Good News Blog

We are chuckling at ourselves. In Year two for our Blog we had intended to scale back to posting bi-weekly.

The first good news to share is that good news items keep finding us – thanks in large part to our generous Readers. Thank you! Well, why wait to share good news?! And so, we now find ourselves continuing with writing weekly blogs :), alternating with short posts one week, followed the next week with a longer piece.

Champion of Trees

Thanks to Nora for sharing the great news that Toronto has been recognized by the Arbour Day Foundation as Champion of Trees this year. “The award, presented by the Arbor Day Foundation, recognizes the City for exemplary leadership in developing and implementing new policies and practices for tree planting and care, natural area stewardship and arboriculture.”

In accepting the award, Mayor John Tory had these remarks –“A healthy tree canopy is a cornerstone of Toronto’s environmental sustainability. While climate change is a global phenomenon, we can do our part on a local level by prioritizing changes that will help address the impacts of climate change. I am glad to see that the City is being recognized for its hard work and efforts towards protecting our tree canopy and I’m pleased to accept the Champion of Trees Award on behalf of the City.”

Photo credit Jim

See the full press release on the City of Toronto’s web-site at: https://bit.ly/2KcWGT1.

For more information on the Arbor Day Foundation: https://bit.ly/3f9V8ok

Here is how Toronto is recognized on the Arbor Day Foundation’s list of 2020 Award winners:

THE CHAMPION OF TREES AWARD

“The City of Toronto, Ontario, has one of the largest urban forestry programs in Canada, having planted more than 1 million trees since 2005. After undertaking its first tree canopy study in 2008, the City invested $605.6 million in its urban forest with the aim of increasing canopy cover and providing equitable access to trees to all Torontonians. Currently, the City engages residents, non-profits, and community groups through its community grants and volunteer programs to plant more than 120,000 trees and engage thousands of volunteers each year. In early 2020, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized Toronto as a Tree City of the World for its leadership in urban and community forestry.” https://bit.ly/3nsCRpe

Congratulations City of Toronto and Toronto residents!

The campaign to save Toronto’s oldest tree – a 250-year-old heritage oak tree – is being championed by Mark and Ben Cullen. Its goal is to raise $430,000, with the City of Toronto’s agreement ‘to match those private donations $3 to $1”. There are just a few more weeks to go before the December 12 deadline. To learn more about this tree and tree campaign, read this Toronto Star feature https://bit.ly/38KshFP and/or go to www.toronto.ca/redoak or call 416-292-1144.

Photo credit MaryAnn

A Biden Presidency is Good News…Including for Climate Action

In our October good news blog post on momentum is building (https://bit.ly/3f0MM22), we shared positive news about global top carbon emitter China’s recent and significant commitment to become carbon net neutral by 2060. Prior to such commitments from top greenhouse gas emitting nations it was hard to see how the world as a whole would be able to find its way to keeping global warming to 1.5C.

Joe Biden’s US election victory bodes well for so many reasons, including for global warming and climate change. The US is currently the second highest carbon emitting country, after China (see for example this Statista chart : https://bit.ly/3eZyQWe). Biden’s target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is good news for the US and for the whole global community.

Carbon Brief reports that, “Climate Action Tracker released new analysis following Biden’s victory that was picked up by many outlets, including the Guardian. It concluded that, if the president-elect’s plans come to fruition, the result “could reduce global heating by about 0.1C, bringing the goals of the Paris Agreement ‘within striking distance’”.

To read the full piece on “Media Reaction: What Joe Biden’s US election victory means for climate change” – https://bit.ly/3kCvjhA.  To read the full Guardian article: https://bit.ly/2K7ZoZT.

New Option to Purchase Carbon Offsets at the Gas Pump

Photo credit Jim on Protection Island BC

In past Blog posts we have profiled airline companies that have begun to offer customers the option to purchase carbon offsets as part of the ticket purchasing process (Let’s keep the faith, we will get through this and we will fly again!).

