VANCOUVER — Global action on climate change is set to kick off a clean-energy revolution, which could rewrite Canada's economy. This is one key finding in the fourth and final instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released today from Copenhagen, Denmark. The report will inform world leaders as they prepare for the UN summit on climate change in Lima, Peru, in December. It focuses on global changes needed to protect human security, economic prosperity and food production from the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.
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The report summarizes climate change risks and solutions. It states that scientists are more certain than ever that human activity — in particular burning fossil fuels and deforestation — is causing climate change. It confirms that global warming impacts such as droughts, flooding, severe weather events and ocean acidification are already being felt around the world.
The David Suzuki Foundation says Canadians must respond quickly to ensure that clean energy becomes a national priority if we want to prevent the most serious effects of climate change. IPCC report findings show that while it is still possible to avoid the worst risks, the window of opportunity is closing. It details massive opportunities in the rapidly growing clean-energy economy if the world triples or quadruples renewable energy production over the next 36 years. This could reduce atmospheric carbon emissions to safe levels.
"As large economies around the world focus on effective responses to climate change, we're seeing a clean-energy revolution taking shape," said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Ian Bruce. "Climate change solutions offer numerous job creation and innovation opportunities for Canada, but only if we work with international leaders to share knowledge and prioritize clean-energy solutions."
Bruce added, "This final report by leading scientists and economists shows that the severity of climate change impacts and extreme weather is not a matter of chance. Our future will be determined by the choices we make now to shrink carbon pollution and co-operate with world leaders in prioritizing clean energy."
Earlier in October, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada issued several audits on the federal government's climate change efforts. They concluded that Canada has no detailed plan to shrink carbon pollution and meet its promised international commitment. Specifically, rules to reduce emissions from Canada's fastest-growing source of emissions, the oil sands, have been drafted but have yet to be enforced since they were first promised eight years ago.
For IPCC media release and report:
Download David Suzuki Foundation media backgrounder (PDF)
For information, contact:
David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager