“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement,” said Trump this week.
Trump said he wants to negotiate for better terms, and that other countries are given an economic edge by the current accord. The U.S., he said, suffers lost jobs, lower wages, closed factories, and diminished economic production because of the agreement.
European countries said that the agreement could not be renegotiated, and China reaffirmed its commitment to the deal.
The U.S. entered the agreement under Obama, who decided to say yes to it without submitting it to the Senate for confirmation — analysts believe it wouldn’t have passed the Senate.
For standing up to the government and nickel miners expanding into the land of his 270-member farming and fishing village, Rodrigo Tot, 60, won the largest award going for grassroots environmental activists.
“An indigenous leader in Guatemala’s Agua Caliente, Rodrigo Tot led his community to a landmark court decision that ordered the government to issue land titles to the Q’eqchi people and kept environmentally destructive nickel mining from expanding into his community,” summarized Goldman Prize.
2017 winners: mark! Lopez (sic) of the U.S.; Uroš Macerl, Slovenia; Prafulla Samantara, India; Wendy Bowman, Australia; Rodrigue Katembo, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Tot.
60 year-old Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi performed his composition “Elegy for the Arctic” last Friday in the Svalbard islands in Norway facing sub-zero temperatures.
A grand piano standing majestically in the middle of melting icebergs is surely not a common sight. Yet, it is not only for the pleasure of the eye or the ear that Greenpeace ice breaking vessel Arctic Sunrisebrought the musician against the backdrop of the Walhlenbergbreen glacier.
This unique performance on a platform floating on the Arctic Ocean was part of a campaign to protect the Arctic environment and send a conservation message to world leaders.
“Being here has been a great experience. I could see the purity and fragility of this area with my own eyes. It is important that we understand the importance of the Arctic, stop the process of destruction and protect it.” Einaudi said in a statement.
The video was released on Tuesday to mark the start of the four-day meeting of the OSPAR Commission in Tenerife, Spain. OSPAR consists of 15 governments of the EU seeking to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.
According to Greenpeace, the Arctic is warming faster than any other place in the world with a continuing loss of sea ice volume.
As we watch this haunting performance accompanied by eerie sounds due to icebergs movements slowly melting with ice chunks crumbling and falling in the Ocean, let us not forget that we are witnessing the spectacular yet dramatic effects of rising temperatures.
The Greenpeace petition to protect the Arctic sea is online here.
“Until they change their view, those who would risk the Arctic should not be heard over those calling to protect what we love, not over Ludovico’s music, not over the piano and the glacier, not over eight million voices.”
Canada’s new prime minister Justin Trudeau was sworn into office Wednesday along with his new federal cabinet, including new Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.
Canadian climate and energy think tank Clean Energy Canada, which is based at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University, welcomed the new environment minister and highlighted the key points the Liberal Party had committed to so far in their promised “real change” environment policy, including:
Invest $100 million more per year in the growth and development of cleantech companies.
Work with the private sector to unlock venture capital.
Shift subsidies from fossil fuels to ‘new and clean technology’.
Support energy efficiency and electric vehicles.
Create a $2 billion fund to support projects that would cut carbon emissions.
Work with the provinces to put a price on carbon pollution and ensure more renewable, clean electricity is being produced.
“We congratulate Canada’s new prime minister and federal cabinet ministers, and we applaud the federal government’s commitment to take a new approach on climate change and clean energy.”
Smith mentioned the upcoming climate change negotiations in Paris and said, “We welcome this government’s efforts to restore Canada’s stature as a constructive voice in the upcoming global climate talks, and to collaborate with the provinces and territories to reduce carbon pollution here at home. Including climate change in Minister McKenna’s title signals how high a priority climate action is to our new federal government.
“Canada has vast, untapped clean energy potential and developing these resources is both a key climate solution and important economic opportunity. As the economic opportunities and environmental benefits related to clean energy span regions and sectors, realizing this potential requires an integrated, whole-government approach.”