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Can Canada Avoid the Fossil Award at UN Climate Talks?

Science & Tech  (tags: science, technology, environment, climate-change, climate, climatechange, CO2emissions, Canada, Trudeau, globalwarming )

- 1260 days ago -
Canada has earned a poor reputation at recent UN climate talks, winning the Fossil Award many years in a row for our inaction on climate change. Our new government, with promises of positive action and a strong team, has a chance to clear our reputation.


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Michael O (176)
Saturday November 7, 2015, 1:27 pm
By Bob McDonald, CBC News

Canada has the dubious distinction of winning the Fossil of the Day, Fossil of the Year, and the Lifetime Unachievement Fossil Award from Climate Action Network, an international NGO involving 110 countries that works to promote government and individual action to fight human-induced climate change.

For five years in a row, these awards were given to our country for being the only nation to pull out of the Kyoto Accord, lowering our emissions targets, reducing climate monitoring programs, cutting climate research, and increasing development of the Alberta oil sands. Some have even accused Canada of using stalling and delay tactics at the climate summit talks.

This is a complete turn of events for Canada, because we were once considered a leader in promoting action on climate change.

In fact, the decision to establish the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was made at a climate summit held in Toronto in 1988.

At this month's summit in Paris, Canada will be represented by a new government that has promised to take positive action, including a new environment ministry that now includes the words "Climate Change" in its title — and a team of ministers and cabinet members who actually understand the science.

Kirsty Duncan, the new Minister of Science, for example, is a former climatology professor and a member of the IPCC team that won the Nobel Peace Prize for climate science in 2007.

Stéphane Dion, former Minister of the Environment and now Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been a climate advocate for decades.

And Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment AND Climate Change, has been a legal advisor on international treaties.

It is important for politicians to understand the science of climate change, because it's a complicated subject and there is a lot of misleading information out there from special interest groups, designed to sway the political and public will away from taking positive action.

The delegation will have a lot of work to do polishing up Canada's tarnished reputation — not just in willingness to negotiate and sign agreements, but to actually putting words into action. That means restoring funds for climate research, allowing scientists to speak freely about their work, tougher laws for pollution, ending subsidies for dirty technologies, tax incentives for the clean ones - a long list of actions that could make a real difference in slowing down the steady warming of the atmosphere. And all this while trying to balance the environment with the economy.

That's a tall order.

On the global scale, when it comes to total carbon emissions, Canada is actually a small player compared to countries such as China and the United States. But as a G8 country, our inaction in the past set a bad example for a country that has the brain-power and technology to do our part.

The Trudeau Government will be the new kids on the block in Paris, so perhaps the Fossil Award will be held back this year in the hope that real change will come about, and that Canada will once again become a leader in dealing with climate change rather than an embarrassment.

Perhaps the next time Canada wins a "Fossil Award," it might be for our fabulous collection of dinosaur bones in Alberta.


Sheila D (194)
Saturday November 7, 2015, 1:45 pm
Bet that the US is right up there with all the fracking, blowing up mountains and drilling that's being done...thanx Michael.

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 7, 2015, 2:08 pm
Yes i believe it can. Harper that thug destroyed us environmentally but before that we were on top always so i have faith Trudeau can get us back there once again. He believes the environment to very i remain optimistic. thx Michael

Roger G (148)
Sunday November 8, 2015, 11:14 am
noted, thanks

Colleen L (3)
Sunday November 8, 2015, 1:09 pm
Hope they can. Thanks Michael

Birgit W (160)
Sunday November 8, 2015, 1:49 pm
Why avoid it? We certainly should get it so hopefully something will be done here in Canada.
But my hope is that Justin Trudeau is going to do everything for our environment. Thank you.

Janet R (38)
Sunday November 8, 2015, 2:44 pm
How can Canada be a leader in climate change with the devastation caused by TransCanada and tar sands? They are a leader in CAUSING climate change. America is right there with them but at least we are not turning lush forests into moonscapes. That needs to end.

Tracy Riley (54)
Sunday November 8, 2015, 4:05 pm
Thanks Michael!

Paul Christensen (1)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 12:27 pm
"Rome was not built in a day" remember this.Canada has far to go to catch up.oil sands expansions as well as emissions and existing/ongoing polution,deforestation ,waste/garbage reduction/recycling,green energy initiatives.Mr Trudeau has alot on his plate and NO MONEY to do anything.We in Canada are caught in the poltics of debt now.When in debt a country,province/state,city or individual will do most anything to generate revenue. It is my hope and belief that Mr Trudeau will take the slow steady course of actions.Starting with small meaningfull changes that will have lasting PR so we never need suffer the autocratic rule of conservatives like Harper,Mulroney,or any other Conservative deadbeat again

Stephanie B (0)
Tuesday November 24, 2015, 6:32 am
Noted, thanks.
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