Climate Change and the Election

Fall is in the air.  The kids are back to school.  Gardening plans and pleasures are a blend of final vegetable harvests of the season and perusing catalogues for bulbs and seeds for next spring already. A good time for reflection and renewal, as summer’s warmth starts to fade and crisp, cool nights return.

We return to our co-blogging re-energized after last month’s summer break.

Even more, since we were able to enjoy a special in-person visit together during Lucia and Allan’s trip from Edmonton to visit with Ontario family and friends. It was wonderful to see each other! And, Lucia brought her camera to snap many a Toronto tree (and wildlife) photo to add to her vast collection for our blog 😊. (Catherine learned that black squirrels are a rarity in Alberta, even while they are everywhere in her back garden.)

We are both grateful and proud to call this special country, Canada, our home. The myriad reasons why would fill a different blog!

Given our personal mission in Friends4Trees4Life to empower personal climate action through learning and tree-planting, we are heartened to be living in a country where most citizens take climate change seriously and expect leadership from business and their governments on this matter.

Next week on September 20th, Canadians head to the polls to elect Canada’s 44th Parliament. Importantly, climate action is among the key issues in the political debate and included as part of the campaign platforms for all major parties, with the exception of the People’s Party of Canada.

Obviously, we respect that it is up to each individual voter to weigh the many issues and deciding factors, as we cast our ballots.

To help with that process, in terms of the specific topic of climate change, we found this overview piece by CBC’s Emily Chung to be timely and informative – “Climate Change and the Election: Compare Party Platforms” — https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/climate-platforms-1.6171619.

The article outlines the main components in party platform commitments of the major parties with respect to:

  • Emissions Targets
  • Carbon Tax or Carbon Price
  • Modelling and Analysis to Help Assess if Parties will Meet Their Targets
  • Plans for Transitioning Canada to a Low-Carbon Economy
  • Enforcement Approach (e.g., regulation or carbon pricing)
  • Other Dimensions (e.g., climate adaptation plans, electric vehicles, green retrofits, cleaner electricity grids, nature-based solutions for carbon sequestering)
  • Wild Cards (e.g., green hydrogen).

IPCC Reports and Resources

Faster warming
“The report provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in
the next decades, and finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions
, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.”


“The report shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for
approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years,
global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. This assessment is based on
improved observational datasets to assess historical warming, as well progress in scientific
understanding of the response of the climate system to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.”

“…The report projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions. For
1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold
seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance
thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows.”


“But it is not just about temperature. Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different
regions – which will all increase with further warming. These include changes to wetness and
dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans.”

“..For the first time, the Sixth Assessment Report provides a more detailed regional assessment of
climate change, including a focus on useful information that can inform risk assessment, adaptation,
and other decision-making, and a new framework that helps translate physical changes in the
climate – heat, cold, rain, drought, snow, wind, coastal flooding and more – into what they mean for
society and ecosystems.”


“This regional information can be explored in detail in the newly developed Interactive Atlas
interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch as well as regional fact sheets, the technical summary, and underlying
report.”

“..The report also shows that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. The evidence is clear that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change, even as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants also affect the climate.

“ ‘Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate,‘ said Zhai.”

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changehttps://www.ipcc.ch/

Elections Canada

Here is the link to Elections Canada’s website where voters may enter their postal code to find the list of candidates in each riding – https://bit.ly/2XpGlRG.

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