SNAPSHOT: Canada’s Contradiction: Low-Carbon Leader or Perpetual Petro-State?

 
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Justin Trudeau/Twitter

2018 was the year Canada’s policy contradictions on climate and energy came home to roost, as the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to square its enthusiastic embrace of the Paris Agreement with its equally avid support for the country’s carbon-emitting fossil industry. With the federal election coming up in October 2019, and an equally momentous vote in Alberta scheduled for May, the story intensified through the year, and the fault lines became ever more obvious.

Trudeau’s determined effort to chart a middle course between fossil dependency and climate responsibility earned him angry rebukes from both sides of the line, with a growing number of columnists and analysts concluding that he can’t have it both ways. The single biggest story of the year was the federal government’s decision to give in to an ultimatum from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Ltd. and spend C$4.5 billion to buy taxpayers a 65-year-old pipeline. That decision produced a sense of utter betrayal from Indigenous and other pipeline opponents—while fossils, incredibly, still accused the government of showing inadequate support for their failing industry.

In the end, analysis showed Canada falling massively short of its Harper-era carbon target under the Paris accord and unable to hit the target if it continued to insist on scaling up oil and gas production. One assessment showed carbon pricing eliminating 90 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2022, but still leaving the country 90 megatonnes short of a Paris goal that Trudeau and Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna had described as a floor, not a ceiling, for Canada’s climate ambition. Other analyses said Canada needed a higher carbon price and a wider suite of policy tools to get the job done, and the federal “backstop” price on carbon was on track to add 100 megatonnes to Alberta coal emissions.

Yet the strongest assurances the government offered had to do with the certainty of new fossil projects. Even after Canada signed on to a new high-ambition declaration, McKenna declined to strengthen the country’s carbon target. Earlier in the year, she attributed the country’s emissions gap to economic growth and expressed her continuing commitment to the Paris target.

Then-natural resources minister Jim Carr’s energy transition advisory council anticipated a future of wind, solar, energy efficiency, and the world’s “cleanest” liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; British Columbia welcomed a C$40-billion LNG megaproject; three new B.C. LNG projects neared approval; and Energy Mix correspondent Greg Allen said a 1.5°C future would require Canada to phase out natural gas. A new Ontario cement plant was expected to emit one megatonne per year, analysis placed the social cost of carbon from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as high as $8.7 billion up front and $4.1 billion per year, and doctors asked Trudeau for an independent health assessment of Trans Mountain.

In November, Canada posted the G20’s highest per capita GHG emissions, as a study showed average global warming would exceed 5.0°C if the whole world followed Canada’s, Russia’s, and China’s lead.

Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) said it was time for fossils to pull their weight on Canada’s climate commitments. CAN-Rac Executive Director Catherine Abreu and Environmental Defence National Program Manager Dale Marshall called for a more robust accountability mechanism for Canada’s Paris commitments, and Clean Energy Canada cited skepticism about post-carbon solutions as the new climate denial. “We didn’t have time for climate denial, and we have even less time for solutions denial,” asserted Executive Director Merran Smith and Policy Director Dan Woynillowicz.

Opinion research showed Canadians backing strong climate leadership despite concerns about cost, opposing fossil fuel subsidies by a two-thirds margin, and supporting Ottawa’s backstop price on carbon. The latter poll also showed a smaller gap between the views of Albertans and those of British Columbians than most pundits and politicians believed. Veteran climate advocate and organizer Tzeporah Berman received a vicious response, complete with death threats, when she accepted a speaking engagement from a branch of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. Berman delivered an impassioned call for dialogue, foresight, and collaboration to help the province prosper in a post-carbon world. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley arranged to follow Berman’s speech with one of her own and came back with unicorns—literally. “We are better than this,” Berman said.

Pipeline to Tidewater: A False Narrative Props Up a Fading Industry

The battle over Canada’s energy future was driven in large part by the shaky proposition that a prosperous future awaited Alberta, if only the stars aligned to build new pipeline capacity to tidewater. As the year progressed, it became ever clearer that that storyline was false at worst, woefully incomplete at best.

The basic claim—repeated and repeated again by industry executives and Notley—was that the Alberta and Canadian economies were losing many millions of dollars per day because of the deep discount oilpatch producers had to offer for the Western Canadian Select crude oil they sell into world markets. Just get a pipeline built, they claimed, and a price differential in the range of C$50 per barrel would be cleared, or at least mitigated, bringing new benefits to the industry and the provincial economy that depends on it.

The intensity ratcheted up through the fall, as falling world oil prices drove the discounted Alberta market to the point of crisis. By mid-November, major tar sands/oil sands producers were berating each other for taking “windfall profits” by grabbing all the available pipeline space they could, and the “swashbuckling free marketeers” in the oilpatch were doing precisely what you might expect: losing patience with governments for not stepping in with a fully baked solution to their problems, warning of a new wave of western Canadian separatism, accusing/not accusing Ottawa of treason, even risking the appearance of insider trading by participating in a meeting with Notley to discuss measures to restrict production volumes. Cenovus Energy urged governments to impose production cuts to drive up fossil revenue, and Notley complied.

“The grade of oil that Alberta sells into world markets, Western Canadian Select, hit a rock-bottom price of US$13.46 per barrel,” The Energy Mix explained at the height of the industry’s mid-November hyperbole, “its lowest since Bloomberg began keeping track in 2008. They’re producing at a loss, and they want a solution right now. And they imagine that faster federal action to approve the intensely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline extension—a project that would be years away from delivering an ounce of heavy crude if construction restarted tomorrow—will somehow give them relief from today’s problem.

“They also imagine that they have anything less than the federal government’s full-throated support.”

Later, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CEO Tim McMillan pivoted from complaints about pipelines and oil prices to an attack on Canada’s proposed new impact assessment act, Bill 69.

‘People Will Die’ to Get a Pipeline Built

But the harshest attacks from fossils and their supporters were reserved for campaigners on the front lines of the Trans Mountain fight. While Berman may have been the highest-profile target, she wasn’t alone. Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge casually and chillingly suggested that “people will die” on the protest lines at Burnaby Mountain, asserting that killing off a few “extremists” might be the price Canada would have to pay to get the Trans Mountain expansion built. British Columbia’s Dogwood Initiative reported that “the hate mail is piling up” after investment banker and former Dragon’s Den panelist Brett Wilson suggested pipeline protesters should be hanged for treason. Wilson later doubled down by offering to pay B.C. New Democrat legislators to cross the floor and support the project.

