The Trudeau government began its second term pledging tougher 2030 carbon targets, a net-zero target for 2050, greater climate accountability, and a whole-of-government response to the climate crisis. With the focus now shifting to building back better through green recovery investments, will Canada show up as a climate leader or laggard, at home and abroad?
Photo credit: Green Energy Futures (Flickr Creative Commons)
Accountability Bill Lacks ‘Clear Path’ to Net-Zero Targets, Climate Scientist Warns Ottawa
Just days after unveiling its long-awaited Net-Zero Advisory Body, the Canadian government is receiving some pointed advice on how to toughen up its new climate accountability framework, Bill C-12, to deliver on a legally-binding net-zero target by 2050.
Canada Needs a ZEV Target This Year to Meet Climate Targets, Analyst Warns
It’s essential for Canada to deliver on a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate this year if it wants to stay true to its commitments under the Paris Agreement, Équiterre mobility analyst Andréanne Brazeau writes in a recent post for Policy Options.
Federal Committee Undercuts Net-Zero Pledge by Making Airtightness Testing Voluntary
The federal committee responsible for building code development is undercutting Canada’s commitment to a net-zero future by making airtightness testing a voluntary measure, Efficiency Canada warns in a new blog post.
Big City Mayors Cheer as Trudeau Offers Permanent Federal Transit Funding
The federal Liberal government is promising cash-strapped cities billions of dollars in permanent funding for their public transit systems—though most of the money won’t start flowing until later in the decade.
Canada Can Thrive on Road to Net-Zero if Governments Make Good Decisions Now
Canada has multiple opportunities to thrive along the road to a net-zero economy by 2050 as long as governments make the right decisions now, concludes a study released this week by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC).
Federal Green Economy Procurement May Kick Off in October, Government Relations Specialist Advises
A Toronto-based government relations specialist is advising clean transition entrepreneurs to tentatively mark October in their calendars for the first signs of federal procurement supporting a Build Back Better agenda.
New Ministerial Mandate Letters Lay Out Federal Agenda on Climate, Green Recovery
While the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is still necessarily taking up most of the oxygen on Parliament Hill, climate action and a green recovery figure fairly prominently in a new batch of ministerial mandate letters released last Thursday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Haley: $170/Tonne Carbon Price Still Needs Green Industrial Policy to Set Direction
While Canada’s pledge to achieve a carbon price of C$170 by 2030 gives the country “a credible shot” at hitting its 2030 climate targets, the invisible hand of the marketplace won’t deliver a just transition to a lower-carbon economy without a green industrial policy to chart the course, Broadbent Institute policy fellow Brendan Haley argues in a recent blog post.
Federal Clean Fuel Standard Aims for 21-Megatonne Emissions Cut by 2030
Environment and Climate Change Canada has published draft rules for a new Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) that it says would focus primarily on fossil refineries, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from liquid fuels by nearly 21 million tonnes by 2030, and drive up the cost of a litre of gasoline by up to 11¢.
Opinion: Federal Nuclear Plan Confuses Science Fiction with Real Energy Technologies
Canada’s action plan for small modular nuclear reactors is nothing more than science fiction, writes analyst Burgess Langshaw-Power: idle dreams of an indefinite group of technologies which may be ready in a decade. In the meantime, renewable energy continues to leap ahead, mostly without any federal support.
Ottawa Releases Flurry of New Announcements on Tree Planting, Hydrogen, Clean Fuels, SMRs
The Trudeau government is continuing its flurry of year-end policy moves on climate change and energy, with announcements earlier this week on hydrogen strategy and tree planting and more news expected today on a narrowed Clean Fuel Standard and small modular nuclear reactors.
Federal Climate Plan Garners Positive Response, Creates ‘Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up Moment’ for Alberta Fossils
A new federal climate strategy with a C$170-per-tonne carbon price at its core is receiving a largely positive response in initial media coverage, with news outlets and pundits crediting the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with developing a program that might work—and telling provincial premiers to get with the program.
With $170/Tonne Carbon Price, $15B in New Spending, Canada’s 2030 Carbon Target Still Falls Far Short
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an updated national climate plan Friday that includes a $170-per-tonne carbon price in 2030, C$15 billion in new climate spending, a more modest Clean Fuel Standard, and a slight increase in the country’s 2030 carbon reduction goal—just barely enough to keep the government’s promise to boost its ambition beyond the 30% target originally adopted by the Stephen Harper government in 2015.
Pembina Urges National Emission Reduction Strategy, Funding for Freight Sector
A new report calls for Ottawa to provide financial support to help the freight transportation industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of zero-emission vehicles and charging stations.
Tougher Climate Policies Make Trans Mountain a Money-Loser, Parliamentary Budget Officer Warns [Sign-on]
The Trans Mountain pipeline is still a profitable venture for the federal government, but could end up losing money as a result of tougher climate change policies, declining oil demand, construction delays, and rising costs, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux concludes in a report released yesterday.
BREAKING: Canada Places Dead Last on Energy Use, Fourth-Last Overall in Global Climate Change Performance Index
Canada posts the fourth-worst climate performance in the world, ahead only of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, and no country is consistent with the overall targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement, in the latest edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) published this morning by Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute, and Climate Action Network-International.
Don’t Let Fossil-Derived Hydrogen Undermine New Federal Strategy, Climate Hawks Urge
The Canadian government has a chance to tap into renewably-produced hydrogen as a way to decarbonize key sectors of the economy, but not if it allows that potential to be “undermined by a focus on fossil fuel-derived hydrogen,” a list of 27 environmental organizations and other non-profits warned last week in a letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and three of his cabinet colleagues.
Opinion: For Ottawa, Delayed Climate Action Could Mean Relying on ‘Expensive, Unproven’ Carbon Capture Technologies
Last month, the federal government released its long awaited plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Bill C-12, if passed, commits Canada to “binding” targets every five years as of 2030 with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Fiscal Update Delivers ‘Downpayment’, Falls Short of Full Funding for Green Recovery
Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is receiving mixed reviews for the green components of a Fall Economic Statement that includes $5,000 grants to help households fund energy retrofits, a $150-million boost for zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, nearly $4 billion over 10 years for a list of nature-based climate solutions, and a promise of permanent funding for public transit systems.
Home Retrofit Grants Won’t Deliver the Energy Savings the Climate Crisis Demands, Analysts Warn
Impatience is building among policy analysts behind the push for mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of Canada’s post-pandemic green recovery, after this week’s Fall Economic Statement from Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland came up with just a fraction of the funding and none of the design and structure that a comprehensive program would require.
Freeland Plans Fiscal Update Today as Energy Regulator Report Renews Trans Mountain Opposition
With Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland due to release her long-awaited fiscal update today, the federal government is coming under new pressure to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an economic “white elephant” whose “justification has evaporated” given the threat it poses to Indigenous rights and endangered species.
Ottawa’s Greening of Government Plan Foresees Building Retrofits, 80% Hybrid/Electric Fleet by 2030
Building retrofits, more telecommuting, and a fleet consisting of 80% hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030 are among the highlights of a greening of government strategy unveiled yesterday by Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.
Globe and Mail: ‘Underwhelming’ Federal Climate Bill Leaves Accountability to Future Governments
The Trudeau government is taking criticism for introducing an “underwhelming” climate accountability bill last week that would require future governments, but not the present one, to live up to their carbon reduction commitments one.
Climate Hawks Hail Milestone, Flag Major Gaps in Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Bill
Canadian climate analysts and advocates are marking a milestone after the Trudeau government tabled its long-awaited climate accountability legislation in the House of Commons yesterday, while raising flags about major shortcomings in the bill.
Cities, Transit Agencies Urge Federal Investment in Expanded Networks, Zero-Emission Fleets
Transit is having a moment toward the top of the agenda for economic recovery investment requests, with both the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and a national transit consortium urging Ottawa to make it a priority for federal spending.
Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Legislation Could Appear This Week
The Trudeau government is expected to release its long-awaited climate accountability legislation as soon as this week, complete with a formal commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and legally binding five-year targets along the way. But CBC says it won’t include the enforcement mechanism that climate policy analysts consider essential to make the plan work.
In Conversation: Canada is Weakening Methane Regulations that Need to be Toughened, Marshall Says
Dale Marshall is National Climate Program Manager at Environmental Defence Canada, a veteran of many climate finance discussions at United Nations climate conferences, and one of the Canadian climate community’s specialists on methane regulations. In this feature interview, he talks about Canada’s failure to seize one of the quickest, easiest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explains what could possibly go wrong when Ottawa cedes its authority for methane controls to the three western provinces.
Federal Regulator Allows Oil Drilling in Atlantic Marine Refuge as Fossils Abandon Newfoundland Offshore
A federal regulator is taking criticism from East Coast environment and biodiversity advocates after allowing BP Canada to drill for oil in an environmentally sensitive marine refuge in the Atlantic Ocean.
In Conversation: Biden-Harris Climate Plans Put Canada, U.S. ‘on the Same Pathway Together’, MacNab Says
Josha MacNab, National Director of Policy and Strategy at the Pembina Institute, recently published a Hill Times op ed on the Biden administration, Canada, and climate action. In this interview, she talks about what’s next as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to assume office January 20.
Wilkinson Promises New 2030 Target in ‘Very Near Term’ as Opposition MPs Flag Delays
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson promised to announce measures to exceed Canada’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions in the “very near term”, but refused to say when the government’s wider climate plan would be released, under questioning by opposition MPs at the House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
Ottawa Can’t Predict Emission Cuts from New Methane Controls
The federal government is trying out a revamped set of fossil industry incentives to hit its target of reducing methane emissions 40 to 45% by 2025, but at least three environmental groups in Canada and one in the United States say Ottawa could get better results if it just regulated the companies’ emissions.
$100M Federal Grant Pays Fossils for R&D They Should Fund Themselves, Climate Hawks Contend
The Trudeau government faced immediate criticism yesterday after re-announcing a four-year, C$100-million budget promise from March 2019 to help the fossil industry commercialize emerging technologies.
IEEFA Foresees ‘Stranded Assets, Depleted Finance’ in British Columbia’s LNG Strategy
The Conference Board of Canada stands accused of “doubling down on a bad hand” after the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reviewed its latest assessment of British Columbia’s prospects for a successful liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom.
Federal Nuclear Funding Announcement a ‘Dirty, Dangerous Distraction’, 30 Groups Warn
A collection of 30 local, regional, and national public interest organizations from across the country is rallying against next-generation nuclear power development after the federal government announced a C$20-million infusion for the industry tied to its 2050 net-zero emissions target.
Building Retrofits, Clean Transportation Lead Green Budget Coalition’s 2020 Recommendations
The Green Budget Coalition is calling on the Trudeau government to include C$10 billion for building energy retrofits, $4.8 billion for clean transportation, $4.8 billion for protected areas, and $2.6 billion for nature-based climate solutions in its 2020 budget.
Leaked 2018 Strategy Proposed ‘Broader Than Oil’ Coalition to Undercut Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard
A top communications and government relations firm led by long-time Conservative Party strategist Jaime Watt developed a confidential plan to undercut support for the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by convincing Canadians that “fighting climate change is a losing battle,” according to leaked documents released this week by Greenpeace Canada.
Canada’s Plastics Reduction Plan Earns Praise, Criticism
The Canadian government’s declared intent to ban certain single-use plastics and start leading on recycled content standards and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs has met with backlash, praise, and demands that more be done.
