Ontario emissions don’t have ‘decisive impact’ on Canada climate goals, province argues

The Doug ford The government’s latest response to a lawsuit alleging that climate policy is unconstitutional is that scholars who doubt basic climate science and Ontario’s emissions have a “decisive impact” on Canada’s achievement of climate goals. Includes testimony from economists who claim that they will not give.

Affidavit of William van Wijngaarden and Philip Cross, Professor of Physics, University of York Fraser InstituteSubmitted to Ontario court Friday. The document shows the latest activity when progressive conservatives try to postpone more than half of their term and dismiss them. A legal challenge filed in late 2019 violates the charter rights of seven young activists over the age of 12 by rolling back goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Claims to have done.

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The legal opinion filed on Friday shows that progressive conservatives are not taking the issue seriously, said Keith Brooks, program director of environmental defense.

“The choice of expert witness reveals facts that should shock the people of Ontario,” Brooks said. “Our government doubts the science of climate change and doesn’t really believe that the state is responsible for action.”

Van Wijngaarden is a member of the CO2 Coalition. The organization’s website aims to promote “the important role carbon dioxide plays in our environment” and its “contribution to our lives and the economy.”

In his affidavit, van Wijngaarden said that increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere minimizes the effects on temperature rises and extreme weather events, as greenhouse gases are already “saturated”. It suggests to suppress it.

In fact, today’s atmospheric CO2 levels are about 48 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution. Last time, when there was so much carbon in the air, no humans existed.

Van Wijngaarden also states that CO2 is a “very beneficial” plant-based food. As part of the Earth’s carbon cycle, plants and other organisms absorb CO2 during photosynthesis, store it, and later release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, humans also emit CO2 primarily by burning fossil fuels, faster than natural carbon sinks can absorb it.

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These emissions trap heat and warm the earth. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is calling for significant reductions in emissions to stop the worst impacts of future climate change.

Cross, who served as Chief Economic Analyst during his 36-year career at Statistics Canada, found that Ontario emissions are a small part of global greenhouse gas emissions and are mostly in Canada’s climate targets. His evidence claims that it has no effect.

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The second of these arguments is clearly wrong, Brooks said. According to federal data, Ontario’s emissions (a little less than 150 megatons in 2020) are the second highest in the country after Alberta, accounting for 22% of the country’s total. By reducing it to zero, Brooks said Canada would reach half its long-term climate target.

Canada is the 10th largest emitter in the world, but has been dwarfed by China, the United States, and the European Union. Cross points out that Ontario’s contribution to the world as a whole is certainly small (about one-third percent), but the idea is that even over 190 countries with lower carbon dioxide emissions than Canada are in the world. Crisis, Brooks said.

Neither van Wijngaarden nor Cross responded to requests for comment from Canada’s National Observer.

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The Ontario government initially sought to deny that young climate activists spent the day in court. The judge who heard the case finally ruled in late 2020 that the case could proceed to a full hearing of the case.

Government lawyers and a legal team representing youth at Ecojustice and Stockwoods LLP will cross-examine each other’s experts over the next six weeks. Activists will submit final discussions and supporting evidence to the court on July 15, and a hearing will be held from September 12-14.

Later this week, the court will receive written submissions from other groups wishing to intervene in the case. Applicants include the Assembly of First Nations, Indigenous Climate Change Countermeasures, Friends of the Earth, Asper Center, and the Canadian Association of Environmental Physicians for Children. It is not clear whether the intervention party’s ruling will be immediate or within the next few weeks.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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