Fires: Trudeau on climate change: “Forests turned into powder kegs”

Trudeau on climate change: “Forests turned into powder kegs”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issues a statement on the wildfires. photo

© Brian McInnis/The Canadian Press/AP/dpa

Canada is currently in a bad forest fire season. The reason: the climate crisis. The country must take precautions.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed a link to climate change as wildfires have raged in his country and other parts of the world for months. “The disasters we’re looking at in the world aren’t just bad luck. They’re being driven by climate change and the loss of nature,” the 51-year-old said in a speech in Vancouver.

In Canada, it’s clear to see: “Hotter, drier springs leading to hotter, drier summers that are turning the forests into giant powder kegs.” Whole ecosystems that normally counteract climate change were lost in the fires, Trudeau said, setting in motion a vicious cycle.

“Canada is in the middle of its worst forest fire season ever,” the Prime Minister said at the summit of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an institution that finances environmental projects in developing countries. Currently, tens of thousands of people in the Northwest Territories have had to flee the flames.

The fire is also eating through the province of British Columbia, which everyone can see from the ubiquitous smoke in the air. In some way, all Canadians are affected by the fires – even when it comes to housing and caring for evacuees, the premier said.

Improvement of the infrastructure necessary

Trudeau praised the tireless efforts of rescue workers he met in hard-hit communities in the Northwest Territories. He also visited volunteers in British Columbia and presented himself hands-on when loading aid supplies.

The Prime Minister of the Northwest Territories, Caroline Cochrane, meanwhile announced that she would call for more federal aid to improve the infrastructure of the sparsely populated and sometimes impassable region at a meeting with Trudeau. The province cannot look forward to another year with such inadequate infrastructure. “The time for talking is over, we need action now,” Cochrane said, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC News.


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