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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Net Zero: the compromise on coal contaminates the COP26 climate pact

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Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on Canadian clean energy and resource policy.

The guide

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow concluded with nearly 200 countries reaching an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scale back the use of coal and other fossil fuels and provide greater financial support to developing nations vulnerable to effects of global warming.

The Glasgow Climate Pact arrived late Saturday and has the overall goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The deal nearly failed when Bhupender Yadav, India’s environment minister, proposed that countries agree to “phasing out” coal, rather than “phasing out” coal. Delegates were forced to accept the proposal or risk the deal falling apart.

India’s last-minute move was subject to international backlash.

“The change in the Indian language to gradually reduce but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare. “India has long been an obstacle to climate action, but I’ve never seen it do it publicly.”

The Guardian has a breakdown of the key points of the agreement.

Internationally

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Glasgow Climate Pact was a big step forward and hoped it would mark the beginning of the end of climate change.

“There is still a lot to do in the next few years,” Johnson said in a statement. “But today’s agreement is a big step forward and, crucially, we have the first ever international agreement to gradually reduce coal and a roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.” Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, Alok Sharma, the chair of the COP26 summit, said India will have to explain its efforts to water down the language about efforts to phase out coal.

Following the announcement of the Glasgow Climate Pact, Pope Francis urged the world’s political and economic leaders to show courage and long-term vision. Francis said on Sunday that “the cry of the poor, coupled with the cry of the Earth, has resounded in recent days at the COP26 United Nations summit on climate change”, but did not comment on the outcome of the conference. The Associated Press has the story.

Environmental groups are criticizing the Biden administration for holding an auction for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico just days after the Glasgow Climate Pact was reached.

“It’s hard to imagine a more dangerous and self-righteous action in the aftermath of the climate summit,” said Kristen Monsell, a lawyer with the Nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity. “Maintaining this lease sale will only lead to more damaging oil spills, more toxic climate pollution, and more suffering for communities and wildlife along the Gulf Coast.” ABC News has more details.

Monday morning at 8:47 am, West Texas Intermediate traded at US $ 80.18 and Brent Crude at US $ 81.36.

In Canada

According to former Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Canada is still not up to par with the amount of significant environmental action needed to limit the global temperature rise.

“Canada’s commitments are far below what science requires,” May said in an interview over the weekend. Global news has the full story.

The Manitobans who attended the COP26 climate summit are urging global leaders not to forget the perspectives of indigenous peoples who are the eyes and ears of the earth. Will Goodon of the Manitoba Métis Federation attended the conference and said he was delighted that the importance of indigenous rights and human rights is engraved in a language that emerges from the conference. CBC News has more.

A climate rally in Vancouver on Friday resulted in the arrest of three people for vandalism. CBC News has that story too,

Finally, a Canadian photographer won first prize in the COP26 photo contest. Jo-Anne McArthur’s animal images won two COP26 awards and she said the most important photo she took was of cows being transported to the Bulgarian-Turkish border. CTV News has the details.

The Canadian Crude Oil Index was trading at US $ 60.61 and the Western Canadian Selection at US $ 60.29 this morning at 8:47

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