Geologist David Hughes looks at BC’s LNG development and the rising emissions it will cause. Opening speech from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is a plea to go beyond greenwashing. A message from the theoretical Just Transition Ministry and more.
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EVENTS AND LINKS
Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 from 4 pm PT
‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Climate Action’ – A virtual gathering of climate solution explorers. The event will feature thought-provoking conversations from leaders, artists and change-makers who are steering the energy transition in Canada. Join us for an interactive conversation to answer your questions and concerns about the pathway to a climate-safe future!
For more information and tickets to the event, please visit the event page here.
Saturday November 19, 10am-Noon
The West Coast Climate Action Network WE-CAN is holding a BC CLIMATE ACTION PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY (CAPA)
From WE-CAN: The Climate Action Provincial Assembly is a participatory forum where leading members of BC’s active climate action groups can meet together to develop mutually supportive plans for the future. We intend that the Assembly will meet four times a year, in January, April, July and October.
You can find details for the November 19th event on the website https://westcoastclimateaction.ca/
Tuesday December Online 3:30 to 5 pm.
Creating a liveable climate future: an interactive workshop
Join us for an interactive workshop to explore strategies to address climate change using grounded conversations and the cutting-edge climate simulator En-ROADS. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.
BC Environmental Assessment Database EPIC
David Hughes analysis of Canada’s climate emissions
Good news out of US midterm elections. Democrats made notable gains at the state level, gaining control of the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature in four states that now may be poised to pass climate and clean energy legislation that wouldn’t have had a chance before.
The states—Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota—have all seen environmental policies stymied by Republican leaders, but now Democrats have more latitude to take action.
In other states, having this “trifecta” of Democratic control has been essential for passing climate and clean energy legislation.
Ukraine has used the Cop27 climate talks to make the case that Russia’s invasion is causing an environmental as well as humanitarian catastrophe, with fossil fuels a key catalyst of the country’s destruction.
Ukraine delegates explained ut the links between the war launched by Russia in February, the soaring cost of energy due to Russia’s status as a key gas supplier, and the planet-heating emissions expelled by the offensive.
Heavy shelling and the movement of troops and tanks has polluted the air, water and land, said Svitlana Grynchuk, Ukraine’s assistant environment minister, as well as killing thousands of people and decimating the country’s economy. A fifth of Ukraine’s protected areas have been ruined by the war, she added, with the contamination of previously fertile soils alone costing €11.4bn (£10bn) in damages.
“This is not simply a war, this is state terrorism and it is ecocide,” Grynchuk said.
The centre of Ljubljana, the major city in Slovenia has been car-free for more than a decade.
As cities around the world scramble for ways to both slow and adapt to a warming climate, it’s a model that offers promising solutions.
Ljubljana’s success is all the more extraordinary because it happened in the face of strong public opposition. Protests erupted soon after leaders announced the plan. Concerns were largely driven by local people concerned about what the change would mean for them.
They were worried they wouldn’t have access to their apartments, and that they wouldn’t be able to bring groceries home,” People “just couldn’t imagine” a city without cars.
“Everybody said the city was going to die,” “But actually, the opposite happened”.
After closing the centre to cars on September 3, 2007, the mayor’s office had already laid out a programme of outdoor concerts and festivals to take place on the newly pedestrianised streets.
Banning cars was merely a starting point in the plan for a more “liveable” Ljubljana, and this seems to have been the key to its success.
Hundreds of protesters angry about the climate crisis took to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday, with dozens storming a building where Portugal’s economy minister, António Costa e Silva, was speaking, demanding that the former oil executive resign.
Holding banners and chanting slogans, protesters demanded climate action. As some demonstrators broke into the building, those outside shouted: “Out Costa e Silva!”
Police officers dragged the protesters out of the building. Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported the minister left the building through a backdoor.
Greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas facilities around the world are about three times higher than their producers claim, new data has shown.
Climate Trace, a project to measure at source the true levels of carbon dioxide and other global heating gases, published a new report on Wednesday showing that half of the 50 largest sources of greenhouse gases in the world were oil and gas fields and production facilities.
Many are underreporting their emissions, and there are few means of calling them to account.