A more sober assessment by senior economist and former insurance CEO Robyn Allan showed it was Alberta’s inferior tar sands/oil sands product, not the lack of market access, that was driving down the price the province could charge for its product. Later in the year, analysts at BNN Bloomberg agreed that a new pipeline would not eliminate the price discount on a lower-quality form of crude oil that is tougher for refineries to process. A rating agency warned that Alberta was still relying on new pipeline-related revenue to balance its budget in 2023–24, and tar sands/oil sands operations were on track to break through Alberta’s lifetime emissions cap.

In an exclusive, six-part series for The Energy Mix, award-winning investigative reporter Paul McKay pointed to global competition as a fatal flaw in Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands export plans, traced the business partners Ottawa might have to sign on with to get the pipeline built, assessed the impact of new emissions controls for international shipping on Alberta production, calculated the starkly unfavourable math Canada had accepted by buying the pipeline, and made the case that Teck Resources’ proposed new tar sands/oil sands megaproject is a “dead mine walking.” Some observers speculated that Teck may not even plan to build the mine—it just wants a plausible enough appearance of that plan to set the stage for a Kinder Morgan–style bailout.

Analyst David Hughes said it’s poor strategy to sell off fossil resources at bargain basement prices, BNN Bloomberg debunked the myth that a new pipeline would clear the price discount for poor-quality Alberta crude, and Oil Change International’s Adam Scott called Alberta production cuts a vision of what a managed decline could look like. Veteran Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts gave a hat-tip to supply-side campaigns that fall one step outside the climate mainstream, after economists Fergus Green and Richard Denniss made a “cogent argument that the activists are onto something—that restrictive supply-side (RSS) climate policies have unique economic and political benefits and deserve a place alongside carbon prices and renewable energy supports in the climate policy toolkit.”

Some 50,000 people rallied in Montreal to demand provincial climate action, days before 6,000 protesters closed five London bridges in Extinction Rebellion’s first major action.

Alberta’s oil and gas royalties plummeted while production increased, even though the province’s fossil companies remained incredibly profitable through a sustained oil price crash. A few months of higher oil prices fueled optimism but not euphoria in the oilpatch before prices crashed again; labour-saving efficiencies wiped out thousands of Alberta fossil jobs; and declines in investment, jobs, and tax revenue pointed to the end of the tar sands/oil sands era.

The head of the Alberta Energy Regulator resigned after revealing the province could face up to $260 billion in unfunded oilpatch liabilities. The carbon liabilities facing the province’s five biggest fossils were calculated at $2 trillion. Équiterre said a spike in pipeline incidents showed up the industry’s safety claims as “meaningless marketing mantras,” and Albertans were set to bear the clean-up costs for 155,000 abandoned oil and gas.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer was looking forward to making carbon pricing a ballot issue in the 2019 federal election, but was expected to pay a price at the polls for opposing carbon pricing and supporting pipelines. The federal backstop price earned support from a conservative-led think tank, the Globe and Mail, a normally critical climate hawk, and public opinion for promising a carbon price rebate in almost every mailbox.

Ottawa was set to remit $420 million directly to Ontario climate initiatives after the Doug Ford government dismantled the province’s successful carbon cap-and-trade program, cancelled 758 renewable energy contracts, and stopped construction of the White Pines wind farm as it neared completion.

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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.

Montreal’s High Temperature in May was the ‘Definition of Extreme’

Montreal earned coverage in the Washington Post last week after experiencing its second-hottest day on record, with the mercury soaring to 36.6°C—far above normal for May. Adding to the swelter: nighttime temperatures that never dropped below 20.5°C. 

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.

Week 22, June 1: Regenerative Forestry

It is not our emissions as such that are causing the climate emergency: it is our accumulated emissions. Our world therefore faces not one but two climate challenges: Reducing human-caused emissions to zero, and bringing the atmospheric burden of carbon down to its pre-industrial level.

Petition Urges B.C. Bus Line to Buy Electric [Sign-On]

Outside Accountants to Probe AIMCo’s $2.1B Loss

100 Groups Ask Ottawa for Pause on Nuclear Waste Disposal Plans

Toronto Neighbourhood Gets Serious about Urban Farming

Montreal Designer Wins Award for Electric Recreational Watercraft

Canadian Real Estate Giant Launches Green Bond Framework

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.

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.

New Study Reveals Shrinking Snow Mass Across North America

Across all the non-alpine regions of North America, more than 46 billion tonnes of snow has “gone missing” this decade—and the same has happened every decade since 1980, according to the latest, best estimate from climate researchers, posing serious problems for regional administrators seeking to manage reservoir levels.

Abreu Wins Prestigious Jack Layton Progress Prize

Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu is the recipient of this year’s Jack Layton Progress Prize, awarded annually “to an individual or organization who has run a particularly noteworthy political or issue campaign” for justice, sustainability, or democracy.

Environment Day Film to Celebrate Canadian Youth Climate Campaigners

Butts, Lourie Head New Green Recovery Advisory Council

B.C. Abandoned Wells Program is ‘Swamped’ with Requests

Two New Wind Farms Open in Pincher Creek, Alberta

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.

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.

‘Great Time to Build a Pipeline’ While Protesters Can’t Gather, Alberta Energy Minister Says

It’s a great time to build a pipeline while pandemic-related public health measures prevent mass protests against them, Alberta Energy Minister and former pipeline executive Sonya Savage told a podcast last week hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

150 Canadian Non-Profits, Campaign Groups Launch Just Recovery Principles

A group of 150 non-profit and campaign organizations of Canada have launched a set of six principles for a just recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil Price Crash Hits Royalty-Dependent Indigenous Communities

Plummeting oil revenues are walloping more than 100 Indigenous communities across Western Canada that depend financially on fossil drilling within their territories—with the lost royalties and jobs putting social programs, youth supports, and personal livelihoods at risk in the face of steep pandemic-related costs.

Alberta Flooded with Applications for Orphan Well Cleanup Fund

Orillia Continues LED Streetlight Project Despite Pandemic

New Quebec City Tram Features Wider Sidewalks, More Parks

FortisBC Offers ‘Renewable’ Gas from Wood Waste

Campaign for a Resilient Canadian Recovery Signs 2,100+ Allies [sign-on]

More than 2,100 Canadian companies and organizations have signalled their support for a post-pandemic economic recovery plan grounded in the principles of sustainability and resilience and driven by projects that “aren’t just shovel-ready, but shovel-worthy.”

