2018 and the Upcoming Challenges of Canadian Climate Change Policy

By Pumudu K.

Recently, some of us would have seen one of the most haunting images of climate change. It was a video taken by Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen and his team of a gaunt, destitute, starving polar bear on Baffin Island. 

By telling the story of one polar bear, Nicklen hopes to convey a larger message about how a warming climate has deadly consequences. "When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death," said Nicklen. "This is what a starving bear looks like."

Source: National Geographic

As this video and the description clearly states, this is a most desperate situation for such a majestic animal. There was nothing that could have been done to save this particular soul, as even intervening would have only delayed its inevitable end. It’s estimated without intervention, polar bears would be extinct within this century. It is clear that continued action is required if scenes like this are to not become the norm.

2018 will be an important year policy-wise in Canada for climate change. It has been a year since the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was signed, by eight provinces and three territories. It’s expected at least six major policies, bills, or regulations to do with climate change and environmental policy will be implemented this year. This includes plans for a national electricity grid, where provinces or territories with a surplus in cleaner sources of power can help out those attempting to cut back on coal as a source of electricity.

So why is this important, and connected to the dying polar bear of Baffin Island? Experts say that despite the progress made since the inception of the Pan Canadian Framework, it is clear that changes need to be made in order to correspond with changes in our climate and environment. This includes changes such as raising the cost of carbon even higher and raising the emissions targets even further.

It is therefore extremely important that we must continue to monitor policy and legislation in the coming year, so that changes are made more effectively. If not, we will continue to see more heartbreaking images and videos of polar bears and other animals, who depend on our actions for their survival.

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To read more about the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, click here; https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/pan-canadian-framework/climate-change-plan.html

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/12/08/1-year-on-climate-change-framework-needs-to-keep-moving-forward_a_23302064/