World risks ‘collapse of everything’ without strong climate action, Attenborough warns Security Council
#UN; #UNEP; #ClimateAction
UN/Canadian-Media: More collective action is needed to address the risks climate change poses to global peace and security, the UN Secretary-General told a high-level Security Council debate on Tuesday, as renowned natural historian David Attenborough warned countries that the planet faces total ‘collapse’.
UNEP. Image credit: Twitter handle
Climate shocks such as record high temperatures and a “new normal” of wildfires, floods, and droughts, are not only damaging the natural environment, said UN chief António Guterres, but also threatening political, economic and social stability.
“The science is clear: we need to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century,” the Secretary-General said.
“And our duty is even clearer: we need to protect the people and communities that are being hit by climate disruption. We must step up preparations for the escalating implications of the climate crisis for international peace and security.”
A matter of when, not if: Boris Johnson
Heads of State and Government, as well as other senior political leaders, participated in the Council meeting, which was convened by the United Kingdom, co-host of the latest global climate change conference, known as COP26, taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired the online meeting, calling for action now.
“Whether you like it or not, it is a matter of when, not if, your country and your people will have to deal with the security impacts of climate change”, he said, urging them to show the global leadership necessary to keep the world safe.
Sir David Attenborough’s warning
The UK holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member Council this month, and renowned British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough issued a sobering warning to leaders.
“If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature, and ocean food chains,” he said, adding “and if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down.”
While there is no going back, Sir David stressed that if countries act fast enough, “we can reach a new stable state.” He pointed to the immense public support worldwide for climate action.
“People today all over the world now realize this is no longer an issue which will affect future generations,” he said. “It is people alive today, and, in particular, young people, who will live with the consequences of our actions.”
‘Young people are the solution’
Nisreen Elsaim, a young activist from Sudan, spoke of how climate vulnerability is forcing young Africans and their counterparts elsewhere to leave their homelands, which can contribute to conflict.
“As a young person I am sure that young people are the solution”, said Ms. Elsaim, chair of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. “Give us more space, listen to us and engage youth.”
She also welcomed the Council’s resolution establishing the new UN political mission in her country, UNITAMS, which specifically mentions climate change and youth participation as priority issues.
‘The multilateral challenge of our age’
The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly referred to climate change as “the defining issue of our time”.
In his briefing to the Council, Mr. Guterres outlined the need for action in four priority areas: prevention, protection, security and partnerships.
Under prevention, he emphasized the need for countries to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“The climate crisis is the multilateral challenge of our age”, he said, underlining the need for unparalleled global coordination and cooperation.
“I urge Council members to use their influence during this pivotal year to ensure the success of COP26, and to mobilize others, including international financial institutions and the private sector, to do their part.”
#UN; #UNEP; #NatureBasedSolutions
UN/Canadian-Media: During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions.
Painting a picture of the turmoil wreaked by COVID-19, whereby millions are being pushed into poverty, inequalities are growing among people and countries, and “a triple environmental emergency” of climate disruption, biodiversity decline and a pollution epidemic that is “cutting short some nine million lives a year”, Secretary-General António Guterres upheld in his video message that now is “a critical year to reset our relationship with nature.”
Much to accomplish
Referencing the UN Environment Program's (UNEP) newly launched Making Peace with Nature report, the UN chief acknowledged the need for a healthy planet for sustainable development.
Following the assembly, Member States will gather to address biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, ocean health, desertification and climate disruption.
Calling these events “opportunities to increase ambition and action”, Mr. Guterres pointed out the year ahead would be a busy one with “a great responsibility to articulate the environmental dimension of sustainable development”.
“Governments and people need to understand in their very DNA that all environmental, social and economic challenges are interlinked. And they must be tackled together”, he said.
A state of crisis
Against the backdrop of oceans filling with plastic and turning more acidic, the catastrophic threat of temperatures rising to more than three degrees Celsius and biodiversity declining “at a perilous rate”, the Secretary-General maintained that “there is no choice but to transform how economies and societies value nature”.
“We must put the health of the planet at the centre of all our plans and policies”, he said. “The economics are clear”.
Although more than half of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends on nature, the world’s capital bound up in nature, has declined 40 per cent in just over two decades, sparking the World Economic Forum to list biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top five threats humanity will face over the next decade.
“The urgency for action has never been clearer”, Mr. Guterres said, urging the meeting to “generate a global will for action – a transformation of our relationship with nature”.
