#Dominica, #UNAssembly, #ClimateChange; #FrancineBaron
New York, Sept 30 (Canadian-Media): Climate change “must be accepted as the responsibility of our time” as climate change results from “an economic calculus” that pushes global destruction, Francine Baron, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Dominica told the United Nations Assembly on Saturday, media reports said.
Francine Baron/Courtesy of UN
Climate-change-induced scarcity of things, like water, or productive lands, added Baron, reflect the main symptom of our world’s broken economy and society and it is the poor who suffer the most.
The global community, said Baron, has neither implemented any plan for the commitments made in Paris in 2015, nor adapted the agreed-upon $100 billion annually to assist the most vulnerable in mitigating against harmful climate change.
In the meantime, said Baron, arctic ice shelves continued to melt at an alarming rate making the ocean get warmer and the subsequent development of hurricanes, storms, drought and flooding continue to develop and threaten our countries.
Hurricane Maria last year she said had devastated Dominica the cost of rebuilding it could not be met singlehandedly.
Arguing that climate change is not “a freak of nature,” but man-made, she encouraged the global leaders work together to end climate change and to reduce local vulnerabilities.
“We, together, must grasp this moment,” concluded Baron.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#PreservationoftheOzoneLayer; #WorldOzoneDay2018; #UnitedNations; #MontrealProtocol
New York, Sept 17 (Canadian-Media): With record-breaking heat once again enveloping the earth this year, United Nations (UN) declared Sept 16 as an the International Day for preservation of the Ozone Layer, media reports said.
Phasing out ozone-depleting substances protect the ozone layer -- a fragile shield of gas, which protects the earth and preserves life -- and contributes to global efforts to address climate change.
The theme for World Ozone Day 2018 is a motivational call urging all of us to carry on with the exemplary work of protecting the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol -- a global agreement to protect the Earth’s ozone layer -- by phasing out the chemicals that deplete it.
The theme has two connotations – that our work of protecting the ozone layer also protects climate and that the Montreal Protocol is a “cool” treaty, as exemplified by its outstanding success.
Looking at concentration of ozone layer due to chlorofluorocarbons, found mainly in refrigerants and aerosol sprays, over the Antarctic pole, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said it was “a pivotal time for climate action” and said.
“We can draw inspiration from the Montreal Protocol, a shining example of how the world can come together for people and planet,” added Guterres.
For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than helped repair the ozone layer.
“Thanks to this global commitment,” Guterres stated, “the ozone layer is expected to return to its 1980 levels by mid-century...It has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability."
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, who had discussed this week town hall in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the cause of carbon pollution in the atmosphere, also tweeted as follows:
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#CatherineMcKenna; #Canada’slight-dutyvehicle; #vehicleemissionstandards; #transportationindustry
Ottawa, Aug 24 (Canadian-Media): Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced this week that Canada would begin consultations -- as part of its commitment made in 2014 -- on the mid-term evaluation of Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission regulations for the 2022–2025 model years, media reports said.
“Cleaner cars are good news for the planet, and they save Canadians money at the pump. This means more money in the pockets of middle-class families. We’re committed to cutting pollution across the transportation sector while maintaining a strong and competitive auto industry. This review will help us enact regulations that will protect the environment and grow the economy,” McKenna said.
Thees consultations will focus on a wide range of issues in the transportation industry including Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards to support innovation, a more competitive economy saving consumers money at the pump, improved health for Canadians.
Environment friendly vehicles
During these consultations, Canada would consider U.S. regulatory process to revise existing standards for vehicle fuel efficiency and the actions of California and other global jurisdictions.
Automobiles and light trucks account for about 11 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse carbon pollution.
Canada's stringent air-pollution regulations for light-duty vehicles help to improve air quality and the health of Canadians and is reported to decrease by 7 million tonnes in 2030.
Environment and Climate Change Canada also invites Canadians to submit their comments until September 28, 2018.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#2018annualconferenceoftheInternationalCommissiononIrrigationandDrainage; #Saskaton, #Saskatchewan; #WesternEconomicDiversificationCanada’sWesternDiversificationProgram; #RalphGoodale; #NavdeepBains; #WarrenHelgason; #CanadianWaterResourcesAssociation
Ottawa, Aug 13 (Canadian-Media): Experts around the world are attending the 2018 annual conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) -- not-for-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) -- being held from Aug 12 -Aug 17 in in Saskatoon SK to discuss managing water for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change, media reports said.
The conference is being hosted by the Canadian Water Resources Association, a national not-for-profit organization with network of professionals in 80 countries consisting of members from the public, private and academic sectors who are committed to promoting responsible, innovative and effective management of water resources and has facilitated sharing of experiences and transfer of water management technology for more than six decades.