No-Strings Federal Bailout for Newfoundland Fossils Followed Rushed, Incomplete Impact Assessment
Three leading environmental organizations are criticizing Ottawa’s decision to hand over C$320 million to the offshore oil sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, after a federal science review found fault with a new regulation that permits new exploratory drilling projects without further environmental assessment or public input.
Throne Speech Quietly Declares Support for Nuclear Reactor Development, New Brunswick Opponent Warns
You would have missed it if you blinked (we did, too), but anti-nuclear advocates say the federal Speech from the Throne two weeks ago contained a clear signal of support for an industry with a “legacy of toxic radioactive waste” now trying to associate itself with Canada’s net-zero emissions target.
Financing Canadian Carbon Reduction Target is ‘Very Doable’, ‘Eminently Achievable’, Researchers Conclude
A new report released yesterday by Queen’s University’s Institute for Sustainable Finance concludes that meeting Canada’s Harper-era greenhouse gas reduction targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement would cost just a fraction of a percent of GDP—though the Trudeau government would still have to boost its climate investments, and the analysis relies on carbon capture technologies that are far from being proven or cost-effective.
Wilkinson Promises Five-Year Emissions Targets While O’Regan Announces $320 Million for Newfoundland Fossil Industry
Within hours of each other Friday, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson vowed that a series of five-year emissions targets through 2050 will be his top legislative priority this fall, while Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan unveiled a C$320-million cash infusion for the struggling fossil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit to Begin Hearings This Week
Even as it declares that its recovery plans are rooted in climate action, the Canadian government is working hard to dismiss a climate injury suit launched a year ago by 15 Canadian youth activists, including a teenager from Haida Gwaii who is witnessing the devastation of rising seas first hand.
Climate Hawk Declares ‘Most Progressive Throne Speech in a Generation’ as Ottawa Pledges Tougher Emission Targets, Links Cleantech to Million-Job Strategy
Climate change moved to the centre of Canada’s million-job recovery strategy, the Trudeau government pledged immediate action on more ambitious carbon reduction targets, neither the fossil nor the nuclear industry rated a single explicit mention, and a government-appointed senator was more deeply critical than many of the country’s leading campaign organizations as Governor General Julie Payette read a much-anticipated Speech from the Throne Wednesday afternoon.
In Conversation: After a ‘Bold’ Throne Speech, the Details Come Next, St-Pierre Says
Éric St-Pierre is Executive Director of the Trottier Family Foundation in Montreal. He recently coordinated an opinion piece from a dozen Canadian philanthropic foundations that set expectations for the Throne Speech and a green recovery. In this interview, he talks about the highlights and gaps in the speech, the next steps for the government, and the hard work ahead for the climate community.
Wilkinson Says COVID Won’t Hijack Canada’s Green Agenda as Climate Community Demands Commitments, O’Regan Touts Nuclear
On the eve of this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is declaring that the pandemic won’t hijack Canada’s green agenda, adding that “if left unaddressed, climate change will have more of an impact on Canadians than COVID-19,” CTV News reports.
Pre-Throne Speech Commentary Stresses Climate Impacts, Green Recovery
With the wait for the federal Speech from the Throne winding down to the last couple of days, news analysts are pointing to air quality issues in the west and the need for a clean economy industrial strategy as evidence that now is the time for the Trudeau government to embrace a green recovery.
Energy Retrofits, Green Grids, ZEVs Lead Recommendations from Resilient Recovery Task Force
A $27-billion energy retrofit program, stepped-up investment in green electricity, and building an “industrial ecosystem” for zero-emission vehicles are lead elements of a five-year, $55.4-billion green investment program released Wednesday by the 15-member Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.
Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction
A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.
Exclusive: NDP Riding Presidents Push Singh, 150 MPs and Staffers Talk Green Recovery, as Throne Speech Looms
The federal New Democratic Party leadership is taking grassroot fire for failing to use its position in a minority parliament to press the Trudeau government for tougher green recovery measures in its hotly-anticipated Speech from the Throne September 23.
Sustainable City Investments Drive COVID-19 Recovery, Global Coalition Concludes
Municipalities are the cornerstone of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and low-carbon investments and infrastructure will deliver the jobs, resilience, and support for marginalized and vulnerable populations the Trudeau government is expected to emphasize in its Speech from the Throne next week, according to the lead author of a new report on greening the global recovery through cities.
Fossils Troll for Relief as Throne Speech Focus Veers Toward Housing, Income Support
With the latest news and commentary out of Ottawa pointing to housing, employment insurance reform, and long-term care as main focal points for the September 23 Speech from the Throne, the fossil industry is pushing the Trudeau government for more bailout dollars and regulatory delays as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Husky Seeks Government Bailout for $2.2-Billion Fossil Project Off Newfoundland Coast
Husky Energy is looking to federal and provincial governments for a bailout for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project, an oil and gas drilling venture off the Newfoundland coast that it had planned to expand until the COVID-19 pandemic sent global fossil markets into a tailspin.
The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 2)
This is the second of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.
Green Recovery Investments May Depend on Making Monetary Theory Cool Again
With the Trudeau government expected to introduce a vision for a just, green recovery in its Speech from the Throne later this month, a profound shift in national monetary policy—yes, monetary policy—is emerging as a cornerstone of the new strategy.
September Throne Speech Will Include ‘Ambitious Green Agenda’, Trudeau Says
The federal government’s Speech from the Throne will lay out an “ambitious green agenda” that sets the stage for a “long-term recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, leads the way on Canada’s shift to renewable energy and response to the climate crisis, and looks out for people working in industries affected by the transition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News Wednesday.
O’Toole Needs a Credible Climate Plan to Win a Federal Election, Analysts Say
Newly-elected Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will have a harder time delivering on his promise to form a national government if he can’t convince Canadians he cares about climate change and has a plan to do something about it, according to opinion analysts cited in The Narwhal’s explainer on the new leader and his policies.
E4D Urges Ottawa to Enshrine Chief Science Advisor Position in Legislation [Sign-On]
Three years after the Trudeau government appointed Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer, Evidence for Democracy is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains to formalize the position in legislation and add C$2 million per year to Nemer’s budget.
Coalspur Demands Judicial Review of Federal Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion
The company behind the Vista coal mine is calling for a judicial review of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s decision to order an environmental assessment of its controversial plans to expand its operations.
Feds Won’t Commit to Renewal as Popular ZEV Rebate Nears Funding Limit
The federal government isn’t saying whether it will top up funding for its C$300-million electric vehicle purchase incentive, even though Transport Canada figures show 75% of the funds used up in the first 15 months of the three-year program.
UPDATED: Turnover at Finance Opens Door for a ‘Fundamental Retooling of the Canadian Economy’
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s dramatic resignation last night opens up an opportunity for his successor to embrace a green and just recovery as a cornerstone of the federal government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, leading climate and energy strategists have told The Energy Mix.
O’Regan Touts Bright Future for Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Industry Investment Plunges 30%
Canada’s tar sands/oil sands have a continuing and growing role to play, with their output increasing over the shorter and longer term as the country strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan told the Financial Times in an interview published this week.
Carney Advises Ottawa on Pandemic Recovery as Speculation Swirls Around Morneau’s Future
Summer speculation was swirling in Ottawa this week with the news that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is back in the country and advising the federal government on next steps in its economic recovery plan. Carney’s arrival coincided with persistent rumours that Finance Minister Bill Morneau may soon be out of a job, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went out of his way yesterday to express confidence in Morneau.
Weekend Tour Kicks Off Six-Week Push to Delay Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion
More than 200 people signed up for a series of socially-distanced, small-group weekend tours of a conservation area in British Columbia, followed by a round of “know-your-rights training”, as campaign organizations prepared for a critical six weeks in their bid to halt construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
In Conversation: Canadians Must Keep Up the Pressure for Green Recovery, Sen. Rosa Galvez Says
Sen. Rosa Galvez chaired the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Laval University, where she led a research project on the consequences of the explosion and spill of an oil-carrying freight train in Lac Mégantic before she was appointed to the Canadian Senate on November 2, 2016. As a member of the Senate National Finance Committee, she played a leading role in a review of Canada’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, she assesses the federal government’s record so far in building a green recovery that focuses on people first.
Beer: Alberta Should Treat Total’s $9.3-Billion Write-Off as a Wake-Up Call, Not a Cheap Shot
After French petroleum giant Total wrote off C$9.3 billion in stranded assets in the tar sands/oil sands, the Jason Kenney government had the option of treating the announcement as a wake-up call, not a cheap shot. And Albertans were hurt first and worst when their government made the wrong choice, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post for The Narwhal.
Gray: Canada Loses if Trudeau Bets on a Second White House Term for Trump
The Trudeau government appears to be betting on a second White House term for Donald Trump, Environmental Defence Executive Director Tim Gray observes in a blog post this week. And that means Ottawa could be caught offside if Joe Biden wins the presidency, with his plan for a US$2-trillion green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twitter Storm Greets Wilkinson Defence After Pandemic Produces 25% Cut in Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is pushing back on Twitter—and receiving a small Twitter storm in return—after The Canadian Press reported a 25% cut in the country’s environmental monitoring program for the Alberta tar sands/oil sands due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Colossal Fossil Total Declares $9.3B in Stranded Assets in Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands
French colossal fossil Total sent a shockwave through the Alberta oilpatch Wednesday with the announcement that it is writing off C$9.3 billion in assets in the tar sands/oil sands, including $7.3 billion in the Fort Hills mine, which opened just 2½ years ago, and the Surmont thermal oilsands project.
Fossil Lobby Demands Changes to ‘Overly Prescriptive’ Federal Bailout Rules
Canada’s fossil lobby is complaining about federal bailout programs designed to help companies weather the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming the conditions they’re required to meet are “ineffective and overly prescriptive,” the Globe and Mail reports.
Robinson: Canada’s Climate Inaction Could Undermine ‘Historic Reputation for Environmental Leadership’
Canada is at risk of undermining its “historic reputation for environmental leadership” if it fails to match its words on climate change and an ambitious green recovery with action, former Irish president and United Nations human rights commissioner Mary Robinson writes in a post this week for the Globe and Mail.
Canada, U.S. Pursue ‘Joint Interest’ in Getting Pipelines Built
Canada has opened discussions with the Trump administration to find a path forward for oil pipeline projects, Bloomberg News is reporting this week, citing a Globe and Mail interview with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.
Taxpayer Funds Could Trigger Pandemic Recovery Loans Above $100 Million Per Fossil Company, EDC Says
Loan guarantees and other forms of financial risk management from Export Development Canada (EDC) could clear the way for bank loans well in excess of C$100 million to help individual fossil fuel companies weather the financial storm produced by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving taxpayers to help cover the banks’ losses if the companies can’t make good on their borrowing, The Energy Mix has learned.
Federal Procurement Could Boost Cleantech Innovation, Bains Says
The federal government’s successful use of its purchasing power to get medical equipment produced during the COVID-19 pandemic might help shift a years-long debate over the role of government procurement in supporting start-up cleantech companies.
Task Force Urges $50B for ‘Bold’, Resilient Recovery, Including $27B for Building Retrofits
An independent task force of Canadian finance and policy experts is calling on the federal government to invest C$50 billion over the next five years in five “bold moves for a resilient recovery”, with a $27-billion building energy retrofit program leading a list of 22 specific policy measures.
In Conversation: Decisions on Canada’s Green Recovery Could Still Go Either Way, Petrevan Says
Sarah Petrevan is Policy Director at Clean Energy Canada, and one of the key climate advocates monitoring Ottawa’s progress toward a just, green recovery. With Canadians waiting and watching to see what form that recovery will take, she shares her latest assessment of where the discussion stands.
