Canada’s Paris Agreement target looks unattainable

The report notes that Canada has committed to four separate targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The country failed to reach the first two targets: the 2000 Rio target  and the 2008-2012 Kyoto target.  Moreover, according to the report, Environment and Climate Change Canada has admitted that current provincial and federal policies and regulations mean that Canada will also fail to meet its 2020 target set at Copenhagen in 2009. Read More

CO2 emissions are on the rise–yet again

Emissions of carbon dioxide are once again on the rise after having flatlined for almost three years, and encouraging the hope that global emissions of the gas were finally peaking. That hope has now been dashed. The Paris Agreement was a good start but the countries' proposed emission reductions in their NDC submissions are nowhere near strong enough. At the next COP meeting in Poland in December, it's time for some serious action. First on the agenda: eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Second: declare coal a global health hazard. Read More

Consensual climate inaction

The Commonwealth has issued a statement about climate change which simply echoes the language of the Paris Agreement. When we know that much stronger global action is required to bring down emissions of greenhouse gases and many commonwealth contries are hugely at risk, we would have expected a much stronger statement. It's hugely disappointing when scientists who know fact from fiction refuse to speak out strongly. Read More

Fracking is bad for your health

Two US physicians groups have issued a comprehensive assessment of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, whish sets out in great detail just how fracking is bad for your health. And the health of the planet also--because fracking releases much more methane than is being reported by regulatory agencies. Read More

Carbon dioxide emissions cap and trade

California, Ontario and Quebec are cooperating on a successful program to reduce carbon emissions through a cap and trade mechanism. Ontario should collaborate with other California programs such as electric vehicles and promoting household photovoltaic systems with energy storage. Read More

Permafrost locks in tons of mercury–until it thaws

The Arctic permafrost contains nearly twice as much mercury as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined. The permafrost is thawing--potentially releasing large quantities of this neurotoxin into the environment. The Minamata Convention on Mercury--which came into force last year and which is intended to curtail mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources like coal-fired power plants, may prove to be almost irrelevant. Read More

Natural gas – a bridge too far

Natural gas produced by fracking has a substantial environmental impact. Leaks of toxic 'produced' water into streams and groundwater resources. And emissions of fugitive methane from the frack site and the gathering system more than offset its advantage over coal at the power plant. Read More