“As the globe experiences an increasingly variable climate, the need to share information regarding sustainable agricultural water management has never been greater. Saskatoon – and Canada – is pleased to host this international conference with delegates from over 40 countries sharing their technical knowledge and experience. We’re excited to showcase how Canada is contributing to meeting the challenges of feeding a growing world population and we look forward to a vibrant exchange of ideas,” said Warren Helgason, ICID Conference Co-Chair, Associate Professor of Civil, Geological and Environmental Engineering, University of Saskatchewan.
The funding of $15,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Western Diversification Program in support of this conference was announced by Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, at the conference’s opening ceremonies.
“Water is critical to agriculture in the Prairies...to realise that potential in the face of more severe floods and droughts caused by climate change, we need to better manage this precious resource. This investment is one example of what the Government of Canada is doing to enable Canadians to make better use of our exceptional water resources,” said Goodale.
The theme of the conference is “Innovative and Sustainable Agri-water Management: Adapting to a Variable and Changing Climate.”
“Through the Innovation and Skills Plan and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government of Canada is investing in innovations aimed at protecting the environment and improving the sustainability of agriculture and natural resource development. The fact that this conference is being hosted in Canada is a testament to the expertise of Canadian researchers and producers” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.
In addition to conference sessions and workshops dealing with water resource management, delegates also get the opportunity to see Saskatchewan farms and learn about Western Canada’s innovative strategies and practices related to irrigation, drainage and water security.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#OntarioLiberals; #EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada; #CatherineMcKenna
Ottawa, Aug 1 (Canadian-Media): The Liberal government of Ontario (Ontario Liberals) has decided to impose Ottawa's carbon price framework on provinces that don't have a pricing system of their own, media reports said.
But it is not considering to price carbon pollution after Canadian industry officials told of their concerns how the tax would impact competitiveness.
Environment and Climate Change Canada have decided raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes will have the biggest impact on companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Release of new guidelines by Environment and Climate Change Canada, to lower the percentage of emissions some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax on, are being processed.
The decision to raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes impact companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Their tax bill decline significantly, with some of the most efficient would be paying no carbon tax at all.
The tax liability of the worst polluters, whose emissions far exceed the average in their industries, would shrink too, but their tax savings will be much smaller.
Back in January, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Environment Minister had set the benchmark at 70 percent of an industry's average emissions performance, meaning companies would have to pay a tax on emissions they produced in excess of that benchmark.
McKenna's office confirmed to CBC News that they've adjusted the proposal to set the benchmark at 80per cent of the industry average of emissions — and 90 percent for producers of cement, iron and steel, lime and nitrogen fertilizer.
Emissions produced beyond that point would still be subject to the tax.
That plan is scheduled to come into effect in early 2019, and will be imposed on provinces that do not have a carbon pricing system of their own. The tax is set for $20 a tonne in 2019 and will rise to $50 in 2022.
The federal government says it's still talking to industries and will have more details this fall.
McKenna said today it's important to make big polluters pay, and that it will force them to reduce emissions and innovate
"But we have to do it in a smart way," she said during a visit to the Gaspésie region of Quebec. "I've always said the environment and economy go together, and we don't want to drive industry out of our country. We want to have the most energy efficient, smart industries here that create good jobs, at the same time do what we need to do to tackle emissions. And that's exactly what we're doing."
In one of his first moves as Ontario's new premier, Doug Ford announced the province would be getting out of the cap-and-trade system, and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa's carbon-tax plan.
Manitoba was reluctant to sign on to the federal government's plan until recently.
New Brunswick has an emissions reduction plan, but it has been criticized as inadequate by the federal government.
Alberta and B.C. already have a carbon tax, while Quebec is part of the cap-and-trade system Ontario plans to leave.
Nova Scotia is developing its own internal cap-and-trade system.
P.E.I. says its approach will be to lower the price of renewable energy to motivate people to do the right thing.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Canada’sclimatechannge; #Dr.GeorgiaPomaki; #GroupDisabilityBenefitsatManulife; #pre-emptivemeasures #RobertGifford; #increasedcivilconflictoverimmigration; #NaturePlants
Ottawa, June 12 (Canadian-Media): The dramatic shift in Canada’s climate causing severe flooding, droughts and fires in different parts of the Canada can give rise to new mental-health issues, media reports said.
Besides alleviating existing conditions which disrupt the medical care of patients, Dr. Georgia Pomaki, leader of mental-health specialists at Group Disability Benefits at Manulife said, new mental health issues also possibly occur.