Details Scarce as Canada Pledges to Triple Annual Energy Efficiency Improvements
The federal government is promising to triple the pace of Canada’s energy efficiency improvements to 3% per year, and the country’s energy efficiency advocacy network, Efficiency Canada, is out with a three-point plan to get started down that path.
Canada Flunks Climate Test with ‘Policy Full of Loopholes’ for Assessing New Projects
Canada’s new impact assessment rules for power plants, pipelines, and other major infrastructure fall far short of the climate test environmental organizations have been calling for, and only require a path to net-zero emissions for projects that will still be in operation in 2050, under a new federal framework unveiled last week.
Canada’s Pandemic Response Sends $16 Billion to Fossils, Just $300 Million to Clean Energy, Global Energy Policy Tracker Shows
Canada’s pandemic response to date has sent just C$300 million to clean energy, compared to more than $16 billion to fossil fuels, according to new data released this week by Energy Policy Tracker, a joint effort by multiple civil society organizations including the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
Wilkinson Sets End-of-July Deadline to Decide on Vista Coal Mine Review
Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has given himself until the end of this month to decide whether to order a federal environmental assessment of a controversial expansion plan for the Vista coal mine near Hinton, Alberta.
Radwanski: Canada Cautious on Green Recovery Despite Pledging Climate Leadership
With governments elsewhere unveiling ambitious green stimulus plans in response to the economic crash brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has been unaccountably cautious to join the club, Globe and Mail columnist Adam Radwanski writes in a post published earlier this week.
Open Letter to Wilkinson Urges Environmental Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion
A group of 47 Canadian environmental, Indigenous, health, civil society, and faith organizations issued an open letter this week calling on Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to order an environmental assessment for Coalspur Mines Ltd.’s plan to expand its Vista mine near Hinton, Alberta.
Kenney Government Announces $1 Billion for Petrochemicals, Continuing Push for Keystone XL
The Jason Kenney government has made a flurry of funding announcements aimed at “diversifying” Alberta into its next wave of dependence on fossil fuels, with a continuing push to get the Keystone XL pipeline built, a new agency to woo foreign investors, and C$1 billion over 10 years earmarked to bring new petrochemical capacity to the economically beleaguered province.
Global Development Banks’ Recovery Plans Must Omit Fossil Funding, Advocates Say
When 450 global development banks with their hands on US$2 trillion in public funds meet in November to chart their contribution to the pandemic recovery, they must declare an end to international financing for fossil fuels, three leading finance and development advocates argue in a post this week for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
A weekend analysis piece on CBC News lays out the “tightrope” Finance Minister Bill Morneau is walking as he tries to manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis—and indirectly points toward the just, green recovery that is still the most realistic cornerstone for the post-pandemic economy.
Carbon Price Won’t Suffice to Drive Green Transition, Smart Prosperity Argues
A research associate with Ottawa’s Smart Prosperity Institute is taking aim at the curious notion that a carbon price will be enough to push Canada’s economy onto a low-carbon path, without a boost from green stimulus spending.
Details on Diversification Scarce as Alberta Cuts Corporate Taxes, Reannounces Keystone Subsidy
A faster corporate tax cut, a C$600-million infrastructure investment, and reannounced funding that was already allocated in the province’s spring budget are key elements of a highly-touted, $10-billion recovery plan for Alberta that is already taking fire for being far more tame and fuzzy than its architects claim.
O’Regan’s Net-Zero ‘Moon Shot’ Emphasizes CCS, Hydrogen, Small Modular Reactors
Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is calling for a “moon shot” to hit the federal government’s net-zero emissions target, but he may not be thinking of the technologies that are actually ready to get the job done by 2050.
Momentum Builds for Canadian Climate Accountability Act, Long-Term Carbon Targets
Momentum for Canadian climate accountability legislation is beginning to build, with campaigners laying out five pillars for a federal accountability act, a national think tank arguing the benefits of legislated milestones, and a CBC News analysis laying out how such a law might work in practice.
Federal Pandemic Relief Still Hasn’t Arrived, Fossils Say
The Canadian fossil industry is up in arms that not a single oil and gas company has been approved for a federal bridge loan to get them through the economic crash brought on by the pandemic, nearly three months after Finance Minister Bill Morneau said relief was “hours or days away”.
Next Six Months Will Determine Success of Green Recovery, IEA Warns
The world’s governments can either spend the next three years and US$3 trillion entrenching the greenhouse gas emission cuts that accompanied the pandemic lockdown and creating a new narrative on climate change, or allow a record increase in oil demand next year that will push consumption back toward historic levels, the International Energy Agency warned this week.
Ottawa Mulls Hydrogen and EV Strategies as Economic Recovery Plan Takes Shape
The federal government is simultaneously developing a new hydrogen strategy and working through some of the details and complexities of stepped-up electric vehicle deployment as the country’s green recovery plans continue to take shape, according to two recent reports in the Globe and Mail.
McCarthy: Merging Climate, Racial Justice Concerns Would Deliver Just, Green Recovery
Reducing carbon pollution and averting the worst impacts of climate change is an essential part of the fight for racial justice, Ottawa-based policy advisor and former Globe and Mail energy reporter Shawn McCarthy writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.
Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030
Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Erin O’Toole declares fossil fuel subsidies “a form of corporate welfare” and promises to phase them out if he ever forms a government, in a 50-page policy platform released Wednesday.
EDC Must Stop Financing Fossil Projects, Embrace Climate Disclosure, Consultants Urge
Export Development Canada will need to stop financing fossil fuel projects, do a better job of climate reporting and disclosure, and show broader leadership on sustainable finance and climate justice if it plans to bring its investment and subsidy decisions in line with Canadian climate policy, according to a stinging technical assessment released earlier this week by Ottawa-based Horizon Advisors.
Analysis: Fossil Lobby Keeps Pitching as Federal Green Recovery Discussions Get Complicated
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) showed a previously unsuspected sense of humour last week, pitching the federal government for another round of tax breaks that would “level the investment playing field” and help it attract financial support in its moment of greatest need.
Federal Officials Express Doubts on Post-COVID Recovery Package as Cabinet Seeks Free Consulting Advice
Federal government department officials may be throwing cold water on the idea of a green recovery package—or any economic recovery package at all—the Globe and Mail reported last Friday, in a story that focused mainly on the Trudeau government turning to one of the world’s biggest management consulting firms for free advice on its post-pandemic strategy.
Here’s What Canada’s Climate Strategy Would Look Like if it were Modelled on the COVID-19 Response
Canada’s approach to climate change would look a lot different if it were modelled on the all-in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, five of the country’s leading climate advocates argue this week in an opinion piece published simultaneously in The Hill Times and La Presse.
Hundreds of Companies, Regional Governments Demand Green Recovery Post-Pandemic
The pressure on governments to make the post-pandemic economic stimulus a green recovery continues to intensify, with 155 multinational companies and more than 220 state and regional governments joining the call, and business analysts suggesting the right recovery package could make 2019 the year of peak carbon while delivering badly-needed job creation.
Fossils Complain About Tough Terms Attached to Canadian Pandemic Relief
Fossil companies are complaining bitterly about the conditions the federal government has placed on the pandemic relief loans it’s making available to them, claiming that not a single oilpatch business has benefited from the program.
Toronto Transit Faces 50% Service Cut Without Federal, Provincial Funding [Urgent Sign-On]
Public transit advocates have launched an emergency appeal for federal funding for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), after Mayor John Tory announced the system faces a 50% service cut without federal and provincial support.
Newfoundland Fossils Demand Big Federal Bailout While Drilling Program Faces Legal Challenge
Fossils in Newfoundland and Labrador are warning that the industry crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has thrown exploration commitments worth billions of dollars into limbo, raising questions about the province’s previous plan to double the size of its oil and gas sector by 2030.
BREAKING: Canada Leads G20 in Per Capita Public Financing to Oil and Gas
Canada has lavished at least C$13.8 billion per year in public financing on oil and gas projects since signing on to the Paris climate agreement, making it the fossil industry’s highest per capita source of public finance in the G20, and their second-largest overall benefactor after China, according to a blistering new report issued today by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth U.S.
Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges
The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.
OCI: ‘Transformational Moment’ Is Last, Best Chance to Break from Fossils
The slow emergence from pandemic lockdown is the “last, best chance to plan for the economy we need to stay within 1.5°C and avoid the worst chaos of global warming,” declares a recent five-point call to policy-makers to cooperate in a rapid worldwide phaseout out of fossil fuels.
Pandemic Delays Climate Plan Update as Ottawa Mulls Green Recovery Options
A recent wave of policy advocacy aimed at shaping the Canadian government’s green economic stimulus package is beginning to generate media coverage of its own, with the Globe and Mail reporting this week on the “frenzy” now under way “to determine just how—and how much—the federal government’s strategy for economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown will be shaped by its climate change agenda.”
Better EV Policies Could Jump-Start $110 Billion in Canadian GDP
A shift in policy could jump-start Canada’s domestic EV market, generating nearly 800,000 jobs and $110 billion in GDP by 2040, according to a recent report co-authored by the International Council on Clean Transportation and the Pembina Institute.
Analysts Point to Green Recovery as Route to ‘Shovel-Worthy Decade’
From prominent international economists to an (almost as prominent?) Canadian think tank, there’s a widening consensus that green investment in projects that are “shovel-worthy” as well as “shovel-ready” will be the best way to restore economies ravaged by the coronavirus lockdown while simultaneously addressing the climate crisis.
Haley: Governments Need Long-Term Investment to Get Green Stimulus Right
Governments that hope to recapture the gains and avoid the pitfalls of the last big round of economic stimulus more than a decade ago should double down on decarbonization and energy efficiency programs—and take a careful look at the thinking of 1930s-era economist John Maynard Keynes for a guide to the best strategic investments, says Broadbent Institute Policy Fellow Brendan Haley.
Guilbeault, McKenna, Wilkinson Assigned to Chart Post-COVID Green Recovery
Federal cabinet ministers Steven Guilbeault, Catherine McKenna, and Jonathan Wilkinson have been handed responsibility for crafting “an economic recovery plan that aims to accelerate the green shift” as the immediate COVID-19 crisis subsides, La Presse revealed last week
‘Radical Agenda’ in Memo to Ministers Shows Fossil Fuel Lobby Losing Touch
The epic news conference in mid-April where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$2.4 billion in job creation funding for the country’s oil and gas workers, but not the $30-billion bailout the industry had demanded, was the second-worst moment in a very bad week for the fossil fuel lobby.
‘A Major Turning Point’: Trudeau Unveils $1.7 Billion for Abandoned Wells, Resists Fossils’ Bailout Demands
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled C$1.7 billion in new funding to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells and another $750 million to combat methane leakage, part of a $4-billion package for sectors affected by the coronavirus crash, while rejecting fossil industry calls to suspend climate action and regulations during the pandemic.
Fossil Lobby Demands Massive Deregulation in ‘Crass Attempt to Exploit Global Pandemic’
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) called on the federal government to suspend more than 30 environmental regulations, laws, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in a 13-page letter issued March 27 and released last week by Environmental Defence.
Use Pandemic Stimulus to Create Clean Energy Jobs, Canadian Associations Urge Ottawa
The federal government’s economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic must signal continuity in climate policy, provide “sufficient, sustained, and sustainable stimulus”, and use existing programs to quickly support clean energy solutions, a dozen leading energy transition associations said last week, in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coordinated by Clean Energy Canada.
