Climate Change

National climate change accord

Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and a raft of other federal ministers and senior officials were in Vancouver today to confirm that their national climate change adaptation plan has the support of all provinces and territories. The plan comes with $1.6 billion for implementation over five years. [node:read-more:link]

East Coast going green

Revenues from the Newfoundland & Labrador offshore petroleum industry will be used to build a fund to underwrite initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. An initial $6 million in seed funding is provided for through a revised royalty scheme designed to reboot the moribund West White Rose field. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum subsidies to change?

Canada has provided billions of dollars in support of the petroleum industry for decades, but Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s office says a new policy to address “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” will be announced in July. Critics have repeatedly condemned them as an obvious conflict with the government’s climate change goals. [node:read-more:link]

Marine food chain in critical condition

A British journal, Nature Sustainability, reported today that more than 90% of the world’s marine food supplies are at risk from environmental changes such as rising temperatures and pollution. “Although we have made some progress with climate change, our adaptation strategies for blue food systems facing environmental change […] need urgent attention,” says one of its co-lead authors. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced wildfire agreement with U.S.

Canada and the U.S. hope to enhance cooperation against wildfires through an arrangement announced June 23 by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “Today's arrangement […] will ensure effective cooperation through knowledge - and resource-sharing, advancing our joint efforts to protect livelihoods and communities.” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that “as climate change continues to threaten communities, infrastructure, forests and rangelands, finding new ways to work together is essential.” [node:read-more:link]

Emissions tax shortfall in Paris

A two-day meeting of political and financial authorities ended today in Paris without coming to an agreement to tax the international shipping industry for its carbon emissions. However, the notion of potentially generating $100 billion in annual revenues could be adopted at a July meeting of the UN International Maritime Organization. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum output projected to drop

The Canada Energy Regulator has published governmrnt-commissioned assessment of how crude oil and natural gas output could change in a “net zero” emissions world. Having modelled various scenarios for dealing with carbon emissions, it said June 20 that it determined that petroleum production could begin declining as early as 2026 because of falling oil prices and demand as the rest of the world shifts to cleaner energy sources. [node:read-more:link]

Global GGEs at record high

A peer-reviewed study released today in Britain states that global greenhouse gas emissions have reached a record high as global warming accelerates. “Human-induced warming has been increasing at an unprecedented rate of more than 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade,” it says. The lead researcher warns that even though the world not yet at a 1.5-degree tipping point, “the carbon budget will likely be exhausted in only a few years.” [node:read-more:link]

Net-zero emissions target shifting?

With global warming seen as a factor behind this year's wildfire season across Canada, Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has suggested it could mean a more aggressive federal approach to achieving net-zero carbon emissions. The current target is 2050 but Guilbeault isn’t ruling out 2040. “I can't tell you now whether or not we can,” he said in a televised interview. “But what I can tell you is we will look at the possibility of doing that for sure.” [node:read-more:link]

New G7 wind and solar goals

Canada and the other G7 countries have pledged to add a combined 150 gigawatts of offshore windpower generation capacity by 2030 as well as installing a collective one terawatt of solar power capacity. “Initially, people thought that climate action and action on energy security potentially were in conflict,” Canadian Minister of Environment & Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said April 16 after their two-day summit in Japan. “But […] they actually work together.” [node:read-more:link]

Greenhouse gases rose in 2021

Canada’s latest greenhouse gas emissions report shows that they were up in 2021 from the previous year but remained below pre-pandemic levels, according to its latest annual report to the UN. Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault says the 1.8 per cent rise to 670 million tonnes was expected but that “Canada's economy, in the face of a strong post-pandemic rebound, continues to show signs of becoming more efficient and less polluting as our journey to net-zero emissions continues.” [node:read-more:link]

Coal “net zero” goal elusive

Environment and energy ministers from Canada and the other G7 have been unable to set a timeline for phasing out coal-fired power plants. In a statement after two days of talks in Japan, they restated a commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Canada’s Steven Guilbeault reiterated his call for “strong language”, adding that “phasing out coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 has never been so urgent” in Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Nuclear energy divisive in Germany

Germany’s decision to shut down the country’s three remaining nuclear power stations after decades of debate remains divisive. One side says keeping the reactors online would mean huge investment which could be used for renewables. The other argues that it illogical when reduced dependence on imported energy is boosting costs and potentially increasing reliance on fossil fuels. [node:read-more:link]

ICJ to tackle climate policy

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution asking the International Court to come up with a legal definition of countries’ obligations to tackle climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said March 29 that ICJ opinions “have tremendous importance and can have a long-standing impact on the international legal order.” However, whether individual states will cooperate remains to be seen; the U.S., which has a fractious relationship with the ICJ, did not support a UN resolution on the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Growing U.S. interest in North

A decision by the U.S. Administration to nominate Alaskan geographer Mike Sfraga as an ambassador-at-large for the Arctic is seen as a direct response to Russia’s ramped-up northern military presence and Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski says that dealing with national security threats from China as well as Russia and China in the region will be a challenge. [node:read-more:link]


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