Climate Change

Canada-U.S. interests “interwoven”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.” [node:read-more:link]

Climate report warrants “hard long look”

Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault said March 20 that the government will take a “hard long look” at the latest UN climate change panel’s latest warning about carbon emissions. “It's one thing to simply say, ‘well, you know, we want to reach this goal’ but we have to give ourselves the means to get there,” he said. “We do that now in Canada for 2050. We will obviously need to take a second hard long look at what the IPCC is proposing for 2040.” [node:read-more:link]

Climate closer to tipping point

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned today that the planet is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade. It says in a new report that there must be an immediate and drastic shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the planet from overheating further. [node:read-more:link]

EU sets new fossil fuel goals

Preparing for November’s global climate summit in Dubai, the European Union countries has agreed to push a global phaseout of fossil fuels. “The shift towards a climate-neutral economy will require the global phase-out,” the EU said March 9, adding that fossil fuel use must peak in the near future to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions. [node:read-more:link]

Antarctic ice at 45-year low

Ice coverage in the seas around Antarctica was at its lowest monthly extent in February, breaking a previous record from 2017. Some 34 pr cent below the average for the month, it was at its lowest extent in 45 years of satellite coverage. The European Union monitoring service said its findings “may have important implications for the stability of Antarctic ice shelves and ultimately for global sea level rise.” [node:read-more:link]

G20 consensus undermined again

Foreign ministers from the G20 countries ended a March 2 meeting without consensus on the war in Ukraine as China and Russia refused to support a call on Russia to cease hostilities. However, India’s host foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, said that there was agreement on most other issues such as climate change and counterterrorism. A finance ministers’ summit late last month also failed to reach consensus over Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Getting ahead of climate change?

British Columbia ostensibly will be better prepared to deal with natural disasters related to climate change though a program announced by Premier David Eby. “The last few years have taught us a hard lesson,” he said, citing wildfires, floods, a lethal heat wave and infrastructure damage. Accordingly, his government is adding $180 million to its Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. [node:read-more:link]

Big bucks at Big Oil

The latest annual financial statements by the world’s major petroleum companies show that 2022 was their most profitable year on record. Their combined profit is estimated to have been equivalent to US$200 billion. [node:read-more:link]

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]

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