Alberta Demands Fossil Relief While Neglected Tech Firms Plan Their Exit
While Alberta blasts Ottawa for slow delivery of its fossil industry bailout package, the Jason Kenney government is hearing from high tech entrepreneurs who are preparing to leave the province over its steadfast refusal to build a more diversified economy.
56,000 Demand Retraining for Oil and Gas Workers, Funding for Renewables, as Fossils Push for Bailout
With the Canadian government still tight-lipped at week’s end on the bailout package it’s crafting for the country’s pandemic-ravaged fossil sector, 56,000 online petitioners demanded the government invest in the oil and gas work force, not shareholders, while new analyses showed how the right investments could position the country for a stronger, greener recovery.
COVID-19 Could Slash Emissions 5%, But Permanent Cuts Depend on Structural Change
The COVID-19 pandemic could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 5% this year, producing the deepest reduction since the end of the Second World War. But analysts warn the advantage could be “vanishingly thin” without economic recovery packages that emphasize a shift off carbon.
Saxifrage: Canada Uses ‘Creative Accounting’ to Push Forest Emissions Off the Books
Canada is scrambling to push its managed forests off the climate accounting books as the climate crisis itself transforms the country’s vast resource from a net carbon sink to a carbon source, veteran data-cruncher Barry Saxifrage argues in a new explainer on his Visual Carbon website.
Keystone XL to Start Construction with $8 Billion in Financial Aid from Alberta
Calgary-based TC Energy is starting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta and Steele City, Nebraska, after the Jason Kenney government announced a US$1.1-billion “strategic investment” and put up another $4.2 billion in loan guarantees to underwrite the fiercely-contested project.
Pembina Praises Ottawa for ‘Staying the Course’ on Carbon Price Increase
By sticking to its original plan to increase its floor price on carbon from C$20 to $30 per tonne April 1, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is sending a “positive signal to investors” and delivering the certainty needed to build a more resilient economy, the Pembina Institute said in a release yesterday.
Canada-Wide Poll Shows Wide Support for Albertans, ‘Warning Signal’ Against Industry Bailout
Canadians across the country, and of all ages and political stripes, support federal government assistance to an oil and gas sector facing record-low oil prices in the midst of a global pandemic. But there’s no indication in survey results released last week by Abacus Data whether anyone wants to see the money directed to Alberta fossil companies and their shareholders.
Kenney Seeks North American Oil Cartel to Counter Saudi Price Cuts
While the collapse of OPEC and the subsequent crash of global oil markets has Alberta Premier Jason Kenney musing about setting up a North American cartel to control prices, it isn’t at all clear that the Canadian government will back the idea.
Pandemic Response Should Mobilize Around Low-Carbon Solutions
With the coronavirus pandemic devastating the global economy and pushing world oil prices over a cliff, the federal government has two potential options in dealing with the oil and gas industry. It can give in to the predictable lobbying from fossil fuel interests, or it can use the virtual shutdown of the economy for industry mobilization. A post for Policy Options by Mitchell Beer
Fossil Bailout is ‘Hours or Days Away’, Morneau Pledges
A federal aid package for Canadian fossil companies is just hours or days away, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a Senate committee Wednesday, as the industry’s capital spending cuts hit C$6.5 billion and the price of western Canadian crude oil fell as low as US$9.09 per barrel.
In Conversation: Green and Just Pandemic Recovery Would Help People Who Are Hurting, Stewart Says
Keith Stewart is senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada. He’s been focusing his pandemic response on directing government bailout funds to a green and just recovery, at a time when much of what “seemed natural and normal and inevitable about the way the world works” no longer does.
Analysis: Fossil Bailout Not the Prescription for Canada’s Fiscal Health
Shovels or ladders?
That is the stark choice facing Justin Trudeau and Parliament as they consider aiding western Canada’s giant tar sands/oil sands producers, which can now sell their oil for only about US$10 per barrel. One year ago, the sales price was US$55. By Paul McKay.
Invest Bailout Dollars in People, Not Fossil Companies, Climate Campaigners Urge Trudeau
The federal government is under intensifying pressure to invest its widely-anticipated oil and gas bailout wisely, with a group of environmental, labour, and faith groups representing about 1.3 million people urging Ottawa to direct the funds to workers and families, not fossil companies.
Economic Shock from Coronavirus Points to Over-Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Need for Renewables
A crisis like the coronavirus pandemic points to a global economy that is over-reliant on fossil fuels and dangerously exposed to economic shocks that could be eased by a shift to renewable energy, a leading financial economist from the United Kingdom told Forbes magazine in a recent interview.
Analysts Foresee Record Drop in Oil Demand as COVID-19 Crisis, Fossil Price War Deepen
With the fossil price collapse continuing, oil falling below US$30 per barrel, and Saudi Arabia vowing to continue forcing prices down through May, analysts are predicting a “low and slow” recovery for the industry.
Oil War and COVID-19 Create Risk, Opportunity for Clean Energy
The end-to-end news coverage of the coronavirus emergency is producing a secondary wave of commentary and analysis on whether the global pandemic will derail the transition to fossil to renewable energy. The verdict so far: It depends.
Morneau Unveils Business Loans, Kenney Seeks ‘Unity’ as Coronavirus Crash Roils Alberta
Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled C$10 billion in new credit for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney called for greater “unity” and less partisanship, and Alberta fossils announced deep cuts in their 2020 spending plans as Canada began grappling with the double-hit of a coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and crashing global oil prices.
Climate Action Can Deliver Economic Stimulus After Coronavirus Crash: Abreu
With the rapid spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) driving an economic slowdown and triggering a steep drop in global oil prices, national governments are considering their options for economic stimulus—prompting analysts and advocates to wonder whether a new package of government incentives and subsidies will undercut carbon reduction goals or reinforce them.
Carbon Reductions, ‘Clean Growth’ Remain Top Priorities for Federal Budget: Morneau
While contingency planning for the coronavirus is gaining prominence as a focus for this year’s federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says carbon reductions and energy sector transformation will still be a major priority.
Alberta Increases Carbon Tax to Match Ottawa’s, While Manitoba Proposes Lower Rate
Despite continuing court action seeking to overturn the federal floor price on carbon, Alberta has announced an increase in its industrial carbon tax, while Manitoba looks to introduce a tax regime that still falls short of the federal one.
Time to Cut Fossils’ ‘Corporate Welfare’, Make Economy More Efficient, Author Argues
Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is a policy measure that could create some common ground between climate campaigners and libertarian free market advocates, self-styled independent journalist and public historian Taylor Noakes writes in a new opinion piece for CBC that had generated more than 3,700 comments as of Thursday evening.
Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin
The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.
Shift Fossil Subsidies Into Orphan Well Reclamation Jobs, Green MPs Urge Morneau
The federal Green Party caucus is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to fund orphan well reclamation that would create jobs in the country’s fossil regions and ease the transition off oil and gas, iPolitics reports.
Petrosaurus Rex vs. Reality: Teck Mine Defeated by Low Price of Oil
Paleontology tells us the most fearsome Jurassic-era predators had no outer ears, and depended on a narrow range of sub-sonic vibrations to detect other earless, large, lumbering dinosaurs they could rip to shreds and render into raw-meat power lunches. They are now, of course, ancient history. In their place, evolution delivered far smaller, more agile mammals able to receive and process a wider range of warning signals. Enter Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who might aptly be classified as Petrosaurus Rex. An analysis by Paul McKay
Teck Gives Up on Frontier Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine
In a bombshell announcement yesterday evening, Vancouver-based Teck Resources has withdrawn the application for its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, less than a week before the federal cabinet was due to accept or reject the contentious and carbon-intensive project.
Four Former Climate Negotiators Demanded Trudeau ‘End the Hypocrisy’, Reject Teck
Days before Teck Resources dealt the final death blow to its own tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, four former Canadian climate negotiators called on the Trudeau government to “end the hypocrisy” and reject the project, pointing out that Canadian fossil production is still projected to skyrocket in spite of the country’s promises to cut emissions.
Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory
With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.
Federal Budget Must Scale Up Energy Efficiency, Signal Long-Term Commitment, Analysts Urge
After Canadians voted for strong climate action in last fall’s federal election, and all the political parties represented in Parliament included energy efficiency in their platforms, the upcoming federal budget is an essential opportunity to slash pollution, create jobs, and make everyone’s lives more comfortable, Efficiency Canada argues in a recent opinion piece.
BREAKING: Federal Export Agency Considers ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Loan to Coastal GasLink
The federal Export Development Corporation is weighing what a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief calls a “highly inappropriate” loan to TC Energy, the company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline, to help the company push the 670-kilometre project through unceded Indigenous land.
Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory
RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.
Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch
Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.
Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For
With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for.
And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.
Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review
With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.
Regg Cohn: Conservative Leadership Race Looks ‘Frozen in the Past’ on Carbon Pricing
When it comes to climate policy, the federal Conservative Party’s leadership race looks to be “frozen in the past”, write Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn, with no candidate daring to suggest carbon pricing as a policy plank—and only one erstwhile carbon pricing proponent willing to step forward.
Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity
Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.
Climate, Trans Mountain, and Clean Energy Were Top Three Topics in Canadians’ Letters to Trudeau
The climate crisis, the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the clean energy economy took the top three spots on the list of issues Canadians addressed in their emails and letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019.
Policy Analysts Urge All-Party Cooperation on Climate Accountability
Now is the time for all parties in the House of Commons to cooperate on accountability measures to prevent Canada from missing its latest set of carbon reduction targets, four of the country’s leading climate policy analysts argued earlier this month in an opinion piece for the Hill Times.
Buying Trans Mountain Would End Badly for Brookfield, Analyst Warns
It would be a serious error for Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to invest in the Trudeau government’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a leading energy and finance analyst warned yesterday, after a news report identified Brookfield as a potential “dark horse” buyer for the project.
Freeland Holds ‘Bridge-Building’ Session with Western Municipalities
A new group of municipal leaders from western Canada held meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly earlier this week, during a day-long task force gathering in Leduc, Alberta organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Trans Mountain Construction Cost Rises 133% to $12.6 Billion
The projected cost to complete the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has skyrocketed to C$12.6 billion, driving the total price tag above $16 billion when the expense of buying the project on taxpayers’ behalf is taken into account.
Big-City Mayors Call for Predictable, Long-Term Transit Funding
Canada’s big-city mayors are pushing for predictable, long-term mass transit funding and immediate dollars for climate change programming when Finance Minister Bill Morneau issues his climate-focused budget next month.
Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval
With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.
Updated Climate Risk Plan Will Withdraw Disaster Aid for New Homes in Flood Plains
Canadians building or buying new homes in areas at high risk for flooding will no longer have access to federal disaster relief under a new insurance plan set to take effect in the next three years, The Energy Mix has learned.
Teck Mine a ‘Pretty Easy No’, Liberal MPs Tell Trudeau in Raucous Caucus Meeting
Liberal Members of Parliament are taking a loud stand against Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receiving an “earful” at a caucus meeting Wednesday, Huffington Post Canada reports.
Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge
The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050
Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.
The Trudeau government will move ahead with a ban on single-use plastics next year, after a federal science report found more than enough evidence that plastics pollution causes harm, with 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage ending up as litter in 2016.
Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built
Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.
Freeland Pushes for Quick Vote on Trade Deal with Big Concessions to Fossils
The Trudeau government is making it a top legislative priority to ratify a trade agreement with the United States and Mexico that is under fire in the U.S. for its concessions to oil and gas companies.
