Archive for October, 2009’s International Day of Climate Action

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, is the International Day of Climate Action. Thousands of events are being held around the world to urge political leaders to get serious on climate change negotiations at Copenhagen in December. Meaningful CO2 targets need to be adopted in the new treaty that replaces the Kyoto Protocol.

Canada’s record has been dismal in recent years, and things don’t appear to be improving. The country signed the Kyoto agreement, which committed it to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012. Not only has it said it won’t meet that target, it has challenged other countries to do the same. The current environment minister wants a CO2 emissions reduction of 20 per cent from 2006 levels by 2020. If achieved, Canada’s carbon emissions would be 3 per cent below 1990 levels.

Neither of these seem nearly enough. Environmentalist George Monbiot and author of Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning recommends a 90 per cent reduction by 2030. This is the best way to stop global average temperatures from warming up by an extra 2 C above pre-industrial levels, the point at which climate change cannot be avoided. It is a drastic target but remedies already exist to get us there. What we need: a willingness to make some major sacrifices and more progressive leaders to make them happen.

The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen to 387 parts per million (ppm), mainly because we’re burning more coal, oil and gas and clearing more forests. I’ll be joining fellow citizens at Queen’s Park in Toronto to tell our leaders that we need CO2 levels to drop: 350 ppm is considered by scientists to be the safe limit.

Check out to find an event in your city and show your support. Above is a Google map of some events in Toronto.

Some pictures from the Queen’s Park rally:

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