Our list of Climate Crisis actions and themes to watch for in 2021

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Local

  • New staff at City Hall – will this lead to a renewed effort to reduce our carbon footprint locally? Working with the City of Port Alberni is a priority of the group for 2021.

    Provincial

  • We will watch for the sector targets that are to be released by March 31st.
    We plan to work with out MLA to further local carbon reduction efforts.
    We will take part in the newly formed BC Climate Action Network

    National

  • We plan to keep working with our MP on climate crisis response efforts in the riding.
  • We plan to keep watching and reporting on:
    Bill C-12 Climate Accountability Act – now in first reading, with strong criticism from Greens and NDP, both of whom the PM is now dependent on to stay in government, now that the Bloc seems to have left him. Can this bill get to committee in Feb?

  • Meanwhile the Trudeau government is committed to a fairly bold plan that stresses:
    Carbon Pricing with steady cost per tonne increases to 2030

    Hydrogen:

  • Under federal oversight, two new technologies are clamouring for subsidies and regulatory favours. Last month Ottawa released a “hydrogen strategy,” a plan assembled by Canadian hydrogen industry lobbyists marketing their green and clean energy concepts.

    Small nuclear

  • Also under federal guidance, more than 50 companies, consultants and others are promoting nuclear power as one of the main sources of electricity in the coming net-zero economy. Canada’s Small Modular Reactor program (SMR), also outlined in greater detail last month, “brings together essential enabling partners, leveraging their strengths to lock-in these benefits and lead the world on SMRs.”
  • Hydrogen – not clear how much of this will be from ‘green’ electricity and how much from ‘blue’ ie natural gas, which has a significant carbon footprint, although offers the potential for carbon capture at source.
  • Green Stimulus Spending: will progressive action be part of federal and provincial post covid stimulus spending as many are advocating for?
  • Courts: Challenges by youth seeking redress for the failure of government action and the damage to their futures is still before the federal court. As is the challenge to carbon taxes by some provinces.

    International

  • Biden – acknowledged the threat of the crisis to the world and the US, and has rejoined Paris Accord.
  • Glasgow Summit November – more hot air? More delegates with long flights and little action? Will target commitments fall far short of action once again? Paris tried to limit global temperature increase to 2C above pre-industrial levels. Or ideally to 1.5C.
  • We are so far way off track, with 1.5C now expected within 12 years or so, with the possibility of 3C by 2100.
  • Countries signing up:
    China carbon neutral by 2060? Biggest polluter with 28% of global emissions.
    EU and UK made net zero commitments in 2020
    “Since then, Japan and South Korea have joined what the UN estimates is now a total of over 110 countries that have set net zero target for mid-century. Together, they represent more than 65% of global emissions and more than 70% of the world economy, the UN says.”

  • The details on these commitments will be a key part of the Glasgow agenda.

    Transport

  • More countries are announcing target dates for the phase out of gas and diesel vehicles. Spain, Saudi and Japan have made plans for hydrogen and electric trucks and buses. In 2020, sales of EV’s passed manual transmission sales, but still only amount to about 3% of total world wide passenger vehicle sales. Consumers continue to buy whats in front of them and still have range anxiety. Note that Toyota seem still committed to hybrids, with some plug ins.

    Business goes Green?

  • The falling cost of renewable and the growing public pressure for action on climate is also transforming attitudes in business.
    There are sound financial reasons for this. Why invest in new oil wells or coal power stations that will become obsolete before they can repay themselves over their 20-30-year life?
    Indeed, why carry carbon risk in their portfolios at all?

    Little things we will watch for

  • Will the CBC have the courage to drop the phase ‘climate change’ and adopt crisis, emergency etc
    Will Trudeau go to the polls in 2021 on his climate plan and pandemic response?

    from a variety of news sources

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