41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine
Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.
Wilkinson Tips Early Moves on Just Transition Act, Tougher 2030 Carbon Target
The second-term Trudeau government is considering kicking off its legislative response to the climate crisis with a new Just Transition Act, adjustments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and new carbon reduction measures aimed at exceeding its Harper-era goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, iPolitics reports, citing an interview late last week with Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
Ottawa Won’t Offload Trans Mountain to First Nations While Legal, Political Risk Remains
The federal government won’t try to sell off the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the new Indigenous owners it hopes to attract as long as the project is beset by legal and political risk, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week.
Morneau Cites Climate as ‘Central Focus’ of 2020 Federal Budget
The climate crisis will be a “central focus” of the 2020 federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told students at Toronto’s Ryerson University Monday, during a kick-off event for this year’s pre-budget consultations.
Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge
Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.
17 of 37 Cabinet Ministers Receive Climate Action Goals in Mandate Letters from Trudeau
Seventeen of 37 federal cabinet ministers received instructions to address some aspect of the climate crisis, and National Observer says Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emerges as “an especially active and influential figure in cabinet,” in the long-awaited mandate letters published Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment
The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.
Ottawa Won’t Confirm Trans Mountain Timeline or Budget as Cost Estimate Balloons to $12 Billion [Petition]
Despite the Trudeau government’s assurance that the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the national interest, and will turn a profit for the taxpayers who became its involuntary owners last year, new disclosures show the project could run out of cash in the next few months and cost more to complete than Ottawa estimated, National Observer reports.
Wilkinson Throws Cold Water on Carbon Credits for LNG Exports
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is raising major flags about the fossil industry’s hope of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to earn carbon reduction credits under the hotly-contested Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and aiming to meet Canada’s Paris targets without resorting to international carbon trades.
Ottawa Approves Alberta Tax on Industrial Carbon Emitters
The federal government has approved Alberta’s new C$30 per tonne tax on industrial carbon emitters, a move that “avoids escalating a fight between Ottawa and the Prairie province but does nothing to end the battle over the consumer-based carbon tax, which the federal Liberals say will still come into effect in Alberta on January 1,” the Globe and Mail reports.
Carbon Pricing ‘Isn’t the Only Tool in the Toolbox’: Wilkinson
Carbon pricing is just one part of a complete climate plan, and it will be at least two years before the Canadian government decides whether to extend the federal floor price beyond C$50 per tonne after 2022, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told The Canadian Press last week.
Wilkinson Vows Tougher 2030 Emissions Target as Throne Speech Promises Net-Zero by 2050
A 2050 deadline to achieve net-zero emissions, a price on carbon in every part of the country, and new initiatives on energy-efficient buildings, zero-emission vehicles, “clean, affordable power”, and climate change adaptation are major elements of the legislative program the incoming federal government laid out in the Speech from the Throne delivered in Ottawa yesterday by Governor General Julie Payette.
McKenna Pledges Fast Action on Infrastructure Through a ‘Climate Lens’
Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna donned a hard hat for her first major speech in her new portfolio this week, telling the Federation of Canadian Municipalities she plans to get money out the door and shovels in the ground on projects that are all undertaken through a “climate lens”.
Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target
Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.
Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work
Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.
Guilbeault to Heritage, McKenna to Infrastructure, Wilkinson to Environment as Climate Rises to Top of Federal Agenda
Veteran climate hawk and newly-minted Montreal MP Steven Guilbeault is expected to be named heritage minister, former environment minister Catherine McKenna takes over the infrastructure and communities portfolio, and climate action is set to emerge as a government-wide priority, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduces his second-term cabinet this morning in a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Trans Mountain Subsidies Hit $320 Million in First Six Months of 2019
The Trans Mountain pipeline took home C$320 million in direct and indirect subsidies in the first six months of the years that were not clearly disclosed to the taxpayers who now involuntarily own the project, the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report released this week.
Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years
An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
Party Leaders Lay Out Climate, Energy Priorities in Private Meetings with Trudeau
The divisions and potential points of agreement in a minority parliament are beginning to emerge as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way through a series of private meetings with federal party leaders before the House of Commons reconvenes December 5.
Green Budget Coalition Urges Ottawa to Acknowledge Cost of Climate Impacts
Next year’s federal budget must acknowledge the hundreds of millions of dollars Canadians are already paying due to climate change and its impacts, the 22-member Green Budget Coalition says in a set of recommendations released last week.
Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government
The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.
Get Started Now on Deeper Emissions Cuts, Climate Organizations Urge Federal Parties
The four federal parties that went out to voters this fall with strong climate policies had better get started on implementing those policies right now, a coalition of Canadian climate organizations asserted Friday.
Fossil Lobbyists Aim for Wider Influence with Minority Parliament Set to Take Office
With a new minority government about to take office in Ottawa, the fossil lobby is getting to work, aiming to extend its influence to smaller parties in the House of Commons that may have received less of its attention when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held a parliamentary majority.
Minority Government Could Deliver Climate Action, But Time to Change the Front-Line Conversation
A week after the climate crisis emerged as the big winner in Canada’s federal election, politicians and opinion writers are beginning to probe the prospects for climate action in a period of minority government—and the extent to which the Liberals’ choices over the next several months will determine Justin Trudeau’s legacy as prime minister.
Liberal Minority: Trudeau Fights Campaign with Climate at the Centre, and Wins
Canada’s Climate Change Election delivered a Liberal minority government last night, returning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to power with 157 seats in a 338-seat parliament and fractionally more than 33% of the popular vote as of early Tuesday morning.
With Climate on the Agenda, Advocates Call for Legislated Targets, Fossil Industry Phasedown
As election results rolled in last night in downtown Ottawa, climate hawks assessed the results of the first campaign in Canadian history where climate change was at the top of the political agenda. Now, they say the next step is to hold a reconfigured parliament accountable for the domestic action and international commitments that will make the country a world leader in responding to the climate crisis.
Alberta Calls for $30-Billion Carbon Capture Subsidy in Upcoming Federal Budget
The Alberta government is pitching for a 10-year, C$30-billion federal budget commitment to subsidize large-scale carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) projects, even as the federal and provincial governments form a joint working group to develop CCS strategy for the fossil sector.
Canadian, European Officials Urge World Bank to End Fossil Investments
Senior officials from Canada and Europe are urging the World Bank to end its investments in coal- and oil-related projects and gradually phase out gas, three separate sources told the Reuters news agency late last month.
Carney Walks Back Net-Zero Claim, SBTi Faces Criticism as Corporate Carbon Plans Draw Closer Scrutiny
Two of the biggest sources of optimism on corporations’ momentum toward serious carbon reductions are receiving pushback, with ex-Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney forced to walk back a net-zero claim for a major investment portfolio and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) under fire for its choice of assessment methods.
NS Firm Launches Latest Effort to Harness Bay of Fundy Tides
A large floating platform with six underwater turbines was launched Monday near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, marking the latest high-tech bid to generate electricity by harnessing the bay’s powerful tides.
‘Hydropower Era May Be Over’ as Wind Farms Draw New Investment in Quebec, B.C.
Wind energy investment received twin boosts in Quebec and British Columbia last week, with one of the announcements prompting the Globe and Mail to comment that “the era of building big new hydropower dams in Quebec might be over”.
Refocus Infrastructure Spending to Cut Carbon, Create Jobs, Blue Green Canada Urges
Canada is missing a big opportunity to create jobs, cut pollution, and advance a net-zero emissions agenda by failing to prioritize projects that use low-carbon building materials and cleaner construction processes, Blue Green Canada argues in a report issued this week.
Hydro-Québec Lands 88-MW Green Hydrogen Deal with Thyssenkrupp
Provincial utility Hydro-Québec has signed a deal with a division of Essen, Germany-based industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp to build one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, an 88-megawatt facility in Varennes that will produce 11,100 tonnes of the product per year.
McCarthy: 2021 Could Be ‘Pivotal Year’ for Climate Action
With climate action and ambition accelerating toward the end of last year, in Canada and internationally, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution under way, 2021 could be a pivotal year in the fight to get the climate crisis under control, writes Shawn McCarthy, senior counsel at the Sussex Strategy Group, in a post last week for Policy Options.
Canada’s Net-Zero Framework May Be Too Little, Too Late for the North
Empty rhetoric, ignorance, vested interests, and systemic racism—all persisting even as the climate crisis melts away the life-sustaining Arctic ice—may well mean that any achievement in Canada’s 2050 net-zero target will come too late for those who call the North home.
Cash for Clunkers Program Would ‘Supercharge’ the Shift to EVs, Automakers Say
Canadian automakers are jumping onboard the federal government’s updated climate plan and calling for an extensive “cash for clunkers” program to cut emissions and drive the shift to electric vehicles.
Carbon Capture and Storage (Still) Falls Short of the Hype
A drastic increase in most countries’ carbon prices, to something above US$100 per tonne, will be the price of entry for anyone banking on carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a technological fix for the climate crisis while turning a profit for its providers, Greentech Media reports.
In its just-released 10-year climate plan, the city of Montreal is vowing to cut emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. Environmental groups like Équiterre are praising the plan as a “very pragmatic and serious” effort grounded in the realities of climate science.
Globe Editorial Board Calls for Deep Investment in Canadian Public Transit
With Canada’s government short on specifics for how the billions in “smart investments” promised in its recent Fall Economic Statement will be spent, the Globe and Mail is calling for deep investments in public transit as a timely and just use of the funds.
Canadian Urban Couriers Test Switch from Cars to E-Bikes
In a bid to reduce both emissions and costs—especially as online shopping explodes—major parcel couriers in Toronto and Montreal are experimenting with delivery by e-bike and trike. Collateral benefits include cleaner air, safer pedestrians and cyclists, and delivery workers delighted to be out from behind the wheel.
Opinion: An Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable Electricity Future for Atlantic Canada is Renewable
Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth, far cheaper than coal, nuclear, or natural gas. When paired with energy storage technologies and regional hydropower networks, they can deliver reliable power while reducing utility bills for ratepayers who most need the savings, say the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre.
No Future Need for Trans Mountain, Keystone XL Pipelines, Canada Energy Regulator Report Shows
There will be no need and no justification to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion or the Keystone XL pipeline if Canada makes any effort at all to strengthen its climate policies, according to the more ambitious of two fossil demand scenarios in an analysis published yesterday by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).
In Conversation: Local Climate Action Depends on Reaching Out to a Wider Community, Moffatt Says
Scott Moffatt has been an Ottawa city councillor since 2010 and became chair of the city’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management in 2018. In this feature interview, he talks about what it took to get the city’s Energy Evolution decarbonization strategy adopted by a disparate group of councillors, and how to turn ideas into action.
B.C. Leads, Alberta and Ontario Imperil National Results in Efficiency Canada’s Latest Provincial Scorecard
British Columbia maintained its lead as Canada’s top jurisdiction for energy efficiency in 2019, Saskatchewan came in last for a second year running, Prince Edward Island distinguished itself as most-improved province, and program cuts in Alberta and Ontario emerged as a serious threat, as Efficiency Canada released its second annual scorecard of provincial efficiency programs.
Banff–Calgary Passenger Rail Plan Draws Mixed Reviews
A C$1-billion-plus proposal to re-establish 130 kilometres of passenger rail service between Calgary and Banff is earning serious attention from both the provincial and federal levels. But local First Nations, those anxious to protect the fragile ecology of the Bow Valley, and even the Canadian Pacific Railway itself are yet to be convinced.
