BCCIC Calls for Clarification on 1.5 Degrees

***For Immediate Release***

BCCIC Calls for Clarification on 1.5 Degrees

December 10, 2015 (3:00 pm, Paris, France) – The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) is calling upon the Government of Canada to immediately clarify its policy direction after the conclusion of tomorrow’s climate meeting in Paris.

“We recognize and commend Minister McKenna’s position and diplomatic efforts here in Paris toward a 1.5 degree target” stated Michael Simpson, the Executive Director of BCCIC, who is attending the conference.  “However, it is incoherent to promote renewable energy in Africa or support least developed nations on adaptation while also spending tens of millions of dollars promoting carbon intensive development in other departments of government.”

“There is a need for policy coherence if we are going to publicly stand up on the global stage and appear credible” stated Simpson. The legacy of the Harper government includes current megaprojects funded by Global Affairs Canada in places like Tanzania and Mozambique that are worth tens of millions of dollars.  Domestic promotion and even subsidies for the fossil fuel industry undermine Canada’s intention to assist the developing world. They are policy directions that will need to be immediately turned around or their mandates changed.   McKenna’s most recent announcements on Monday, outlining fund details for the developing world, follow on the Prime Minister’s announcement at the beginning of the conference of 2.65 billion dollars.

“Getting this all sorted out really quickly is critical if McKenna and Trudeau are serious about the timelines involved” stated Simpson. We cannot spend tens of millions promoting a low carbon future while also spending tens of millions promoting extractives.   There just is not enough time for incompatible policies.”

The current carbon budget for our planet (under a scenario with a 66% chance of reaching 1.5 degrees) will require us to end all emissions within five years based on figures generated by the IPCC and current business as usual emission levels.   Tomorrow’s agreement is not due to come into effect until 2020 putting additional pressure on the ambitions of the global community to keep our planet’s temperature under 1.5 degrees.  We are effectively agreeing to something that cannot be accomplished if we experience any form of delay or if we cannot buy more time in the interim period through an immediate reduction in emissions.  We have both a time and emissions challenge.

“This will require an immediate time bound whole of government approach toward problem solving and will likely require the immediate cooperation of all multi-stakeholders if we are serious about having any chance at success.  We are all going to have to pitch in to help McKenna and Trudeau turn this around on Monday morning if the document tomorrow includes a reference to 1.5 degrees.” Simpson stated.

Simpson, who is from Vancouver, is attending the COP21 meeting after also attending the UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals in New York in September as well as numerous other UN meetings on renewable energy and development.  Climate change is one of the SDGs, which were announced as an integrated and co-dependent global agenda for the period 2015-2030.

For more information or to arrange to arrange to speak with Simpson in Paris contact:

Kareen Wong
Communications Officer
BC Council for International Cooperation
Telephone : 604-899-4475
Cell : 604-341-2895
Email : kareen@bccic.ca



BCCIC is a coalition of British Columbia voluntary international development organizations and provincial branches of such organizations committed to achieving sustainable global development in a peaceful and healthy environment, with social justice, human dignity and participation for all.

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