Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MPs Debate Climate Change after UN Report Warns of Dire Consequences

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MPs Debate Climate Change after UN Report Warns of Dire Consequences

Article excerpt

MPs hold emergency debate on climate change

--

OTTAWA - MPs spent their first day back in Parliament after Thanksgiving break debating the perils of climate change.

The emergency debate was granted by House of Commons Speaker Geoffrey Regan just a week after the United Nations climate change arm dropped an explosive warning.

It bluntly said the world is on the precipice of major disasters if governments don't step up with a firmer plan to stop spewing so many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The world has already warmed up about 1 degree C compared to the mid-19th century and is experiencing the effects of that, including more violent storms, more frequent flooding, longer droughts and more forest fires.

Each 0.5 C degree of warming raises those risks significantly, with entire ecosystems possibly being eradicated, parts of the planet becoming too hot to sustain life and island nations getting drowned out entirely by rising sea levels.

The report says the world needs to aim to hold the warming to no more than 1.5 degrees C but that marker will be upon us by 2040 if drastic, global action isn't taken.

Canada would need to cut its annual emissions almost in half from current levels within 12 years to meet that goal but currently aims to cut them by a little more than 25 per cent by 2030.

And the current climate plans -- with carbon pricing, energy efficiencies, renewable power sources and technological innovations -- don't even get Canada to the existing goal.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said last week her plan is to implement the existing climate framework and reach the current targets before looking at more ambitious measures.

"We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change and we're the last generation to be able to act," she said during the emergency debate Monday.

"If you have a child who is 10 years old today, we're talking about catastrophic impacts in 30 years, when they're 40 years, if we don't take action. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.