Vancouver Passes $500-Million Climate Emergency Action Plan
If Vancouver’s newly-minted Climate Emergency Action Plan goes well, 2030 will find 80% of all trips within city limits occurring by foot, bike, or transit, embodied emissions in new buildings reduced by 40%, and 50% of all kilometres driven on city roads emitting zero greenhouse gases.
Quebec Green Plan Falls Far Short of 2030 Carbon Target, Analysts Say
The Quebec government may have nabbed some early headlines by tipping the centrepiece of its Green Economy Plan, a 2035 phaseout of internal combustion vehicle sales. But once the full strategy was released Monday, climate analysts and campaigners quickly concluded that it won’t meet the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Quebec to Announce 2035 Phaseout for Internal Combustion Vehicle Sales
Quebec is planning to ban sales of new internal combustion cars, from compact vehicles to pick-up trucks and SUVs, as of 2035, Environment Minister Benoit Charette revealed over the weekend, in what CBC is framing as the “flagship measure” in the province’s five-year, C$6.7-billion green economy and climate plan.
TD Bank Sets Net-Zero Target, Limits Fossil Divestment to Arctic Oil and Gas
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is coming in for a mix of kudos and mockery after announcing a 2050 net-zero target and declaring that it will no longer finance some oil and gas-related activities in the Arctic, but failing to issue a broader statement on fossil fuel divestment, as a growing number of European financial institutions are doing.
Enbridge Gets Mixed Reviews After Setting 2050 Net-Zero Target
Enbridge Inc. is getting mixed reviews after becoming the biggest fossil in North America to set sights on net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, beginning with a 2030 target to reduce the emissions intensity of its operations by 35%.
Woynillowicz: EV Job Creation Can Match Internal Combustion as Canada Moves to Ramp Up Production
It took just a month for Canada to move past its former status as “a speck on the global EV manufacturing map”, after Unifor negotiated separate contracts with Ford Canada and Fiat Chrysler totalling C$3.5 billion in new investment in electric or hybrid vehicle manufacturing, cleantech analyst Dan Woynillowicz writes in a recent opinion piece for Electric Autonomy.
Ottawa City Plan Sets Sights on Zero Emissions, 4.4 GW of New Renewables by 2050
The City of Ottawa has released a long-awaited energy transition plan that has it eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out all fossil fuel use, shifting all heating and transportation to electricity or other zero-emission options, and adding 4.4 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity by 2050.
Op-ed: Alberta’s Managed Coal Power Plummet a Climate ‘Success Story’
Alberta’s turn away from coal has been a “climate action success story” thanks to key policies—many unpopular—set by former premier Rachel Notley, according to a recent essay written by two Alberta economists.
TD Bank Subsidiary Launches Canada’s Biggest Grid Storage Project in Alberta
A Toronto-Dominion Bank subsidiary is planning a 60-megawatt battery storage project, Canada’s biggest to date, using arrays of Tesla batteries to store electricity and help balance and stabilize the Alberta power grid as it adds more renewable power.
In Conversation: Canadian Pension Managers Must Divest Fossil Fuels, Catch Up with the Shift Off Carbon, Scott Says
Adam Scott is director of Shift:Action, an organization that engages with Canadian pension funds on climate accountability and risk. In this interview, he talks about the ideologies that still drive fossil fuel investment, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s adventures in Colorado, and what it takes to make pensions a fascinating topic.
Ottawa Needs Wide-Ranging Programs to Match Big-Picture Throne Speech, Torrie Says
Ralph Torrie is a senior associate with the Sustainability Solutions Group, partner in Torrie Smith Associates, and one of Canada’s leading energy and carbon modellers. He helped design and lead a series of green recovery webinars and publications that laid some of the groundwork for last week’s Throne Speech. In this interview, he talks about what the speech got right, the tough path to 1.5°C, and what’s still needed to get Canada’s transition off carbon on track.
World Nuclear Industry Loses Ground to Cheap Renewables as Canada Considers Small Modular Reactors
The world nuclear industry “continues to be in stasis,” with power plants shutting down at a faster rate in western Europe and the United States, the number of operating reactor units at a 30-year low, and the few new construction projects running into “catastrophic cost overruns and schedule slippages,” according to the latest edition of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR), released last week.
Canada Sets Sights on Supplying Strategic Metals for EVs
With the European Union committing to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 55% by 2030, Canada may have an opportunity to export strategic metals like nickel and cobalt that are essential parts of the supply chain for electric vehicles, sustainability author Chris Turner wrote last week for Corporate Knights.
Basic Income, Just Transition Depend on Each Other, Regehr Says
Sheila Regehr has been chair of the Basic Income Canada Network since 2014. She’s a retired federal public servant with years of experience working on income security, and past executive director of the National Council of Welfare. With the federal Speech from the Throne coming up today, she explains how a basic income builds up communities, reduces anxiety, and makes a whole host of problems easier to solve—including the climate crisis.
Alberta Surges, Ontario Fades as Canada’s Leading Jurisdiction for Wind, Solar
Alberta is set to surpass Ontario as Canada’s leading jurisdiction for utility-scale wind and solar, with 83% of the country’s new installations over the next five years, according to a new analysis by Oslo-based Rystad Energy.
Regina Researchers Urge City to Focus on Equity in Climate Planning
When you think of Regina, you might imagine a city that depends heavily on cars. But when University of Regina professor Emily Eaton gathered a focus group representing community-based organizations throughout the city to discuss how a transition to net-zero carbon emissions might affect communities that have experienced marginalization, she heard another story.
Newfoundland Turns Thumbs Down on Husky’s Offshore Oil Bailout Demand
With Husky Energy on the hunt for government bailouts for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project off the Newfoundland coast, the provincial government is making it clear it doesn’t have any spare cash available to help the Calgary-based fossil out.
Replace Pickering Nuclear Plant with Renewables, Not Gas, OCAA Urges
The impending closure of Ontario’s Pickering Nuclear Station is an opportunity to build a sustainable energy system based on sound energy efficiency programs, investment in local renewables, and hydroelectric power held in the public control—not ramped-up gas power generation, says the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.
Big Financial Loss Prompts Petronas to ‘Reassess’ Oil and Gas Investments, Expand Renewables
One of the partners in British Columbia’s massive LNG Canada megaproject, Malaysian state fossil Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), is planning to cut global oil and gas production and expand its presence in solar and wind after posting a US$5.06-billion loss between April and June of this year.
The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 1)
This is the first of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.
Nuclear Industry Survey Shows 86% Public Support for Federal Investment in Clean Energy
More than three-quarters of Canadians see climate change as a serious issue, 57% say it has affected them or their loved ones, and 86% want the federal government to invest in clean energy technology to help address the crisis, according to an Abacus Data report released this week by the Canadian Nuclear Association.
Freeland, Carney May Be Canada’s Last, Best Chance for a Green Recovery
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Houston in March 2017 and declared fealty to a fossil fuel industry already entering its sunset, he showed it was bound to be a long, hard climb back to more sober-minded policy-making. Now, the question for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is whether that position still rings true in the context of a global health emergency, an accelerating climate crisis, a mounting wave of fossil fuel divestment and stranded assets, and the meteoric rise of clean energy alternatives.
Carney Joins Brookfield Asset Management as Vice-Chair, Head of ESG and Impact Investing
Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England now serving as United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance, signed on last week as vice-chair of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.
‘Unlikely Allies’ Create Renewable Energy Opportunities in Alberta
What do oil executives and climate activists have in common? Not much, if you listen to popular media narratives pitting environmental protection against economic growth. But at the Energy Futures Lab, diverse innovators and stakeholders in Alberta’s energy sector are finding plenty of room for collaboration.
Plug-In Hybrids Miss Their Carbon Targets as Owners Fail to Charge Batteries
A new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters gets at the strange and vexing question of why some car owners in the United States go to the trouble of buying plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), then rarely if ever plug them in.
Use Community Power, Grassroot Investment to Fuel Green Recovery, Energy Co-ops Urge
A group of seven renewable energy co-ops from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia is calling on the federal government to emphasize community power procurement, deep energy retrofits, and smart grid development in economic stimulus responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Utility-Scale Battery Project Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Alberta Utility
A “really cool” utility-scale storage project that matches up a local wind farm with Tesla batteries is being cast as a possible game-changer for Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation, Alberta’s biggest utility.
New Framework Gives Pension Funds a Blueprint for Net-Zero Investing
A group backed by 70 major investors with more than US$16 trillion under management has launched the Net Zero Investment Framework, the world’s first blueprint to help pension funds and other big investing institutions match the composition of their investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
B.C. Regulations to Push EVs to 30% of New Cars by 2030, 100% by 2040
Two years after announcing its zero-emission vehicle program, British Columbia has released the year-by-year regulatory targets that will help manufacturers and retailers make the shift to all-electric new car sales by 2040.
Expand Natural Gas Energy Efficiency to Boost Economy, Create Jobs, Groups Urge Ontario
The Ontario Energy Board must expand the province’s natural gas energy efficiency programs as a way to meet provincial carbon targets, create jobs, and drive the COVID-19 economic recovery, Efficiency Canada argues in a letter it submitted yesterday to three senior provincial cabinet ministers.
Landmark Economic Analysis Shows 5:1 Return on Protected Area Investments
The most comprehensive cost-benefit analysis ever on nature protections has found that the economic, ecological, and spiritual benefits of protecting 30% of the world’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems will outweigh the costs by a factor of at least five to one.
RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank to Sign Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement
The Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest chartered bank and one of its biggest boosters for new fossil infrastructure, is dipping its toe in the world of renewable energy finance by buying into two new solar farms producing a combined 39 megawatts of electricity in southeast Alberta.
Plummeting Wind Costs Could Make ‘Green’ Hydrogen Cost-Competitive by 2023
Less than two weeks after a report that renewably-produced “green” hydrogen could be cost competitive with fossil-dependent “grey” by 2030, a new analysis by banking giant Morgan Stanley says plummeting wind energy prices could push green hydrogen into the lead by 2023.
Place Indigenous Youth at Centre of Clean Energy Partnerships, McCarthy and Morrison Urge
Ottawa and the provinces must work harder to support Canada’s Indigenous peoples in becoming full partners in the clean energy transition—and Indigenous youth need to be encouraged, mentored, and supported to lead those partnerships, according to a recent opinion piece in iPolitics.
Coalition Urges Ontario to Phase Out Gas-Fired Electricity by 2030 [Sign-On]
Nearly three dozen local, provincial, and national organizations are calling on Ontario to phase out its pricey natural gas power plants and abandon a plan that would increase carbon pollution from burning gas 300% by 2025 and 400% by 2040.
Group Proposes Cargo Bikes, 21 Kilometres of New Cycling Paths, for Toronto’s Finch West Area
A non-profit in Toronto is pushing for a 21-kilometre network of off-street cycling paths between the Jane-Finch area and Rexdale, to relieve volume on Finch West’s crowded bus lines and make cargo bikes a realistic option for nearby businesses.
TTC Hangs On for Financial Relief from Ottawa’s Emergency Funding Package
The long-suffering Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is hoping to emerge as a major beneficiary of the C$19-billion emergency relief package for provinces and municipalities unveiled last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Working from Home, E-Commerce Produce Permanent 10% Drop in U.S. Traffic Volumes
Changes in work and shopping habits brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will produce a permanent 10% drop in traffic volumes in the United States, reducing vehicle miles travelled (VMT) by 270 billion miles per year and taking 14 million cars off the road, consultants at KPMG International reported this week.
