Our Teacher Will Not Accept Wr—le- Paper Kumon.
Share to raise climate awareness
The optimism and celebration coming from a whirlwind of funding and program announcements during the kickoff days of COP26 are quickly vanishing as climate policy experts drill deeper into the narrative. Bloomberg observes that many of the manor announcements “unravel under close scrutiny” casting doubt on the value of new commitments taken by globe leaders amidst claims of more empty promises by activists like Greta Thunberg.
More than Empty Promises
(The following article by Kathleen Moleski of GASP (Grandmothers Act so Salve the Planet) warns world leaders that the world cannot tolerate more empty promises. It was written equally an OpEd and updated every bit events at COP26 unfolded during the first five days.)
I vividly remember my first experience of ‘eco-anxiety’, astute worry about the consequences of unchecked climate change. It was 1992, a few months before my daughter was born. Standing nether the carport with my husband, I watched the rain coming down in vast sheets, as if one huge bucket of water was beingness dumped on our minor corner of the world. It was securely frightening.
By coincidence, that same yr the Un convened a special environment briefing in Brazil chosen the Earth Summit. Part of the terminal accordance was to launch an annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to solve the planet’s mounting climate problems. The starting time COP was held in Berlin in March 1995.
Fast forward to 2021, and equally regular readers of Below2C know, the 26thursday
edition of COP is now taking identify in Glasgow. Yet unbelievably, after 25 years of global negotiations, dialogues and endless talks, we are in drastically worse climate straits than e’er before. The world is now contending with far heavier deluges than the one I witnessed in 1992, plus more severe floods, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts and extreme storms, with worse to come.
Of course we should have started three decades agone to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and begun the shift to climate-stabilizing green energy. Instead, we got stuck in a dismal scenario where many of the earth’s nations, especially rich industrial ones, Canada among them, repeatedly made lofty promises they failed to act on or achieve. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry, led by Exxon, rushed to bury its own scientific evidence that called-for coal, oil and gas heated the planet; so, like the tobacco industry, spent lavishly to spread misinformation almost its products, thus stalling significant activity for decades.
Warnings are piling up…
Ahead of COP26, climate scientists take urgently warned that there are less than 10 years to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by half to avoid almost sure climate chaos. In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) made it clear: no new fossil expansions, none, if we want to stay under 1.5ºC of warming. In early on August, the UN released its latest scientific assessment written report on climate, painting such a dire picture that it was flagged by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres every bit ‘code red for humanity.’ Then, in mid-October, the United Nations Surround Program (UNEP) Emissions Gap report strongly indicated the world is on grade to warm to around two.7C with hugely subversive impacts; ‘another thundering wake-upwards call,’ Guterres said.
Half way through COP26, the pledges by nations attending Glasgow to cut their emissions nonetheless autumn far short of what’south needed to stay on the 1.5ºC rails.
Canada’s record of empty promises…
Canada’s own by record is dismal: we rank tenth in the globe in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and have never yet met a single emissions reduction target we’ve fix. Our new climate accountability law, Pecker C-12, passed in late June, suggests we’re taking a major pace toward redeeming ourselves, and we’ve boosted the goal of reducing our GHG emissions to a twoscore-45 per cent reduction compared to 2005 levels by 2030, up from a tepid thirty per cent. Critics say to do our fair share, we need to achieve the 60 per cent mark.
Prime number Minister Justin Trudeau stepped up at COP26 to reiterate his election promise of imposing a difficult cap on emissions from the Canadian oil and gas sector, joined blocks of other nations pledging methane emission reductions, an end to deforestation, no more funding of international fossil fuel projects – all necessary – but it’southward hard not to be skeptical given past empty promises.
Those Canadian banks…
My eco-anxiety? It has increased equally the climate crunch has accelerated but eased temporarily when I landed a job at TD Banking concern in 2004. I felt some relief thinking I was joining a stellar Canadian company making a real difference on the environmental front end. As I observed over the years, however, TD’due south green initiatives, such every bit tree plantings,
Friends of the Environment Foundation
community grants and a variety of internal steps to shrink the bank’southward ain energy footprint, all paled in comparison to its function every bit a top 10 funder of fossil fuels among all private banks worldwide.
TD is not alone. Together, the Big Five Canadian banks, RBC, Scotia, CIBC, BMO and TD, have invested close to CAD $700 billion in fossil energy since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015. In the past year, all accept pledged to achieve net-nil greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and recently signed on to the Glasgow Financial Brotherhood for Net-Zero, spearheaded by former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney.
Positive steps, yes, merely not enough, or fast enough, and given their recent history, can our banks be trusted to deliver? Transparent short-term targets and roadmaps are disquisitional, plus actions such equally the step taken in mid-Oct by France’south La Banque Postale, the first banking concern in the world to announce it will halt financing fossil expansions by 2030. All banks everywhere need to follow adapt, and preferably sooner.
And my eco-anxiety…
Equally for my eco-anxiety, I know I’thou not alone. According to a contempo British poll, fearfulness nearly the dire consequences of the climate crunch reach well beyond young people similar Greta Thunberg and millions of youth around the world, with extreme anxiety and depression near climate change now being experienced by all ages and income levels. Most poll respondents believe it volition have far more serious consequences than COVID, which has preoccupied us for the past 20 months.
Like Greta and others, I have found the best antidote to my eco-anxiety is getting involved and taking activity. By the time I retired from TD last January, I decided I would devote much of my newfound time to climate advocacy, urging Canada’s political parties to work urgently across political party lines on climate action and our banks to divest from fossil fuels.
Simply the real cure is obvious: for all 197 nations attending COP26 to do everything it takes to guarantee the globe tin can finally turn the tide on this downwards spiral to man extinction. It’south a monumental, some say impossible, challenge, but the alternative is unthinkable and just terrifying, especially for our kids and grandchildren.
No more empty promises. It’southward at present or never.
(Kathleen Moleski is Chair of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Commission, Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet, world wide web.gasp4change.org. She is a contempo retiree of TD Bank and now devotes most of her new constitute time to climate advocacy. She is also a co-leader of the For Our Kids Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton (MOBH) affiliate, supports Leadnow and other climate activist groups and signs many petitions.)
Frankie the Dinosaur Says Listen Up People: Don’t Choose Extinction
12 Reports You Should Know About Equally COP26 Unfolds
Dear Mark Carney: We’re Running Out Of Time
This work is licensed under a Creative Eatables Attribution-NonCommercial iv.0 International
Share to raise climate awareness
Our Teacher Will Not Accept Wr—le- Paper Kumon