CLIMATE CHANGE: In Canada, No News is Bad News
Author: Stephen Leahy, Source: Inter Press Service, Date published: Mon, 2010-03-22
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 16, 2010 (IPS) - Canada's climate researchers are being muzzled, their funding slashed, research stations closed, findings ignored and advice on the critical issue of the century unsought by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, according to a 40-page report by a coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations.
"This government says they take climate change seriously but they do nothing and try to hide the truth about climate change," said Graham Saul, representing Climate Action Network Canada (CAN), which produced the report "Troubling Evidence".
"We want Canadians to understand what's going on with this government," Saul told IPS.
"Almost all of the money this government claims is climate change work is about getting more oil out of the ground," said John Bennett, executive director of the Sierra Club Canada.
"Canadian climate science is falling behind and the world is not getting information about what is happening in the Canadian Arctic," Bennett said in an interview.
Link to source site:
Action Alert - Help Alberta Create a Climate Change Plan to Be Proud of!
The Alberta government has developed a climate change plan... unfortunately, the plan as it stands will not result in the real reductions necessary to protect our climate. YOU can call for changes to make the plan more effective.
Alberta Environment is currently holding public consultations on its climate change plan and they will be in Edmonton on April 18th from 6pm – 9pm at the Westin (10135-100 st.)
Alberta has fallen behind other provinces in its action on climate change - show the government that this plan is not enough and that they must meet international standard and protect the health of the people and the environment.
Here are some suggested solutions to improve Alberta's Climate Change Plan:
Put in place absolute emission reduction targets: Alberta’s current plan sets a target of a 50% reduction in emissions intensity by 2020. Intensity targets are targets that set limits on the amount of pollution that can be released per unit of economic growth. So in a growing economy these targets can be met even while emissions increase substantially. Studies have shown that Alberta’s 50% intensity target could be met even while absolute emissions in the province rise to 60%-80% above 1990 levels. Alberta must set targets for reductions in the absolute emissions in the province.
Help Canada to meet its Kyoto obligations: Canada has an obligation under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce its emissions to 6% below 1990 levels over the 2008-2012 period. Alberta’s emissions are currently 40% above 1990 levels and are growing. Alberta must do its part in helping Canada to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and, as such, should commit to reducing its emissions to 6% below 1990 levels over the 2008-2012 period.
Make industry do its fair share: Alberta’s large industry plays a major role in the province’s emissions, power, oil and gas production and industrial sectors make up over 70% of the province’s emissions and seven of Canada’s top ten large emitters are found in Alberta. Alberta must put a burden for greenhouse gas emissions reductions on its large industry that is commensurate with their share of the problem.
Encourage renewable energy deployment: Alberta’s 2002 climate change plan put in place a target to increase renewable energy deployment in the province by 3.5% by 2008. In the time since the plan was released the government did not put in place any regulations or incentives aimed at ensuring this target was met. Alberta needs to set more ambitious future targets for renewable energy and put in place incentives and/or regulations that will ensure these targets can be achieved.
Increase energy efficiency and conservation: The Alberta government has not put in place any regulations or incentives to encourage increased energy efficiency in the province. The Alberta government should put in place regulations aimed at ensuring all appliances and equipment sold in the province is highly efficient, should update building codes to ensure all new construction in the province meets a high efficiency standard and should look at providing incentives to help people in the province undertake energy efficiency retrofits.
You don't need to be an expert to speak to government. Speak from the heart, let them know you're concerned and why. The government has a mandate to represent the best interests of the people. Let them know that as it stands, this plan is not in our best interest.
Prairie Chapter info coming soon. For background on climate change in Canada, see Sierra Club of Canada.
For more information visit:
Sierra Club Canada - Climate Crisis Blog
Winnipeg Group Releases Climate Change Action Guide
Sierra Club of Canada, Prairie Chapter's local Winnipeg group has released a comprehensive action guide designed to educate Canadians, especially Manitobans, on the effects of and real solutions to global warming. Designed to be a catalyst for changes to government environmental policy, the action guide critiques current climate change plans and outlines steps that must be taken by politicians and decision-makers to prevent the catastrophic loss of our ecosystem.
Click here to see the group's recomendations. Winnipeg Action Plan
Bill C-311: Act Now!
On Thursday, May 28, NDP MP Linda Duncan will be introducing a motion to move up debate on Bill C-311 to June 2 and 4. It is currently on the agenda for June 16 and 18, but could be bumped off the agenda until the fall if anything unexpected comes up.
The Climate Change Accountability Act will commit Canada to science-based targets for reducing emissions. Please voice your support for this crucial legislation, and help stop dangerous climate change. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of green jobs through investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Send an online letter to all members of the Environment and Sustainable Development committee. Canada must do its fair share to tackle the climate crisis.
- More ways you can take action
Members of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee
- James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake), BezanJ@parl.gc.ca, (613) 992-2032, (204) 785-6151
- Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis), ScarpF@parl.gc.ca, (613) 995-8281, (514) 695-6661
- Bernard Bigras (Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie), BigraB@parl.gc.ca, (613) 992-0423, (514) 729-5342
- Peter Braid (Kitchener-Waterloo), Braid.P@parl.gc.ca, (613) 996-5928, (519) 746-1573
- David McGuinty (Ottawa South), McGuiDa@parl.gc.ca, (613) 992-3269, (613) 990-8640
- Mark Warawa (Langley), WarawM@parl.gc.ca, (613) 992-1157, (604) 534-5955
- Blaine Calkins (Wetaskiwin), CalkiB@parl.gc.ca, (613) 995-8886, (403) 783-5530
- Christian Ouellet (Brome-Missisquoi), OuellCh@parl.gc.ca, (613) 947-8185, (450) 266-6062
- Jeff Watson (Essex), WatsoJ@parl.gc.ca, (613) 992-1812, (519) 776-4700
- Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona), Duncan.L@parl.gc.ca, (613) 995-7325, (780) 495-8404
- Justin Trudeau (Papineau), Trudeau.J@parl.gc.ca, (613) 995-8872, (514) 277-6020
- Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre), Woodworth.S@parl.gc.ca, (613) 995-8913, (519) 741-2001