Kevin Grandia's blog

International Implications of Trudeau's Kinder Morgan Pipeline Approval

justin-trudeau-kinder-morgan-pipeline

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's decision this week to approve a major expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has negative implications that go well beyond the borders of the Great White North.

Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the United States. We export more oil to the US than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico combined. We are a secure, stable and reliable trading partner with the US for a product that can make or break their economy.

Trudeau Can't Have His Climate Plan and Build a Pipeline Too

So far, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a lot of the right moves when it comes to climate change, but a new report this week makes it clear that Canada's PM cannot lead on climate change and support the expansion of oilsands pipelines at the same time.

Yet, there was a rumor circling earlier this month that the Trudeau government would approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in the name of the “national interest”. If approved, the pipeline will increase the amount of oil produced and shipped to Vancouver's coast for export by a whopping 590,000 barrels a day — nearly triple what is currently transported.

At the same time, the Trudeau government is expected to roll out a plan this fall to fulfill its election promise to take “bold action” on climate change.  

These two positions are irreconcilable. 

Climate Refugees? We Don't Have a Plan for That

justin-trudeau-climate-refugees

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintains relatively high popularity numbers here in Canada, they pale in comparison to the borderline rock star status the Canadian Prime Minister currently has on the international stage. Most recently, he was in New York to address the United Nations’ General Assembly and attend the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.

It’s the first-ever summit of its kind because there hasn't been a refugee crisis like this in our lifetimes — or in the UN’s lifetime. You’ve heard the facts by now. Right now, more than 65 million people have been forced from their homes. That’s more than at any other time since the end of the Second World War. And there’s no end in sight.

In his speech at the summit on Monday, Trudeau took a bow for Canada’s efforts to take in refugees. Yet when the applause died down, he emphasized how that isn’t enough.

I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that Canada’s engagement must not stop at resettlement,” the Prime Minister said. “Now is the time for each of us to consider what more we can contribute. So, in Canada, we’re looking at our options.”

So what are those options? How can we address the forces that are driving people from their homes in the first place?

Canadian Taxpayers Fork Out $3.3 Billion Every Year to Super Profitable Oil Companies

Some of the largest, most profitable companies in Canada are collectively receiving an estimated $3.3 billion in subsidies every year from Canadian taxpayers, according to a new analysis.

The report, released today by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian-based think tank, outlines how billions in federal and provincial tax breaks and corporate incentives benefit companies in the oil and gas sector like Imperial Oil, whose earnings in 2015 were CDN$1.1 billion.

The new analysis comes as Trudeau is in China for the G20 Summit. In 2009 G20 leaders committed to a complete phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term and Justin Trudeau, while on the campaign trail, made an election promise to fulfill that commitment.  

Tweet: Fossil fuel subsidies work against Canada’s progress in putting a price on carbon http://bit.ly/2bMVAII @JustinTrudeau #cdnpoli #oilandgasFossil fuel subsidies work against Canada’s commendable progress in putting a price on carbon — they give money and tax breaks to the sources of carbon pollution that we’re trying to scale back,” Amin Asadollahi, North American Lead on Climate Change Mitigation at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, said.

A Mythbusting Guide to the Paris Climate Agreement

Climate Nexus has published a helpful mythbusting page correcting the misinformation that is already being spread about the Paris Climate Agreement. It is rewritten here with permission.

Myths and Facts about COP21, the Paris Climate Agreement

MYTH: “Paris is not legally binding; it won’t change anything. China and India will still emit so much CO2 as to make all US reductions pointless.”

FACT: Paris does have legally binding aspects, and other nations are already taking action.

Agreement in Paris Paves Road For The End of Fossil Fuels

paris climate conference cop21

History was made tonight in Paris as the leaders of 195 nations agreed to an ambitious, science-based pact to move the world away from the fossil fuels that are to blame for the rapid increase in global temperatures.

After two weeks of negotiations here in the airport hangars of Le Bourget, 195 parties have signed a global pact that will curb global warming pollution and rapidly escalate the growth of the clean energy solutions the world needs.

The consensus here is that the Paris deal on the table is a good one. Could it be better? Of course. But this deal is about as good as it is going to get from a consensus process involving 195 countries.

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