Category Archives : Climate Change

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Publications-Briefing-Notes-Cover-201x300
Publications-Briefing-Notes-Cover-201x300

Climate Change Backgrounder – The Road to Paris (May 2015)

Almost 200 countries will meet in Paris this December for a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC from pre-industrial levels. This is the 21st UNFCCC COP (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Conference of the Parties).   The Union of Concerned Scientists READ MORE


The Future is Local
The Future is Local

Resources from Rising to the Climate Challenge

On May 29th, we hosted an extended lunch forum on ‘Rising to the Climate Challenge’ with IPCC Climate Scientist Dr Danny Harvey, and Toronto Councillor Mike Layton.   You can download Dr Harvey’s presentation on the latest climate science here . You can download Councillor Layton’s presentation on Toronto’s ground breaking home retrofit financing program  here . READ MORE


FossilFreeCanadaLogo
FossilFreeCanadaLogo

More local governments considering divesting from fossil fuels

More and more local governments and education institutions are facing questions about the impacts of climate change, and the risk of having money invested in fossil fuel companies. Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle, recently wrote a letter to the President of Harvard, outlining why Seattle decided to persue fossil-fuel divestment. You can read the full READ MORE


Mining Paper Cover
Mining Paper Cover

Municipalities stake a claim for more balanced mining rules in BC

Mining in BC is booming. But with outdated regulatory legislation, that boom is presenting challenges for local governments, and at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention, councillors from across BC called for the legislation to be updated. The 2011 BC Jobs Plan foreshadowed eight new mines and nine mining expansions operational by 2015. READ MORE


wild weather
wild weather

Wild Weather Hammers Home Case for Green Jobs

By Charley Beresford Read this story on The Tyee at:  http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/06/06/CaseForGreenJobs/   Recent spring flooding across Canada, and the carnage wrought by tornadoes in the American Midwest, are terrifying reminders of the potential implications of climate change. Let’s face it, Mother Nature is mad as hell, and she’s not going to take it anymore. These dramatic READ MORE


2011 Polling - Graph 4
2011 Polling - Graph 4

2011 Polling – Centre for Civic Governance at the Columbia Institute

Each year the Columbia Institute does polling on the local issues that British Columbians consider most pressing. Below is a comparison of results from 2007 to 2011.* You will find a breakdown of responses on the following page. Social Infrastructure includes: Homelessness, Healthcare, Poverty, Immigration/Integration, Education, Lack of social services/sense of community, Childcare. Economic Bottom READ MORE


Mining Paper Cover
Mining Paper Cover

Mining: The Challenge for BC Local Governments

A rapid expansion of mining activity puts local governments in a quandary. Mining operations offer significant opportunities for communities, bringing great potential for jobs, development, and growth. On the other hand, mining operations can affect communities in adverse ways, from compromising drinking water and air quality to reducing property values. What will it take to READ MORE


Flooding due to rising seas could cost $1 trillion by 2050, with Vancouver’s risk high, study says

“Coastal flooding could cost the global economy $1 trillion a year a few short decades from now due to the rise in sea levels caused by global warming if action is not taken now to stem the flow and Vancouver is one of the cities most at-risk for losses, says a new study.”   To read the full article on the Vancouver Sun click here.


Denying Climate Change Is Bad for Your Electoral Health

“Some good news for a change when it comes to global warming:  A new bipartisan poll  shows strong support among young voters for taking action about climate change. That’s incredibly encouraging. And it gets better: 79 percent say they are more likely to vote for someone who supports action on climate change, and 73 percent say they would voteagainst someone READ MORE


Climate change in 2012: record sea-level rise, Arctic melting, warmed oceans, report says

“A new massive U.S. study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.”   To read the full article on CTV click here.


Climate strongly affects human conflict and violence worldwide, says study

“Shifts in climate are strongly linked to human violence around the world, with even relatively minor departures from normal temperature or rainfall substantially increasing the risk of conflict in ancient times or today, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton University.”   To read the full article on phys.org click here.


Publications-Briefing-Notes-Cover-201x300
Publications-Briefing-Notes-Cover-201x300

Climate Change Backgrounder – The Road to Paris (June 2015)

Almost 200 countries will meet in Paris this December for a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC from pre-industrial levels. This is the 21st   UNFCCC COP (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Conference of the Parties).   The Union of Concerned Scientists READ MORE


‘New normal’ weather a major threat to Canadian municipal infrastructure and finances

Newly updated weather benchmarks from Environment Canada show that Canada’s national average winter temperature has risen 3.2 degrees. Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. This also means that rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic.  As Canadian insurers and other economists have READ MORE


Canada Steps Backward on Climate Policy, Study Says

Canada is the only country out of 33 developed and developing nations to have taken a step backward in terms of climate legislation over the past year, ending 2012 with fewer policies related to climate change than it had last January, according to an international study published on January 14, 2013. Click here to read a Wall Street Journal article on the study. Click here to read the full study from GLOBE International.  