He said that by the time the next UN climate conference, known as COP26, takes take place in Glasgow in November, all countries must “come forward with more ambitious nationally determined contributions, with 2030 targets that are consistent with carbon neutrality by 2050”.
And by May’s UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, “nations must show how they will reverse species and ecosystem loss with concrete targets and means of implementation”.
Moreover, the top UN official underscored the importance of ensuring a “strong post-2020 framework” for sound chemical and waste management, advocating for “alternatives that safeguard the health of people and the environment”.
Oceans must also be guarded through ending unsustainable fishing practices, expanding marine protected areas and drastically reducing maritime pollution, he said.
He cited the success of protecting the ozone layer as “an inspiration and guide for all our efforts to protect the global environment”.
“But we all know that words are not enough. Commitments must be underpinned by clear and credible plans”, the Secretary-General said.
Hanging in the balance
“I cannot overstate the importance of your deliberations” he added, informing the assembly of his instructions to UN officials globally that they make available offices and venues to enable all countries to participate in online negotiations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“To a large degree, the viability of humanity on this planet depends on your efforts”, flagged the Secretary-General. “With leadership, determination and commitment to future generations, I am convinced we can provide a healthy planet for all humanity to not just survive, but to thrive”.
‘Peace with nature’
Meanwhile, UNEP chief Inger Andersen cautioned that if action is not taken, future generations “stand to inherit a hothouse planet with more carbon in the atmosphere than in 800,000 years…will live in sinking cities…[and] toxic waste – which every year is enough to fill 125,000 Olympic-size swimming pools”.
She urged “leadership for the planet”, that includes trusting science, living up to global agreements, reinventing multilateralism, financing and international solidarity and protecting the poor and the vulnerable.
“Leadership for the planet means making peace with nature”, Ms. Andersen spelled out.
UNEP/Canadian-Media: In the lead up to the Fifth Session so the UN Environment Assembly, a discussion on a new book by Maria Ivanova, The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, took place online.
This book looks at the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), explaining its origin and formative years. It also elucidates its successes, crises, and turning points, explores the factors that shaped this trajectory, and presents an outlook for its future.
The book looks at how UNEP's capacity, connectivity, and credibility have been shaped by politics, geography, and individuals. It also offers a vision for a more effective “anchor institution” for the global environment.
Speakers at the event:
"The world is facing these three planetary crises and without action on them - and we need to focus on them - we are not going to heed the call from the next generation; the generation that will inherit our mess. And so, Maria, you have put the challenge before us all," said Andersen at the event.
New UNEP synthesis provides blueprint to urgently solve planetary emergencies and secure humanity’s future
Nairobi/Canadian-Media: The world can transform its relationship with nature and tackle the climate, biodiversity, and pollution crises together to secure a sustainable future and prevent future pandemics, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that offers a comprehensive blueprint for addressing our triple planetary emergency.
UNEP. Image credit: Twitter handle
The report, Making Peace with Nature, lays out the gravity of these three environmental crises by drawing on global assessments, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, as well as UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook report, the UNEP International Resource Panel, and new findings on the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.
The authors assess the links between multiple environmental and development challenges and explain how advances in science and bold policymaking can open a pathway towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and a carbon-neutral world by 2050 while bending the curve on biodiversity loss and curbing pollution and waste. Taking that path means innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature. Success will include restored ecosystems and healthier lives as well as a stable climate.
“By bringing together the latest scientific evidence showing the impacts and threats of the climate emergency, the biodiversity crisis and the pollution that kills millions of people every year, [this report] makes clear that our war on nature has left the planet broken,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in the report’s Foreword. “But it also guides us to a safer place by providing a peace plan and a post-war rebuilding program.
“By transforming how we view nature, we can recognize its true value. By reflecting this value in policies, plans, and economic systems, we can channel investments into activities that restore nature and are rewarded for it,” he added. “By recognizing nature as an indispensable ally, we can unleash human ingenuity in the service of sustainability and secure our own health and well-being alongside that of the planet.”
Amid a wave of investment to re-energize economies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the blueprint communicates the opportunity and urgency for ambitious and immediate action. It also lays out the roles that everyone – from governments and businesses to communities and individuals – can and must play. 2021 is especially crucial, with upcoming climate and biodiversity convention meetings - UNFCCC COP 26 and CBD COP 15 – where governments must come up with synergistic and ambitious targets to safeguard the planet by almost halving greenhouse gas emissions in this decade, and by conserving and restoring biodiversity.
