The United Nations climate change summit in Paris produced a global framework (supported by 195 countries) that expressly supports a global peak and decline of greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. The Paris Agreement set an ambition to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has tabled the Paris Agreement for ratification at the UN headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016. The United States and Canada are expected to sign at that time.
The Climate Test is a proposal being delivered jointly by environmental groups and civil society in Canada and the U.S., to President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau calling on them to align their governments' energy policy and decision-making with the demands climate science has laid out for us and the international climate agreements our leaders have forged.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced Canada's intention to apply a climate test to major energy infrastructure proposals. Right now energy policy is based on an outdated model that suggests business as usual for years to come and thus continued burning of fossil fuels at levels that would mean climate catastrophe.
The 'business as usual' approach looks at individual oil pipeline or LNG terminal proposals without worrying about the oil sands mines or gas fields they're connected to. The new 'climate test' approach will include the carbon pollution from the project being proposed and the carbon pollution from the development associated with it.
“Proposed energy infrastructure, such as oil sands pipelines and LNG export terminals, have important climate consequences that must be considered by regulators and elected officials. Approving projects that facilitate emissions growth across Canada is not in the public interest in the absence of a credible plan to meet the country's climate change commitments. Canada will now assess how infrastructure investments support long-term prosperity in a world transitioning to renewable energy. - Erin Flanagan, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute
View February 23, 2016 Climate Test press release
View February 23, 2016 Common Dreams article
View February 23, 2016 Maclean's article
View February 1, 2016 Pembina Institute article
View January 27, 2016 Pembina Institute article
View January 27, 2016 Government of Canada statement