Climate Action News: Emergency Debate on Arctic Ice Melt Denied; No National Energy Strategy in Sight
Thursday, September 27, 2012
MPs request emergency debate on record breaking Arctic sea ice-lossThe drastic melting of arctic sea-ice has ended for this year, but not before demolishing the previous record low of 2007. This year’s record loss was 13.8% less than the previous record. The total loss is equivalent to the size of Canada, plus Texas…plus Virginia.Some scientists describe the degree of melt as having reached an emergency level, with ice levels at 50% of the averages that were recorded between 1979 and 2000. But governments have not responded to the change with any greater urgency about limiting greenhouse emissions. To the contrary, their main response has been to plan for exploitation of newly accessible minerals in the Arctic, including drilling for more oil.Today in the House of Commons, NDP members of Parliament made a bid for an emergency debate on Arctic sea ice loss. After the House Speaker denied that this issue meets the test for an emergency debate, Arctic MP Dennis Bevington asked a second time for an emergency debate on the issue. The House Speaker again denied this debate.
Now, more than ever, we need to step in where governments have failed. We urge you to write to your MPs, voice your concerns and get involved in addressing the issue of Arctic sea ice-loss and human induced climate change.
Heres a first: Oil major publicly speaks out against offshore oil exploration in the Arctic region
Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total (a global gas and petrochemical operator), says the risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area was simply too high. “Oil on Greenland would be a disaster,” he said in an interview. “A leak would do too much damage to the image of the company.”
“The rest of the oil industry should heed his warning,” said Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace’s Arctic campaign. “Given the risks, companies shouldn’t be touching the Arctic with a barge pole.”
Energy and Mines Ministers Conference ends with no talk of National Energy Strategy
Canada’s energy and mines ministers ended their annual conference last month with an agreement to collaborate on key priorities – much the same as they did after their gathering last year.
Repeated calls from a wide range of energy industry leaders, labour unions, environmental groups and the Government of Alberta for a national energy strategy were downplayed by Mr. Oliver at the end of the conference, when he told the media that he had not heard any proposals that were not already being addressed.
“Few countries in the world are bringing on energy and mining projects of this scale or at this pace – creating a truly once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canadians,” Mr. Oliver said. “But we cannot take these investments for granted. We must do more to diversify Canada’s access to global markets, while ensuring world-class environmental protection, including strong pipeline and marine safety regimes.”
Mr. Oliver, actions speak louder than words and your actions have not convinced us that realizing the economic potential of Canada’s energy and mining industries promises world-class environmental protection and marine safety regimes…
Defend Our Coast
On October 22, 2012 join Canadians from all across the nation in BC’s capital.
Prime Minister Harper has spent the last year silencing the voices of opposition by gutting environmental protection, cancelling more than 3,000 safety assessments of industrial projects and attacking Canadians who care about environmental values. Together we must tell the B.C. and Federal government that the protection of the west coast is not up for discussion and Canada’s coast is not for sale!
This October, we are asking you to come to Victoria to participate in the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience on the climate issue that Canada has ever seen.