Friday, December 09, 2016

A Plan to Address Climate Change

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall at the First Ministers' Meeting in Ottawa on Friday. Clark and Wall are opposed to parts of the national climate deal.

BC Premier Christy Clark & Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

I have been watching during the day to get an idea of how the proposals of Canada's federal government for a climate change strategy to meet our Paris COP21 commitments would be received. I'm still not sure, other than hearing that Saskatchewan is emphatic in its opposition while British Columbia have voiced reservations about the particular approach. BC fears that the province will be disadvantaged as other provinces with a cap-and-trade policy fail to meet their targets .Under the federal plan, Canada would start pricing carbon pollution at 10 Canadian dollars a metric ton in 2018, and that would rise steadily to C$50 a ton in 2022.

It is all rather befuddling, to me at least, but what I do know is that any effort to comply with the goals set last year in Paris are better than no action.We are certainly being watched in this effort. Both the Wall St. Journal and the New York Times carried pieces about today's gathering.

We do understand that this is an issue for faith communities to address as well. Here is what I offered last year on the first Sunday of Advent, as the international conference was about to begin:

The good news is that while the awareness of the travail of the planet may seem dark and overwhelming, out of the bleakness we become aware of a shift in focus and desire for change around the world. There are times when we must become enveloped in the darkness before we experience the dawning of something which may have seemed impossible. Jesus tells us that when we are tempted to cower and quake we are to “stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

In Paris there will be representatives from all our provinces and territories, along with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and leaders of other parties. Last week the premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley stood with aboriginal leaders and representatives of the oil and gas companies mining the Tar Sands to announce a strategy to address climate change which may alter the way other countries perceive us.

China and the United States—two nations that account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions— have announced an aggressive joint agreement on limiting emissions. We have absolutely no guarantee of a binding agreement out of Paris yet the sense of urgency is probably the greatest it has ever been. Along with governments, various faiths are responding to climate change as a spiritual issue and many will be represented at COP21 the Paris conference.

The Christian justice organization, Citizens for Public Justice, has created a prayer chain for every hour, beginning today until the conclusion of the conference on December 11th.  We can find comfort that we are part of a nationwide and planetary “cloud of witnesses” who will be praying for the outcome of this conference.

Our United Church of Canada has sent a delegation of three to be part of COP21, including our former Moderator, Mardi Tindal, who has a longstanding passion for caring for God’s Creation. 

We can continue to pray, to encourage our governments at every level to respond, and to have a sense of measured urgency for this challenge.


Image result for climate change cartoon

1 comment:

roger said...

My concern is that Trump is not exactly concerned about greenhouse gases or the environment, and he's hiring people who are equally apathetic. That's great that Canada and other countries are stepping up, but if the US backs out of the agreement, that will be a big blow.

Maybe if Alec Baldwin does enough impersonations of Trump on SNL, Trump will acquiesce and make some smart decisions. I'm doubtful though.