Mark Jaccard on the Harper government’s climate legacy

March 12, 2013

in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment, Writing

Mark Jaccard in The Walrus:

“The Harper government supports accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels from our soil, which will send more carbon pollution into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, that same government brazenly assures Canadians that it will keep its 2020 and 2050 emission reduction promises. But I know these assurances are worthless, for the very reason that Chrétien’s Kyoto promise was worthless. The 2020 target is only seven years away. Emissions have fallen slightly because of the global recession. However, the combination of economic growth and oil sands expansion will increase emissions. In a chapter of the Auditor General’s spring 2012 report, “Meeting Canada’s 2020 Climate Change Commitments,” his commissioner on environment and sustainability, Scott Vaughan, noted, “It is unlikely that enough time is left to develop and establish greenhouse gas regulations… to meet the 2020 target.” Instead, Canada is on a path to be “7.4 percent above its 2005 level instead of 17 percent below.””

Strongs word from the author of Sustainable Fossil Fuels.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

. March 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

“Just as we can calculate the effect of a national cap to meet a national target, we can calculate the impact of a global cap on Canada’s fossil fuel exports. Harper set his 65 percent target for 2050 in line with a global effort to prevent a temperature increase that exceeds two degrees. Our current path leads to an increase of six to eight degrees by 2100, which scientists predict will acidify oceans, cause a massive species extinction to rival the five other great extinctions in the planet’s history, intensify extreme weather events such as droughts and hurricanes, and raise sea levels.

About 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuels; production cannot increase if we are to achieve a major reduction in four decades. This means no expansion of coal production, nor of coal ports like the one near Vancouver. It means no new investments in the oil sands. And it means no new investments in oil pipelines, like Keystone XL and Northern Gateway. Many independent reports confirm this, including the two-degree scenario in the International Energy Agency’s 2010 World Energy Outlook. So why don’t more Canadians see that Harper’s fossil fuel agenda is breaking his climate promises, or that oil sands production is unethical?”

. March 12, 2013 at 12:19 am

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