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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Results of a ratification vote were to be released today after GM Canada and Unifor reached a tentative deal that will see the giant automaker invest C$1 billion to build electric vans at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Alberta Inquiry Touts ‘Junk Climate Denial’, Conspiracy Theories in Fossil Industry’s Defence

Alberta’s C$3.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign-funded interference with the province’s fossil industry is advancing “junk climate denial science, bizarre conspiracy theories, and oil industry propaganda,” according to critics who’ve reviewed a series of commissioned studies now available on the inquiry’s website, CBC and the Globe and Mail report.

New Exposé Reveals $171 Million in No-Bid Contracts on Site C Hydro Megaproject

Disgraced engineering giant SNC Lavalin and a former BC Hydro chief engineer were among the big winners when the provincial utility awarded C$171 million in sole-source, “no-bid” contracts for its controversial Site C hydropower megaproject, according to an exposé published by The Narwhal last week.

75 Indigenous Women Leaders Urge Biden to Halt Major Pipelines

Indigenous women leaders across the United States have called upon President-elect Joe Biden to put an immediate and permanent halt to three of the country’s pipeline projects, saying Indigenous rights and the threat of “climate chaos” demand an end to the reign of fossil fuels.

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.

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.

Southern Alberta Monolith Carries Message Against Rocky Mountain Coal Mining

A towering stainless steel monolith set up along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta comes with a message.

Newfoundland Offers Suncor $175 Million to Restart Terra Nova Offshore Oilfield

Newfoundland and Labrador is offering C$175 million to the owners of the dormant Terra Nova offshore oilfield, but only if oil starts pumping again.

Suncor Worker Dies After Dozer Falls Through Ice on Inactive Tailings Pond

Exxon Subsidiary Imperial Oil Promises Carbon Footprint Disclosure

Feds, Province Announce $10M for Ontario Cobalt Refinery

Ottawa Funds Solar Projects with Two Northern Sask First Nations

Mushy Outdoor Rinks Become Ground for Climate Conversations

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.

Alberta Sends Warning Letters, Imposes No Fines in ‘Really Serious Case’ of Falsified Documents

A “huge” case of falsified records, in which 59 reclamation certificates for abandoned gas wells were rescinded by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), has resulted in warning letters and media coverage but no financial penalties for the two companies involved, after a complex investigation ran into the two-year limit imposed by provincial legislation.

Six Nations, NRStor Win Financing for Canada’s Biggest Battery Project

The Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and their corporate partner NRStor Inc. have tapped into support from the Canada Investment Bank to get the country’s biggest battery storage project off the ground.

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.

Husky-Cenovus Merger Speeds ‘Hollowing Out’ of Calgary Downtown

Vancouver Weighs Fairness of Congestion Pricing

Two Quebec Firms Team Up on Green Hydrogen Development

Feds Fund 100 Edmonton Building Retrofits Over Two Years

Ottawa-Area Arena Gains Zero-Carbon Certification

Sunflower Sea Stars at Brink of Extinction After 5.7 Billion Die in Last Decade

Mining Billionaire Plans $200M Investment in Green Energy Transition

Norway Boosts Carbon Tax to $237 Per Tonne by 2030

Norway will more than triple its national carbon tax by 2030, from kr 590 to kr 2,000 (US$70 to $237) per tonne of carbon dioxide, under a plan released last Friday by Environment Minister Sveinung Rotevatn.

B.C. Health Officer Permits Workers to Return to Controversial Dam Project

With a conditional green light from British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Site C dam construction crews are embarking on a staged return to work, even as cabinet officials prepare to review a major study that could shut the project down for good.

New Edmonton Liaison Unit Helps Smooth Retrofit Red Tape

Jurisdictions seeking to safely expedite permits for complex deep retrofits of multi-unit residential buildings would do well to follow the City of Edmonton’s example and establish client liaison units, says a new report.

CPPIB Pours $380 Million into European Wind Farms

Scotiabank Refuses to Fund Arctic Refuge Drilling

Trudeau Pledges $55 Million to Address Land Degradation

UNESCO Raises Flags Over Vancouver Fossil’s Botswana Project

RioCan Announces $500M Green Bond

Parade of Alberta Coal Developments Threatens Recreation Areas, Biodiversity

EDMONTON — At least five popular recreation areas in southern Alberta are surrounded by coal exploration plans and one of them has been partly given over to an exploration lease, raising questions about their future with lovers of the outdoors.

2020 Ties 2016 for Hottest Year on Record

Last year tied 2016 for hottest on record, further accelerating the melting of the Arctic region and fuelling a spate of deadly droughts, heat waves, and wildfires around the world. And this surge in warmth occurred despite the cooling presence of La Niña.