The Interview: 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.

Alberta tar sands oil sands

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.

‘Office Centricity is Over’, Shopify Declares, as Tech Companies Embrace Working from Home

Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify has declared itself “digital by default”, joining a growing list of North American tech companies that are rethinking their work arrangements in the wake of the pandemic—with still unpredictable but potentially huge implications for everything from commuter traffic and congestion to the demand for downtown real estate.

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.

Fossils May Think Twice Before Accepting Federal Bailout Package

After weeks of demanding a federal bailout in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian fossils might be thinking twice about accepting the loans they’re being offered, mergers and acquisitions specialist Jeffrey Jones writes for the Globe and Mail.

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.

Week 21, May 25: Green Finance

The climate emergency poses four risks to the stability of Canada’s financial system: insurance losses due to climate-related disasters, climate liability stemming from successful lawsuits, stranded fossil assets, and GDP losses resulting in a climate-caused collapse of financial confidence.

Manitoba Cree Take Down Keeyask Hydro Blockade After Protesting COVID-19 Risk

Ontario Privacy Commissioner Orders Bruce Power to Reveal True Cost of Nuclear

New Quebec Liberal Leader to Emphasize Environment, Economy

Toronto Community Housing Brings Passive House to Alexandra Park

Heiltsuk Nation Turns to Heat Pumps for Cleaner, Cheaper Power

The Energy Mix Launches Special Reports on Net-Zero Canada, U.S. Election

The Energy Mix is launching two new special reports, one of them on Canada’s drive to net zero, the other on America’s electoral climate in 2020.

Power lines, Mississauga, Canada

Maine Approves New Transmission Line from Quebec to New England

Regulators in Maine have approved a 145-mile, US$950-million transmission line that will carry 1,200 MW of electricity from Quebec to New England.

‘Activist’ Shareholders Take Aim at Teck

Pandemic Means Quieter Ocean for B.C. Orcas

Gwich’in Urge Banks to Steer Clear of Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Vancouver Passive Solar Building Will Deliver 146 Affordable Housing Units

Nova Scotia Gives Up on $48-Million Wind Plant Investment

Journalists Award Code of Silence (Dis)Honour to Environment Canada

Biden Pledges to Cancel Keystone XL

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is promising to cancel the intensely controversial Keystone XL pipeline after he enters the White House in January.

Saudi Arabia Buys Into Canadian Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Norwegian Wealth Fund Declares Blacklist

Saudi Arabia bought into Canada’s two biggest tar sands/oil sands companies, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund jumped ship, and the World Economic Forum highlighted the slow pace of carbon reductions in the Canadian oil and gas industry, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to roil global fossil markets.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands ‘Man Camp’ Drives COVID-19 Spread to Five Provinces

While actions taken to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake tar sands/oil sands mine seem to have slowed infection rates, both labour and community officials are calling for a ban on fly-in workers, a labour model that has proven literally deadly in its power to both incubate and spread the virus.

Judges Reverse Ford Government Bid to Cancel Cornwall-Area Wind Farm

The 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm near Cornwall, Ontario is back on the boards, following a court decision that quashed the last-minute decision by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek to cancel the project in December.

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.

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. 

Week 20, May 18: Green Industry

In 2017 heavy industry produced 73 Mt of CO2e, accounting for 10% of Canada’s emissions, including non-fossil-fuel mining, smelting and refining, and the production and processing of industrial goods such as fertilizer, paper and cement.

B.C. Unveils Orphan Wells Plan

Ontario Company Plans New Cobalt Refinery for EV Batteries

New Task Force Touts Hydrogen for Alberta’s ‘Industrial Heartland’

Alberta Designer Looks to Net-Zero Renovations

Canada’s Green Municipal Fund Traces Success Factors from First 20 Years

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.

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.

Canada’s ‘Rich Carbon Sink’ Peatlands Need Urgent Protection, Story Map Shows

Northern peatlands—the richest carbon sinks on the planet and epicentres of biodiversity—are in urgent need of protection from human development, the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada asserts, in a detailed “story map” that outlines why and how these “enormous carbon storehouses” must be preserved, with Indigenous peoples leading the way.

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.

Green Recovery 23% More Popular than Climate Action in Public Polling

Canadians are much more likely to support specific green job and recovery measures than they are to back a more general call to address climate change through post-pandemic economic stimulus, according to polling last month by Ipsos Canada that revealed a 23% difference in the response to the two questions.

‘Stealth Subsidies’ in Trade Policy Deliver $550 to $800 Billion Per Year to Fossil Companies

The “environmental bias” in tariffs and other trade barriers adds up to a US$550 to $800 billion annual “stealth subsidy” to fossil fuels, according to a study of 163 industries in 48 countries just released by a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Orphan Wells Funding Draws ‘Significantly Higher’ Interest Than Expected

The federally-funded program to help clean up thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by delinquent fossils received nearly 18,000 funding applications from 530 companies in its first four days online, prompting Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan to declare the level of interest “significantly higher” than governments expected.

Dozens of Birds Dead at Kearl Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings Pond

New Brunswick Deal Would Revive Dangerous ‘Plutonium Economy’, Edwards Warns

Alberta Hires 200 More Wildland Firefighters

B.C. Allows Forest Companies to Chop Whole Trees for Pellets if They’re ‘Inferior’

Fossils Expect Permanent Losses, Renewables Keep Growing as Pandemic Crashes Global Energy Demand

The permanent reductions in conventional energy demand wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic will change the oil and gas industry forever, leaving renewables as the only energy form resilient enough to keep growing, according to separate assessments released last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Europe’s biggest fossil, Royal Dutch Shell.

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.

The Interview: 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.

New Bank of Canada Governor Led Sustainable Finance Task Force

The federal government is receiving praise after appointing Tiff Macklem, a veteran of the 2008/2009 economic crisis and former deputy to climate finance titan Mark Carney, as governor of the Bank of Canada.

Climate Hawks Push Back After Ontario Buys Three Gas Plants for $2.8 Billion [Sign-On]

Ontario Power Generation is receiving serious pushback after one of its subsidiaries announced a C$2.8-billion deal to buy three gas-fired power plants in Halton Hills, Napanee, and Toronto from TC Energy.

Wet’suwet’en Clans Endorse Governance Agreement with Canada, B.C.

Wet’suwet’en clans in British Columbia have ratified a memorandum of understanding that will see them take back management of their traditional territories, although one clan says the deal doesn’t go far enough in response to the controversial Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now being built across their lands.

