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Canada's Role of International Aid Solving Climate Crisis

Health   Oct 16, 2016 by Rachel Zewde

Recently throughout Canada, Canadians have chosen to contribute to the struggle against climate change. With more government funding to places such as Ghana, we have begun the process of lessening the blows due to global warming. Today more and more people from Canada recognize the necessity to contributing to such causes.

Unfortunately, although this we have more support than ever before, we still have many significant issues left to overcome. Even though almost everyone has heard about global warming, people are not in depth educated about its severity and choose to think of it as a hoax/ something that will happen regardless of our efforts. In order to address such opinions, events such as fundraisers and rallies would greatly increase awareness and help educate about why it is crucial that we as Canadians take up the cause. 

Another vital step would be getting the locals from these developing countries involved in as much as possible. Its important to recognize that although we are contributing the money to theses countries, these are their homes. In my opinion simply sending outside aid to these countries to run these projects are detrimental to their success. We need to understand that walking into another country, claiming that their lifestyle is wrong and then demanding they change it, is in no means going to solve the problem. Hopefully with the furthering of these projects, we eventually leave them to the locals of that country and move on to the next project. 

Although I understand that many of these ideas are incomplete in solving all of our problems with Canada's international aid in other countries, I believe that their implementation will greatly benefit our cause.

Rachel Zewde

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3 Comment(s)

Mudassar Javid
Oct 27, 2016

Great Post! I think you brought up some excellent points in terms of the key problems around the perception of climate change. I especially love the idea of fundraisers as you address two issues with one act (funding and awareness). The idea about keeping locals from developing nations involved is a great point that is often overlooked in the face of adversity.

Overall, I think you did a great job in describing some of the issues at hand as well as some of the initiatives required in the future.

Brian Dupuis
Oct 20, 2016

Rachel, this was very well-written.

One angle I'd like to add: Have you looked into the intersection between climate change mitigation and public health? For example, emissions from coal-fired power plants cause climate change, but they also lead to increases in asthma and other health problems. The increased costs of health care for citizens with asthma can be reduced through the phaseout of coal - an argument on economic and health grounds, without touching upon climate. 

Another angle to approach is that there are mechanisms which amount to international aid, but do not appear as such, explicitly. That's part of the logic of "cap and trade" solutions, where countries trade emissions permits - countries with lower carbon footprints sell their surplus permits to countries with higher footprints, and the cost of that is supposed to encourage the higher-carbon country to decarbonize. Viewed another way, it's a mechanism for getting the higher-carbon country to supply financial aid to lower-carbon countries, which they (in theory) use to develop clean energy (further lowering their emissions, or making sure they don't further contribute to the climate crisis). Canada actually led the way on this once before (the Montreal Protocol was, in essence, a cap and trade system built to manage CFCs, which were causing a hole in the ozone layer).  

Lexi Stein
Oct 18, 2016

Many people believe there is nothing we can do to prevent or slow climate change, but I think what some people miss is that we should still do our best to help those that struggle on a daily basis with climate change. We have a duty to our fellow human beings to at least help them adapt to these changes, if nothing else.

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