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B.C. Climate News Jan. 24 – Jan. 30, 2022

B.C. Climate News Jan. 24 – Jan. 30, 2022

File photo of a climate rally in Vancouver.

Here’s your weekly update with the latest climate change news for the week of Jan. 24 to Jan. 30, 2022.

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Here’s your weekly update with what you need to know about climate change and the steps B.C. For the week of January 24 to 30, 2022, here’s your weekly update on what B.C. is doing to address climate change and other ecological crises.

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Climate news: Burnaby praises the global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (GFTNPT) and the B.C. government announced that it’s developing a new strategy to protect watersheds in response to threats posed by climate change.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned for years that wildfires, drought, severe weather, such as B.C.’s deadly heat dome in June, and flooding would become more frequent and more intense because of the climate crisis.

For the most recent news on climate and environment, check back here every Saturday. By subscribing, you can also receive up-to-date B.C.-focused news delivered to your email by 7 a.m. here.


A glance at B.C.’s carbon numbers:

  • B.C.’s gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019 (latest available data:) 68.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e.) This is a 3.0 MtCO2e increase, or 5.1% since 2007.
  • B.C.’s net emissions in 2019: 67.2 MtCO2e, an increase of 1.5 MtCO2e, or two per cent, since 2007.
  • B.C.’s 2030 target: 40 per cent reduction in net emissions below 2007 levels.
  • B.C.’s 2040 target: 60 per cent reduction.
  • B.C.’s 2050 target: 80 per cent reduction.
  • Canada’s 2030 emissions target: Between 40 and 45 per cent reduction.
  • Canada’s 2050 emissions target: Net-zero.

(Source: B.C. Source: B.C.

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Climate change quick facts:

  • The Earth is now 1.1 degrees warmer than it was during the 1800s.
  • The atmospheric CO concentrations have increased due to human activitiesBy nearly 49% above the pre-industrial levels that were established in 1850
  • The world is not on the right track to meet the Paris Agreement goal to keep global temperatures below 1.5 C above preindustrial levels. This is to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
  • 2015-2019 were five of the warmest years ever recorded, while 2010-2019 was our warmest decade.
  • The current trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions could lead to a temperature increase of up to 4.4 C by the middle of the century.
  • In 2019, greenhouse gas concentrations reached new heights. Carbon dioxide levels reached a new high of 148 percent from preindustrial levels.
  • To keep temperatures below 1.5 C, emissions must fall 7.6 percent per year between 2020 and 2030. Temperatures must also drop below 2 C per annum.
  • 97% of climate scientists agree with the conclusion that the climate is warming, and that humans are the reason.

(Source: United Nations IPCCWorld Meteorological Organization,UNEP, Nasa, climatedata.ca)


GUIDES AND LINKS

B.C. Flood: Check out all our coverage about the Fraser Valley, and beyond

NASA answers frequently asked questions about climate change

Climate change has made B.C. Study concludes that heat wave is 150 times more likely due to climate change

B.C.’s heat wave: Intense weather event is linked to climate crisis, say scientists

Expert: Climate change will lead to longer wildfire seasons, and more area being burned, according to experts

Vancouver outlines its Climate Emergency Action Plan

Port Moody joins other cities in Metro Vancouver to declare a climate emergency

COVID-19 may have stopped protests massively, but youth are taking their fight to the courts for their future.

Climate displacement in B.C. is a growing concern Residents are forced from their homes by extreme weather


LATEST CLIMATE NEWS

Burnaby is the latest city to sign a treaty to transition away fossil fuels

Burnaby is the latest city to sign up to a global treaty which recognizes the climate crisis and the urgent need for a transition away from fossil fuels.

This week, the City Council unanimously endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. It calls on governments and corporations alike to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Mayor Mike Hurley stated that the move builds upon the climate emergency declaration made by the city in 2019. Burnaby is also committed to a transformative plan for drastically reducing carbon emissions.

“But to avoid the worst effects of climate change, it is clear that the global community must support a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels. That’s why the City of Burnaby is proud to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty,” he said in a statement.