Mayors Urge Recovery Based on Green Jobs, ‘15-Minute’ Cities
Green job creation, support for essential workers, investment in green industries, and funding for building retrofits, transit, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and “resilient public services” are cornerstones of a green and just recovery program released Wednesday by C40 Cities.
Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland Goes Car-Free for COVID-19
Pandemic-weary residents and business owners in St. John’s, Newfoundland are getting used to a newly-refashioned pedestrian-only downtown, and many of them hoping the changes will be permanent, though accessibility advocates warn the current street closure plan is unfriendly to people with mobility issues.
‘Californication’ of B.C. Grid Cuts Off Indigenous, Other Local Suppliers, Dogwood Warns [Sign-On]
Dogwood BC has launched a petition campaign against what it calls the “Californication” of British Columbia’s power grid, decrying a provincial plan to buy surplus electricity from private utilities in the Golden State while preventing B.C. First Nations and residents from producing their own power at home.
David Suzuki Foundation Fellow Brings Power to the People
A member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, Melina Laboucan-Massimo has a master’s degree in Indigenous governance and is the founder of Lubicon Solar and Sacred Earth Solar and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action. She’s also the host of Power to the People, an exciting new series on APTN that explores the renewable energy revolution empowering Indigenous communities throughout Canada and around the world.
Ontario’s Talk of Housing Near Transit a ‘Trojan Horse’ for Rolling Back Environmental Protection
Recent announcements on transit-oriented development, affordable housing, air conditioning in long-term care homes, and even education policy are shaping up as a screen for the Ontario government’s latest attempt to scale back environmental protections and clear the way for unrestrained, decidedly unsustainable development, critics say.
Indigenous Communities Now a Top-Three Canadian Clean Energy Owner
Indigenous communities are now the third-biggest ownership bloc of clean energy projects in Canada, together operating 171 significant projects, with 26 more on the way. The Crown and private utilities are first and second in the list.
Edmonton Airport Announces Plans for 120-MW Solar Farm
The Edmonton International Airport is close to signing a deal with Germany-based Alpin Sun to create a showcase renewable energy project that will see a canola field west of its runways transformed into the world’s biggest airport-based solar farm.
Ontario Plans New Housing Along Toronto-Area Transit Lines
The Ontario government is introducing legislation to support transit-oriented development, with plans to build thousands of new homes—including affordable housing—on top of or adjacent to a dozen new stations along the Greater Toronto Area’s new Ontario Line, the Scarborough subway, and the proposed Eglinton West LRT and Yonge North subway extensions.
Small Modular Reactors Raise Nuclear Waste Risk, Distract from Real Climate Solutions
The rise of “small” nuclear reactors (SMRs) raises serious concerns about radioactive waste disposal and is ultimately a distraction from real climate solutions, according to two separate analyses published days apart in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, two of the three provinces that have been touting the technology.
B.C. Coastal First Nations Begin Shift from Diesel to Local Hydro
Two of the 11 off-grid and largely diesel-dependent First Nations communities along the British Columbia coast are investing C$25 million in hydro power in an effort to reduce their dependence on a fuel that is both expensive and an environmental hazard.
B.C. Dramatically Overestimates Old Growth Forest, Faces Climate Impacts Without Better Protection
British Columbia is dramatically overestimating the size of productive old growth forests that have all but vanished across the province, according to an independent science report that warns of serious climate impacts if remaining forests aren’t protected.
Declaration for Resilience Urges ‘New Normal’ for Canadian Cities
Canada’s urban planning experts, along with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, have signed on to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, urging policy-makers at all levels to create a “new normal” that makes affordability, sustainability, climate-friendliness, and equity the four cornerstones of any pandemic recovery plans.
Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030
The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.
Shift to Electric Buses Emerges as ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’ for Canada
With more than 425,000 electric buses on the roads world-wide, four Canadian manufacturers with customers across the continent, and transit agencies in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Laval adding the vehicles to their fleets, there’s still time for the country to hop onboard a growing international trend, Clean Energy Canada concludes in a report issued this week.
Post-Pandemic Land Use Changes Could Cut Emissions in Urban Centres
Canadian urban planners are urging cities to implement land use changes in their post-pandemic recovery plans, arguing that bringing work and shopping closer to home can revitalize local economies while reducing emissions-heavy commutes.
Pembina Study Looks to Rein In Skyrocketing e-Commerce Emissions
As e-commerce grows—and accelerates precipitously under COVID-19—freight emissions are likewise surging. A recent report by the Pembina Institute sets out to address the issue by identifying the habits and expectations driving it, and the actions consumers and businesses can take to make online shopping less harmful, if not less appealing.
After watching the country’s Big Five banks supply nearly half a trillion dollars to the global fossil fuel industry since 2016 despite rapidly accelerating climate change, it’s time for Canadians to #FireYourFossilBank, Below2C editor Rolly Montpellier writes in a recent opinion piece.
The roiling traumas of racial injustice, coronavirus, and climate change are a “veritable witch’s brew of community risk,” according to a panel of five environmental justice leaders recently brought together by Grist. The antidote? To make sure that “normal” is never the same again.
Electrifying GTHA Cars, Trucks, and Buses Would Prevent 731 Premature Deaths, Cut 8 Mt of Emissions Per Year
A shift to electric cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses would prevent 731 premature deaths per year in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and reduce the region’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes, bringing Ontario half-way to meeting its 2030 carbon target, according to a modelling study released this week by Environmental Defence Canada and the Ontario Public Health Association.
Suncor CEO’s ‘Stark Prediction’ Has Off-Carbon Transition Driving Down Oil Demand
The CEO of Suncor Energy is admitting that the transition off carbon could hit crude oil demand as hard as the pandemic did, in what Reuters describes as a “stark prediction in an industry that frequently downplays the impact of electrification” on its future prospects.
Energy Efficiency, Trades Training Could Combat Women’s Job Loss in COVID-19 ‘She-Cession’
With job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting women more seriously than men, it’s time to increase women’s participation in energy efficiency jobs, writes Natalie Irwin, director of stakeholder engagement at Efficiency Canada.
Four-Day Work Week Could Boost Post-Pandemic Economy
Canadian workplace health experts are urging policy-makers to consider a condensed work week to reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost a post-coronavirus economy. A three-day weekend could also be a boon to the pandemic-ravaged tourism sector, which lost 50% of its work force this past spring.
It’s 2030. Here’s How Calgary Transformed Itself into a Cleantech Capital.
The city at the heart of the Alberta oilpatch can transform itself into a cleantech capital by the end of this decade if it makes the right decisions and brings together the needed investment now, Calgary-based environmental lawyer Jeremy Barretto argues in an opinion piece for CBC.
Squamish District Declares Woodfibre LNG ‘Unwelcome’ Unless It Meets Paris Targets
The Woodfibre LNG liquefied natural gas project should be unwelcome in Squamish, British Columbia unless it can align with the greenhouse gas reduction goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement, district councillors decided earlier this month, in a hotly-debated preliminary motion adopted by a 4-3 margin.
Green Hydrogen Projects Set to Skyrocket, Though Pandemic Could Slow Investors Down
Interest in “green” hydrogen produced from renewable electricity has been skyrocketing over the last several months, with global interest in electrolyser projects—particularly large ones—tripling between October 2019 and March 2020, according to an updated report released last month by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
In Conversation: Canada Can Create Jobs, Set a ‘Signpost’ for the World in Shift to 100% Renewable Electricity, Hornung Says
Robert Hornung has been president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association since 2003. Last week, CanWEA and the Canadian Solar Industries Association announced they are merging to form the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, with Hornung at the helm. He talked to The Energy Mix about a massive moment of opportunity for solar, wind, and storage, and the importance of speaking with a common voice.
Global Cycling Revolution Finding Deep Roots in Toronto
With bike shops reporting thriving sales across Canada and around the world, cycling advocates are pushing hard to ensure that post-pandemic cities include more cycling infrastructure—an evolution that has a lot of public support, even in traditionally car-smitten suburbs.
Ontario Foresters Complete 80% of Annual Planting Despite Pandemic Restrictions
A different kind of essential service is becoming a good news story during the pandemic, with tree-planting activities in Ontario hitting about 80 to 85% of their target for the year in spite of logistical snags due to physical distancing.
Major Cities Urge Green, Resilient Recovery with ‘No Return to Business as Usual’
There’s no going back to “business as usual” after the COVID-19 pandemic when that previous path had the world on track for at least 3.0°C average global warming, the mayors of more than three dozen major cities declared in a statement of principles released earlier this month.
Edmonton Lays Plans to Reboot, Diversify Local Economy
A new agency unanimously approved by city council in Edmonton, Alberta will oversee the creation of a post–COVID-19 economy—equipped with a C$11-million budget and an advisory table that adds foreign investment, trade, and tourism interests to the usual oil and gas voices.
Ramp Up Training, Break Down Market Barriers to Boost Zero-Carbon Buildings, CaGBC Urges
Canada’s building industry “still has work to do” to acquire the skills and knowledge it’ll need to deliver zero-carbon buildings at scale, even based on the country’s current greenhouse gas reduction target of just 30% by 2030, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) concludes in a report issued last week.
High School Transit Training Offers Independence, Confidence to Young Riders
Youth, schools, and communities all stand to gain from a public transit initiative in Kingston, Ontario that is empowering young riders, making (pre-COVID) field trips less costly and more climate-friendly, and encouraging life-long transit ridership.
New Alliance Looks to Geothermal to Get Alberta Oil Rigs Back in Use
In what the Globe and Mail calls “a rare united front between environment and energy,” Alberta’s shattered oil drillers are looking to the emerging geothermal industry as a place to get idled rigs back in production and begin a shift to post-carbon energy.
In Conversation: Energy Retrofits Can Drive Economic Recovery, But Financing and Logistics Are Key, Torrie Says
Ralph Torrie is a senior associate with the Sustainability Solutions Group, partner in Torrie Smith Associates, and one of Canada’s leading energy and carbon modellers. He’s been focusing on mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of a green economic recovery, the financing, training, and logistical approaches that will get the job done, and a “very human response” that might be the catalyst for action.
In Conversation: Post-COVID Recovery Becomes Added Lens for Climate, Energy Efficiency Programs, Dunsky Says
Philippe Dunsky is President of Dunsky Energy Consulting, a 35-person Canadian firm specialized in accelerating the clean energy transition. In early April, he circulated a sampling of the energy efficiency, clean energy, electric mobility, and climate action plans his firm is continuing to support through the pandemic, with members of his Montreal-based team conducting their work from home. He talked to The Mix about what a future of rapid decarbonization could look like post-coronavirus.
Canadian-Designed Sensors Helping to Build ‘Smart’ Cities
Once used solely to light commuters’ paths after dark, streetlights can now serve as “technology pillars” for smart city development and maintenance around the world, thanks to a Halifax-based roadway lighting company.
Renewables Agency Urges $110-Trillion Green Infrastructure Investment to Supercharge Recovery, Boost Resilience
Governments around the world can “supercharge their recovery, become more resilient to crises, and save trillions of dollars,” while setting sights on deep greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050, by directing stimulus funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to green infrastructure, Forbes magazine reports, citing a new release this week from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Saskatchewan Analysts See Energy Retrofits, Renewables as ‘Very Practical’ Path to Economic Recovery
As oil prices plummet and coronavirus-hit economies reel, analysts and experts are urging aggressive investment in labour-intensive renewable energy projects and efficiency retrofits as a responsible, cost-efficient, and “very practical” path through—and beyond—the pandemic.
