Thursday, November 12, 2015

A "Whole of Government" Effort on Climate Change Challenges

It's amazing how many voices are coming out of the woodwork demanding that Justin Trudeau do this or do that and damned smartly too. Jesus, I didn't think the Dippers would take their entirely self-inflicted election drubbing that hard but apparently I was wrong. I know this won't quiet them but they should really give it a rest.

You see, C-51 isn't the pressing issue of the day. Neither, in fairness, is the TPP. What matters right now, to the virtual exclusion of anything short of an existential threat to Canada, is climate change. That is what matters right now.

Next month world leaders will convene in Paris for what many experts consider mankind's last best chance to reach an effective pact on a mitigation/adaptation plan that could avert runaway global warming. We're hoping to give ourselves a reasonable chance of not pulling the trigger on natural feedback loops that will cause uncontrollable, unsurvivable global warming and a host of equally cataclysmic events such as ocean acidification.

Harper revealed the nihilistic face of neoliberalism through his efforts to thwart any meaningful action on climate change during Canada's decade of darkness. He didn't give a shit how abbreviated your grandkids' lifespans might be.

Good news. Harper is gone. Trudeau is in and the new prime minister is making climate change this government's top priority.

All Liberal cabinet ministers have been charged with ensuring the success of thenew government’s commitments on climate change, Foreign Affairs Minister St├ęphane Dion said in an interview Wednesday as he prepares to engage the country’s diplomatic corps in the international fight against global warming.

...Mr. Dion said that the effort will be much broader, suggesting all major economic decisions will face a climate-change test.

“The old system was to give the file of the environment to the minister of environment and say to her or him, ‘Deal with it, be the hero of the environmental groups but don’t bother us because we have jobs to create and an economy to grow,’” he said. “That will not work. … [Ms. McKenna] will succeed only if all of us [in cabinet] have a green orientation and sensitivity.”

Mr. Dion served as environment minister under former prime minister Paul Martin, and he controversially campaigned on a proposed carbon tax when he was Liberal leader in the 2008 election in which the Conservatives secured their second minority government. He is clearly thrilled to be back in a position where he can pursue an environmental agenda.

“The reason we worked so hard is because we have a plan for the country and we wanted an opportunity to implement it. And for that, we needed a mandate,” he said. “Within this mandate, you have the ability for Canada to be part of the solution to climate change and not only part of the problem. And that’s fantastic.”

To succeed in a world battered by global warming, he said Canada needs to adopt more energy-efficient lifestyles and business approaches, switch from fossil fuels to renewables and adapt to more extreme weather events that cause flooding and other damage. And that requires not only a federal effort, he said, but provinces, municipalities, corporations and individuals taking action.

Mr. Dion pledged that Canada will work for an ambitious agreement in Paris, likely to be reviewed after five years to ensure the world is on track. He said Ottawa will pursue a North American climate and energy accord with the United States and Mexico. And he said the country’s diplomatic and aid effort will focus on the instability and human tragedy that will result from the growing climate crisis.

Think for a minute that Mulcair would have done half as much? If you do, you're delusional.


Anonymous said...

Canada has to stop subsidizing these multi-national conglomerates who are creating climate change. If not, it isn't any use talking about reducing co2. It will never happen. A list of all countries who providing tax money to all polluting companies causing Climate Change needs to be made public everywhere. November 12, 2015

Dana said...

G20 countries alone amount to $450B and I"d wager that's a low ball estimate that can't account for the closed door deals.

Toby said...

Dana, you are probably right about the $450 billion being a low ball estimate. Here in BC the Ministry of Mines routinely builds roads to mine sites. Is that in the estimate?

Northern PoV said...

Mound, might you be veering into myopic territory?

Addressing climate change is both urgent ... and long term. You and I love and depend on the creature comforts that come with the ff economy. It is not going to change overnight.

C-51 is partly about isolating and criminalizing climate protest for example.
The TPP will give corp. sovereignty over nations and with it the ability to thwart climate mitigation.
Voting reform will lessen the chance of more CON rule.

We can walk and chew gum at the same time. In fact we have to.