Tackling three planetary threats together
Economic growth has brought uneven gains in prosperity to a fast-growing global population, leaving 1.3 billion people poor, while tripling the extraction of natural resources to damaging levels and creating a planetary emergency. Despite a temporary decline in emissions due to the pandemic, Earth is heading for at least 3°C of global warming this century; more than 1 million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species are at substantially increased risk of extinction, and diseases caused by pollution are currently killing some 9 million people prematurely every year. Environmental degradation is impeding progress towards ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequalities, and promoting sustainable economic growth, work for all, and peaceful and inclusive societies.
The report shows how this trio of environmental emergencies interact and have common causes, and thus can only be effectively addressed together. Subsidies on fossil fuels, for instance, and prices that leave out environmental costs, are driving the wasteful production and consumption of energy and natural resources that are behind all three problems.
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said the report highlighted the importance of changing mindsets and values and finding political and technical solutions that measure up to the Earth’s environmental crises.
“In showing how the health of people and nature are intertwined, the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the need for a step-change in how we view and value nature. By reflecting that value in decision-making – whether we are talking about economic policy or personal choices – we can bring about a rapid and lasting shift toward sustainability for both people and the environment,” she said. “‘Green recovery’ plans for pandemic-hit economies are an unmissable opportunity to accelerate the transformation.”
Released ahead of the fifth UN Environment Assembly, the report presents a strong case for why and how urgent action should be taken to protect and restore the planet and its climate in a holistic way.
It presents examples of what transformative change can look like, and how it can create prosperity, employment, and greater equality. Far-reaching change involves recasting how we value and invest in nature, integrating that value into policies and decisions at all levels, overhauling subsidies and other elements of economic and financial systems, and fostering innovation in sustainable technologies and business models. Massive private investment in electric mobility and alternative fuels shows how whole industries recognize the potential gains from shifting quickly.
The authors point out that ending environmental decline in all its forms is essential to advancing many of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular poverty alleviation, food and water security, and good health for all. An example is how intensifying agriculture and fishing in sustainable ways, allied with changes in diets and lower food waste, can help end global hunger and poverty and improve nutrition and health while sparing more land and ocean for nature.
Reinforcing the call for action, the report stresses the need for stakeholders at all levels of society to be involved in decision-making and identifies dozens of key actions that governments, businesses, communities, and individuals can and should undertake in order to bring about a sustainable world.
Governments can include natural capital in measures of economic performance, put a price on carbon and shift trillions of dollars in subsidies from fossil fuels, non-sustainable agriculture, and transportation towards low-carbon and nature-friendly solutions.
International organizations can promote One Health approaches and ambitious international targets for biodiversity, such as expanded and improved protected area networks.
Financial organizations can stop lending for fossil fuels and develop innovative finance for biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Businesses can adopt the principles of the circular economy to minimize resource use and waste and commit to maintaining transparent and deforestation-free supply chains
Non-government organizations can build networks of stakeholders to ensure their full participation in decisions about sustainable use of land and marine resources
Scientific organizations can pioneer technologies and policies to reduce carbon emissions, increase resource efficiency and lift the resilience of cities, industries, communities, and ecosystems.
Individuals can reconsider their relationship with nature, learn about sustainability and change their habits to reduce their use of resources, cut waste of food, water, and energy, and adopt healthier diets
A sustainable future also means learning from the COVID-19 crisis to reduce the threat of pandemic diseases. The report underlines how ecosystem degradation heightens the risk of pathogens making the jump from animals to humans, and the importance of a ‘One Health’ approach that considers human, animal, and planetary health together.
#UNEP; #Bihar; #India
UNEP/Canada: India’s Bihar State will pursue a climate resilient and low-carbon development pathway with the support of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the two entities announced today. UNEP will provide an array of support for the state’s climate goals, including through advocacy, developing climate analyses and supporting its government’s capacity to handle climate-related issues.
Image credit: UNEP
With an average of over 10 percent annual growth, Bihar has registered a higher growth than the Indian economy in the three years preceding 2019/20. However, Bihar is also a state that is vulnerable to climate change, which threatens to undermine its developmental efforts, according to the 2019-20 Bihar Economic Survey- a shift towards more sustainable development is imperative for the state’s continued economic growth.
Under the partnership, UNEP will support the state of Bihar in preparing a greenhouse gas inventory and carbon footprint analyses. UNEP will also help develop climate impact vulnerability assessments and increasing capacity of Bihar’s government departments to deal with climate-related issues. The partnership will also involve revising Bihar’s State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC), under which Bihar’s climate priorities converge with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.