In Conversation: Community Values Must Inform Post-COVID Rebuilding, Yano Says
Sherry Yano is Manager of Community Renewable Energy at the David Suzuki Foundation. She talks about the fault lines in society revealed by the COVID crisis and the values that lead to action on environment and social justice.
Canada Needs Stronger Policy to Tap Into $150 Billion in EV Sales, 1.1 Million Jobs by 2040
Unless the federal government bolsters their policy support for zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, Canada will fall short of its vehicle electrification targets, put only three million ZEVs on the road rather than 15.6 million, and gain only a fraction of the C$150 billion in economic activity and 1.1 million jobs that could be on offer by 2040, according to two analyses released earlier this month.
Post-Pandemic Employment Will Hinge on Green Energy as Fossil Jobs Slide
With projected oilfield job losses of 30% by the end of 2020, the fossil sector is likely to remain highly embattled after the threat of COVID-19 has abated, with little ability to create new jobs. But the job-intensive green energy sector could be set to flourish, particularly if policy-makers include some variant of a Green New Deal in their plans for secondary stimulus packages, a new analysis shows.
Renewables Delivered Nearly 75% of New Electricity Last Year, But Investment Must Double by 2030
Solar, wind, and other forms of renewable power supplied nearly three-quarters of the new electricity generating capacity installed in 2019, but annual investments will still have to double by 2030 to keep pace with the climate emergency, according to a new report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
New Pembina Head Linda Coady Sees Pandemic Relief, New Corporate Attitudes as Drivers for Low-Carbon Future
Collaboration, common ground, economic stimulus, and future resilience were the watchwords last week as Linda Coady, former chief sustainability officer at Enbridge Inc., signed on as the new executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute.
‘Now Is the Time’ for Food Security Planning, Dauncey Urges
With the pandemic posing an increasing threat to food security, policy-makers need to be thinking hard, and quickly, about how to protect the supply chain—from farm to store to table—with timely attention to building greater long-term resilience into the systems that sustain our food supply, Canadian author and climate hawk Guy Dauncey writes in a recent post.
Community Gardeners Object After Ontario Deems Food Production ‘Recreation’ During Pandemic [Sign-On]
With tens of thousands across the province relying on community gardens for affordable, local food, the Ontario government made a big mistake when it included them in its list of recreational activities to be shut down in the effort to #FlattenTheCurve on the coronavirus pandemic, a non-profit food security group warns in a release this week.
Canadian Cities Stepping up with Sustainable Land Use
Affordability, equity, quality of life, and climate resilience are emerging as key objectives in sustainable land use practices being developed by municipalities across Canada—and those objectives are actually being achieved thanks to a strong evidence base, robust community engagement, and close working relationships within and between public and private sector partners.
Benefits of Telecommuting May Outlast Virus Outbreak
Work-from-home policies being implemented around the world in an urgent effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 could create a significant long-term boost to climate action plans, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building future resilience.
Electricity Generation Cuts Emissions 2% in 2019, But Faster Coal Phaseout Needed
Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation fell 2% last year, the biggest annual drop since at least 1990, driven by reduced coal use in the European Union and the United States, according to a report released Monday by climate think tank Ember.
Quebec to Double Climate Spending Through 2026, But Details Still to Follow
The Quebec government released a budget yesterday that doubles spending on climate change to C$6.2 billion over six years, beginning in 2021, using surplus power from provincial utility Hydro-Québec to drive a 37.5% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. But details of the plan are still months away, and two major environmental groups say it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
Torrie: Mass, Deep Energy Retrofits Put Net-Zero Emissions Within Reach
A program of mass, deep energy retrofits to dramatically increase the efficiency of Ottawa’s existing building stock must be at the centre of the city’s plan to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, veteran energy modeller Ralph Torrie told a packed house at Ottawa’s Impact Hub late last month.
CCPA: B.C. Must Plan for Managed Decline Before International Fossil Markets Scale Back
British Columbia may be running out of time to plan for a managed decline of its fossil fuel industry, given the prospect that the Asian governments the province is counting on to buy its products may soon be making their own transition to a green economy, warns a new report issued this week by the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
Drawdown’s Latest ‘Tools of Possibility’ Show Path to 1.5°C, with 1,570 Billion Tons of Emission Cuts by 2050
Humanity can prevent or draw down 1,570 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 2050 to approach a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming, or 992.77 billion tons to settle around 2.0°C, by adopting a menu of 82 practical solutions ranging from onshore wind to utility-scale solar, from reduced food waste and plant-rich diets to tropical forest restoration and clean cookstoves, according to the 2020 update of the popular Drawdown list.
Ontario Climate Hawks Join City Council to Oppose Fracked Gas Pipeline Through Hamilton [Sign-On]
The City of Hamilton and Ontario climate organizations are mobilizing against a 10-kilometre pipeline that would carry fracked gas from the United States and increase the province’s reliance on carbon-heavy natural gas power plants.
Windsor Aims for Deep Energy Retrofits in 80% of Homes by 2041
The City of Windsor is closer to adopting a deep retrofit program to slash energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in 80% of its housing stock by 2041, following a unanimous standing committee vote last week.
New Research Institute Supports ‘Burgeoning’ Canadian Electric Bus Sector
Powered by C$4.7 million in federal and industry funding, seven mostly post-secondary institutions in Ontario are forming North America’s first research cluster providing research support to zero-emission buses (ZEBs) powered by batteries or fuel cells.
Canadian Pension Board Becomes Lead Shareholder in India’s Biggest Renewables Company
The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is about to become the largest shareholder in ReNew Power, India’s biggest renewable energy company, a business with 3.1 gigawatts of wind and 1.9 GW of solar generation currently in operation.
Hold the Line on Urban Sprawl, Local Campaigners Urge Ottawa City Council
Holding the line on the City of Ottawa’s urban boundary is an essential first step if the community hopes to do its part to get the climate crisis under control, local green space advocate Daniel Buckles wrote in a recent Ottawa Citizen op ed.
Alberta Solar Farm, Canada’s Biggest, Nets $500 Million from Danish Infrastructure Fund
Canada’s biggest solar farm, the 400-MW, 1,900-hectare Travers Solar Energy Project in Alberta, has received a C$500-million cash infusion from Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that will allow Calgary-based Greengate Power to start construction at the site near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County.
Three-Year Federal EV Incentive Burns Through Half Its Budget in Eight Months
It’s only taken the Canadian government eight months to burn through nearly half of its three-year budget for electric and zero-emission vehicle rebates, leaving the funds at risk of running out by year-end and Transport Minister Marc Garneau considering whether to extend the program to meet the demand.
Record $196.5M Fine in Dieselgate Scandal Points to ‘New Era of Environmental Protection’
A record-setting C$196.5-million fine levied against Volkswagen after it pleaded guilty to dozens of charges in the epic Dieselgate scandal, heralds a “new era of environmental protection,” according to judge who heard the case.
Ex-Alberta Liberal Leader Declares Tax Revolt Over Deadbeat Fossils’ $173M Debt to Rural Municipalities
A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.
‘Words Make Worlds’: Holthaus Issues Call to Imagine, Create a Radically Positive Future
As the climate crisis deepens, we must be “radically imaginative,” telling ourselves and each other stories of fiercely visionary, loving, and productive collective actions that will help end the climate emergency, veteran meteorologist and climate hawk Eric Holthaus writes in The Correspondent.
A new C$200-million “renewable hydrogen plant” is about to get off the ground in Chetwynd, British Columbia with a boost from the green energy arm of Australian infrastructure investment giant Macquarie Capital.
High-Fives in PEI After Officials Announce $68-Million Solar+Storage Project
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey shared a “small victorious high-five” in Summerside, PEI last week after announcing construction of a C$68-million, 21-megawatt solar farm with 10 MW of battery storage.
TerraForm Buyout Would Lift Toronto-Based Brookfield Renewable’s Asset Base to 22 Gigawatts
Toronto-based Brookfield Renewable Partners is pitching a US$1.5-billion offer to buy out the remaining shares of TerraForm Power Inc., a move that would boost its global portfolio of renewable energy and energy storage assets from 18 to 22 gigawatts.
LED Retrofit Cuts Lighting Costs 94%, Points to Fast ROI for Commercial Buildings
An LED lighting replacement project at a manufacturing plant in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata cut lighting costs 94% while providing better illumination, delivering the equivalent of a one-day return on investment after factoring in federal and provincial incentives.
Alberta tar sands/oil sands fossil Cenovus Energy is promising to cut its carbon emissions per barrel produced 30% by 2030, reclaim 1,500 decommissioned oil wells by the same year, hit “net zero” emissions by 2050, and expand its work with Indigenous businesses by C$1.5 billion.
Harbour Air Completes First Test Flight for Battery-Powered Seaplane
With allusions to the Wright Brothers’ first test flight in 1903, Harbour Air Seaplanes completed its first all-electric flight in Richmond, British Columbia December 10 with CEO Greg McDougall at the controls.
District Energy Systems Gain Ground Despite High Up-Front Cost, Low Gas Prices
Community-based district energy systems are spreading across Canada despite steep up-front costs and tough competition from cheap natural gas, with innovative examples popping up in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, and more than 2,600 other places in between.
Cut Carbon by Giving Citizens More Transportation Choices, Veteran City Planner Urges
A key step in getting Canadian urbanites out of high-emitting cars is to shed the notion that roads are natural habitat for cars alone and redesign city streets to give citizens more transportation choices, former Toronto chief planner and mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat argues in a Globe and Mail op ed.
Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows B.C. Leading, But All Provinces with Room to Improve
British Columbia leads, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador lag, and no province receives a score above 58 points on a 100-point scale in the first annual provincial energy efficiency scorecard released yesterday by Efficiency Canada.
‘New Kind of Protected Area’ Would Store Carbon, Conserve Nature’s Ecological Services
Rapid climate change should be the catalyst for Canada to embrace “a new type of protected area” devoted to sequestering carbon, argues Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star.
Solar Farm to Deliver Better Electricity Access, Annual Revenue to B.C. First Nation
The six communities of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia are looking ahead to better electricity access and C$175,000 in annual revenue after completing construction of a solar farm west of Williams Lake that is expected to generate 1.5 gigawatt-hours per year for the BC Hydro grid.
Alarmingly Warm Water Temperatures Put Gulf of St. Lawrence in ‘Uncharted Territory’
Deep waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are hitting record highs that fall far beyond normal variations, part of a decade-long trend emerging from research released earlier this week by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
‘Essential’ Insect Populations Declining by 1-2% Per Year
Too often denigrated as “creepy crawlies,” insects are essential to life on Earth, supporting everything from pollination to the carbon cycle. Poisoned, starved, robbed of habitat, and hammered by climate change, 1 to 2% of insect species are now being lost each year.
New Offshore Drilling Permits Could Put Canada’s Climate Targets Out of Reach, Endangered Right Whales at Risk
The federal government is putting its own climate targets out of reach, triggering higher carbon dioxide and methane emissions, putting endangered North Atlantic right whales at further risk, and undercutting the new impact assessment process it adopted less than two years ago, according to environmental groups reacting to the approval of three new fossil exploration projects off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador earlier this week.
B.C. Risks ‘Massive Losses’ without Better Planning for Storm Surges, Sea Level Rise
VANCOUVER — Parts of British Columbia could see massive losses if the province doesn’t start planning for flooding as ocean waters rise and storms surge due to climate change, says a researcher at the University of B.C. in Vancouver.