Here’s your weekly update on what you need to know about the global and ecological crises and the steps leaders in BC and around the world are taking for the week of November 21-27, 2022.
This week in climate news:
• Liberals launch climate adaptation strategy
• Green spaces drop in BC cities
• Climate activists disrupt air traffic in Germany
the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned for a decade that wildfires, drought, severe weather, like BC’s deadly heat dome last June, and flooding would become more frequent and intense because of the climate crisis.
Last August, he issued a “code red” for humanity, and earlier this year the panel, made up of hundreds of scientists from around the world, said the window was closing to prevent global warming from exceeding 1 .5 C In April, published a report with solutions on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, primarily by moving away from fossil fuels.
There is a scientific consensus on climate change (NASA reports that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the climate is warming and that human activity is the cause.) Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of global warming.
Check back here every Saturday for a roundup of the latest climate and environmental news. You can also get up-to-date BC-focused news delivered to your inbox before 7am by signing up for our newsletter here.
A look at BC’s carbon numbers:
- BC’s gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2020 (latest available data) were 64.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is a decrease of 0.9 MtCO2e (one percent) from 65.5 MtCO2e in 2007, the reference year for emission reduction targets.
- BC’s net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2020 were 63.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is a net decrease of 2.0 MtCO2e, or three percent, since 2007.
- BC net emissions in 2019: 67.2 MtCO2e, an increase of 1.5 MtCO2e, or two percent, from 2007.
- BC 2030 goal: 40% reduction in net emissions below 2007 levels.
- BC 2040 goal: 60% reduction.
- BC 2050 goal: 80% reduction.
- Canada 2030 emissions target: 40 to 45 percent reduction.
- Canada’s 2050 emissions target: Net-zero.
(source: BC and Canadian governments)
Quick facts about climate change:
- The Earth is now about 1.1 C warmer than it was in the 19th century.
- Globally, 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record.
- Human activities have raised atmospheric concentrations of COtwo by nearly 49 percent above pre-industrial levels as of 1850.
- The world is not on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of preventing global temperatures from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the upper limit for avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.
- 2015-2019 were the five warmest years on record, while 2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record.
- At the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, the temperature could rise by as much as 4.4C by the end of the century.
- In April 2022, greenhouse gas concentrations reached new all-time highs and show no signs of slowing down.
- Emissions must fall by 7.6% per year between 2020 and 2030 to prevent temperatures from exceeding 1.5C and by 2.7% per year to stay below 2C.
- 97% of climate scientists agree that the climate is warming and that humans are the cause.
LATEST CLIMATE NEWS
Green spaces dropped in BC cities since 2000: StatCan
The amount of urban green space has declined in virtually every BC city since 2000, according to new figures from Statistics Canada.
Penticton, Chilliwack and Kelowna experienced the largest drop in BC, although Vancouver and Abbotsford were not far behind.
The pattern was the same across the country, according to the report, which said urban green spaces declined in all provinces.
“All major population centers saw a decline in greenness,” the study authors wrote, primarily due to development and climate change.
Metro Vancouver ranked second for greenest among Canada’s largest cities with an average of 68 percent of Metro’s built-up areas measuring green due to features including parks, trees along streets, and trees and other areas Greens on private property.
Read the full story here.
A national climate adaptation strategy released Thursday includes $1.6 billion in new spending to help communities facing risks ranging from deadly heat waves and wildfires to floods and storms.
Bill Blair, the federal minister for emergency preparedness, announced the plan on Prince Edward Island, where post-tropical storm Fiona caused widespread damage to power, farms and the fishing industry when it swept through the region on September 24.
During a tour of Red Head Harbor just before the news conference, Blair heard from a harbor captain how the resulting storm surge demolished the pier, and fishermen described their uncertainty about when they could return to work.
“What we are seeing in recent years…is an increase in the frequency and severity of weather-related events, and it requires that we take action, not just actions by one order of government, but by all of us, by every Canadian,” Blair said at the news conference.
—The Canadian Press
Attacks by climate activists on some of the world’s most prized paintings have added to insurer concerns about the threat climate change poses to art, concerns seen as leading to higher art insurance premiums.
In recent weeks, activists have drawn attention to the climate cause by throwing tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at London’s National Gallery and black liquid at Gustav Klimt’s “Death and Life” at the Leopold Museum. Vienna to protest against the use of fossil fuels.
The paintings were behind glass or a screen and a National Gallery spokesman said only “minor damage” had occurred to the frame of the Sunflowers.
The Leopold Museum has said the Klimt was not damaged, but did not respond to a request for further comment.
Many in the art and insurance worlds, however, say it may only be a matter of time before artwork is vandalized, especially if the protests spread beyond climate activism.
German authorities were reviewing security measures at the Berlin airport on Friday a day after six climate activists invaded the grounds and briefly disrupted flights.
German news agency dpa quoted a Berlin Brandenburg airport spokesman as saying the incident on Thursday was being reviewed to determine what further measures may be necessary.
Police said four protesters stuck to the ground near the track, while two others cycled through the facility. The Uprising of the Last Generation group, which has staged numerous roadblocks and other maneuvers to highlight the need to act against climate change, claimed responsibility.
The group said it wanted to highlight the problem of subsidies for fossil fuels, such as jet fuel, that allow a minority of the world’s population to fly while the majority suffer the consequences of climate change fueled by greenhouse gas emissions. .
He said the activists notified police of their plans before entering the airport grounds.
-The Associated Press
An international wildlife conference has moved to enact some of the most important protections for shark species targeted by the fin trade and dozens of turtles, lizards and frogs whose numbers are being decimated by the pet trade.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known by its acronym CITES, ended this Friday in Panama. Along with protections for more than 500 species, delegates at the United Nations wildlife conference rejected a proposal to reopen the ivory trade. In 1989 an ivory ban was enacted.
“The good news from CITES is good news for wildlife, as this treaty is one of the pillars of international conservation, imperative to ensure that countries come together to combat the interlinked global crises of biodiversity collapse, climate change, climate change and pandemics,” said Susan Lieberman, vice president. president of international policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“Many of the proposals adopted here reflect ongoing overexploitation and unsustainable trade, and increasing illegal trade, and some are due to complex interactions of other threats that reduce populations of species in the wild, including climate change, disease, infrastructure development and habitat loss,” he added.
-The Associated Press