Canada Tries to Wreck Crucial Climate Talks

picture-9.jpgCanada publicly declared a 2 degree C rise in the planet’s temperature “unacceptable” but it is putting all of its resources at the Bali climate change conference into wrecking the process said Hans Verolme, director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“What they are doing here will will get us 4 degrees C” of global warming, said Verlome at a press conference today from Nusa Dua on the island of Bali, the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference running until Dec. 14

Anything above two degrees scientists term “dangerous”. Indeed, even at 2 degrees the IPCC says we have just a 50-50 chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.

Canada and Japan seem to be playing the US card of doing nothing he said.

And yet on Monday Dec 3, Environment Minister John Baird made a speech in Canada’s House of Commons: “a rise of 2° in the Earth’s temperature as a result of human activity contributing to global warming, simply put, is unacceptable.”

“I don’t understand Canadian politics,” said Verolme.

Related stories:

Canada’s Shocking Environmental Decline

Destroying Canada’s Boreal Forest for America’s Oil

Kill Kyoto or Kyoto II Our Only Hope?

Climate Change Experts Warn World

Amazon Forest Could Cook the Planet


By Stephen Leahy

Dec 7 (IPS) – A two-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures could flip the Amazon forest from being the Earth’s vital air conditioner to a flamethrower that cooks the planet, warns a new report released at the climate talks in Bali, Indonesia Friday.

And we’re already past 0.6 degrees C., climate experts say.

Paradoxically, a two-degree C. rise in global temperatures cannot be prevented without a largely intact Amazon rainforest, says Dan Nepstad, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Centre in the U.S. state of Massachusetts and author of the report “The Amazon’s Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire in the Greenhouse”, issued by WWF, the global conservation organisation.

“The importance of the Amazon forest for the globe’s climate cannot be underplayed,” said Nepstad at a press conference from Nusa Dua on the island of Bali, the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference running until Dec. 14. Continue reading

Forests, the Great Green Hope?

By Stephen Leahy

Credit:Tomasz Kuran

Mixed forest near Radziejowice, Poland.

Dec 3 (IPS) – Expanding European forests absorbed 126 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from 1990 to 2005 — equivalent to 11 percent of European Union emissions from human activities — while a U.N. target to plant one billion trees mainly in Africa has been surpassed.

“Forests reduced carbon dioxide more than twice the amount of Europe’s renewable energy programmes,” said Pekka Kauppi, who led the University of Helsinki study, published in the British journal Energy Policy on Nov. 29.

Better conservation, migration to cities, and conversion of surplus farmland are the reasons behind the growing and expanding forests, which are mainly in Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Finland Kauppi, told IPS. The study is based on forestry statistics provided by governments and that were not independently verified.

The resulting “surprisingly high carbon dioxide removal” may be the major factor in Europe achieving its ambitious target of 20 percent reductions in greenhouse targets by 2020, Kauppi said.

“On a global scale, there is hope for the future if we stop deforestation and expand forests,” he added. Continue reading