A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and Sierra Club BC states that the BC carbon tax is “revenue-negative” and increases social inequality. It argues that instead of funding corporate tax cuts, revenues from the tax should be spent on climate change investments such as public transportation and green job creation. Read the full story in The Tyee, and read the report on the CCPA website.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change (AR4) in 2007. AR4 is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive summary of climate change ever written, and assesses scientific, technical and socio-economic information in the understanding of anthropogenic climate change, its potential impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation. Read the report on the IPCC website.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will finalize its Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change (AR5) in September 2014. Compared to previous reports, AR5 will put more emphasis on the socio-economic impacts of climate change and the significance of sustainable development for adaptation and mitigation. It will also provide more region-specific information on climate phenomena, economic analyses, and the evaluation of uncertainties. Read the proposed outline of the report on the IPCC website.
C40 Cities is a network of cities around the world committed to combating climate change, and provides a platform for cities to share information, gather support and demonstrate leadership. At the C40 website you can find information about initiatives, best practices, and climate action plans for each network city.
Students from two Vancouver schools recently organized a flashmob to spread the world about the “international anti-bullying day”, or “Pink Shirt Day”, which occurs on Feb. 23. Despite the students’ choice to wear pink shirts with the word “acceptance” written on them, they lack reference to homophobia and transphobia, which are the most common motives for bullying. Read the full story in The Tyee.
The UN Conference on the Human Environment, better known as the Stockholm Conference, was held in 1972 in Stockholm. It was the UN’s first major conference on international environmental issues and is recognized at the beginning of contemporary political and public awareness of global environmental issues. The declaration produced in Stockholm contains 26 principles regarding environment and development, an Action Plan with 109 recommendations, and a Resolution. Read the full declaration here.
A new UN report suggests that investing approximately 2% of global GDP on in greening 10 key sectors of the economy will shift public and private capital flows onto an eco-friendly path. The new green economy model would deliver comparable, or otherwise higher, growth rates compared to a business-as-usual scenario, improve social equity, and drastically reduce environmental risks. Read the full news story at BBC News, and the full UN report at the UNEP website.
Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Resolution – CETA – September 2010
October 2010, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) pass a resolution calling on the provincial government to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA.
WHEREAS the Canadian government has entered into negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive economic trade agreement;
AND WHEREAS European corporations are insisting on full access to procurement by sub national governments – including local governments, school boards, universities, hospitals and other provincial agencies, which could significantly reduce or eliminate the right to specify local priorities when public money is invested in goods, services or capital projects;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM request:
• a briefing from the Province of BC on the scope and content of trade negotiations with the European Union;
• the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to provide sector-by-sector analysis of the potential impacts on municipal functions and powers of the procurement regime that the European Union is seeking;
• the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to urge the government of Canada not to provide the European Union with access to sub national government procurement; and
• that the provincial government negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA.
September 2010, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) pass a resolution calling on the federal government to respect municipal autonomy in trade negotiations with the European Union.
MUNICIPAL IMPACT OF CANADA AND EUROPEAN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP TRADE AGREEMENT
WHEREAS The Government of Canada has entered into negotiations with the European Union for an EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement; and
WHEREAS The Government of Canada and the European Union have developed a mandate to seek an ambitious agreement that would negotiate a wide range of areas, included central and sub-central government procurement; and
WHEREAS Provinces and Territories are responsible for implementing any treaty obligations resulting from such trade negotiations; and
WHEREAS municipal governments have expressed an interest in local sustainable economic development which can be impacted by a Canada European Trade Agreement that could reduce or eliminate the right to specify local priorities when public money is invested in goods, services or capital projects; therefore, be it
RESOLVED That the Federation of Canadian Municipalities encourage the Government of Canada to inform municipalities of those aspects of the Trade Negotiations which may affect municipal government procurement and, further, to protect the right of municipalities to specify local priorities in purchasing decisions, be it further
RESOLVED That FCM call on the Government of Canada to adopt a negotiating position that supports reciprocity in Canadian and European Union municipal procurement practices.
Campaigns aimed at supporting local economies are gaining popularity, especially in BC. Writer Darren Barefoot has made a commitment to buy only Canadian products and services for an entire year, and the BC chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced its “Ten Percent Shift Campaign” to encourage British Columbians to shop locally. Read the full story in The Tyee.
The Rio Declaration is a document produced at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNED), or Earth Summit, in Rio de Janerio in 1992. It is a framework consisting of 27 guiding principles for future sustainable development across the globe. Read the full declaration here.
Agenda 21 is the UN’s action plan for sustainable development at the global, national and local scales by international organizations in every area where humans impact the environment. It was adopted by over 178 governments at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janerio in 1992, and includes strategies for combating poverty, overconsumption, and environmental degradation. Read the full agenda here.