Harley Revs Up New E-Motorcycle to Match Shift in Consumer Attitudes

In a move that suggests the climate crisis is shifting even those fantasy purchases typically associated with midlife angst, legendary motorcycle company Harley-Davidson is hoping to turn up the throttle on its production of e-motorbikes.

CAPP Affirms Support for Indigenous Rights After Harsh Words from AFN

Newfoundland Presses Ottawa for Fossil Bailout

Near-Historic Low Snowpack Forces Yukon Energy to Look Beyond Hydropower

Manitoba Town Maps Groundwater Vulnerability

Arctic Ocean Study Documents Rapid, Unprecedented Change

From melting ice to spiking acidity, from stagnating thermoclines to troubled food chains, frighteningly rapid changes are under way in the waters of the Arctic Ocean, while a lack of long-term data leaves scientists and Indigenous peoples uncertain about how to respond.

Philippe Dunsky

The Interview: 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.

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.

Indigenous Group Warns of Possible Tailings Pond Leaks as Spring Floods Inundate Downtown Fort McMurray

With a 24-kilometre ice jam on the Athabasca River causing severe flooding in downtown Fort McMurray, Alberta, a local Indigenous advocacy group is raising flags about a lack of information on possible toxic releases from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds and holding ponds located alongside the river.

Low Prices Have Global LNG Market ‘Imploding Before Our Eyes’

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis is out with a list of 11 major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects that have been cancelled or deferred in the last month, an indication that the financial prospects for the industry “seem to be imploding before our eyes”.

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.

Woynillowicz: Here’s How Canada Can Build Back Better

Heaps: A Green Recovery Will Help Canada ‘Bounce Back Stronger’

Post-COVID Stimulus Should ‘Double Down’ on EV Infrastructure

Canada’s Seasonal Farmworkers Stress Essential Role in Pandemic

B.C. Rethinks EV Charging with Accessibility in Mind

B.C. Designer Gets Go-Ahead for Low-Speed EV

Port Burwell, ON Builds Resilient Stormwater Infrastructure

Parliament Buildings Ottawa Centre Block

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

Alberta_oil_energy

Alberta Pension Fund Manager AIMCo Loses $4 Billion on Bad Fossil Investments

A bad bet on fluctuating oil prices cost Alberta’s public pension funds more than C$4 billion last month, after the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) bought into a collection of contracts that never paid off in a stock market upended by falling oil prices and the global pandemic.

The Interview: COVID Demands Global Investment to Build Back Better, McArthur Says

Shaughn McArthur is Policy and Influence Lead at CARE Canada, and has been a leading voice for Canadian civil society at the last several United Nations climate change conferences. He’s been looking at the way the global focus on the pandemic has drawn attention away from the climate emergency—and how action on COVID can bring both crises together.

‘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.

Mid-Density Cities Can Meet Community Needs While Containing Sprawl, Ryerson Report Concludes

An institute at Toronto’s Ryerson University is diving right into the looming debate over urban density in an age of pandemic.

Post-Pandemic ‘Metro Makeovers’ Could Bring Better Pedestrian, Bike Access

Dense cities across Europe are making bike lanes and pedestrian thoroughfares the linchpins in their plans to slowly return citizens to some semblance of normal life—partly in anticipation of a transit-wary public, and partly to double down on a pre-pandemic trend of banning cars from city cores. 

CoronaCulture: ‘Fragile Moment’ Brings Outbreaks of Decency, Ethical Shift

The current long moment of enforced solitude is an opportunity to recognize how pre-pandemic life was really quite appalling for far too many people, and to vow to work together to ensure that we do not simply revert to the unkind, unjust status quo post-pandemic, writes Berlin-based Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti.

Week 17, April 27: Fossil-Fuel Wind-Down

In 2017, Canada’s oil and gas sector produced 195 Mt of CO2e, accounting for 27% of the country’s emissions. Between 2020 and 2024, oil and gas corporations are planning to invest US$1.4 trillion in new extraction projects, 85% of which are in the U.S. or Canada, 50% of which former Bank of England governor Mark Carney tells us will result in stranded financial assets.

Community Gardens Reopen in Ontario

Canadian Faith Groups Launch Climate Justice Project

Provinces Deem EV Charging an Essential Service in Pandemic

FCM Looks to Community Planning to Factor In Climate

EVs Boost Canadian Market Share Despite Disruptions

Malartic, Quebec Sets Sights on Active Transportation

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A1_Houston_Office_Oil_Traders_on_Monday.jpg

Canadian Fossils Headed for ‘Deep, Deep Collapse’ After Oil Price Dips to -$37.63 Per Barrel

Oil traders and fossil executives whose livelihoods rise and fall on the price of oil were in a state of collective shock earlier this week, as plummeting demand due to the coronavirus pandemic drove ricocheting prices well below zero for the first time ever.

The Interview: Pandemic Shows Community Risk of Climate, Air Pollution, Buchanan Says

Sarah Buchanan is Program Manager, Clean Economy at Environmental Defence in Toronto. Her work on clean vehicles and air pollution over the last six months has her focusing on the multiple, overlapping crises communities are facing during the pandemic.

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.

Ontario Records Big Emissions Spike After Axing Cap and Trade

The national greenhouse gas inventory report that Canada filed with the United Nations last week showed a big increase in Ontario, after several years of steady decline, Toronto-based Environmental Defence reported in a blog post earlier this week.

Citigroup Still Falls Short After Stepping Away from Coal, Arctic Oil and Gas Financing

Citigroup Inc., one of the three largest banks in the United States, is promising to cut off financial services for new and expanded thermal coal mines and power plants, Arctic oil and gas activities, and projects that harm the Outstanding Universal Value of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in an updated energy policy issued Monday.

COVID Stimulus Should Think Long-Term, Do No Harm: Elgie

Orphan Wells Funding ‘Sends Important Signal’, Clean Energy Canada Says

Montreal Considers First ‘Water Square’ to Control Intense Floods

Passive Solar Infill in Revelstoke Shows Value of Exceeding Building Code Specs

‘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.

Ontario Asks Court to Dismiss Youth Climate Case [Petition]

The Ontario government is asking a judge to dismiss a Charter of Rights and Freedoms case filed last November by seven youth climate litigants, claiming the matter shouldn’t be decided in court.

The Interview: 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.

