Climate Crisis Blog

Changing the Channel

Riding on the bus this morning I was pondering how good Québec Premier Jean Charest looked standing up to Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, this week. 

On Monday, Mr. Prentice attacked Québec for establishing California standards for car emissions which are tougher than the Xeroxing of U.S. federal fuel economy regulations that Mr. Prentice had his staff do in order to create national mileage regulations for Canada.  Prentice talked about Quebec going alone when in fact there are 14 U.S. states and four other provinces in Canada that are all going down the same road.... Read more »

Climate Action Network Canada Response to "Copenhagen Accord"

"The job is not done.

The Copenhagen Accord is not ambitious, it is not fair and it is not binding.

This agreement has huge loopholes and gaps.  The goals for reducing pollution keep us on a path that science says leads to catastrophic warming.

The financing in this deal to help developing countries confront a crisis not of their making amounts to less than the subsidies nations serve up to the fossil fuel industry.

It is essential that countries work to finalise a strong agreement in the next 6 months.   Countries should meet as many times as is needed over these 6 months to ensure that there is not another failure to get a deal that gets the job done.

In the mean time, we are faced with a very costly delay, with costs measured in human lives, and in dollars.

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Canada the Colossal Fossil

I have some bad news: Canada just won the Colossal Fossil award, aka the Fossil of the Year award. This award is handed out to the country that has done the most to obstruct negotiations during the entire COP. Canada had the dishonor of winning this award last year as well.

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Please tell us it was a hoax

Denmark - A man who we hope was posing as Environment Minister Jim Prentice gave a speech at the climate change negotiations Thursday night.  The 100 presidents and prime ministers present were expecting Prime Minister Harper to represent Canada at the podium, but he was nowhere to been seen at the site of the negotiations.  It was a repeat of his performance last summer when he ducked out of climate negotiations to do a photo-op at a Tim Horton's - which is hard find in Copenhagen.

The speech by Minister Prentice was devoid of substance although it did mimic the language of environmental activists using the words "fair," "effective," and "comprehensive."  It also contained a veiled threat to torpedo the talks by saying, "A new global agreement should consist of a single, comprehensive undertaking." ... Read more »

Details on the Protest, International Youth Sit-in, Harper Arrives

Yesterday I filmed the Reclaim Power civil society protest. I arrived at 11:30 and things were just getting started. There, hundreds of protesters gathered around a semi-circle human wall of police in riot gear standing front of a wall of police vans in front of the fence blocking access to the Bella Centre. As I arrived, the event leader was calling on people to push through the police, climb over or though the police vans and over the fence.  Protesters surged forward and were pushed back by police.  After this, people milled around chanting messages but after about half an hour the police decided to declare the event illegal and threatened everyone with arrest and started closing in on protesters.... Read more »

Time for a little separation of oil companies and government.

Guess what.  The Government of Canada (Read the CBC article here) is planning on using the Americans for cover to allow them to give the oil companies more subsidies.  Make no mistake, giving the oil companies smaller emission targets than other industries is a subsidy.  Even in these tough recessionary times oil compoany and their front men in the Canadian and Alberta governments are not above picking the pockets of Canadians.

Normally, I would not comment on business practices and government subsidies.  The Sierra Club is an organization devoted to environmental preservation which places us outside of traditional left-right, capitalist-socialist debates.  Only when profits and shareholder dividends lead to a major impact on the environment - especially the profound implications of global warming - do we raise the alarm. ... Read more »

A Question for the Planet

A question for the planet, 'Can a few thousand negotiators gathered here in Copenhagen get beyond all the distractions and hype and cut deal?'

Despite the impending arrival of President Obama there is no sense of "Yes We Can" around here.  We're coming down to the last few days and the United States is still more concerned with business issues than a climate treaty. My own country continues to stand in the path of the future, more concerned with oil profits than protecting the global commons.

While I'm typing the plenary session is on the big screen.  There's no space in the plenary room for observers.  After 20 years of campaigning on climate change and 35 years campaigning on energy (they overlap, I'm not that old) I am merely an observer.

Merely an observer allowed to be around only at the pleasure of government.  Governments define the issues. Governments set the rules.  Governments ............. Read more »

Videos of Civil Society Protests in Copenhagen

I've just witnesed an intense protest here in Coepnhagen.  The event was called Reclaim Power and was supposed to be a peaceful protest by civil society in response to being shut out of the negotiations, but it wasnt so peaceful.  I'll write a more indepth post soon, but in the meantime check out the footage I got.  I was right in the thick of things until the tear gas got going at which point I left.


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Canada wins Fossil of the Day….Again + More Videos

Below is the Climate Network Canada’s press release about our most recent fossil:... Read more »

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