Desjardins Unfriends Coal, Rockefeller Drops Fossil Investments in Year-End Announcements

Two high-profile North American investors closed out 2020 with pledges to reduce the carbon footprint of their portfolios, with Lévis, Quebec-based Desjardins Group promising to drop most of its coal investments and the storied Rockefeller Foundation saying it will purge its US$5-billion endowment of fossil fuel holdings.

Vancity Sets 2040 Net-Zero Target for Entire Lending Portfolio

The Vancouver City Savings Credit Union is promising to bring its entire mortgage and loan portfolio to net-zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as part of a five-part plan aimed at building climate action into the financial co-op’s business strategy.

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.

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.

Epic Failure for Trump as Fossils Show Little Interest in Alaska Refuge Oil Leases

Donald Trump sustained an epic defeat last week when a widely-criticized, eleventh-hour bid to sell oil and gas exploration leases in the ecologically fragile Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) produced only a fraction of the revenue or industry interest his administration was hoping for.

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.

Canada Pushes Back on ‘Unwarranted’ U.S. Solar Tariffs

Lion Electric Offers Amazon a 15.8% Share

Land Institute Urges Net-Zero Action on Toronto Rental Housing

Minto Hosts Hackathon to Find Energy, Circular Economy Solutions

Hydro-Québec Unveils Energy Storage Subsidiary

Virginia Solar Farms Grapple with Land Use Issues

Smoke from Australia Wildfires Blocked Sunlight, Cooled the Globe

Students Press Ontario Teachers to Pull Retirement Funds Out of Fossil Fuels

TORONTO — An environmental coalition is appealing to Ontario teachers to pressure their pension fund to divest from companies that develop or transport fossil fuel products.

Suncor Writes Off $425 Million in White Rose Oilfield Off Newfoundland

CALGARY — The new operator of the White Rose offshore oilfield says no final decision has been made about its future despite a move by partner Suncor Energy Inc. to take a C$425-million impairment charge, or downgrade, on the value of its stake, The Canadian Press reports.

Contaminants Hit North Saskatchewan River After Pipeline Spills 400,000 Litres of ‘Salty Produced Water’

CALGARY — Contaminated water that leaked from an oilfield pipeline on Christmas Day has entered the North Saskatchewan River but has had no detectable impact on it, a spokesperson for Calgary-based fossil ARC Resources Ltd. said late last month.

Fossil Worker Retraining Program Looks to Expand

Business Development Bank Cleantech Investments Hit $500M After Two Years

NWT Aims for Community-Based Climate Adaptation

U Waterloo Students Add Solar Panels to Boost EV Range

Virtual Consultation Tool Supports Home Energy Audits

Nebraska Judges Halt Land Expropriations, Citing Biden Pledge to Cancel Keystone XL

Two Nebraska judges have halted land expropriations along the Keystone XL construction route, citing the likelihood that President-elect Joe Biden’s will cancel the pipeline after he takes office later this month.

Wilkinson Tips North American Ban on Gasoline Vehicles as Biden Inauguration Approaches

A North America-wide ban on new gasoline-powered vehicle sales may be on the agenda as the Canadian government begins building ties with the incoming Biden-Harris administration in the United States.

Ontario Pension Plan Invests Teachers’ Retirement Savings in Italian Gas Pipeline Network

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan closed out the year by buying a controlling interest in a fossil gas pipeline company in Italy, with an OTPP official claiming the deal is a “low- or zero-carbon” investment.

December Sees Three Dead, One Injured on Fossil Projects in Alberta, B.C., Minnesota

December was a hazardous month to work in the fossil industry, with workers killed or injured on projects in Alberta, British Columbia, and Minnesota.

$38-Million Subsidy Could Drive 10 More Years of Oil Drilling Off Newfoundland

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador is giving C$38 million to the Hibernia offshore oil project in a bid to protect 148 jobs over 18 months.

Some Tar Sands/Oil Sands Operations Cut Upstream Emissions 35%, But Life Cycle Carbon Only 2%

A new study based on internal company data from three Alberta tar sands/oil sands operations is showing upstream emission reductions of 14 to 35% compared to past data—but no more than about a 2% drop in life cycle emissions from extraction through consumption.

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.

Magna, LG Form Joint Venture for EV Auto Parts

COVID Outbreaks Hit Chevron, Syncrude Sites in Alberta

Geothermal Greenhouses Help East Coast First Nations Address Food Insecurity

Invenergy Nabs $1-Billion Caisse de Dépôt Investment

Home Heat Pumps Need Up-Front Financing to Tap Long-Term Savings

14 Countries Commit to Sustainably Manage 40% of World’s Coastlines

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.

