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LETTER: We are at a climate crossroads

From reader Sandra Hartline

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global body of the United Nations that analyzes science and provides guidance to world leaders, issued a dire warning.

“We are at a crossroads. It’s now or never. If we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius without immediate and deep emission reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible, ” the report states.

1.5 degrees Celsius is the limit agreed on in Paris in 2015.

“We are on a fast track to disaster,” says Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General. “We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double that limit.”

Mr. Guterres forecasts unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals.

The report states that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history.

High emitting governments and corporation are not just turning a blind eye, Mr. Guterres observes. They are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate choking industries such as oil and gas.

Last year, Canada’s five biggest banks all pledged to be net zero by 2050. At the same time, RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC and the Bank of Montreal all increased their fossil fuel financing, offering a combined $165 billion to oil and gas clients.

In its report, the IPCC states that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to clean electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen.

The right policies from our local and federal government will result in a substantial reduction to our greenhouse gases by 2050. These changes can also improve our health and wellbeing.

Sandra Hartline

Nelson/West Kootenay chapter

Council of Canadians