LE BOURGET, France — Any deal at the COP21 summit that cuts greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid potentially dangerous levels of global warming is going to have to rope in two big polluting industries — shipping and aviation.
Both ships and planes are regulated by separate United Nations organizations, and aren’t formally part of the U.N.-led climate talks. The two industries are economic powerhouses, making some countries reluctant to enact expensive regulations.
'I refuse to go home without an agreement that I can look my grandchildren in the eye and be proud of my contribution.'
The COP21 climate talks in Paris reached their halfway point on Saturday, but a deal that experts and global justice campaigners would consider acceptable remains a long way off as the fossil fuel industry and wealthy nations maintain their powerful grip on the direction of the international summit.
A group of radicals gathered on the periphery of the Paris climate talks Wednesday to issue a manifesto. “A transformation of the world’s entire economic system is essential,” their missive began in typically grandiose fashion. “Our economies are hardwired to fossil fuels. To overcome this carbon entanglement, countries need to implement strong climate policies, including strengthening carbon pricing and … .”
It was quite a sight: The CEOs of Alberta’s oilsands projects stood with NDP Premier Rachel Notley to announce Alberta’s climate plan before the climate talks in Paris. The CEOs had the widest smiles.
No wonder. Alberta’s climate plan targets the 28 per cent of Alberta’s greenhouse gases from power generation and transportation (driving), and leaves the 46 per cent of the province’s emissions from the production of oil and gas almost scot-free.
The much-anticipated UN climate summit COP 21 kicked off in Paris on the last weekend of November as heads of state, national delegations, activists, NGOs, and journalists took up residence in a city whose world had been shattered just two weeks before by suicide bombs taking 129 lives. The French government decided that while the COP would go on as planned, the climate movement’s plans for mass demonstrations to bookend the start and finish of the talks would not. This seemed strange, as concerts, Christmas fairs, and sporting events in large public venues were allowed to continue, and i