BC Climate News November 29 to December 5

Here is your weekly update with everything you need to know about climate change

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Here is your weekly update with everything you need to know about climate change and what British Columbia is doing to address climate and ecological crises for the week of November 29 to December 5, 2021.

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This week, the mainstream climate news continued to be the fallout from several rainstorms that hit southern British Columbia, causing catastrophic flooding and deadly landslides.

The first atmospheric river caused at least six deaths, forced thousands of British Columbians to flee their homes and stranded 275 people between two landslides.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned for years that forest fires, drought, severe weather events, such as BC’s deadly heat dome in June, and flooding would become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.

Check back here every Saturday for a recap of the latest climate and environmental stories. You can also receive up-to-date information about British Columbia delivered to your inbox before 7 a.m. by signing up for our newsletter here.

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A quick look at the BC carbon numbers:

  • British Columbia’s 2019 gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (latest data available 🙂 8.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e.) This is an increase of 3 , 0 MtCO2e since 2007, the reference year.
  • British Columbia net emissions in 2019: 67.2 MtCO2e, an increase of 1.5 MtCO2e since 2007.
  • British Columbia’s 2030 target: 40% reduction in net emissions from 2007 levels.
  • BC 2040 target: 60% reduction.
  • BC 2050 target: 80% reduction.
  • Canada’s emissions target for 2030: between 40 and 45 percent reduction.
  • Canada’s emissions target for 2050: net zero.

(source: Governments of British Columbia and Canada)

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LATEST NEWS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Canada begins consultations on new climate commitments this month

Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced on Friday that the federal government will conduct a series of consultations on new emission reduction measures before the end of the year.

Guilbeault said he will table the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of March to allow time for dialogue with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, the Net-Zero advisory body and interested Canadians on this issue. that is necessary to meet Canada’s climate goals.

He said consultations will also be held before the end of this year on the sale of zero-emission vehicles so that 100 percent of new light-duty vehicles (cars, vans, etc.) sold in Canada will be zero-emissions by the time. 2035 and at least 50% by 2030.

It could be weeks before the floodwaters completely recede from the Sumas Prairie

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said it could be several weeks before the nine-square-kilometer section that is the lowest point of the Sumas flooded prairie is empty.

And only then can the true extent of damage to soils and infrastructure in the prairie be fully assessed.

Braun said Highway 1 also needed to be opened, along with Whatcom Road and Vye Road, for work to begin to assess the damage and facilitate a full return home for the thousands of residents displaced from more than 1,000 homes. since the mid-November monster. storm and more recent atmospheric river rains.

On Wednesday, Braun said he hoped to lift some evacuation orders in the coming days. He said it is not expected to rain heavily over the next few days – after a record two-foot (0.6 meter) of rain drowned his city in recent weeks, causing widespread flooding and destruction .

Braun said the floodwaters were receding, adding that the water level in Sumas Prairie fell 2.5cm on Tuesday despite some rains.

—David Carrigg

Some idealistic Canadians attempt to replant the world’s forests with flying machines

Bryce Jones has seen it all when trying to fly his drones: equipment hiccups, execution failures, the time he miscalculated the takeoff angle and flew a vehicle straight up a tree.

Jones isn’t a hobbyist playing with backflips in the local park – he’s the head of Flash Forest, a young startup with the unusual idea of ​​deploying drones to bombard the landscape with tree pods.

A billion trees, to be exact.

While many view drones as a toy or, worse, a deadly precision military tool, Flash Forest has gone the other way: it uses drones to feed life.

The 20-person Toronto-based startup – it has an office in Vancouver – uses a fleet of unmanned vehicles to plant (more precisely, bombard a carpet) the landscape with tree pods and replenish these majestic carbon consumers. The battle against climate change can be fought with sober policy making, engaged citizens and corporate responsibility. It turns out that it can be fought by a few hipster Millennials with flying machines as well.

Read more HERE.

—Washington Post

Indigenous Leaders Concerned About BC Government’s Past Growth Postponement Process

Indigenous leaders and experts in British Columbia raised concerns Wednesday over the provincial government’s process to postpone logging in old-growth forests, while stressing the urgency of preserving at-risk ecosystems.

The province announced on November 2 that an independent panel of scientific experts had mapped 26,000 square kilometers of old-growth forests at risk of permanent biodiversity loss. He asked First Nations to decide within 30 days whether they support the postponement of logging in these areas or whether the plan requires further discussion.

Retired Judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond told a press conference hosted by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs that the government’s actions are not compatible with free, prior and informed consent, a key principle of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. British Columbia adopted the declaration through legislation passed in 2019.

The 30-day deadline is too short for many First Nations to make informed decisions, and the process lacks clarity on the economic impacts and potential compensations for Nations who choose to put old-growth forests out of the way. logging, said Turpel-Lafond.

Read more HERE.

—The Canadian Press

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