This week on the show Chris Chang-Yen Phillips talks to Green Party leader Elizabeth May about the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal that could leave the environment a casualty of compromise for its member countries. Trevor Chow-Fraser and Natalee Rawat speak to Severn Cullis-Suzuki about her life today—22 years after she delivered her speech that silenced the world for five minutes at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. And finally we’ll take you to Washington, D.C. with Trevor, who spoke to some faith-based organizations who are calling for what they call a Fast For The Climate.
Elizabeth May concerned about trade-offs of Trans-Pacific trade deal
Any time two countries sign a trade agreement, they’re forced to make compromises. Usually, it comes down to removing some tariffs and subsidies that benefit local industries, in exchange for the juicy prize of making it easier to export what our businesses are selling. Canada is in the midst of secret negotiations over one of these agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. With 12 countries working on the agreement, it would govern about 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and one-third of world trade.Canada, the United States, Japan, Mexico, and Vietnam are all involved.
A copy of one of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s chapters leaked on the internet in December. According to Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May, it shows that the agreement will not seriously require members to address environmental issues if they want to join the trade deal — and may actually put them at risk of being sued if they do. Elizabeth May spoke with Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips from her office in Ottawa.
Links: Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Environment Consolidated Text (Wikileaks), Analysis of Leaked Environment Chapter Consolidated Text (Sierra Club, WWF, and NRDC), More thoughts on TPP from Elizabeth May in 2013 (Green Party of Canada)
Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s on Haida Gwaii and the Suzuki Legacy
Twenty-two years ago, a 12 year old girl from Canada and a group of her friends travelled to Brazil for the Rio Earth Summit. That girl was Severn Cullis Suzuki, and the speech she delivered at what is also known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development is better known as ‘The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes’. Today, Suzuki has not only followed on that path of environmental activism protection and conservation, but travels the world in hopes of engaging more people in the conversation about sustainability for future generations. Trevor Chow Fraser and Natalee Rawat spoke to Severn about her life today, with her husband and two children in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, as well as the Suzuki legacy that she continues to strengthen in Canada and around the world.
Links: Severn’s website
You may remember a story that came out of our coverage of Typhoon Haiyan. That’s the category 5 super storm that ripped through the Philippines last November. At the time, the United Nations annual climate change talks were also taking place in Warsaw, Poland. The Philippines lead negotiator at those talks was devastated by news back home. Faced by the lack of progress in the talks, he took a stand. He declared a hunger fast which he maintained throughout the talks. Since then, other organizations involved in the climate talks have latched onto this idea of hunger striking. Trevor Chow-Fraser spoke to some faith-based organizations who are calling for what they call a ‘Fast for the Climate’.
Green Drinks in Whitehorse is held The third Tuesday of every month. People who work in the environmental field (or want to!), or have an interest in the environment, meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. They have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Just say, “are you green,” and they’ll introduce you to whoever is there. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network. The next event is on Tuesday February 18 at 5pm at the Dirty Northern Public House.
Links: Green Drinks- Whitehorse
Join West Kootenay EcoSociety and Community Food Matters for the annual seed swap and sale! It’s being held at the Nelson United Church on Saturday Feb 22, 2014 from 10 to 3pm. Locally-grown seeds are better suited to local conditions than seeds cultivated in far off lands. You can meet the growers, share tips and ideas, and find unique varieties not available in any store or catalogue! If you have seeds to swap, please make sure they have a good germination rate. Interested in setting up a table to sell or trade your seeds? Registration is first-come first-served and by donation. Registration is requested but not required. Set up starts at 9. Tables are provided. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.