The Science Behind Climate Change – Video

As global climate negotiations wrap up in Doha, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the science behind the push for climate action. You can view the video on our YouTube channel, by clicking here.  Dr. John Fyfe is one of 150 Scientists contributing to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The fifth “assessment report” will be published in 2013-2014. The forth “assessment report” was published READ MORE


More Bang For Our Buck – A new study from Blue Green Canada

This new report from Blue Green Canada  shows if the $1.3 billion in government subsidies, now given to the oil and gas sector, were instead invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency, Canada would create more jobs: 18,000 more.  The full report is available for download here.   You can also read media stories covering the report, from The Vancouver Sun and The Star .


UN says slow pace of carbon cuts brings catastrophic climate change closer

The world is straying further away from commitments to combat climate change, bringing the prospect of catastrophic global warming a step closer, a UN report said on Wednesday. The warning came as nearly 200 governments prepare to meet in Qatar forinternational climate negotiations starting next Monday. The gap between what world governments have committed to READ MORE


Columbia Institute Retrofit Research featured in Municipal World Magazine

Research from the Columbia Institute’s report: This Green House: Building fast action for climate change and green jobs  was featured in the November 2012 issue of Municipal World Magazine.  Here is an excerpt. You can download and read the full Municipal World article below.  These days, amid record settingfloods, fires, and tornados, we’ve becomeaccustomed to hearing dire warningsabout the threats and impacts of climatechange. These are enormous READ MORE


Meteorologists Name Humans ‘Dominant’ Cause Of Climate Change

The American Meterological Society released its official statement on climate change, claiming the dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research.  The National Snow and Ice Data Center, in conjunction with NASA, announced today that Arctic sea ice has reached a READ MORE


Prominent climate change denier now admits he was wrong

Richard Muller, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkely, a MacArthur fellow and co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project has undergone a ‘total turnaround’ on his stance on global warming, which he now admits is caused by human activity.   “Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in READ MORE


Canada-wide and BC commitments on climate change move to back burner as economic self-interest takes over

Emission reduction targets (half of what Canada needs to achieve) are being ignored in favour of economic self-interest with the federal government refusing to set targets to cap the fastest growing source of greenhouse bases in Canada – oilsands development.  BC has followed suit in announcing regulations that will allow it to fall farther off its READ MORE


Whistler passes motion opposing Northern Gateway pipeline

Whistler has joined several other BC municipalities in formally declaring its opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. Citing concern over the inherent possibility of environmental disaster, the council has agreed the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Counillor Jack Crompton believes the motion will send a strong message, “It says to the federal government, the READ MORE


Climate Change impacting mental health

A report issued by the US National Wildlife Federation explores the relationship of extreme and erratic weather and mental health. The report concludes that climate change is leading to severe depression, anxiety and even suicide amongst those who have been impacted by floods, tornadoes, storms, droughts and other extreme weather events. Children the elderly and the poor feel the impacts READ MORE


Northern opposition to pipeline grows- Smithers BC rejects Enbridge proposal

Opposition to the proposed Enbridge pipeline is growing in Northwestern BC . The town of Smithers has joined Terrace, Prince Rupert and the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District in formally rejecting the pipeline proposal, due to concerns that the risks associated with oil spills are too high in a region that is ecologically sensitive and dependent upon READ MORE


Prince Rupert is now the third BC municipality to reject the Enbridge pipeline

In a unanimous vote, Prince Rupert City Council made a motion to formally oppose the proposed Enbridge pipeline. The council has adopted the same resolution that the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District (SQCRD) did over a week ago:  “Therefore, be it resolved that the City of Prince Rupert be opposed to any expansion of  bulk READ MORE


Gerald Amos, Chief of the Haisla Nation responds to claims that foreign radicals are hijacking the pipeline debate

Chief Gerald Amos Chief of the Haisla Nation has written a response to claims by Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, that radical environmental groups funded by foreign interests are hijacking the debate surrounding the proposed Enbridge pipeline. Read his response in the Huffington Post. 


As Arctic sea ice melts, scientists discover large plumes of methane bubbling to surface

A team of Russian scientists studying  eastern Arctic sea ice has discovered large plumes of methane bubbling to the surface. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of tones of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide are locked in the Arctic permafrost. As climate change warms the planet these gases READ MORE


What will it cost if the world warms 3.5 degrees?

Current emissions reductions targets are likely to create a warming of 3.5°C by 2020, far below the original pledge of 2°C lower. The Climate Action Tracker has done an analysis that shows what the financial and environmental risks are. The tracker is continually updating according to the latest information available. What the current analysis shows READ MORE


The hottest 13 years on record have all taken place within the past 15 years

The hottest 13 years on record have taken place within the past 15 years. Within that time period the amount and severity of extreme weather events has increased dramatically. But, despite the phenomenal cost to human life and the economy that climate change is causing, world leaders are backing down on their commitments. The US, READ MORE


School District 5 – Carbon Offsets Open Letter

The Trustees of British Columbia’s School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay) recently passed the following motion, and wrote an explainatory letter to the Honourable George Abbott, BC Minister of Education. The motion, and letter, communicate challenges they face within the current structure of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, and suggests improvements that would help their READ MORE


Climate change deniers fear a green agenda will end capitalism

Intrepid reporter Naomi Klein, who is stationed at the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change – a conference for climate change deniers, has discovered the objection to acting on climate change has little to do with scientific research showing that climate change is not happening, or is happening, but not in any significant READ MORE