CLIMATE CHANGE June 26 , 2021

CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

QUOTABLES:

…we can say with pretty good certainty is that with the changing climate, we expect more frequency and severity of heat-related events like this in the future. ‘Historic heat wave’ coming to B.C., Alberta


Sara Hoffman, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
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ALBERTA NEWS

Report reveals impact of climate policy on oilpatch — and the need for a plan for workers

When the province announced more than five years ago that all coal-fired power generation in Alberta would be phased out, Chris Warwick worried about what it would mean for his hometown of Hanna.

And when the nearby coal mine that fed the Sheerness Generating Station stopped mining activities this spring — as the units convert to burning natural gas — he understood the energy transition had arrived in the east-central Alberta community.

Hanna’s mayor says about 100 full-time, well-paying jobs have already disappeared, leaving some local workers to retire early and others to seek retraining.

He’s grateful programs are now in place to help them. And across Alberta, power-generating companies are phasing out coal much faster than the 2030 mandated timeline, significantly lowering emissions.

One of his biggest criticisms remains the lack of early engagement about what the transition would look like, leaving residents and the community to fret about their future.

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CANADA NEWS

Majority of Canadians want climate plan that keeps regional economies strong, poll suggests

But survey indicates divide in support between meeting climate pledges and preventing oilpatch job loss

A majority of Canadians believe that when it comes to developing a strategy to fight climate change, a top priority should be ensuring all regions of the country benefit from a strong economy, a new survey suggests.

But the study also indicates there are notable differences between regions as to whether meeting international greenhouse gas reduction targets, or preventing job losses in the oil and gas industry, should be a priority.

Meeting the targets ranks more highly in the rest of the country than in oil-producing provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. On the other hand, the Environics Institute poll found that preventing oilpatch job losses was a lower priority in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia.

“These differences are not ones that pit the West against the rest of the country, as some of the biggest differences of opinion on this question lie within the West itself,” says the Confederation of Tomorrow survey, prepared for a group of six public policy think tanks that conduct an annual survey on a variety of issues. 

The consortium includes the Environics Institute for Survey Research, the Canada West Foundation and the Institute for Research on Public Policy, among others.

The study includes a survey of 5,814 Canadians conducted online in the provinces between Jan. 25 and Feb. 17, and online and by phone in the territories between Jan. 25 and March 1.

Priorities in developing a strategy to fight climate change Chart

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Wind turbines: How UK wants to become ‘Saudi Arabia of wind’

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WORLD NEWS

Shocking UN report: The worst of climate change is yet to come

Millions of people worldwide will be suffering from starvation, disease, and extreme heat by 2050, according to a shocking new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has been obtained early by Agence France-Presse (AFP). 

The report, which was set to be released next year, warns that the devastating effects of climate change will reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. This is largely due to the fact that melting glaciers and thawing permafrost are already set to release tons of carbon dioxide emissions, regardless of mitigation efforts.

In the decades since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth has warmed by roughly two degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA. 

The IPCC scientists warn that we are currently on track to reach 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit “at best.” The researchers explained that prolonged warming – even beyond 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit – could produce “progressively serious, centuries’ long and, in some cases, irreversible consequences.” 

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Unesco: Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’

Australia’s government has lashed out after a United Nations report claimed it had not done enough to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

UN body Unesco said the reef should be put on a list of World Heritage Sites that are “in danger” due to the damage it has suffered.

Key targets on improving water quality had not been met, it said.

Environment minister Sussan Ley said UN experts had reneged on past assurances.

She confirmed that Australia planned to challenge the listing, which would take place at a meeting next month, saying: “Clearly there were politics behind it; clearly those politics have subverted a proper process.”

The World Heritage Committee is a 12-nation group chaired by China, which has had a vexed diplomatic relationship with Canberra in recent years.

“Climate change is the single biggest threat to all of the world’s reef ecosystems… and there are 83 natural World Heritage properties facing climate change threats so it’s not fair to simply single out Australia,” said Ms Ley.

Environmental groups say the UN’s decision highlights Australia’s weak climate action, however.

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