Subnational governments have a key role to play in identifying and addressing local adaptation and mitigation measures, and the local impacts of climate change. The importance of subnational governments in the climate arena has been increasingly recognized over the past several years, most notably in the Paris Agreement itself. At the signing today, Dipak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change reiterated the commitment of the Bihar State Government to a cleaner environment.
This UNEP-supported initiative by the Government of Bihar will also pave the way for other states to embark on this journey of climate resilience and low carbon development.
Babul Supriyo, Minister of State, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said, “The phenomenon of climate change rings a global alarm and warrants immediate attention and action. Climate change mitigation and adaption, along with environmental sustainability, has been a focus area of the Indian Government, led from the front by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. We are extremely pleased about this collaborative effort of the Bihar Government with UNEP to make Bihar a climate resilient and low-carbon development state. This is a key step in the right direction that aims at strengthening existing policies and proactive actions taken to combat climate change effectively with efficient adaption to the needs of the hour.”
Tarkishore Prasad, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to note that Bihar State Pollution Control Board has joined hands with UNEP to prepare a strategy that aims for climate resilience and low-carbon development. It will add to the green initiatives already taken by the State Government such as Jal-Jeevan Hariyali Abhiyan, Agricultural Road Map, Renewable Energy Policy and Clean Fuel Policy.”
Satya S Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP New York Office said, “UNEP looks forward to Bihar leading the way in India in the transition to a low-emission economy. This path-breaking partnership between UNEP and the Government of Bihar is a vital step towards achieving sustainable development for all."
A growing number of countries have committed to achieving net-zero emissions goals by around mid-century. As of the beginning of 2021, 126 countries – accounting for 51 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – have net-zero goals that are formally adopted, announced or under consideration.
#UNIDO; #Brussels; #APNU; #ClimateChange; #Energy; #Industrialization
Brussels/Canadian-Media: The Brussels Liaison Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with the United Nations Association (APNU) in Belgium, organized a webinar on industry facing the challenge of the energy and climate transition.
Image credit: UNIDO
The participants reaffirmed the importance of the role of industry in supporting the energy transition and tackling climate challenges in Belgium, in Europe, and in developing countries.
The webinar brought together a variety of stakeholders including advisors to the European Commission, policymakers, scientists, and industrial experts.
The different contributions from speakers, as well as the exchanges with the audience, representing the private sector, civil society organizations, Belgian authorities, universities, and various research centers, underlined the importance of collaboration and effective partnerships between institutions and countries in the fight against the climate crisis.
These discussions also provided an opportunity to explore some of UNIDO’s concrete actions, like the technical assistance provided to develop mini-grids and the creation of Sustainable Energy Centers, as well as recent policy initiatives from the European Union, such as the Green Deal, in the elaboration of innovative solutions to face current energy and climate challenges.
#Berlin; #ClimateChange; #Covid19Pandemic; #FAO; #AgriFoodSystems; #Bioeconomy
Berlin/Rome/Canadian-Media: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today addressed the Agriculture Ministers' Conference in Berlin underscoring the importance, in the wake of COVID-19, of continued global cooperation to find new ways to strengthen the sustainability of agri-food systems, and outlined FAO and its partners' role in this.
Qu reinforced FAO's readiness to support the world in a "new path", particularly through FAO's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program, Hand-in-Hand Initiative and its Geospatial Platform, and the One Health approach. Concerning the latter, FAO launched a new report on the opportunities for innovation in livestock systems this week at the conference, formally called the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA).
The week-long GFFA brought together over 90 ministers from all over the world, together with high-level representatives of international organizations. The final communique adopted on Friday calls for the impetus for climate action, response to COVID-19, and preventing future pandemics - the overarching theme of this year's forum.
The FAO Director-General, speaking in a session chaired by the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, highlighted the key conclusions of the FAO high-level panel during GFFA on ‘How innovation can help strengthen the sustainability of food systems and prevent future pandemics'.
"The key point that emerged from our discussion was that the pandemic gave impetus to innovation: we should work together to keep up this momentum," Qu noted.
He mentioned several examples for innovation in practice, as presented in the panel, related to policy measures, multi-partner initiatives, digital tools, as well as new business models, including agricultural information systems and e-commerce developed to improve digital infrastructure in rural areas.
Referring to the request made to FAO at the previous GFFA, Qu updated the ministers on FAO's work on the establishment of the International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture which has already been approved by FAO's governing Council.
Qu's words resonated with the message of UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the conference, who called for "bold action" to improve global agri-food systems, and invited all countries to join the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit to inspire action towards the vision of a healthy planet and healthy diets.