Dr. Georgia Pomaki/Facebook
“We have extreme situations where people flee from a fire [for example] and they’re trying to save their own life,” Pomaki says. “In these cases, it was a risk to their life and that can cause PTSD."
Environment Canada -- reportedly the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for coordinating environmental policies and programs as well as preserving and enhancing the natural environment and renewable resources -- reported that these events are becoming more frequent every year.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Plants on Monday, latest possible victims of climate change is death of some of the oldest and biggest baobab trees in Africa.
In the past 12 years, nine of the oldest 13 baobab trees and five of the six biggest ones, said the researchers, have partially or completely perished,
The trees -- some of them dated back to the times of the ancient Greeks -- reportedly located in Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia have died completely, or partly, according to the study. .
The average cost basement being flooded in Canada is $43,000. according to the University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation and Manulife and Intact Financial Corporation.
Anxiety is felt not only during the event itself, but before and afterwards as well Robert Gifford, professor of psychology at the University of Victoria
“[These events] mainly cause anxiety, also fear and the discomfort of uncertainty about the next possible event,” he says. “Anxiety is not the emotion with which we hope to lead our daily lives. A little is OK, and even can be motivating, but multiple episodes of it weakens us both mentally and physically.”
Effects of climate change are reportedly felt by those who live in forested areas, at water’s edge, low-lying land (like Richmond, B.C. for example) and or by rapid or slow changes in plants and animals most important to them, Gifford explains.
“Ultimately, we will all be affected through increased civil conflict over immigration — people escaping even worse scenarios and physical health disease vectors moving north,” Gifford says.
But reportedly only 29 percent of Canadians take preventative measures from flooding, the University of Waterloo reports, and only six percent are aware that their house is located in a flooding region.
Adopting pre-emptive measures including setting aside savings, investing in renovations to your home and/or having a plan in place future emergencies, said Pomaki, can lead to reduction of much of the stress and anxiety and help manage symptoms of other mental-health disorders.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#BCFloods, #2ndwaveofflooding, #JessicaMace, #RolyRussell, #KootenayBoundaryRegionalDistrict; #GrandForks
British Columbia/Ottawa, May 16 (Canadian-Media): With prospect of flooding expected to worsen over the next few days in the hard-hit southern Interior of British Columbia (B.C.), politicians and officials are asking for help from the army, media reports said.
"We are in conversation with our partners at Emergency Management BC to see what resources might be available for us," said Roly Russell, chair of the Kootenay Boundary Regional District. "We feel we could use those resources effectively on the ground."
Floodwater covers a road in Grand Forks/Courtesy of CBCNews
Emergency workers and volunteers had been reportedly exhausted after almost a week of fighting the floods, especially in Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Rock Creek and surrounding rural areas due to the melting of the heavy snowpack and a surge of water down from the mountains caused by high temperatures,
"People have been working really long hours and it's boiling here — 32 C. They're thirsty, they're tired and they're worn out," said Jessica Mace of the Kettle River Water Authority.
Residents had been updated with the latest flood information during two meetings yesterday.
The public is being asked by emergency personnel from the Kootenay Boundary Regional District to remain vigilant and to stay out of evacuated areas to allow emergency officials to focus their efforts.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#B.C.Floods, #B.C.swelteringheat, #globalwarming; #InteriorB.C.; #UniversityofB.C.; #MarkusSchnorbus; #climatechange; #BrettGilley #EarthOceanandAtmosphericSciences, #PacificClimateImpactsConsortiuminVictoria
Vancouver, B.C./Ottawa, May 15 (Canadian-Media): Many people in B.C. are reflecting if record-breaking heat they are experiencing and destructive floods are due to climate change, media reports said.
Temperatures, in several communities, over the weekend, had risen into the high 20s and low 30s, which had busted through daily records.
Massive floods had hit parts of the Interior B.C., for the second year in a row.
Last year's floods, immediately followed by wildfires and the consequent result in the loss of plant cover, had made some parts of the province even more susceptible to flooding.
Although these high temperatures had resulted in the rapid melting of mountain snow giving rise to floods that could hit levels seen only once in 100 years, scientists said it was too early to connect one-time events or with or even two or three-time events to global climate trends.
Brett Gilley, a professor in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of B.C., said,
"I think climate change is definitely something that we're starting to experience, but it's hard to say this is that," Gilley told CBC.
"When we're talking about climate, we're usually thinking of a 30-year average," Gilley said.
"So five years of weather, for example, isn't necessarily enough for us to say climate has changed, but it's possible."
Brett Gilley/Facebook Page
It is still debatable, according to Markus Schnorbus, the lead for hydrologic impacts at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium in Victoria, how warming temperatures affect flooding.