Oil and gas production can leak methane, and the gas is also frequently flared intentionally, ostensibly for safety reasons but sometimes for convenience. Atmospheric levels of methane, a greenhouse gas about 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, have been rising strongly in recent years, but countries’ reported emissions of the gas have been found to be much lower than the reality.
Dutch border police arrested hundreds of climate activists who stormed Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and sat in front of the wheels of aircraft to prevent them from leaving.
More than 100 protesters, wearing white suits, entered an area where private jets are kept on Saturday as part of a day of demonstrations in and around the airport organised by environmental groups.
Dewi Zloch, the Netherlands campaign leader for Greenpeace, one of the groups involved, said: “We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets.”
Greenpeace says Schiphol is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12bn kilograms annually.
Extinction Rebellion was also involved in the action. Hundreds of other demonstrators in and around the airport’s main hall carried signs saying “Restrict aviation” and “More trains”.
A large turnout of young voters is widely being cited as the reason many Climate-forward candidates did well in last week’s US elections. Most of the candidates that the League of Conservation Voters’ called the “Dirty Dozen” have been defeated — several more are in races yet to be decided.
At least 17 governors have been elected on climate platforms so far. Put together, their plans aim for an 80 per cent reduction in their states’ climate pollution.
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s former environment minister, was tasked by the UN to lead a team investigating net-zero greenwashing. McKenna announced recommendations last week clarifying the “price of admission” for net-zero promises: “You can’t be a climate leader and invest in new fossil fuel projects … you can’t use credits to meet emissions reduction goals … you can’t reduce emissions intensity instead of absolute emissions reductions.”
The HLEG’s report is entitled Integrity Matters: Net-Zero commitments by businesses, financial institutions, cities and regions. McKenna said “it’s a make-or-break moment for net-zero pledges by non-state actors. […] Either net-zero helps drive the ambition we need right now so that we stay below 1.5 degrees or, by focusing on 2050, it results in delay, obfuscation and greenwashing.”
McKenna even had her own headline in Scientific American: Give More Women the Microphone at COP27. Together with Amy Myers Jaffe she pointed out that ceding the floor to women at these meetings is more than just a gesture; it’s a matter of fairness. U.N. studies show that 80 percent of people displaced by climate change are women. The floods in Pakistan earlier this year are a prime example: huge numbers of rural women have lost their homes and their livelihoods, and about 650,000 women could now face disruptions in pregnancy-related health care.
At the same time, women are leading the way around the world in advocating for climate action and providing solutions.
Oil and gas companies are planning a “frightening” expansion that would result in 115bn tonnes of climate-heating CO2 being pumped out, equivalent to more than 24 years of US emissions, a new analysis has found.
Virtually all oil and gas companies are planning further exploitation of fossil fuels, the report found, pouring $160bn dollars into exploration since 2020. None of this investment is compatible with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) route to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and limiting the climate crisis, the report said.
The report was released at the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, where leaders have been warned that deep and rapid cuts to carbon emissions are needed to avoid climate catastrophe. But the analysis found that 655 of 685 (96%) of exploration and production companies have expansion plans, which have increased by 20% since 2021.
“Halfway through COP 27, the stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Eddy Pérez, international climate diplomacy director at Climate Action Network-Canada. “Fossil fuel polluters and those who enable them have come in the hundreds to flood the negotiations and greenwash their way past 1.5°C, promoting morally bankrupt interests that will kill any possible movement towards a safe future.”
Meanwhile, “climate-vulnerable nations are fighting for their lives, looking for the world to send a hopeful message that they will not be left to cope with catastrophic losses and damages on their own. COP 27 is not a procedural COP; it is a climate justice COP.”
Mitchell Beer from The Energy Mix .com is watching closely and he asks two critical questions.
• Why should anyone have any confidence in an annual conference series that took 21 years to adopt the Paris agreement, then another six years to finalize the “rulebook” for implementing what they’d decided?
• What was the UN climate secretariat thinking when it awarded two COPs in a row to countries bent on promoting a “dash for gas”, with all the climate-busting methane emissions that will result, as the “perfect solution” to climate change?