Also speaking during the session was Janusz Wojciechowski, the Commissioner for Agriculture of the European Commission; and David Beasley, Executive Director of World Food Programme of the UN. Director-General Qu, Minister Klöckner, Commissioner Wojciechowski were later joined by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the GFFA closing press conference.
The final communiqué - a call for action
Today, agriculture ministers in a record number signed up for a common political vision through the unanimous adoption of the communiqué whose messages are expected to feed into further international agricultural policy discussions.
The document calls upon countries and development organizations to take action in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing further pandemics, and on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Recognizing the essential role of the food and agricultural sector, ministers pledged support to farmers, particularly smallholders, for sustaining their activities and livelihoods during the pandemic, and to assist their recovery afterwards and help enhance their resilience.
The communiqué reaffirmed commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 2 to end hunger, as well as to implement FAO's voluntary guidelines supporting the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
Ministers pointed at the critical need for innovation in the sustainable increase of production, and encouraged sustainable solutions that include new technologies and innovative practices, in line with the principles of the FAO framework for sustainable bioeconomy.
Echoing the FAO Director-General's earlier messages at the GFFA, the manifesto supports the improvement and broadening of current international collaboration under the One Health approach, in particular the FAO-OIE-WHO information systems for early warning, transparent reporting, and investigation of animal and zoonotic disease outbreaks.
UN Ozone Secretariat launches ‘Reset Earth’: Animation film & mobile game bring Gen Z into protecting ozone layer
#UNEP; #ResetEarth; #OzoneLayer; #ProtectPlanet; #GenZ
Nairobi/Canadian-Media: ‘Reset Earth’, an innovative educational platform for adolescents about the fundamental role of the ozone layer in protecting the planet, launches on World Education Day (January 24th) an original animation film that explores options for collective positive action, UNEP reports said.
Knox, Sagan and Terran race against time and travel through it while learning about the importance of the ozone layer and the impact of working together towards a common human cause. Image credit: UNEP
The film’s plot continues in a challenging mobile game for Android and IOS (February 10th). The platform is initiated by United Nations Ozone Secretariat to sustain the protection of the ozone layer through the sensitization and engagement of Gen Z.
Ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) like CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs have been widely used throughout the 20th century, mostly for refrigeration, in air conditioners and aerosol sprays. ODSs threaten the earth’s upper atmosphere, drive up temperatures and account for close to 11 per cent of total warming emissions to date. Since the 1980s, the international community has acted to protect the ozone layer by banning or strictly restricting the use and production of such super greenhouse effect gases. Consequently, the Antarctic ozone is expected to close by the 2060s (without action, it might have been 40 per cent larger by now) and other regions will return to 1980s values even earlier.
Meg Seki, Acting Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, said, “The protection of the ozone layer cannot be considered a done deal. It must be a continuous effort by us and by future generations. If our children learn about the grim consequences of a ruined ozone layer, they will act to keep it only as part of a fantasy game.”
Reset Earth begins a year-long education initiative by the Secretariat to raise awareness and inspire action among adolescents and parents about global ozone protection. Immersive, educational and thought-provoking, Reset Earth conveys a positive message around what can be achieved through collective action and cultivates a sense of environmental responsibility and ownership amongst the youth.
The Reset Earth animation film is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world in 2084, where the ozone layer has been completely ruined and human life is under threat from an unstoppable virus called “The Grow”. It is the story of three teenagers who team up in an epic time-travel adventure to save the planet and what’s left of human life. Their mission is to find out what caused the “The Grow”. They travel back to critical historical moments in the story of the mysterious ‘ozone layer”, essential to stopping the virus, and learning as they go about the fundamental role it plays in protecting the health wellbeing of the planet. To save the ozone layer, they must jump back in time to ensure the signing of the Montreal Protocol agreement.
The Reset Earth mobile game is a single player platform game, combining a retro graphics style and hand-drawn artwork and aligned with the film’s storyline. Players - whether adolescent gamers or their parents - switch between characters and utilize their unique abilities throughout four levels of the game. Through unlocking puzzles, players learn about environmental history and the science of protecting the planet.
#Canada; #Alberta; #US; #KeystoneXLpipeline; #LossOfJobs; #LossOfBillionsOfDollars
Alberta/Canadian-Media: In his repeated calls for for economic retaliation for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Joe Biden -- a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement -- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, demanded some compensation for TC Energy and the province for the loss of billions of dollars.
