Canada needs to take climate change seriously

Climate change is the topic of United Nations talks currently taking place in Doha.

Climate change is the topic of United Nations talks currently taking place in Doha. The decisions made at Doha will largely determine what the future will look like for our children and grandchildren in the last half of this century and the next.

Early this year, the International Energy Agency warned that the world has only five years to take action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sufficiently to avert irreversible and catastrophic climate change.

Current actions and pledges by the international community represent only 60 per cent of the global effort needed to prevent this scenario, says the UN climate chief. Her warnings are echoed by the World Bank, and by a coalition of the world’s largest investors that called on governments to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investments and disruption to economies.

Irreversible climate change could wipe out up to 25 per cent of Canada’s wealth due to impacts ranging from flooding of coastal communities to decimation of forests by insects and fires. Compared to the three per cent drop in GDP that Canada experienced during the recent financial crisis, it’s hard to imagine a 25 per cent drop.

Canada has pledged to reduce its GHG emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. But Environment Canada forecasts that under current government policy, our GHG emissions will actually rise to seven per cent above 2005 levels by 2020. This is unacceptable.

Canada must become part of a global shift away from oil and gas production and consumption combined with a restructuring of the energy economy in favour of renewable energy. In doing so, the Canadian government could create new economic opportunities for our future while at the same time significantly reducing our GHG emissions and helping to avoid catastrophic climate change.

 

Anne Morris

Just Posted

UBC researchers want to hear from rural Shuswap residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Truck rollover west of Sicamous disrupts traffic for hours

The evening rollover on May 25 temporarily halted highway traffic near the Bernie Road intersection.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Photos: Over 80 competitors took part in 3D Archery Shoot

The event is hosted by the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club

Girl, 9, out of ICU after carbon monoxide poisoning in Shuswap tent

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

KFD, COSAR rescue injured Okanagan hiker

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail in Kelowna after woman injured her leg

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Letter: Sicamous Bike lanes going unused

This letter writer feels too many people are forgoing bike lanes to ride in the street

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Most Read