Canadian Climate Campaigner Pushes Back After Attack by U.S. Fossil Association

A U.S. fossil association has launched a public attack on two climate campaign organizations in Canada, Stand.earth and Sustainabiliteens, strangely accusing one of them of working to “create roadblocks and drive up costs for oil and natural gas development in Canada’s Pacific Northwest”.

Canada Records 15-Megatonne Emissions Hike in 2018, Wiping Out 13 Years of Gains

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 15 million tonnes between 2017 and 2018, driven by vehicle emissions, oil and gas extraction, and manufacturing, and essentially erasing 13 years of small reductions dating back to 2005.

Week 16, April 20: An Efficient Renewable Energy Grid

To ensure that Canada’s power utilities continue to produce reliable, dispatchable power through the transition to 100% renewable energy, we will provide $100 million in Renewable Grid Research Grants over 10 years to develop improved systems of utility power storage and grid reliability.

12 Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed in Kearl Lake Tar Sands/Oil Sands Work Force

NS Fossil Pieridae Delays Decision on LNG Export Terminal

Alberta Stands By Massive Keystone Subsidy Despite U.S. Court Ruling

Squamish May Join Review of Woodfibre Work Camp

British Columbians Prepare for Flooding in Midst of Pandemic

Three Workers Test Positive for COVID-19 at Kearl Lake Tar Sands/Oil Sands Complex

The Alberta is maintaining that the Kearl Lake tar sands/oil sands complex 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray must remain open as an essential service, after three workers tested positive for COVID-19 and six others went into isolation pending test results.

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.

Major U.S. Transmission Projects Keep On Pushing to Bring Renewable Power to Market

After a tough decade of regulatory and public hurdles for new electricity transmission projects in the United States, Greentech Media is out with a profile of nine major lines that are at various stages of review and approval.

Cambridge, Ontario Automation Company Lands $60M Order for EV Equipment

Vancouver’s Ballard Power to Supply Fuel Cells for German Buses

COVID Creates Supply Chain Shocks for Canadian Farmers

New Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Faced Scandal in Saskatchewan

Price Crash, Pandemic Put Fossils in Peril as Investors Get Nervous

Apart from a bit of wishful thinking from a veteran oil and gas financier in Calgary, the North American fossil industry is being devastated by the combination of low oil prices and plummeting demand driven by the pandemic, with investors in both Canada and the United States becoming ever more skeptical of an industry that was in rough enough shape before the latest crisis hit.

The Interview: Pandemic Experience Puts Spotlight on Local Resilience, Self-Sufficiency, Logtenberg Says

Rik Logtenberg is a city councillor in Nelson, British Columbia, founder of Climate Caucus, a national network of mayors and councillors, and the developer of Nudj, a software platform for mobilizing change.

Oil Prices Tumble Again as OPEC+ Cuts Production, G20 Aims for ‘Stability’

A week of high-stakes deal-making came up short Friday, as energy ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized nations decided against cutting oil production in a last-ditch bid to drive up prices.

Week 15, April 13: First Nations and Rural Opportunities

In the Yukon, $200 million is spent each year to import diesel to provide power and heat for the territory’s 40,000 people, averaging $5,000 per person, $25,000 for a family of five.

Scottish Pension Funds Back Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada

Orphan Well Cleanup Could Be Big Job Creator

Northland Deal is Early Sign of Offshore Wind in Canada

Green Designers Weigh In on Canada’s New Building Code

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.

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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.

The Interview: Climate Action Builds Resilience Against Wider Range of Crises, Abreu Says

Catherine Abreu is Executive Director of Climate Action Network-Canada. She talks about the strengths and resources the climate community brings to the global health crisis, and the wider importance of building genuine relationships and resilience.

COVID-19 Risks Prompts Calls to Shut Down Fossil and Hydro Man Camps, Pipeline Construction [Sign-ons]

From the Site C hydro megaproject to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, from the tar sands/oil sands in northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, fossil workers with little opportunity for physical distancing are finding themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19—and in most cases, raising anxieties for nearby First Nations and other rural communities with limited resources to deal with an outbreak.

Four B.C. First Nations Seek Supreme Court Appeal on Trans Mountain

Four British Columbia First Nations are seeking permission for a Supreme Court appeal of a lower court’s unanimous decision supporting the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Cape Breton’s Donkin Coal Mine Closes

Ontario Gas Tax Pours $1.89M Into Peterborough Transit

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.

The Interview: Pandemic Reminds us that ‘We Are All Relatives’, Munn-Venn Says

Karri Munn-Venn is Senior Policy Analyst at Citizens for Public Justice. She’s been watching the changes in practice wrought by the pandemic and the shifts in perspective it might produce. 

COVID-19 May Deliver ‘One-Two Punch’ to Flood, Wildfire Response

The potential for a one-two punch—natural disaster plus COVID-19—has emergency preparedness teams across Canada working feverishly to be ready for complex battles that could range from wildfire smoke increasing the risk of serious lung infections, to trying to sandbag flooded rivers while keeping the imperative of social distancing.

Bank of Montreal, RBC, BlackRock Among the Backers for Alberta’s ‘Reckless’ Keystone XL Subsidy

The Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD are among the banks that are being called out for funding the Alberta government’s “reckless” decision to back the contentious Keystone XL pipeline with nearly C$8 billion in financial aid.

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.

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.

Child cycling with a mask

Air Pollution, Lack of Clean Water Increase Infection Risk for Poorer Communities

Chronic health problems—often owing to high levels of pollution—and poor access to clean water are putting poor, Indigenous, and non-white communities across the world at greater risk of infection and hospitalization in the face of COVID-19.

COVID Denial Mirrors Climate Attitudes Based on Demographics, Voting Preference

Older, right-leaning Canadian men are far more likely than their fellow citizens to consider the threat of COVID-19 to be exaggerated, and they’re proving more reluctant to practice recommended prevention measures like scrupulous handwashing and social distancing, according to recent research by the Angus Reid Institute.

Week 14, April 6: Renewable Electricity

In 2017, the generation of electricity from fossil fuels produced 74 Mt (10.3%) of Canada’s emissions. Renewable energy has become the cheapest option for new power generation. Onshore wind and solar PV power are now less expensive than any fossil-fuel option, without financial assistance.

Quebec, Ontario First Nations Plan Joint Study of Gazoduc Impact

Bak: Canadian Banks Fail to Disclose Fossil Risks

Global Developer Grasshopper Energy Takes Over 15 MW of Canadian Solar Projects

Pandemic Will Shift Food Security, Food Systems

Come By Chance Oil Refinery Shuts Down in Global Price War

Mar Steps Down from Petroleum Services Association

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.