Keystone XL pipeline Project. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Biden's revoking of the permit was part of a series of executive orders aimed at tackling climate change including re-entering the Paris climate accord.
In a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Kenney accuses Justin Trudeau of failing to advocate for the project and urged Justin Trudeau to seek "proportional economic consequences" for the decision.
Trudeau said on Friday morning he would raise the issue during his phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden scheduled for later in the day.
After repeatedly making clear to to the new U.S. administration Canada's support for the project both the Prime Minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have agreed to respect the decision and move on.
"Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said.
"Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the west, directly in my conversation with president Biden."
The letter arrives jus a day after a First Ministers meeting where Ontario's Doug Ford, Saskatchewan's Scott Moe and Quebec's François Legault all pushed Trudeau to take action, details of which were first reported by Global News and confirmed by CBC News.
Keystone XL pipeline, 1,897-kilometre long would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude a day from the oil sands in Alberta to Nebraska and then have connected with the original Keystone pipeline that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.
Only last year after Alberta government's agreement, and investing $1.5 billion as equity in the project, plus billions more in loan guarantees, construction of the project carried on for several months with about 1,000 workers in southeast Alberta.
TC Energy said on Thursday that it would be laying off those 1,000 workers.
Great Green Wall receives over $14 billion to regreen the Sahel – France, World Bank listed among donors
#UNCCD; #Desertification; #GreatGreenWallAcceleratorInitiative; #PandemicRecovery; #SDGs
Bonn/Paris/Canadian-Media: The ambitious Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative (GGW) has received at least 14.326 billion US dollars in new funding. The funding will fast track efforts to restore degrading land, save biological diversity as well as create green jobs and build resilience of the Sahelian people.
Land and Biodiversity. Image credit: unccd.int
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, made the announcement at the just concluded One Planet Summit for Biodiversity co-organized by France, the United Nations and World Bank.
The GGW snakes along the southern margin of Africa’s Sahara Desert running from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea. The Great Green Wall Accelerator makes up 30 per cent of 33 billion United States Dollars needed to achieve the Great Green Wall’s ambitions for the year 2030.
Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani, President of Mauritania and current chair of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall, welcomed the Accelerator program on behalf of the region.
"We welcome the announcement of the Great Green Wall Accelerator Initiative, whose objective is to release an initial contribution over the period 2021-2025, to give effect to the commitments of the financial partners in a coordinated framework," said Ghazouani.
"The mobilization of this additional funding through an innovative approach will certainly contribute to the achievement of the Great Green Wall goals, which aim by 2030, at the restoration of 100 million hectares of degraded land and the creation of 10 million green jobs.... This initiative will certainly facilitate the alignment of our partners’ interventions, in response to the concerns raised by our Ministers of Environment at the last Great Green Wall Conference," said Ghazouani.
Ghazouani stressed that it would “enable our countries, in accessing the necessary funds, to increase local investments within the framework of the five pillars adopted and to strengthen the capacities of the national agencies of the Great Green Wall. In this context, I would like to suggest the establishment, in each of our countries, of a biodiversity Fund into which we will contribute a portion of the resources resulting from the cancellation of our debts. Cancellation that we call for with all our hearts."
“Pandemic recovery is our chance to change course. With smart policies and the right investments, we can chart a path that brings health to all, revives economies and builds resilience. Innovations in energy and transport can steer a sustainable recovery and an economic and social transformation. Nature-based solutions – such as Africa’s Great Green Wall – are especially promising,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary General.
Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall (GGW) has partnered with stakeholders to regreen the region and create an 8,000 km long world wonder involving at least 11 countries and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The GGW Initiative, now well into its second decade, is an African-led flagship program demonstrating how to harness the power of nature to provide policy solutions to multiple and complex environmental threats, such as land degradation, desertification, drought, climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty and food insecurity, simultaneously.
The GGW has inspired many African countries which are now associated with it and its work is contributing to the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. GGW is among the iconic global campaigns targeted for completion during the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration ending in 2030.
The virtual 'One Planet Summit' for biodiversity held on January 11, 2021 in Paris was an opportunity to raise the level of ambition of the international community in protecting nature, while responding to the new questions raised by the COVID-19 pandemic as we collectively mobilize resources to build back better and improve livelihoods in the Sahel through the Great Green Wall Initiative.
The summit is mobilizing resources, heads of government and partners as well as leaders of international organizations, financial institutions, the business sector and NGOs to make commitments for concrete action to preserve and restore biodiversity, to make strong new announcements and to launch transformational initiatives for nature.