Climate Change and Energy

Climate Change Here and Now

 

Canadians now live with climate chaos – the environmental, economic, health and psychological burdens of a changing climate.  And since 1950, Canada has already warmed at almost twice the global rate – 1.5ºC compared to .85ºC worldwide.

In Canada’s north, even greater warming is evident – melting permafrost, loss of sea ice and coastal erosion.

Human health is being affected by increased heat waves, the arrival of new infectious pests carrying, for example, Lyme disease and psychological effects from enduring floods, fires and displacement from homes.  

In its latest reports, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessed the global climate budget implied by varying levels of global warming.  Their findings say that to have a 66% chance of keeping temperatures below 2ºC requires world-wide cumulative emissions to not exceed 1,000  GtCO2 (billion tonnes of CO2) between 2011 and 2050.

However, this target of below 2ºC average above pre-industrial levels is dangerous and exceeds what is safe for the world’s most vulnerable countries.  A target of 1.5ºC is necessary to preserve any level of safety, dignity and well-being for these countries.

 

No Time To Lose

Governments of the world are gathering in Paris in December to negotiate an unprecedented global climate agreement to come into effect in 2020.

The over 147 Heads of State attending need to commit to urgent action to avert irreversible climate change and protect people from its impact. 

Canada needs to act on climate change and do its fair share to keep the world from exceeding dangerous levels of global warming.

Going into the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP), governments have provided their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). An analysis of these promises show that 75% of the world’s global carbon budget would be used up within 15 years (2030) after taking into account government emission reduction targets.

 

What is Canada’s Fair Share?

Canada is going to Paris with a new federal government and new commitments by provinces and municipalities. The previous government tabled Canada’s plan (INDC) that is clearly inadequate. The new government has committed to establishing its new target in consultation with the provinces within 90 days after the Paris COP. 

Canada’s fair share of climate action must:

  • cut domestic emissions by one third by 2025 and embed the commitment in domestic law
  • commit to full decarbonization by 2050
  • make substantial international financial contributions of at least $4 billion a year by 2020.

Here are “Three Big Moves”  toward a 100% Renewable Energy System for Canada” prepared by Climate Action Network to support Canada’s move to a fair share commitment.