Good news for winter solstice (Dec. 22, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

December 22, 2019

Happy Solstice! And Good Sunday Morning from Bergen, Norway.  We arrived by train from Oslo yesterday evening to visit my two newly attached grandsons – John’s son and family live here.  So three more sleeps until Christmas! God Jul!

Being the festive season, time for some good news for a change.

First up, the wonderful news yesterday from the Nova Scotia government. There will be no extension of the deadline for a system to deal with the toxic effluent from the mill in Pictou. The Boat Harbour Act, passed in the NS legislature to create a deadline for clean-up, will be honoured, closing down the current polluting abomination by end of January 2020.  That essentially means the mill will close.

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From COP 25 in Madrid (Dec, 15, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

My Sunday morning started many hours ago.  As the clock ticked past midnight in Madrid (3 pm at home in BC), negotiations were still underway, as they continued throughout the night and early morning hours. It is now afternoon Sunday in Madrid.

It is quite typical for climate negotiations to over-run their allotted time. Conferences of the Parties are always supposed to end by Friday evening of week 2. They almost never do. Up until this COP, the longest and latest COP had been in Durban, when negotiations wrapped at 6:30 AM on the Sunday morning.

We smashed the record.  Not something we wanted to do! 

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Opening of parliament (Dec. 8, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

As you read this, I am likely to be lugging a suitcase off the carousel at the Madrid airport. COP25 is about to enter its second week – known as the high-level segment.  

Every COP has the same rhythm, while some are more intense than others.  The Conference of the Parties (hence COP) meets annually to advance – at an excruciatingly slow pace – progress under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  A “party” is any nation that has signed and ratified the 1992 climate treaty. All nations on earth have done so. 

The first week is when the bureaucrats work to refine text and find as much agreement as possible. The high level segment is when heads of government (a few) and ministers (many) arrive to finalize text through political negotiation.

The Paris Agreement is the latest effort to bring precision to the more general UNFCCC goals.  I would say that the pace of the negotiations is glacial, except as humanity procrastinates in eliminating fossil fuels, glaciers are now moving faster than politicians.   

Speaking of procrastination… 

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Carbon emission targets (Dec. 1, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning

Rabbits! Happy December. (Sorry about the “rabbits.” Old habit for starting the
first day of the month from my British dad.)

The climate-related news this week focused on a new report on carbon pricing. The EcoFiscal Commission made the case that raising the carbon tax to $210/ton by 2030 is the best way to meet the current climate target. 

Unfortunately, this approach is nearly irrelevant to a climate emergency.  This report focuses solely on policy instruments to address the gap between the current plan and meeting the existing target - 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The level of ambition of the target bears a direct relationship to the usefulness of their analysis.  It might be that the EcoFiscal Commission is correct and that a carbon price alone is the best, "least cost and politically viable" (the report's stated goals) approach to meet the current target.  But it is irrelevant to what must be done.

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Elizabeth May continues Good Sunday Morning (Nov. 24, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

I remember loving the Sunday ritual of Thomas Teuwen’s weekly message – with equal doses of information, insight and inspiration. And, like you, I have missed it.

What started in 2015 as an update to share the news from the canvassing team became a very informative weekly newsletter. It is time to bring it back!

With the support of my local Electoral District Association in Saanich-Gulf Islands, we are re-launching Good Sunday Morning. 

I do not have a lot of time on my hands as the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, but now that I have stepped down as party leader, I have a bit more. And I love writing… so here we go!

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