People used to use the analogy that climate change was like boiling a frog and we wouldn’t notice it until it was too late. Well, we have been boiled. We are trying to jump out of this. There is a general consensus—not unanimity—that we have to do more. The main thing that can go wrong is our politics. Everything is pointing in the right direction, technology, global consensus. The one thing that is not is climate change which is proceeding at a pace and with manifestations that are really depressing.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and Columbia University economics professor
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The Drilldown: Alberta NDP wants to ban mining in the Rockies

Alberta’s New Democratic Party intends to introduce a private member’s bill that would ban coal mining on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Canadian Press reports. Moreover, the bill would cancel all coal leases on Category 1 and 2 lands, and halt “planned changes to water allocations in the area,” according to Rachel Notley, the leader of the opposition NDP.

Last spring, Premier Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party (UCP) rescinded a 1976 policy that had banned open-pit coal mining on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Last month, it was reinstated due to public pressure.

But the UCP still plans to allow coal mining in the area, with public consultations scheduled to begin March 29.

“(Energy Minister Sonya Savage) has not released the details (of) what will be included (in) her hastily announced consultations,” Notley said. “But she did make it clear … that the goal of the consultations will be to develop a coal-mining policy, not to protect our mountains.”

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Conservative delegates reject adding ‘climate change is real’ to the policy book

Delegates voted down green-friendly policies by a margin of 54 per cent to 46

Conservative delegates at the party’s policy convention have voted to reject adding green-friendly statements to the policy book — including a line that would have stated the party believes “climate change is real” and is “willing to act.”

The Portneuf—Jacques—Cartier riding in Quebec, which proposed the policy change, also asked delegates to recognize that “Canadian businesses classified as highly polluting need to take more responsibility” and “reduce their GHG emissions.”

The policy proposal also included a call to support “innovation in green technologies” so that Canada can become “a world-class leader” in an emerging industry.

Delegates issued a rebuke to climate-minded Conservatives and rejected the policy shift by a margin of 54 per cent to 46. In fact, it was one of only four policy proposals or modifications on a list of 50 pitched by electoral riding associations (EDAs) that were voted down by the delegates.

While delegates from each of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec embraced the “climate change is real” proposal — 70 per cent of delegates from New Brunswick and Quebec were onside with it — those from every other province and the territories voted against the change.

In B.C., the “no” side had just a two-point edge, while the vote was much more lopsided in Saskatchewan (73 per cent against), the territories (69 per cent opposed), Alberta (62 per cent opposed) and Ontario (58 per cent opposed).

A double majority of delegates — a majority of delegates overall and the majority of delegates in the majority of provinces — must agree to an official policy change.

The clear rejection came hours after Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole urged party members to embrace change or risk losing again to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in the next election.

O’Toole said if party members are serious about winning, they must embrace new ideas — even if they go against party orthodoxy.

O’Toole told delegates the party “cannot ignore the reality of climate change” and that the debate “is over.”

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China, US to Form Climate Change Working Group, China Says

After two days of tense talks with his Chinese counterpart, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that despite their differences, there are places where the interests of the two nations intersect. On Saturday, China acknowledged as much, a sign of possible progress.

In a dispatch from Alaska, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said China and the U.S. would set up a working group on climate change.

Xinhua did not give any details about the climate working group but did say the U.S. and China discussed changing COVID-19 travel and visa policies and vaccinating each other’s diplomats. Both sides also agreed to discuss “diplomatic and consular missions” and journalists’ visas, Xinhua said.

Last July, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas, to shut down, citing the persistent problem of theft of U.S. intellectual property. China strenuously objected and later closed the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.

The dispute over journalists began in February 2020. Eventually both countries expelled several of each other’s journalists and reduced the length of their visas to three months, although those stays are usually renewed.

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