Alberta Suspends All Environmental Reporting, Cuts Back Fossil War Room

The Jason Kenney government in Alberta is cutting its pro-fossil war room back to “subsistence operations” over the next three months, after intuiting that a global pandemic isn’t the best time to be blasting out marketing messages for the oil and gas industry.

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Economy Standard Aimed at Cleansing the Air, Cutting Emissions

With his country in the grips of an out-of-control pandemic of respiratory disease, Donald Trump is pressing ahead with his long-standing plan to gut vehicle fuel efficiency standards designed to cleanse the air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in what InsideClimate News describes as the country’s “largest anti-climate rollback ever”.

The Interview: Pandemic Recovery Can Boost the Economy, Attack Emissions, Increase Climate Resilience, Nagata Says

Kai Nagata is Communications Director at Dogwood in British Columbia. Since the pandemic began, he’s been pointing out that every dollar spent on the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline is a dollar diverted from pandemic response—and that in any health emergency, none of us is safe unless all of us are safe.

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.

‘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.

Cleanse the Air to Help #FlattenTheCurve, Doctors Urge

While physical distancing and handwashing (have you washed your hands recently??) are essential strategies to #FlattenTheCurve on the coronavirus pandemic, governments can also reduce the load on the health care system by keeping the air as clean as possible, three public health and respiratory medicine specialists from British Columbia argue in a post for the Globe and Mail.

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.

Scotford Upgrader Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

Shell Postpones ‘Crucial Maintenance’ on Alberta Upgrader to Minimize COVID-19 Risk

Shell Canada is postponing what the Calgary Herald describes as “crucial maintenance” on its Scotford tar sands/oil sands upgrader in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, to minimize transmission of the coronavirus.

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.

Week 13, March 30: Sustainable Aviation

Domestic and international aviation produced 21 Mt of CO2e in 2017 (14.34 Mt international, 6.67 Mt domestic), representing 3% of Canada’s emissions. Emissions are rising by 1 Mt a year. Fuel consumption and GHG emissions rose by 65.5% between 2005 and 2017, averaging 4.3% per year, in spite of a 17.6% increase in aircraft fuel efficiency.

Jaccard to Study Net-Zero Emissions for Sustainable Development Network

Manitoba Researchers Study ‘Plastivore’ Worms that Gobble Waste

Renewable Energy

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.

The Interview: 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.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Proposed Alberta Coal Mine Expansion Evades Federal Review

Alberta’s proposed Vista thermal coal mine has tweaked its expansion plans to just below the dimensions that would trigger a federal review, opening Canada to charges of hypocrisy on the world stage.

Judge Bars Alton Gas Approval, Demands Consultation with Mi’kmaq

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.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

Anxious Workers at Fossil Man Camps Brace for ‘Hellish’ COVID-19 Outbreak

Anxious tar sands/oil sands workers are bracing for a “hellish” outbreak of COVID-19 in the man camps surrounding tar sands/oil sands, coal, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) megaprojects in Alberta and British Columbia, with one major LNG developer cutting its onsite staff but Alberta fossils planning to import thousands of temporary workers for their heaviest maintenance season in five years.

The Interview: Coronavirus Changes the Narrative, Brings Climate Campaigners Back to Basic Values, Howard Says

Courtney Howard is an emergency room doctor in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. Since the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic, she’s been scrambling to prepare for a wave of new cases, while encouraging fellow climate communicators to take care of themselves, be kind to each other, and develop a new narrative that fits the unprecedented moment we all find ourselves in.

Classical Musicians Come Together (Alone) for Virtual Performance

In an isolated world, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra are lifting the hearts and minds of 115,000 (and counting) with beautiful music—performed separately, together, from isolation in their homes. 

Week 12, March 23: Zero Emissions Railways, Freight and Heavy Equipment

Canada has 46,000 kilometres of railways, almost all of which operate on diesel. In 2017, GHGs from the rail sector were 6.6 Mt CO2e, representing 0.9% of Canada’s 716 Mt. Only 129 kilometres are electrified. Studies indicate that electrification costs around $5 million per kilometre. This suggests that spread over 20 years, complete electrification would cost $230 billion, $11.5 billion a year, or $32,400 per tonne of avoided CO2e.

Severe Weather, Adaptation to Cost Canadian Cities $5.3B Per Year

Nova Scotia Plans $110-Million Refurbishment for Wreck Cove Hydro Plant

B.C. Mayor Wants $4M from Province After Heavy Rains Damage Park

Unregulated Tar Sands/Oil Sands Emissions May Undercut Canada’s Methane Reductions

Although Canada can still meet its 2025 deadline to reduce methane releases from conventional oil and gas production by 40 to 45%, those gains could be wiped out by methane increases in tar sands/oil sands operations that aren’t subject to regulation, a new report concludes.

Derailed Petcoke Train Near Prince George Also Carried Methanol, LNG

Cleaning up the 40 tonnes of petroleum coke that spilled into a local creek will not be an easy task, but far worse could have happened if derailed cars containing toxic methanol and liquid petroleum had ruptured, according to updates on the recent CN derailment northeast of Prince George.

Commissioner Scorches Newfoundland’s ‘Blind Trust’ in Troubled Muskrat Falls Megaproject

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball is calling in the police and the provincial justice department, following the release of a scathing report last week that found a previous provincial government failed to protect residents’ interests during construction of the 824-megawatt, C$12.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject.

Coastal GasLink Documents $115M in Payments to Communities

Fleet Electrification a Big Opportunity for Canadian Manufacturers

FCM Looks Back on Local Climate Action Across Canada

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.

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.

Week 11, March 16: Electric Vehicles

Our current target is that 10% of total light-duty vehicle sales should be zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

U.S. Federal Judge Gives Thumbs-Up to Quebec-California Cap-and-Trade

Repair Cafés Surge as Canadians Resist Trash-and-Replace

coronavirus COVID-19

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.

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.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands See Sharp Decline in Capital Spending, Job Creation

Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands have shifted decisively into a “mature” phase of development in which job creation and capital spending will continue to lag and new technologies will replace a large share of the work force laid off due to “lower-for-longer” oil prices between 2014 and 2016, according to a new analysis this week by the Edmonton-based Parkland Institute.

