COP 15

Tue, 2012-12-04 12:51Carol Linnitt
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Canadian Youth Delegation: Tar Sands Creating "Commitment Issues" for Canada at COP18

Canada's leadership is failing to uphold international commitments to reduce the country's emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This failure on the global stage is the direct result of Canada's domestic policies, according to the Canadian Youth Delegation to COP18's recent report “Commitment Issues.”  

Canada's determination to develop Alberta's tar sands constitutes the nation's primary obstacle to progress on climate action. Bitumen extraction in the region “invalidates Canada's commitment to limit global warming to 2 degrees celsius since pre-industrial times and sets a dangerous global precedent for extreme extraction,” the report states.
 
The Canadian government has participated in several significant international agreements and treaties aimed at reducing global levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, given the country's aggressive oil and gas development, these agreements only serve to highlight Canada's disregard for, rather than participation in, international efforts to prevent dangerous global warming.
Wed, 2010-11-17 13:07Nathanael Baker
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Monarchy Trumps Democracy: Canadian Prime Minister Harper's Unelected Senate Rejects Passed Climate Bill

In a move that has generated serious uproar in the Canadian government, the Conservative dominated Senate has defeated a climate change bill that was passed in the House of Commons by holding a snap vote while several Senators were away.

The move is shocking on several fronts.  Firstly, the vote took place while 15 Liberal Senators were away from the capital.  The vote to defeat the Climate Change Accountability Act passed by a margin of 43-32.  Even more shocking is the fact that the unelected body of officials known as the Canadian Senate overturned a bill that was passed by the House of Commons – government officials elected by the Canadian people.

Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s third party, the New Democratic Party, called the vote, “One of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada.”

Fri, 2009-12-18 03:51Brendan DeMelle
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Breaking: LEAKED final draft of Copenhagen treaty declaration

[Update: I’ve added in analysis of the key text]

With only hours left in the Copenhagen climate treaty talks we have obtained an early version of the final agreement’ draft text.

President Obama’s speech wrapped up a few minutes ago with nothing new announced. But as long as this session continues there remains hope that world leaders can deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal.

Things continue to evolve and according to the draft version of the agreement, the major issue of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions cuts by what year, remains unanswered.

As it stands, the text states:

Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to implement, individually or jointly, the quantified economy-wide emission targets for 2020 as listed yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005…

Based on the best scientific research these numbers should be 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Thu, 2009-12-17 09:17Kevin Grandia
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Breaking: leaked climate talks text makes disturbing conclusions

Cross your fingers that this latest revelation is another Yes Men hoax. [update 1: I’ve confirmed that this was NOT a Yes Men hoax]

[update 2: Guardian is now reporting the story]

A draft copy of a confidential memo to the UNFCCC Secretariat has surfaced here at the Copenhagen climate talks that has some pretty disturbing analysis. The memo dated December 15, concludes that at this point in the climate talks:

“Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550ppm with the related temperature raise around 3 degrees Celsius.”  [my emphasis]


Here’s a screenshot, you can download the 4MB PDF version here: leaked UNFCCC secretariat document.


In layman terms this means that if the developed nations, like the US, Canada, Germany and France don’t commit to deeper emissions cuts at the talks underway in Copenhagen we’re screwed.

Based on the best scientific research, experts in the field have concluded that in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we need to stabilize carbon emissions at or below 350 parts per million.

Sat, 2009-12-12 11:20Richard Littlemore
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Everyone loves Canadians; it's Canada they hate

After 6-minute press conference: no wonder

Canada has, in certain circles, been getting a lot of respect hereabouts. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer was quoted this week praising Canada for working “very constructively” during the talks and a Danish negotiator (to remain nameless) was positively fullsome on the level of ambition and quality of the contribution that individual Canadians have been making to the process.

Yet Canada is consistently derided by Environmental NGO’s monitoring the talks and it is a clear leader in the Fossil of the Day awards given to the country most guilty of obstructing the likelihood of a fair, ambitious and binding agreement.

A hint as to the reason for this apparent contradiction arrived today in the form of Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice. In a late-in-the-day press briefing COP 15 President Connie Hedegaard celebrated the early arrival of ministers from around the world, saying that, as the ministers arrive, so does the good will. Prentice may mark the exception.

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