Continue reading HERE.

—Tiffany Crawford

Advice on how to nurture new forests in B.C. After multiple climate catastrophes

Suzanne Simard, forest ecologist, has dedicated her career to pioneering research into understanding the rich biodiversity found in healthy forests under the canopy of what she has called mother trees.

Simard weaves the story of that journey through her best-selling book Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, so she has an understanding of how forestry has contributed to B.C.’s serial crises of catastrophic wildfires and devastating floods.

And that research about the importance of “mother trees” offers ideas for how forestry can also be used to rehabilitate forests in ways that can mitigate future climate impacts.

“Definitely, forestry has played a big role in what’s happened,” said Simard, a professor of ecology in the University of B.C.’s faculty of forestry during a recent interview with Postmedia News.

With the public’s attention focused on climate change and forestry though, Simard also senses “we’re at that moment” for change.

Continue reading HERE.

—Derrick Penner

British Columbia develops a plan to protect ecosystems and drinking water

Expert says that severe droughts, wildfires and flooding in British Columbia last year showed that climate change can be addressed by focusing on water and strengthening natural defenses provided through healthy watersheds.

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“We’ve all learned that climate crisis is a water crisis,” said Oliver Brandes, co-director of the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance.

“Our best hedge against these challenges is to ensure the security of our watersheds and improve our capacity to manage water sustainably,” he said.

The B.C. government announced Tuesday that it’s developing a new strategy to protect watersheds and drinking water in response to threats posed by climate change combined with the effects of urban and industrial development.

Brandes said that the creation of the strategy was an important step to help the province determine its priorities and hopefully include a greater emphasis on water as it modernizes land use planning.

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Continue reading HERE.

—The Canadian Press

U.S. judge cancels Gulf of Mexico oil auction due to climate impact

A federal judge invalidated the results of an oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday saying the Biden administration failed to properly account for the auction’s climate change impact.

The decision cast doubt over the future U.S. federal offshore drilling program. This program has been a major source of public revenue for decades, but has also drawn the ire activists concerned about its effect on the environment and contribution towards global warming.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the Gulf of Mexico accounts 15% of U.S. oil production, and 5% of U.S. dry natural gas output.

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In the decision, Judge Rudolph Contreras of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia ruled to vacate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Lease Sale 257, which offered about 80 million offshore acres (37.4 million hectares) in the Gulf of Mexico in an auction last November.

Continue reading HERE.

—Reuters

B.C. B.C.

British Columbia’s forest watchdog has identified four key areas where the management of forestry practices can negatively affect water and outlines potential opportunities for the province to improve regulations.

According to the Forest Practices Board, at least a third (33%) of all complaints received by it since 1995 concern the potential for forestry or range practices to impact water quality, including drinking water.

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It states that although the board generally found that forest licensees were compliant with provincial laws in most cases, gaps in law requirements mean that forestry activities (including harvesting and construction of forest service roads) can increase the risk of flooding and other water-related issues downstream.

Wednesday’s report stated that there are no legal requirements to take into account the cumulative effects from forestry or other industries in B.C. watersheds.

Continue reading HERE.

—The Canadian Press

B.C. Appeal Court extends injunction against old-growth logging protests

An injunction by the court against protests of old-growth logging on Vancouver Island has been extended to next fall in a B.C. A Court of Appeal decision overturning a lower court ruling.

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Three judges unanimously granted Wednesday’s appeal by Teal Cedar Products Ltd., a British Columbia forestry company. Supreme Court decision that denied the company’s application to extend the injunction by one year.

More than 1,100 people were arrested protesting old-growth log logging in Fairy Creek, just 110 kilometres west from Victoria.

Conrad Browne, spokesperson for the company, said that some timber harvesting activities are currently taking place.

“There are areas that we can’t get to because of winter weather, but that doesn’t preclude us from going and harvesting other areas in tree farm licence 46,” said Browne, who is Teal Cedar’s director of Indigenous engagement and strategic relations.

Continue reading HERE.

—The Canadian Press


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