"We have obviously concerns that hydrologic events can become more frequent in the future — both flooding and droughts — so it's something that we are very desperate and anxious to answer," said Schnorbus.
While rising temperatures can lead to sudden snow melt, causing flooding, higher temperatures in the winter could also mean less snow to melt, Schnorbus pointed out.
"There are all these different multiple trends with potentially conflicting processes," he said.
By using computer models, added Schnorbus, that take into account everything from projected snowfall, to melting speeds, to summer precipitation, scientists are trying to predict how drought and flood cycles are affected by climate change.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#Tampa, #Florida, #US, #GrantGilmore
Tampa, Florida, Jan 18 (Canadian-Media): A freeze warning was issued by The National Weather Service of United States for all of Tampa Bay, Florida (US) that today will be the coldest in eight years, media reports said.
Frigid cold temperature in South Florida
For the third time this winter, according to weather reports , snow hit Florida, US.
Thermometers dipped to 29 degrees in Tampa, Florida after record low frigid 25 degrees for Jan 18 in 1981.
the brisk northerly winds blowing at 10 to 15 mph further intensified the chill and it felt like it was in the low 20s in some areas.
The below-freezing temperatures reportedly turned water spill from a truck into traffic-halting black ice on the Veterans Expressway.
"Even though we’ve got full-on sunshine, it’s going to take a lot for our temperatures to start warming up," WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Grant Gilmore was reported to state.
It would be for another two days that these wind patterns and cool temperatures would reportedly last before things warm up and it would start to get normal by the weekend.
Gilmore added that even though the temperatures will be up to the low-to-mid 50s by this afternoon, even then, temperatures are about 15 to 17 degrees colder than they usually are this time of year, according to Gilmore.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
, #António Guterres: Facebook
#carbonemissions, #greenhousegases, #Irma, #mitigationefforts, #AntónioGuterres, #MiroslavLajčák, #MarkLowcock, #UNCentralEmergencyResponseFund
Toronto, Sept 18 (Canadian-Media): In the wake of increasing impact of extreme weather events, United Nations top officials, including Secretary-General António Guterres and Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the General Assembly last week urged increased efforts to boost resilience and strengthen damage mitigation measures, media reports said.
“[This year’s hurricane season] fits a pattern: changes to our climate are making extreme weather events more severe and frequent, pushing communities into a vicious cycle of shock and recovery,” Guterres was quoted by the media as saying at a high-level event on Hurricane Irma, recalling that the past month alone saw four major hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, causing much damage and destruction.
“Extreme weather linked to climate change has an impact all over the world, including floods in southern Asia and landslides and droughts in Africa,” he added.
Guterres said controlling of carbon emissions to help control the rising temperatures and adaptation methods should be complemented by being prepared ahead of storms for easy mitigation effects for easy recovery from these catastrophic events and would contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The high-level meeting was reportedly co-hosted by the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, and saw the participation of a number of top Government officials from UN Member States, including Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas; Bert Koenders, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Alistair Burt, the Minister of State for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.
It was also attended, continued the reports, by Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme; Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator; and Kristalina Georgieva, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association at the World Bank.
Greatly concerned about the growing impact of climate change and the current trend of greenhouse gases emissions reportedly on rise of severe weather events, Lajcak was quoted by the media as saying,
Miroslav Lajčák: Facebook
“The impact of Irma, Maria and other recent systems reminds us of the importance of adaptation and resilience to climate change and further strengthening mitigation efforts, through the implementation of the Paris Agreement [on Climate Change], which is a milestone for collective engagements towards the planet’s sustainability,” he said, adding “Let us not let the lives lost be in vain. Rather, let us be inspired to take personal and collective action to support the victims and survivors rebuild their communities, homes and lives, stronger than even before.”
Hurricane Irma: Twitter
In response to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable populations effected, United Nations (UN) -- an intergovernmental organization which promotes international co-operation to maintain international order -- had launched a $15.1 million regional humanitarian grant aimed to reach an estimated 265,000 affected people until the end of this year.
Following the devastating effects of category five hurricane, UN emergency relief fund released $10 and UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) also allocated $10 million to enable humanitarian efforts to help tens of thousands of people.
UN CERF: Facebook
According to official reports, the allocation will enable UN and other organisations support the national and regional response, including providing immediate food, critical health care, clean water and other urgently needed aid to the people most affected by Irma, in particular women and girls.
“We will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of the Caribbean to ensure maximum support is available to the commendable national and regional efforts,” Lowcock, who manages CERF on behalf of the Secretary-General, was reported by the media as saying.
Mark Lowcock: Facebook
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)