Climate change and air pollution–two sides of the same coin

The World Health Organisation estimates that 9 out 10 people worldwide are breathing polluted air–pollution that kills 7 million people a year. Fossil fuels are almost entirely to blame for this global health disaster. Worldwide action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and check global warming will also immensely improve air quality. It’s two sides of the same coin.

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Talanoa dialogue and the climate story

The Talanoa Dialogue, to be held next week in Bonn, Germany, is the first formal review of progress under the 2015 Paris Agreement. But we already know that emissions of greenhouse gases have continued to rise–and with them global warming. It’s time for action–not words. Forceful action on renewable energy, electric vehicles, and improving energy efficiency can cut emissions by over 50% by 2030. If we stop telling stories and get a move on.

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Is the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the national interest?

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Extension Pipeline (TMEP) will run side by side with an existing pipeline for nearly 1000 km from northern Alberta to the west coast of Canada. Together the twin pipelines will carry 890,000 barrels of oil a day of petroleum products including heavy crude oil. Leaks and spills from a pipeline of this size and length are inevitable.

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The disaster files – 2017

2017 was not a record a year for disasters. Not in terms of fatalities at least. The devastating hurricanes that flattened so many Caribbean islands and caused massive damage in the US thankfully caused far fewer deaths than many other disasters in the recent record. But the impact on many small Caribbean islands was catastrophic. The numbers show that the 51 Small Island Developing States are hugely vulnerable to climate change.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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