Climate Change

Europe competes for green business

Concern about losing investment and jobs, the European Commission has new plans to boost homegrown green industry and counter U.S. tax credits and rebates. Announced today, the latest package combines simpler subsidy rules, repurposed funds, faster approval of renewable projects, common production targets, trade deals and upskilling. “In the fight against climate change, what is most important is the net-zero industry,” said EC President President Ursula von der Leyen. “We want to seize this moment.” [node:read-more:link]

Pandemic protections woefully lacking

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says all countries ae “dangerously unprepared” for future pandemics in an evolving era of climate-related disasters. In a January 30 World Disasters Report, it urges countries to update preparedness plans by the end of this year. “The next pandemic could be just around the corner,” says its Nepali Secretary General Jagan Chapagain. “If the experience of COVID-19 won’t quicken our steps toward preparedness, what will?” [node:read-more:link]

Oil exec to lead climate talks

The United Arab Emirates has chosen the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to preside over the next UN climate summit, scheduled to begin at the end of November. Sultan Al Jaber, who served two tenures as the UAE’s special envoy for climate change, also is Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chair of a state-owned renewable energy company. [node:read-more:link]

No carbon levy break for farmers

A Conservative Party move to exempt farm fuel, fertilizer, grain drying and transportation from the federal carbon levy has been defeated in the House of Commons. The levy is scheduled to rose from the current $60 per tonne to $170 by 2030 and the enabling legislation, Bill C-234 is expected to passed within the next few months after further House debate and then Senate consideration. [node:read-more:link]

EU laments U.S. legislation

A U.S. plan to address climate change by incenting consumers to buy electric vehicles and generally convert to electricity from fossil fuels is seen by the European Union as distorting trade and a potential threat to European industries. [node:read-more:link]

France banning short-haul flights

The European Commission has approved a proposal by France to abolish short-haul commercial flights between cities linked by a train journey of less than 2.5 hours. Confirmed December 2, it is part of climate change legislation passed last year and specifically applies for now to flights between Paris Orly and Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux. France also will limit the use of private jets for short journeys. [node:read-more:link]

UN unveils record aid budget

The United Nations is asking its member states for a record US$51.5 billion in aid funding for 2023, some 25 per cent more than in 2022. Citing Russia’s war on Ukraine, drought in Africa and flooding in Pakistan, among other things, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said today that “humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023.” [node:read-more:link]

Federal support for climate impact

An additional $1.6 billion in long-term support for communities facing the weather-related effects of climate change is a key element of a new federal adaptation strategy announced today by Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair. The funding mostly tops up existing programs but not major capital projects. [node:read-more:link]

Federal carbon cheques for Atlantic provinces

Residents of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador will begin receiving consumer carbon cheques next summer to offset the impact of higher energy prices when the federal government imposes its emissions levy on their provinces. The provinces were able to use provincial pricing programs when national standards took effect in 2019, but that will no longer be the case after stronger standards take effect. [node:read-more:link]

California nuclear plant gets a boost

The U.S. Administration announced today that it is donating $1.1billion to Pacific Gas & Electric to maintain operations at California’s sole nuclear power station. The first reactor at the Diablo Canyon plant on the coast between Los Angeles and San Jose is slated for shutdown in 2024 and the second in 2025, but the power-hungry state wants them to continue generating for five more years despite decades of anti-nuclear activism and concerns about earthquakes [node:read-more:link]

Another “promising” climate summit

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN’s climate change agenda ended November 20 with an agreement whereby wealthier countries ostensibly will compensate poorer ones for damage and economic losses cause by global warming. However, despite a familiar pattern of last-minute negotiations, the latest accord does not satisfy many delegates’ concerns about continued fossil fuel use. [node:read-more:link]

Amazon a priority for Brazilian leader

Newly-elected Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said November 16 that curbing Amazon basin deforestation will be a high priority as his government tries to undo aggressive development policies promoted by his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro. “We are going to undertake a big fight,” Lula said at the latest UN climate change summit, promising to strengthen oversight and monitoring systems dismantled over the last four years. [node:read-more:link]

New global population milestone

The United Nations says the world’s population has topped eight billion only 11 years after surpassing the seven-billion mark, renewing concerns about the world’s capacity to meet demands. However, in publishing its estimate November 15, the UN said that decelerating growth could mean it will be 15 years before the population reaches nine billion. [node:read-more:link]

Trudeau presses Xi on issues at G20

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke only briefly today on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, buy Trudeau broached alleged Chinese interference in Canada’s electoral system, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change and the upcoming UN biodiversity summit in Montreal. A Canadian readout of the chat did not say how Xi reacted, only that the leaders “discussed the importance of continued dialogue.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s northern presence ineffectual

A report today from the Office of the Auditor General says that Canada lacks a complete picture of who is entering or traversing Arctic waters, partly due to the fact that a naval surveillance station can only operate four weeks a year. Overall, it says, the country cannot stay on top of threats to national security, illegal fishing or pollution posed by marine traffic which has tripled in recent years as sea ice diminishes. [node:read-more:link]


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