National

Real or fake Christmas tree debate lights up

Putting up a real Christmas tree is a cherished tradition, yet many people today wonder if it really is the “greener” choice.

[...]

John Bennett, executive director of leading environmental group Sierra Club Canada, simply calls the debate “a saw-off.”

“Changing your choice of Christmas tree is probably not going to make a huge difference now or in the future,” Bennett said.

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Canada should be example to world

In the age of globalization, the government of Canada should recognize that the environment is part of a global ecosystem and that 19th century notions of conservation are no longer enough. Today's announcement of a marine conservation area in the Arctic will do nothing to protect this vital and unique ecosystem from the ravages of climate change.

Climate change is already radically altering the habitat in the Arctic. Announcing a marine conservation area is a meaningless, if not cynical, gesture by a government devoid of any real commitment to protecting Canada's natural heritage."... Read more »

The Council says no to World Bank role in climate financing

The Council of Canadians said no to World Bank involvement in the administration of a global climate fund today in Cancun.

The Harper government, the United States and other developed countries want the World Bank to have a central role.

We participated in a demonstration and march with about 125 people this morning at City Hall in Cancun.

More than 200 organizations -- including the Council of Canadians -- have signed an open letter demanding ‘the World Bank out of climate financing'.


Why?
The World Bank reflects the economic and political interests of developed countries. The U.S. holds about 16 per cent of the votes on its Executive Board.

Its fossil fuel heavy lending portfolio puts people and the planet in peril. In 2009 it put almost $7 billion of funding into the fossil fuel industry. It also put millions into massive hydro projects that release greenhouse gases.... Read more »

Canadian oil companies under fire at UN conference

CANCUN — Feeling pressure as a target here at the United Nations annual climate change summit, Canada's oil and gas industry is urging the international community not to reach a deal that would punish their member companies and the Canadian economy.

"We're very much of the view that oil and natural gas are going to be important parts of the energy supply and mix for a long time to come," said Dave Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, in an interview.

"It's not a question of choosing oil and gas versus renewables. We need all forms of energy developed responsibly to meet future demand."

Collyer said many member companies in his association are comfortable with the framework established by the Copenhagen agreement reached in 2009 and are not attending this year's summit.... Read more »

Audit slams Harper government for lack of leadership on environment

OTTAWA — As Canada prepares to make its case at a global climate-change summit, a parliamentary watchdog is slamming the Harper government for failing to show leadership on environmental issues.

In an audit tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development said the government isn't fulfilling its commitments to protect the environment.

In particular, commissioner Scott Vaughan blasted the government for failing to develop a federal strategy for adapting to the impact of climate change. Vaughan warned that the potential climate-change impacts on Canada range from severe weather events in Atlantic Canada to prolonged drought in the Prairies, damage to the country's boreal forests from pests and forest fires, and the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic.... Read more »

            

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