Media are reporting that scientists with the Arctic Council see evidence that ice in the Arctic is melting faster than they expected. This disturbing news comes right after the Harper government won a majority government.
The Harper government has never implemented a plan to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and be a part of a solution to climate change. Interestingly, a blog on the election by Bryan Walsh in Time talks about Canada turning away from climate policy.
Walsh writes that the election of a Harper majority means “nothing very good” for the environment or for climate policy. He notes the huge tar sands reserves in Alberta, the industry-friendly approach of the Harper government, and that the Harper government “will continue its antagonism on the global climate stage” to action on climate change. Walsh also lets US readers know that the Harper government abandoned any pretense that it would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions to meet this country’s commitments under the Kyoto protocol.
At Greenpeace, we have been saying for years – based on information from climate analysts in other countries – that the Harper government has tried repeatedly to block progress on climate action. The government has always denied this. But, here again in the Walsh piece is further confirmation that the Harper government doesn’t want to move on effective climate policy.
Canada’s continued intransigence on climate change comes in stark contrast to the warning from the scientists involved in the Arctic Circle report. They call for “greater urgency” in fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Not likely to happen in Canada now.
The scientists are warning that sea levels could rise dramatically higher than previously thought. This will put a lot of people in small island nations and in coastal communities at serious risk. People are already suffering from the effects of climate change.
The report, from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program of the eight-nation Arctic Circle, is scheduled to be released next week in Greenland. It is to be discussed by 400 scientists this week in Denmark.