant in the room at the international climate talks, the Canadian province of Ontario has a good news story that shows important leadership in tackling climate change. Ontario is about to become the first jurisdiction in North America to move to zero coal.
Scientists are still trying to understand the connection between specific weather events such as Typhoon Haiyan and climate. Climate change is reshaping our world, and the science is telling us in every way possible that we can expect more extreme weather disaster going forward, unless we do something about this now.
With talks starting this week in Warsaw Harper and his new environment minister, Leona Aglukaqq, have an opportunity to redeem themselves. It would be good for our international reputation to do so, not to mention my children's children who, as it stands today, face a pretty bleak future
It feels like I'm watching some sort of terrible, tragic cosmic joke as the climate talks in Warsaw prepare to open with a bleak prospect for any real action while Haiyan returns to make the point that the world seemed to miss with Bopha last year. The United Nations climate talks have devolved into what feels like a negotiated surrender.
If we want to see change from negotiations, we need to see fundamental changes in the way decisions are actually made. Politicians and bureaucrats with connections to oil and gas profiteers are not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it is in their bank accounts' best interest to pollute. This holiday season give the gift of climate justice. Give the gifts of solidarity, resistance, and community power.
Developed countries, when they put 30 per cent emissions reductions or less on the table are effectively putting death, displacement and devastation on the table. To call current targets enough, is to effectively announce that on this planet there are acceptable losses in those regions least responsible for causing climate change.
People are connecting the dots between extreme weather, droughts and famine, desertification, deforestation, rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and a range of devastating impacts the result of a changed climate. They are connecting these dots to a history of the fossil fuel industry and wealthy, developed nations having free reign pollute.
Youth have the power to kick polluters out of the negotiations for our future, and to force leaders to change the game when it comes to climate progress, but we can't do it playing nice. We're trying to change that by taking on our own government.
It's no wonder that our political leaders are having such a difficult time introducing the policies needed to reduce greenhouse gases. They would not see the climate effects of this policy realized during their political career. In fact, they may not be realized in their entire lifetime.