This November 12, 2020, Globe and Mail article reports that “Shell will become the first gas retailer in Canada to off-set emissions from customers’ fuel purchases with an optional buy-in at the pump, recreating a program it runs in Europe as it signals its intention to help meet global goals to slow climate change as outlined in the Paris accord.”  https://tgam.ca/2K17bsn

“In Canada, Shell has sourced carbon credits from the (B.C.) Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, an initiative of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.” To learn these and other details about Shell’s Drive Carbon Neutral Program.  visit Shell’s website at: https://bit.ly/3luCMRb

“Going Green is Essential to Our Future”

Photo Credit Jim

Catherine was curious about a full page ad she saw in the newspaer recently, exclaiming that “Green isn’t the Right Thing to Do, it’s the Smart Thing to Do.”

She followed the link to learn about the University of Ottawa’s launch of The Telfler Institute for Sustainable Business. Its goals are explained on its web-site and include:

“Economies around the world are adopting and encouraging sustainable practices. Canada needs to do likewise.”

Photo of cousin Helena in Europe

“In pursuit of its ultimate goal of emphasizing sustainability in our economy, the Institute will develop research insights, support policymakers, and create resources that aid in the adoption of greener practice in Canadian businesses and industry.” https://bit.ly/3lzxyn3

“The Telfer Institute for Sustainable Business is here to lead the way. Let’s get greener.”

Quebec’s Investments Toward Goals of 1.5 Million E-Vehicles and Carbon Neutrality by 2050

On November 16, the Montreal Gazette reported that, “Quebec’s Premier François Legault unveiled a five-year, $6.7-billion plan on Monday that promises to help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, put 1.5 million electric vehicles on Quebec roads and create opportunities for Quebec’s green economy to expand.” The plan, called the Plan for a Green Economy 2030, includes a ban on sales of new gas-powered vehicles. a goal of 40% of taxis to be electric by 2030, installation of 4500 more outdoor electric car charging stations and 2000 rapid charging stations, among other investments, toward Quebec’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050. These and other details, plus the mixed reaction to the Plan by environmental and other stakeholder groups are covered in the full Montreal Gazette article at: https://bit.ly/3kGLaM4.

It is good news to see increasing evidence of momentum building among jurisdictions, such as the EU, China, the US and here Quebec – that set specific targets to reduce greenhouse gases and become carbon neutral, heeding the urgent call to action by scientists if the world is to avoid irreversible climate change catastrophe. Green economy plans are important to set but crucial to implement. Much remains to do.

Hope for Paris Accord

Today’s Globe and Mail article reports on the UN‘s climate change chief Patricia Espinosa’s views that recent “pledges by big polluters boost Paris hopes”.

“Espinosa said countries’ willingness to commit to tougher emissions limits shows that curbing global warming remains a political priority – and that the target set in Paris is a possibility.”

“ ‘Science has told us that we still have a chance to achieve it,’ she said. ‘Looking at these announcements, I think that we should be also having even more hope.’ ” (Globe and Mail article: https://tgam.ca/3lMaVvY)

Photo Credit Lucy

New Coral Reef Taller than Eiffel Tower Found off Australian Coast

Read and watch this CBC good news story on “…the first detached reef of that size to be discovered in over 120 years and that it was thriving with a “blizzard of fish” in a healthy ecosystem.” https://bit.ly/35xX46C

Such good news to discover a new, healthy coral reef!

Remembering Our Heroes

The Highway of Heroes tree tribute campaign aims to plant two million trees, one tree to honour the ultimate sacrifice of each fallen Canadian soldier since Confederation. This Global News article describes the project’s history since its creation five years ago by Landscape Ontario. https://bit.ly/2H8l6Mm

Double good news on the donation website – thanks to an anonymous private donor, all donations will be matched until the end of the year. And, the tree tribute campaign is within “$500,000 of its $10 million multi-year fundraising goal!”  Meaning the project is in range of final tree planting to achieve “ 2 million trees, for 2 million heroes by 2022!”

If you wish to donate visit: www.hohtribute.ca.

Photo credit Jim

Living Tree Tributes

With the winter soon here, Readers may want to consider planting a tree in someone’s name as a holiday gift idea. Organizations such as www.alivingtribute.org, OneTreePlanted https://onetreeplanted.org/collections/canada and Tree Canada https://treecanada.ca/ offer recognition options for donors. Many municipalities, including Toronto (https://bit.ly/32N02Ta), Edmonton (https://bit.ly/32LI3wv ), and Halifax (https://bit.ly/3f2pYip) also offer commemorative tree (and bench) programs.

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