Climate Change

More evidence to confirm what we knew already

For the few of you who might still have some doubts: Canada just does not have the credibility to be a leader on climate change. In Copenhagen, environmental NGOs daily show that Canada is trailing many industrialized and developing countries in the fight to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.   Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe released a report, which puts Canada in second-last position in its Climate Change Policy Index, ahead of Saudi-Arabia but behind Kazakhstan!   More info on  

B.C.'s old-growth forests being systematically cut down: Sierra Club

The old-growth forests of Vancouver Island and the B.C. coast are Canada's most valuable weapon in the battle against climate change, but they are being systematically destroyed, says a new report from Sierra Club B.C. to be released tomorrow.

World leaders, gathering in Copenhagen to come up with a new agreement on climate change, are focusing on the need for carbon storage -- and Vancouver Island has huge, natural carbon sinks.

"B.C.'s coastal forests are among the best carbon storehouses on the planet and one of the world's most powerful tools in the fight against climate change," said Jens Wieting, Sierra Club coastal forest campaigner and a primary author of the report.

Coastal temperate rainforests store about 1,000 tonnes of carbon a hectare, he said. But B.C. is in danger of losing its most valuable resource, the report says.

"We are running out of old-growth forests," Wieting said.... Read more »

Strategizing on Sunday afternoon

Just got back from spending an afternoon strategizing about next week with other members of the Climate Action Network International. Venue was a large classroom at Copenhagen University. We broke up into smaller groups to focus on 4 major issue areas: Mitigation targets for industrialised countries, adaptation, finance and legal matters.

One conclusion. We are nowhere near where we should be in terms of a moderately successful outcome for avoiding dangerous levels of climate change. The mitigation pledges of industrialised countries like Canada are nowhere near what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change demands. Financial promises for financial aid remain below expectations and the promises that have been made so far are not really additional, i.e. 'normal' development aid will be redirected towards climate goals. Still a lot of work in the week ahead.... Read more »

A History Lesson

Last evening I attended a short candle light vigil here in Ottawa to demand action on climate change.  Approximately 70 people turned out to hear speakers demand climate justice, watch dancing polar bears, and sing along to some slightly altered, climate change-themed Christmas hits such as Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls (Click here to see pictures).  Thankfully, the weather was a respectable -5 degrees.  

In fact, 401 similar events were held across Canada as part of the December 12th international day of climate action.  Around the world, over 3000 events were held in over 130 different countries to demand a climate deal at the Copenhagen conference.  According to, Canada had the highest number of actions per capita and the second highest overall total behind the U.S.... Read more »

100,000 person climate change march

Today I participated in a march for climate change of 100,000 people. I started downtown from Parliament square and went all the way to the Bella centre, a distance of many, many kilometers. Toronto Mayor David Miller marched with Canadian youth and we were able to chat with him and get some great photos. There are no negotiations tomorrow and we have just learned that the UNFCCC secretariat will be limiting NGO presence at COP by as much as 70%, which will mean that only a few Sierra Club team members will be able to get into the Bella Centre. Things are about to get much more tense both inside COP as heads of state and high level politicians arrive, and outside the centre as protests heat up. I also learned that Environment Minister Jim Prentice has arrived. On Monday I’ll be meeting with the Nova Scotia government and other Nova Scotian delegates to discuss the role my province can play in the negotiations.... Read more »


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