November 3, 2021

#COP26 #2021: Some Promising News

By admin

I’ve been sitting in the sidelines while watching world leaders, movie stars activists and lobbyists jet their way to Glasgow, Scotland to discuss how they can collectively save the planet.

The most promising update and news seems to be coming from Canadian Mark Carney. He’s our previous Bank of Canada Governor (as well as that for the UK) and now he’s the special envoy on Climate Action and Finance.

Carney says more than 450 firms — including Canada’s big five chartered banks — have committed to supporting the goals of what’s become known as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

Firms that sign onto the GFANZ agreement are promising to abide by 24 financial initiatives that will signal to their customers, shareholders and investors that they are making green investments a priority.

The initiatives include climate-related reporting of their investments and transparency about climate-related financial risks.

Of course, it’s all well and good to SAY you’re going to abide by a new set of guidelines, but moral suasion still hasn’t convinced many financial companies to stop backing massive carbon-emitting projects. Example: RBC’s investments in pipelines and the oil sector.

But it’s a start.

What makes me appreciate this move is that it’s coming from the top.

I’ve grown weary of hearing about ‘what you can do to stem climate change’.

It’s a little like asking a grain of sand to form a beach.

For example, the CBC ran an interview this morning with a reporter talking about things kids are doing to generate awareness and action.

That’s great, but it’s a shame that we’ve downloaded management of this great, unique planet to kids.

Where are the f*ing adults? What are the Boomers doing to leverage their bulk of population? Leaving it to their grandchildren to clean up their mess. What a shame.

Of course, more solidarity would be nice – a billion people not using plastic bags makes a difference – but until our governments and companies that run them agree to serious changes to environmental, building, transportation and other levels of planning, we’re not going to get anywhere.

Not sure what I mean?

  • No more diesel buses to be purchased for public transit
  • No roads get approved unless they make a commitment to substantial separate bike/pedestrain lanes (ie. something that’s at least 2 metres wide and SEPARATE from roads)
  • No new suburban developments unless builders can show that there will be a ‘net zero’ impact for their projects (more renewable installs, etc)
  • Substantial incentives for retrofits for existing homes, including electric car charging
  • Mandatory incentives across the board for electric cars and transportation
  • Green roofs & buildings
  • A stronger commitment to local food and retail production, thereby shortening delivery cycles and distances
  • Better write-offs for investments in green / net-zero producing companies (including TFSAs and RRSPs/RESPs)

And I’m not an expert … but there’s a few good ideas nonetheless.

The point is that we can’t legislate these changes on an individual basis and we need governments to take action in a serious way.