B.C. Sets New 2025 Emissions Target as Oil and Gas Projects Trigger ‘Alarming’ Increase

The British Columbia government is setting a new target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 after determining it is further from reaching its goals than previously forecasted.

New East End Montreal LRT Will Be 25 to 70% Faster than Driving

Montreal’s light rail network has announced a C$10-billion expansion into the city’s perpetually underserved east end, meaning that residents will be just a minutes-long trip away from downtown once the 23 new stations and 32 kilometres of track go into service in 2029.

Ontario Guts Conservation Authorities, Risking ‘Irreversible Damage’ in Flood Zones

Overreaching, unnecessary, and downright dangerous is how Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities are describing a new provincial law that limits their power to protect an already vulnerable public from increasing flood risks—a threat the Ford government continues shrug off.

Lloyd’s Promises 2030 Withdrawal from Fossil Fuel Project Insurance, Draws Fire for Slow Timeline

The world’s biggest insurance network, UK-based Lloyd’s, is promising to end new investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic oil and gas, and coal by 2022 and stop insuring any fossil projects at all by 2030.

U of T’s 750-Bed Student Residence in Scarborough Uses Passive House Design

WoodGreen Community Housing Retrofit Wins International Energy Efficiency Certification

B.C.’s Ballard Power Looks to Revamp Long-Haul Transport with Hydrogen

Small Modular Reactors ‘Re-Engage’ Canada with Nuclear Weapons

Laval Buys 28,000 Square Metres for Urban Park

Amazon Takes Lead in Corporate Clean Energy with 3.4-GW Buy

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Ambitious Action on Clean Energy, Green Technology

Two-thirds of Canadians would like to see their country as either “world leading” or “among the most ambitious” in the shift to clean energy and clean technology, according to the latest in a series of surveys conducted by Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data.

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.

Energy Transition Could Cut Future LNG Demand by 75%, Leave Long Trail of Stranded Assets

Renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and green hydrogen are set to draw away more than 75% of future demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), analysts at Wood Mackenzie warned last week.

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Wildfires, Vehicle Emissions Emerge as Leading Source of Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Wildfires and tailpipe emissions have taken over from industry as a major source of a group of cancer-causing chemical toxins in the air, Environment Canada says.

Quebec E-Bus Builder Lion Electric Signs $500-Million Merger Deal, Enters NY Stock Exchange

Saint-Jérôme, Quebec-based electric bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric announced what one industry newsletter calls a “power move on the competition” late last month, signing a US$500-million merger deal that will win it a coveted listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ontario and Alberta ‘Storylines’ May Determine Electric Vehicle Uptake

Policy-makers looking to expand electromobility in Canada need to understand that incumbents rooted in the old economy are powerful, self-interested, storytellers. And those who are opposed to the new player on the scene (oil) or uncertain about its impact (automotive) have lessons to learn about how to tell a tale that’s more sustainable—and no less profitable, writes post-doctoral fellow Nathan Lemphers.

Federal Report Shows National Defence Dept as Biggest Carbon Polluter

Quebec Offers Discounted Clean Power for Greenhouse Operators

Toronto Start-Up Offers Electric Mini-Vehicles

Calgary Tech Firm Raises Hopes for Local Diversification

Greenbelt Foundation Invests $500K in Climate Preparedness

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.

Montreal Vows 55% Emissions Cut by 2030

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.

Lax COVID-19 Safety at B.C. Man Camps Puts Indigenous Communities at Risk

WorkSafe BC documents have revealed shocking carelessness with worker protections in the province’s northern “man camps.” And as COVID-19 cases continue to mount in the region, more than 180 front-line health workers have signed an open letter urging the immediate closure of camps on Indigenous territory.

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.

Provinces May Infringe Charter Rights with Crackdown on Indigenous Land Defenders

TORONTO — Months after a group of Haudenosaunee people set up camp on a construction site near Caledonia, Ontario, a provincial court granted Haldimand County an order permanently forbidding people from “interfering” with any public road.

Trudeau Government’s ‘Back Door’ Deal with U.S. Undercuts Global Plastics Treaty

CPPIB Plans New Investments in European Renewables

Quebec Green Plan Misses the Moment to Cut Carbon

Earth Day Canada Launches EV Charging Network with IGA

Scientists Plead for Action as Soaring Temperatures Show Arctic in Crisis

As temperatures soared across Canada’s Northwest Territories last week, scientists from around the world were checking in and confirming an Arctic ecosystem in deepening crisis. They’re pleading for action to protect the ice that remains and, with it, the global ecosystem as we know it.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Fracking First to Go as NY Pension Fund Pledges Fossil Divestment by 2040

New York State’s pension has announced plans to drop the “riskiest” oil and gas stocks from its massive investment portfolio by 2025 and fully divest by 2040, making it the first U.S. state and the biggest pension fund in the world to make such a commitment.

