Growing urgency for climate change actions | National Union of Public and General Employees

Growing urgency for climate change actions

Scientists weren't pulling any punches as they outlined their findings before the release of their full synthesis in June 2009.

Copenhagen (March 2009) - Early this month at the International Scientific Congress Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions preliminary findings were delivered by the congress' scientific writing team.

The conclusions will be published in a full report June 2009 but a preview was provided for the Danish government and a gathering of 2,500 conference participants.

Most sobering was the news that the worst case scenarios provided the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are becoming a reality.

Measures such as global mean surface temperature, sea level rise, ocean and ice sheet dynamics, ocean acidification and extreme climatic events are all increasing beyond patterns of natural variability.

The findings conclude that areas with the least resources to deal with climate catastophe will be hit the hardest. In fact all contemporary societies will have trouble dealing with climate disruptions that are now being forecast.

The scientific team emphasized the dire need for "rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global and regional action" for the planet's climate to stabilize.

The meetings in Copenhagen, the report scheduled for June and other events, are all part of the build-up to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, scheduled at the end of the year (Dec. 7-18, also in Copenhagen).

Canada's weak targets — with a 2006 baseline — will only increase the risk of crossing tipping points in the decades to come. Immediate action will help to meet medium and long-term targets essential for climate safety.

No excuse for inaction

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has produced a flyer, entitled Go Green Now, that describes the top five actions governments can take to reduce emissions and meet Canada's international obligations.

The issue is not the economy vs. the environment. Effective solutions to both economic woes and environmental concerns can be one in the same. Investing in jobs that protect the environment is key to economic recovery and sustainable solutions.

Another NUPGE publication, Now It's Our Turn, highlights five keys for a just economic recovery, including an emphasis on green jobs and a just transition.

There are no more excuses to avoid fighting climate change. It's urgent, it's possible and it will fortify Canada's long-term economic future.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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