Switzerland’s UBS Yanks Funding for New Arctic Offshore Oil, Thermal Coal, Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Switzerland’s UBS Group AG has decided it will no longer finance offshore oil development in the Arctic, thermal coal mines, or tar sands/oil sands projects on undeveloped land, and will scrutinize liquefied natural gas and ultra-deepwater drilling projects more carefully before committing to them.

Prince George School Evacuated after Latest Canadian Train Derailment

In yet another Canadian freight train derailment, 27 cars left the tracks near Prince George, British Columbia last week, forcing the evacuation of a local elementary school and leaving a nearby creek contaminated with petroleum coke.

Prof Takes University of Regina to Court Over Disclosure of Fossil Research Funding

Alberta Turns Abandoned Oil Wells into Solar Farms

Buffett Fund Backs Out of Quebec LNG Project as Hearings Begin, Community Opposition Mounts

U.S. investment legend Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway industrial conglomerate has decided not to sink C$4 billion into Canada’s next controversial fossil pipeline, the GNL Québec pipeline and liquefied natural gas terminal in the Saguenay region, just as environmental hearings and grassroot opposition to the project begin gearing up.

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.

‘Think Green’ Stickers in Alberta Mask Extreme White Nationalist Message

An ostensibly pro-environment message on a poster showing up on lamp posts in downtown Red Deer, Alberta links back to an extreme white nationalist website that was already on the radar of anti-racism campaigners, reports the Edmonton bureau of the Toronto Star.

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.

Canada Can’t Wait 10 Years for New Flood Maps, Insurers Warn

Winfield: Energy Conservation Must Take Centre Stage in Ontario

New Brunswick Iron Plant Raises Emissions Alarm

2018 Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George Revealed “Shocking” Safety Breaches

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has responded to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on an October 2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion near the community’s borders, saying the report contains “shocking” confirmation of serious safety breaches.

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).

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mining_Technician_Coal_Export_Terminal.png

Saskatchewan Announces $10 Million Fund to Help Coal Communities Diversify

Saskatchewan is making good on a Throne Speech promise last fall to direct C$10 million to coal communities to help them diversify into new economic development opportunities.

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.

Edmonton Diner Adds Carbon Footprint Rating to Menu

An Edmonton diner has begun estimating the carbon footprint of the various meals on its menu, using calculations produced by the non-profit Northern Climate Stewardship & Sustainability Society.

Coastal GasLink Resumes Construction After Wet’suwet’en, Canada, B.C. Reach Draft Agreement

Fossil Front Groups Placed Facebook Ads Denouncing Indigenous Blockades

Globe Editorial Urges Ottawa Not to Let Ford Loosen Pollution Regs

Three Northern Alberta Towns Plan ‘More Holistic’ Response to Climate Change

Trudeau Calls for Year of Consultation on 2030, 2050 Climate Targets

The federal government is calling for a year of consultation before finalizing plans to meet a more ambitious carbon reduction target by 2030 and hit net-zero by 2050.

Alberta Announces $100M Loan for Orphan Well Clean-Up

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage have announced a C$100-million loan to help the province’s Orphan Well Association clean up another 1,000 abandoned oil and gas production sites, while creating 500 jobs for unemployed oilfield service workers.

X-Site Energy Pledges to ‘Correct Our Mistake’, Destroy All Decals Targeting Thunberg

Canadian Survey Shows 75% of Appliances Breaking Within 10 Years

Local Communities On Their Own as B.C. Sea Levels Rise

Condemnation Rains Down After Online Images Depict Attack on Thunberg, Violence Against Blockaders

Two separate online images from Alberta are earning widespread condemnation, prompting even the Kenney government to insist the province can and must do better. One of the images portrayed a sexually graphic attack on #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg. The other showed a train driving through a crowd of blockaders.

Calgary Pipeliner Left to Wait as U.S. Regulator Delays Decision on Oregon LNG Terminal

The Calgary-based pipeliner behind a proposed US$10-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon is facing what the Financial Post calls a “surprise setback”, after the Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to delay its decision on the plan to send Canadian gas to Asian markets.

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.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Cancellation the Least of Teck’s Problems as Analysts Question Mine Cost Overrun

While Teck Resources’ bombshell decision to walk away from its $20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine has received wall-to-wall coverage in the last seven days, the company’s broader financial picture is a bigger concern for investors, the Globe and Mail reports.

Week 9, March 2: Green Buildings

Buildings produce 12% of Canada’s GHGs. The challenge is two-fold: new builds, and retrofitting Canada’s 15 million homes and 480,000 industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.

Great Bear Rainforest Faces Delays on $25M in Offsets

Canadian Climate Outrage Should Translate Into EV Job Training

Hydro-Québec Reservoirs Are Valuable Storage for U.S. Northeast

Canadian Farmers Band Together for Climate Solutions

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.

Alberta Delays Report Showing Warming, Climate Impacts Above Global Average

The Alberta government dragged its feet for six months before releasing a report it previously commissioned from climate scientists Katharine Hayhoe and Anne Stoner that shows the province warming faster than the rest of the planet due to human activity, with “profound impacts on the province’s economy, infrastructure, and public health,” Global News reports.

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.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts NWT Oil Well Cleanup at Risk

Downtown Toronto Construction Project Has Low-Carbon Heating, Cooling

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

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

The Court of Appeal of Alberta has declared the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme unconstitutional, calling it a “constitutional Trojan horse” that intrudes on provincial jurisdiction.

New Quebec Gas Pipeline, LNG Terminal Would Emit 1.8 Billion Tonnes Over 25 Years

A controversial gas pipeline and liquefaction project in Quebec’s Saguenay region that could produce 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over 25 years is just three weeks away from entering hearings before the province’s environmental review agency, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).

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.

Teck Withdrawal a ‘Wake-Up Call’ for a ‘Version of Alberta that No Longer Exists’

Teck Resources’ blockbuster decision to walk away from its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine was a “wake-up call” to abandon “a version of Alberta that no longer exists,” Calgary-based opinion writer and self-described “proud centrist” Max Fawcett writes in an opinion piece for CBC News.

Don’t Use Public Pensions to Prop Up Carbon-Heavy Industries, Alberta Unions Say

Alberta’s public pensions shouldn’t be used to prop up carbon-intensive fossil industries at a time when private investors are abandoning the sector, the Alberta Federation of Labour warned in a statement last week.

Week 8, February 24: Cohesive Communities

Every community in Canada needs the capacity and skills to embrace the transition, becoming strong and resourceful. In Britain, the Lambeth Study on participatory culture found that success in building a cohesive community requires regular engagement by 10-15% of the residents, and an investment of $140 per resident.

