May 07, 2012
In British Colombia a group of concerned residents, along with scientists, blocked four trains of Wyoming coal bound for Asia. Thirteen were arrested. Photo courtesy of: 350.org.
The act of civil disobedience was a protest against the on-going burning of coal for energy, since coal is the world's most carbon-intensive fuel and thereby a major driver of climate change.
"The window of opportunity for avoiding a high risk of runaway, irreversible climate change is closing quickly. Within this decade we will either have steered away from disaster, or have locked ourselves onto a dangerous course," Jaccard wrote in a statement prior to his arrest. "Our governments continue to ignore the warnings of scientists and push forward with policies that will accelerate the burning of fossil fuels. Private interests—coal, rail, oil, pipeline companies and the rest—continue to push their profit driven agenda, heedless of the impact on the rest of us. This has to stop."
Last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that governments needed to begin cutting greenhouse gas emissions in five years, or the world will likely see warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius, a level considered unsafe by many climate scientists. But a recent study found that if the world's coal reserves are burnt it would raise global temperatures by 14.8 degrees Celsius (26.6 degrees Fahrenheit), essentially leading to a climate doomsday scenario.
Not long after the IEA warning last year, Canada announced it was withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty. Since signing the Kyoto Protocol, Canada's emissions have risen over 35 percent from 1990 levels, in part due to aggressive exploitation of the tar sands for oil. Canada had pledged under the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions 12 percent by the 2012 deadline.
The thirteen individuals arrested were charged with trespassing, fined $115, and then released.
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Top 20 banks that finance big coal
(11/30/2011) A new report from civil and environmental organizations highlights the top 20 banks that spend the most money on coal, the world's most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Released as officials from around the world meet for the 17th UN Summit on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, the report investigated the funding practices of 93 major private banks, finding that the top five funders of big coal are (in order): JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Barclay's.
IEA warns: five years to slash emissions or face dangerous climate change
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Activists worldwide push for leaving the fossil fuel age behind
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Vietnam plans to build 90 coal plants
(06/12/2011) Vietnam's government has announced plans to build 90 coal-fired plants over the next 15 years even while being listed as among the top 11 most vulnerable nation's to climate change in the world, according to Eco-Business.