Canada

G7 Leaders Up the Ante on Climate Action

(3BL Media/Justmeans) When the leaders of the world’s largest economies, United States, Germany, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, France, and Italy, otherwise known as the G7, met last week to discuss the global economy, climate and energy were high on the agenda, given the heightened level of concern and the major climate talks coming up later this year in Paris.

The group took a bold step, pledging to completely phase out greenhouse gas emissions by the century’s end, and to cut somewhere between 40 and 70% by 2050. Can they back it up? Not by themselves. These seven countries currently represent about a third of the world’s GHG emissions. That means they can have a significant impact, but they can’t do it without help, especially from rapidly growing economies like China (now the #1 emitter), India (#4) and Russia (#5). That will not be easy, considering that even among those in the G7, consensus did not come easily. Both Canada and Japan pushed back before finally agreeing to sign on to the statement that said, “We commit to doing our part to achieve a low-carbon global economy in the long-term including developing and deploying innovative technologies striving for a transformation of the energy sectors by 2050 and invite all countries to join us in this endeavor. To this end we also commit to develop long term national low-carbon strategies.”

However, if the goal is to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less, the goal of eliminating emissions by the end of the century is not enough. Even the 40 to 70% cuts mentioned by 2050 will fall short, even at the higher end, according to some sources. The carbon calculus shows that we have used up about two-thirds of the total emissions limit of around 3,200 gigatonnes that must be maintained if we hope to keep the climate from spinning out of control. At the current rate of emissions, we will run through that in the next 27 years. That’s a frightening thought when you consider that, at this point, the rate is still going up (albeit more slowly than it was a few years ago). That trend has to be dramatically reversed if the goal is to be met. Keep in mind that most greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a hundred years or more, so even when we stop emitting, it will take a while for the concentration to begin falling. It also means that when we stop, we need to stop for good, or at least the next hundred years. Given the way that these emissions accumulate in the system, the sooner we act, the better.

Does Canada Equate Environmentalists With Terrorists?

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - A newly proposed Canadian terrorism bill is raising some eyebrows among environmental groups. A document entitled “Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Assessment,” that was obtained by Greenpeace, classifies anyone concerned about climate change as a potential “anti-petroleum extremist.”

As such, these individuals or groups could be referred to a newly empowered Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) under the auspices of activities “that undermine the security of Canada,” particularly with respect to “critical infrastructure.”

Okay, so they’re worried about people who might blow up pipelines or refineries, fair enough. But they are specifically calling out well-established groups like Sierra Club and Greenpeace. I mean The Monkey Wrench Gang was written a long time ago.

Paul Champ, a lawyer working with the BC Civil Liberties Union, told The Globe and Mail that he had, “real concerns [that the new law] is going to target not just terrorists who are involved in criminal activity, but people who are protesting against different Canadian government policies.”

For one thing, the bill, known as C-51, is written from a denialist perspective, saying that these groups, “assert climate change is now the most serious global threat, and that climate change is a direct consequence of elevated anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions which, they believe, are directly linked to the continued use of fossil fuels….”

Exclusive Q&A with Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environmental Officer, TD Bank

TD continues green strategy with the first bank-led green bond in Canada

Canadian Business and Water Leaders Talk Innovation

The sustainability challenges facing Canadian business leaders and water experts are unsurprisingly similar:

“How can companies design resilient sustainability programs that can survive leadership changes, economic downturns, political shifts and other setbacks?”

“Canadian Content” Advances Green Debate

Colorado River Delta #2, Near San Felipe, Baja, Mexico 2011. ©Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New YorkThe oil sands/pipeline debate carries on in Canada at the start of 2014.

Farm Credit Canada Exceeds Food Drive Goal: 6.5 Million Pounds Collected

When I first reported on Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Drive Away Hunger Campaign in the spring, the agricultural lender was aiming to collect five million pounds of food to be distributed through Food Banks Canada. In the end, the 10th anniversary campaign, which wrapped up recently, outdid the target and increased donations by 108 percent over last year.

Canadian Conference Explores Transformational Collaboration for Systems Change

logo_accelerate_conference_0The Natural Step Canada will be gathering sustainability leaders next week to learn about and experience the collaboration needed for transformational change. Over two hundred participants are expected in Guelph, Ontario from June 10 to 11 for the Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference. Why this conference now?

Mexican Coffee Growing Community Members Blog to Connect with Canadian Coffee Drinkers: Van Houtte’s Farm Views Project

farmviews1A busy coffee drinker at a Van Houtte® coffee shop in Canada or shopping in the coffee aisle at the grocery store may not have a coffee farmer on his mind as he grabs his daily fix.

Aeroplan Members Share A Milestone: 300 Million Aeroplan Miles To Charities

aero_beyondmile_en-white1It started quietly seven years ago, with one web page online inviting Aeroplan loyalty program members to share their Aeroplan Miles with seven Canadian charitable partners. Seven years on, Aeroplan Members have donated more than 300 million miles to NGO’s in Canada and around the world to complete their missions.

Canadians Respond to Bangladesh Factory Collapse

clothingonrackAs the bad news from Bangladesh continues, with the death toll from the Rana Plaza building collapses surpassing a gut-wrenching 1,000, and additional deaths in a separate factory fire last week, Canadians, from corporations to NGOs, are responding to the tragic circumstances in a variety of ways.

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