Horgan, Trudeau Will Look Foolish if LNG Canada Project Crashes

Urban Trees Will Help Cool Boston, If They Survive

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.

As It Happened: Pressure Was Building Against Teck Mine Proposal as 41 Nobel Laureates Weighed In

With the federal cabinet still on track last week to decide whether to approve the C$20.6-billion Teck Frontier megaproject, 41 Nobel laureates urged the government to reject the project, a columnist argued that any decision was better than postponing the issue, and the company that ultimately pulled the plug on its own proposal was already considering exiting the tar sands/oil sands entirely.

Analysis: Teck Mine Would Have Produced 45 Million Tonnes of Emissions Per Year

If Justin Trudeau’s cabinet had approved the controversial Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine this week, it would have given its blessing to a project that would dump 45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) into the atmosphere, 11 times more than the company acknowledged, according to analysis completed in the days before the company’s dramatic decision to withdraw its project application.

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.

Tyendinaga blockade

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.

Hapless Fossil ‘War Room’ Being Targeted by Climate Hawks, Alberta Claims

The Jason Kenney government in Alberta is amping up its grievance meter another notch, with the claim that environmental activists are targeting the fossil energy “war room” his government is funding with C$30 million in taxpayers’ funds.

Bezos Pledges $10 Billion for Climate Action, Takes Heat for Amazon’s Carbon Footprint

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been receiving a megatonne of advice since forming his Bezos Earth Fund last week and pledging to donate US$10 billion of his own considerable wealth to help scientists and activists fight the climate crisis. Some of the most pointed comments have suggested he take a more look at his own company’s carbon footprint.

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.

Researchers Convert Used McDonald’s Fryer Oil to Biodegradable 3D Printing Resin

Researchers at the University of Toronto say they’ve converted used fryer oil from a McDonald’s fast food restaurant into a biodegradable 3D printing resin.

Week 7, February 17: Climate Education and Research

A proper scientific understanding of the climate emergency and its solutions is essential for all Canadians as we tackle this massive challenge.

Alberta Approves New Suncor Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

#ImperialOilKnew It Was Contributing to Climate Crisis

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.

Skyrocketing Price Drives Down Public Support for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Public support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tips toward opposition when Canadians learn that the cost of the controversial project has ballooned to C$12.6 billion, the Angus Reid Institute reports this week based on a new opinion survey.

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.

Pembina: Emissions 70% Above Global Average Put Tar Sands/Oil Sands on ‘Collision Course’

Carbon emissions per barrel that are still 70% above the global average, and still on the rise, are putting Alberta tar sands/oil sands producers on a “collision course” with Canada’s climate targets and with changing expectations in global markets, the Pembina Institute reports in a study released Wednesday.

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.

Oil Train Derails, Leaks Crude in Northwestern Ontario

Yet another oil train has derailed along the CN Rail line, with 30 cars off the tracks and five of them leaking crude oil near the northwestern Ontario town of Emo, near Fort Frances.

Week 6, February 10: Prairie Solutions

To the frontline workers in the coal, oil, and gas industries: we understand your concerns. We need to bring the age of fossil fuels to a smooth but rapid ending, while protecting you and your families and communities.

Manitoba Premier Won’t Rule Out Oil Pipeline to Churchill

Guelph Invests $177 Million to Buy 65 Electric Buses

Tyendinaga blockade

Rail Lines Shut Down, RCMP Still on Gidimt’en Land as Miller Meets Tyendinaga Blockaders

Rail lines across most of Canada remained shut down this week, RCMP were still a threatening presence on Gidimt’en land in British Columbia, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller met with Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters, and a flurry of news coverage traced the widening impacts of a blockade triggered by a pipeline company pushing an unwanted natural gas pipeline through unceded Indigenous territory.

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.

New Trade Deal May Help U.S. Ship Coal to Asia Through Canadian, Mexican Ports

The Trump administration is looking for support from Canada and Mexico under the newly-signed U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) to help it circumvent state-level bans on coal shipments to Asia from western U.S. states.

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.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Fast-Growing BlackRock Investment Fund to Exclude Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Thermal Coal

Asset management giant BlackRock is promising to exclude tar sands/oil sands and thermal coal projects from of its fastest-growing sustainable investment funds.

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.

Blowing Smoke: Ad Ban for High-Emitting Products Should Be Modelled on Tobacco Regulation

A government that took the climate crisis seriously would impose the same kind of restrictions on advertising high-carbon goods that it sets for tobacco products, author Richard Corley argues in a recent post for Corporate Knights.

100 Teck Protesters Occupy Guilbeault Constituency Office

About 100 student demonstrators occupied the downtown Montreal constituency office of Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault Friday afternoon, calling on the former Greenpeace activist and the rest of his cabinet colleagues to refuse approval for Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

Week 5, February 3: Climate Engagement

Without widespread citizen engagement it will not be possible to achieve our climate goals. The new initiatives announced today will build on Canada’s Climate Action Fund, which funds initiatives that raise awareness of climate change and build capacity to increase climate action.

Kitimat LNG Project Reports $720-Million Write-Down

Toronto Neighbourhood Wants Nearby Nuclear Fuel-Maker Shut Down

Canadian Firm Unveils Electric ‘Superbike’

IESO Sees Cost Saving Potential in Ontario Greenhouses

Air Pollution Impacts Cost $8 Billion Per Day, Greenpeace Study Shows

The health impacts of air pollution cost countries US$8 billion per day, according to a study released this week by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

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.

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.

City Data Show Young Talent Leaving Town as Calgary Stagnates

Young people in Calgary are moving on, with census data picking up a demographic shift driven in part by the decline of the city’s dominant industry.

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.

Toronto Sets Sights on 100% ZEV by 2050

Wind, Solar Power Greenhouse in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

Alberta Fossils Tout Lithium as New Opportunity

Canadian Pipeliners Jump Onboard ESG Trend

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.

‘This is Not Okay’: Protests Across Canada Stand Up for Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protests in support of Wet’suwet’en land defenders in British Columbia have been sweeping across Canada, with rail lines blocked in Quebec and Ontario, the B.C. government’s Speech from the Throne disrupted, and rallies or blockades reported in at least seven provinces.

Halifax Takes Top Honours in National Climate League 2019 Standings

Halifax took top honours in four categories and eight Canadian municipalities were singled out for recognition last week as the National Climate League released its coveted Season 2 standings.