The President Raises the Bar

The fossil fuel industry seeking President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline must show that when built the pipeline “doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

As noted in our last blog, both the Canadian fossil fuel industry and Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, think that this “condition” can be met. They agree with a U.S. State Department report delivered in January 2012 that most of the tar sands bitumen that would flow through the pipeline if approved would find its way to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast by other means of transport even if the pipeline was not approved. So approval of the pipeline won’t exacerbate anything.

In our view the condition is not just about practical calculations as to means of transport. There is a more fundamental principle at stake. To stay within 2 degrees C of global warming, half the world’s fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. The most obvious candidate for this “freeze” is the tar sands.

Read moreThe President Raises the Bar

Doha: the Week in Review

After three conferences on Climate Change (Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban) the politicians and the general public in North America are comfortable with the lack of progress in fighting global warming at a world level. So there is no great expectation that the outcome of discussions/negotiations at the Doha Conference (Conference of the Parties or COP18) … Read more

Proud Canadians!

The Nations of the World will soon be assembling in Durban to meet the challenge of completing the mandate left unfinished at the Copenhagen and Cancun Conferences on climate change.  As usual, there will be numerous private organizations concerned with climate change to monitor the progress of the discussions, and to point out the inadequacies and deficiencies … Read more

So what the did Cancún Conference on climate change accomplish?

So what did Cancún Conference on climate change accomplish? Probably that is the wrong question. Rather what would have happened if there was nothing to show from the Cancún meeting? Or if a significant number of countries had refused to join in the closing statement, either because they disagreed with its terms or were convinced … Read more

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