Listen to the
introduction of
Episode 4: Action
(MP3 audio)

It's the new debate. Now that there is consensus we need to take action on climate change, the debate has moved to what action and how much. Episode four of ClimateWatch is about action – action at the international level, and action, quite literally, in the streets of Canada.
Dave Colquhoun
Dave Colquhoun says...
Government action has centered around negotiations toward international agreements to stabilize and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committed governments to a series of actions. The Kyoto Protocol attempts to specify a timetable and targets for emissions reductions.
Louise Comeau
Louise Comeau says...
Scientists, environmental groups and energy efficiency experts are all quite critical of Canada's more recent positions at international talks on greenhouse gas emissions. They say that Canada committed to stabilize emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000, but instead allowed them to increase. The critics complain that Canada's recent positions to seek credit for carbon sequestration that would have occurred anyway, and other efforts to provide greater "flexibility" in meeting the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, are undermining global progress to ratify the agreement.
Roy Duncan
Roy Duncan says...
Federal Environment Minister David Anderson defends his government' s positions, and argues that a tonne of emissions saved through trading credits with another country or through absorption in "sinks" is the same as a tonne saved through domestic reduction efforts. He insists that the European Economic Union is the barrier to ratification.
Jason Edworthy
Jason Edworthy says...
Others say the debate is unnecessary, that creative approaches to meeting our obligations are good for Canada's economy, and that we should be pursuing much deeper emission cuts. Perhaps fortunately, they aren't waiting for world governments to ratify Kyoto. In the final episode of ClimateWatch civic governments, environmental groups, and businesses outline a menu of progressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Cheeying Ho
Cheeying Ho
Many of these solutions are underway from coast to coast: wind energy will soon power the rapid transit system in Calgary; rooftop gardens and smart growth approaches to urban planning are taking hold in Vancouver; dramatic reductions in energy use are being achieved at some of Canada's largest commercial buildings in Toronto; cold water may soon be pumped from the depths of Lake Ontario to cool those same buildings. [Richard Morris clip here?]

Because emissions occur wherever there is energy use – or as some would say, there are millions of smokestacks to
Jenny Moore
Jennie Moore says...
scrub – there needs to be a comprehensive global plan. However, the good news is that there are also many openings for inventive and enthusiastic response at the community level. And communities aren' t waiting.

It isn't a typical environmental debate. This episode of ClimateWatch is a provocative, but hopeful look at what needs to be done to solve the world's greatest environmental challenge ever. It's about Action.

The following voices (and more) are featured in Action, Episode Four of the ClimateWatch audio series
Peter Bein, University of British ColumbiaJohn Bennett, Sierra ClubMatthew Bramley, Pembina InstituteLouise Comeau, Fed. Cdn MunicipalitiesRoy Duncan, City of HamiltonCheeying HoAl HowatsonLinton Kulak, Shell CanadaJennie Moore, GVRDRichard Morris, City of TorontoGreta Raymond, Petro-CanadaDavid SchindlerRalph Torrie
ClimateWatch is a series of audio documentaries and public service messages about Earth's atmosphere, climate change and global warming. This five CD set is available to university, community, public and commercial radio stations, and to educational and academic users. Follow the Orders link.

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