Climate Change

Global warming response woeful

A report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says countries are not doing nearly enough to protect against disasters expected as global warming continues. UN Secretary General António Guterres calls the report compiled by 270 researchers from 67 countries “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” [node:read-more:link]

France planning nuclear power expansion

President Emmanuel Macron announced Feb. 10 that his country plans to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases and provide a buffer against volatile energy prices. Plans for an initial six reactors are confirmed and Macron said eight more are being considered. Construction is to begin in 2028 with a view to commissioning by 2035. [node:read-more:link]

EU “green” technology plan challenged

A proposed European Commission plan to designate nuclear and natural gas power plants as “green energy” sources if they meet “sustainable investment” targets is proving politically divisive. “I cannot understand the decision,” says Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, supporting a proposed challenge in the European Court of Justice. Luxembourg has said it would join the lawsuit. [node:read-more:link]

Suzuki apologizes for explosive remarks

Environmentalist David Suzuki has apologized for saying that pipelines could be “blown up” by activists if governments don’t act on climate change. He made the comment last weekend in a radio interview, prompting Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and others to say that he was inciting eco-terrorism. “Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately needed solution,” he said today. “My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.” [node:read-more:link]

Failing grade on climate report card

Despite three decades of effort, Canada's carbon emissions have risen 20 per cent since 1990 and the federal Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner says the country is unprepared for climate disasters. Jerry V. DeMarco also said in his Nov. 24 report that petroleum industry subsidies, which various governments have promised for years to eliminate, have not yielded promised reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. “We can't continue to go from failure to failure,” DeMarco said. “We need action and results, not just more targets and plans.” [node:read-more:link]

Defence communities prepare for climate change

As world leaders explore solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, defence communities are stepping up efforts to ensure better preparedness for climate change, including by revising combat doctrines, altering training, adapting infrastructure, equipment, personnel, and procurement protocols, and designing climate scenarios. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa urged to cancel carbon tax credits

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is being urged by more than 400 climate scientists and other academics to abandon a planned tax credit for companies which build carbon capture and storage facilities. The idea was broached in last year’s federal budget and design consultations were completed last month. In a letter to Freeland, the scientists decry it as a huge subsidy to the petroleum industry and contradictory to the government’s climate change commitments. [node:read-more:link]

Canada criticized by human rights body

New York-based Human Rights Watch said today that Canada has serious domestic and foreign policy challenges on the watchdog’s issues list. Acknowledging that the Trudeau administration has made progress on rights during its six years in office, it has fallen short on, among other things, indigenous equality, climate change and Canadian companies’ foreign mining activities. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s clean energy capacity inadequate

The International Energy Agency said today that Canada needs more electrical generating capacity to meet the government’s stated emissions reduction and climate change targets. “Canada's wealth of clean electricity and its innovative spirit can help drive a secure and affordable transformation of its energy system and help realize its ambitious goals,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. However, even with 83 per cent of its power coming from non-emitting power, more was needed. [node:read-more:link]

Global economy under seige

The World Economic Forum said today that cybersecurity and space are emerging risks to the global economy, adding to existing challenges posed by climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. In its latest Global Risks Report, usually released ahead of the annual Davos gathering of corporate and political leaders, the WEC predicts that the global economy will continue to shrink with richer nations faring better than poorer ones. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. GHGs spiked last year

There was a 6.2 per cent surge in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions last year as Americans who were mostly closeted during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic returned to more normal lives. “It is clear that the climate crisis is . . . having devastating consequences,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, said Jan. 11. “When we hear that emissions are going back up, that is extraordinarily worrisome.” [node:read-more:link]

Oceans warming up relentlessly

Results of a peer-reviewed study published today in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences shows that the world’s oceans last year were at their warmest in recorded history as average temperatures rose for the sixth consecutive year. “The ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing globally, and this is a primary indicator of human-induced climate change,” commented report co-author Kevin Trenberth, distinguished scholar at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. [node:read-more:link]

Another global warming warning

New European Union analysis of climate change data indicates that the last seven years have been the seven warmest on record for the planet, and that last year was the fifth-warmest on record. “The really important thing is not get hung up on the ranking of one particular year but rather kind of see the bigger picture.” Freja Vamborg, senior scientist at the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, said today. “This is quite likely to continue.” [node:read-more:link]

Charity campaigner challenges papal statement

A declaration by the Pope last week that couples who prefer pets to children are selfish has prompted the campaign head of a U.K.-based charity, Population Matters, to challenge it as “totally wrong.” In a personal comment published today, Alistair Currie cited a 2017 study warned that continued global population growth likely means climate change goals won’t be met by the end of the century. [node:read-more:link]

Contentious “green” gas and nuclear plan

A European Commission plan to designate some natural gas and nuclear generating stations as “green” has drawn immediate criticism from Germany. “It is necessary to recognise that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union's economy,” the EU said Dec. 1. Germany's environment minister, whose government confirmed the day before that it was shutting down half of her country’s nuclear power plants, called the plan “absolutely wrong.” [node:read-more:link]


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