Canadian Minister says “Canada is Back!” (with tar sands)


Tar sands

Dr James Hansen summarised the danger posed by extracting oil from toxic tar sands when he said, “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

So, with bold announcements about being “back” we should be seeing some bold moves outlawing tar sands oil extraction, yet when the issue was raised in with Minister McKenna she sent out a more cloudy message starting with: “Oil sands are important to the Canadian economy and its important to the Alberta economy”

Binding or non-binding, that is the question?

In the international context of reaching a global deal on limiting emissions that are accelerating climate change Minister Mckenna made the following statement:  “We need an agreement that is going to be legally binding.”  she then goes on to say, “there will be some parts, you know, to reflect the reality, that some countries have concerns with all aspects being binding, that maybe all aspects won’t be binding.”

The Minister starts off by stating the need for binding agreements that force countries to take the necessary action to try and limit the changes in climate that are affecting billions of people around the world. She then, in the same sentence, acknowledges that those countries who have concerns will not have to be bound by the terms. Which is it?

In so many areas where global policy is set, we see laws enacted and enforced, punitive measures inflicted on those countries that break the rules. The difference is that these kinds of agreements are usually to do with trade, or in other words, money. When it comes to setting real policy to safeguard human, as well as many other species lives, the agreements are non-binding. They simply have no teeth.

Time to put the pressure on

The COP21 talks are destined to be a sham if agreements are non-binding. We will see world leaders standing together smiling and shaking hands at the end of the conference and yet they will have achieved nothing for humanity in real terms. The conference will be over and legacies of failure set in stone.

Now is the time for the public all over the world to stand up and demand that these agreements become binding and that those who break the law are punished. There is no option now. We are not solving climate change, we are trying to limit the damages that we know are coming towards us. Everybody has a role to play in this.


canadaisback still1

More posts by Nick Breeze

Addressing a wine industry on the frontline of climate change, Former President Obama said: “We are speeding our car towards the cliff at a very fast rate”. The audience and former president were invited to the launch of this new initiative by 326yr old port company CEO, Adrian Bridge, who is calling for solutions, saying “what we need to do is stop talking and start doing!” Nick Breeze reports.


A three day hearing at the High Court is in process that will decide whether an injunction be granted, effectively preventing any campaigning that might negatively impact the economic interests of UKOG and their associated companies.


The Climate Change Act 10 years on: does it matter? Is it fit for purpose? Are our politicians fit for purpose? Chris Rapley speaks candidly about our preparedness for an ever-rising tide of climate impacts that are already having a disastrous effect on nearly all regions of the world.


The jet stream is responsible for what kind of weather we experience and it’s behaviour is changing. Dr Jennifer Francis, a research professor at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, explains how a combination of factors are going to drastically impact agricultural systems in Europe and Eurasia.

It is easy to look at the fires in southern Europe and think that “global warming” is a regional problem often on someone else doorstep. This misconception could not be further from the truth because the “global” bit refers only to global mean temperature. As scientists start to look at what is happening around the world, it becomes very clear that the interconnected global system is changing for all.


Dr. Saleemul Huq Director International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at the Independent University, Bangladesh. In this short interview Dr Huq talks about his work and explains how those most vulnerable to the effects of manmade climate change are seeking recompense from the worlds greatest polluters.   


In 2014 Marks & Spencer became the only retailer in the world with carbon neutral operations. This huge undertaking across over 1400 stores has been rewarded with international recognition by the UNFCC winning Momentumn For Change award for carbon neutrality.