Nick Breeze - Articles
- Published: 29 January 2016 29 January 2016
In this interview, conducted at COP21, the Minister for the Environment for the Province of Alberta, Shannon Phillips, demonstrates the difficulty facing policymakers in balancing what needs to be achieved for climate safety on a global scale, with the challenges of domestic policy in relation to local industries. It doesn’t help when those industries include the incredibly toxic and highly polluting Alberta tar sands.
Cash cow or burden to world safety?
The tar sands (“oil sands” in Canadian political speak) are a double edged sword for Canada. On the one hand they have been the back-bone of the economy that few Canadian’s would speak too loudly against. On the other they are besieged by collapsing oil prices that make them uneconomical and possibly even, a liability. Add to this endless campaigns by environmentalists highlighting the toxic impact on indigenous peoples lives and the wider impact on increasing global climate disruption.
Tar sands in Alberta Province, Canada Source: DeSmogBlog
"Canada is back?"
Shannon Phillips came to COP21 to spread the word that “Canada is back” along with the Canadian Minister for the Environment & Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. The main issue here is that neither can promise to end the tar sands extraction because they have been left no economic alternative by the previous Harper led administration. However, this may prove to be easier for these politicians than it appears in this interview.
Winds of Economic change
The collapsing price of oil in the markets may force a closure of the tar sands that is beyond the control of any politicians. There is no doubt that Canada is in for some tough times economically but with the growing attractiveness, price-wise, for non-polluting renewables, the transition may prove more rapid and more lucrative that previously anticipated.
It will take political courage to act now, while there is still time, to ensure that policies requiring new thinking are implemented before the spectre of the next elections make such plans more difficult to implement.
We'll start a brave new world...
Shannon Phillips states on more than one occasion in this interview, “we haven’t built the new world yet!” Well no, but we are trying and Phillips could play a big part creating a momentous shift in thinking and action.
More posts by Nick Breeze
XR's Rupert Read in Davos: "The mother of all protests" in 2020
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is the first of the big global conferences of 2020 that will lead us to COP26 in Glasgow where governments will be under enormous pressure to agree safe and realistic action for the future. With Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other protest groups converging in the Swiss alpine town of Davos, I asked their leading spokesperson, Rupert Read, whether the tone being set here is encouraging:
The Journey To COP26 - Glasgow - Starts Now
The UK is readying itself for the presidency of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November 2020. In the wake of the failure of COP25, a British presidency must bring to bear its accumulated powers in diplomacy, persuasion, purpose, and determination, to recreate trust in the Paris accord, kickstarting a new decade of meaningful achievements on safeguarding our collective future.
Interview with Jackie Bond: Extinction Rebellion... radical climate action... 'of course I wanted to join'
Seeing the extent of environmental destruction in 2015, Jackie Bond started volunteering for the Green Party in Southwark, SE London. In the last year, aside for standing for the Greens in Vauxhall and doubled their share of the vote, she has worked extensively with Extinction Rebellion, organising civil actions in pursuit of radical climate action. In this interview with Nick Breeze, Jackie discusses how she got involved in XR, why we need to put the climate crisis at the centre of policymaking, and her strategy for creating change in the UK.
Interview: James Hansen on negative emissions & the baby boomer issue
Longstanding climate change siren, Professor James Hansen talks to Nick Breeze about negative emissions technologies NET's, accelerating emissions, the need for international and intergenerational cooperations. Is he optimistic?
Obama joins launch of Porto Protocol initiative to tackle Climate Change
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.
UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) In Court Battle To Stop Public Protest - Green Party Co-Leader Addresses Crowd
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.