Canada's minister of wishy-wash, Catherine McKenna, seems to have thrown in the towel on climate change. She says she can't really deal with it because that would imperil national unity. It seems she got Alberta's message that they'll fuck her up if she messes with their bitumen trafficking. Then again she's working for Pipeline Pete, a.k.a. Justin Trudeau, the guy who tells us that the key to a clean energy future for Canada lies in pushing the highest-carbon, synthetic petroleum onto world markets as fast as possible.
The way forward, says McKenna, is sloooow but steady. Make no waves, ship no water. Keep everybody happy and calm. Climate change is just another matter of electoral politics - at least in petro-state Canada, with or without Harper.
Elsewhere, climate change has acquired a larger dimension.
Climate change will cut the value of the world’s financial assets by $2.5tn (£1.7tn), according to the first estimate from economic modelling. In the worst case scenarios, often used by regulators to check the financial health of companies and economies, the losses could soar to $24tn, or 17% of the world’s entire assets, and wreck the global economy.
The Bank of England and World Bank have warned of the risks to the global economy of climate change and the G20 has asked the international Financial Stability Board to investigate the issue. In January, the World Economic Forum said a catastrophe caused by climate change was the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016.
“Physical climate change impacts are a systemic risk on a massive scale,” said Ben Caldecott, director of the sustainable finance programme at the University of Oxford. “Investors can do much more to differentiate between companies more or less exposed and they can help reduce the risk to the global economy by supporting ambitious action on climate change.”
But, hey, we're Canada and we're always ready to double down on a bad bet.