In Conversation: Climate Response, COVID Recovery Must Factor in Adaptation, Bardswick and Ness Say

Kathy Bardswick is President and Ryan Ness is Adaptation Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. In this feature interview, they talk about their new report on climate impacts and adaptation, the close connections between adaptation and mitigation, and how to get rolling on climate action while the detailed data is still taking shape.

Trans Mountain Poised for Tree Clearing Despite Promise to Protect Burnaby Salmon Habitat

The federally-owned company building the Trans Mountain pipeline is about to begin clearing trees near sensitive salmon habitat along the Brunette River in Burnaby, British Columbia—even though a company executive swore in an affidavit that the fish would be protected, and two government reports in the last two weeks have concluded there’s no likely justification for completing the project.

As Canada Spends Billions on Pipelines, First Nations Communities Still Wait for Water

Despite being one of the wealthiest nations on Earth and having an abundance of fresh water, Canada can’t seem to find a way to secure clean water for First Nations communities—though it will move heaven and earth to pipe its oil and gas to market.

Prairies Face ‘Consecutive Years of Severe Drought’ from Drier, Warmer Climate

Federal scientists are predicting a hot, dry, and fiery future for the Prairies. “In a warming climate, you can expect extreme weather events to occur with increased severity,” said Dave Sauchyn, a professor at the University of Regina and a lead author of an extensive report released Monday by Natural Resources Canada.

PEI Legislature Adopts Net Zero by 2040

OPG Draws Fire for Basing Carbon-Neutral Program on Unproven Technologies

2050 Targets Are Too Far Away for Investors: De Cordova

Smart Prosperity Study Digs into Human, Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Canada Signs Non-Binding Pledge for Sustainable Oceans

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.

Quebec Rules Out Provincial Funding, Won’t Cancel Project After 110,000 Sign Petition Against GNL Québec Megaproject

Quebec Premier François Legault has ruled out provincial financial support for a plan to build the GNL Québec liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the province’s Saguenay region, but stopped short of cancelling a controversial and high-carbon project that he previously supported.

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.

$875M Quebec Biofuel Project Will Process Non-Recyclable Waste, Prevent Methane Emissions

Quebec and federal officials announced an investment Tuesday in a biofuel production facility that will use non-recyclable residual materials, diverting those items from landfills while reducing greenhouse gases in the province.

Wildfires, Pandemic to Drive 3-5% Increase in Food Prices

The COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and changing food habits will drive up the cost of groceries by nearly C$700 for the average family next year, according to the latest edition of Canada’s Food Price Report produced by researchers at four Canadian universities.

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Analyst Cites Fossil Exports as the ‘Biggest Climate Scandal You’ve Never Heard Of’

The focus on domestic greenhouse gas reductions in the run-up to next year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, COP 26, will leave out the “biggest climate scandal you’ve never heard of”, Australian political philosophy professor Jeremy Moss writes in a recent post for Climate & Capital Media.

Dozens Laid Off at Husky Work Site After Ottawa Pours Money into Newfoundland Offshore

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Build EVs to Hit Climate Targets, Boost Manufacturing, Clean Energy Canada Urges

Canadian Prof Organizes Anti-Environmental Racism Coalition

B.C. Boosts Rebate for EV Chargers

Chalk River Nuclear Lab Slated for $1B in New Investment this Decade

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.

Alberta Power Producer Announces 2023 Coal Phaseout as Province Pushes Rocky Mountain Mining Leases

Alberta took one step forward and one step back on the road to phasing out coal, with independent power producer Capital Power announcing it was speeding up its shift to coal-free electricity but the province opening up new mining leases across nearly 2,000 hectares on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Call for Shutdown of Fossil Man Camps as Infections Rise

As COVID-19 numbers rise in northern British Columbia, 22 Ts’ako ze’—female chiefs—of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are urging the province’s public health officer to shut down Coastal GasLink work camps located on their territory, fearing especially for their Elders—both as beloved individuals and as essential repositories of oral culture.

Ottawa Announces $41.5 Million for Offshore Oil Jobs in Newfoundland

The federal government is directing C$41.5 million to Husky Energy to help the company keep 331 workers employed on its West White Rose offshore oil development through the end of next year—even though there’s no decision yet on whether the project will go ahead.

Record Losses from Climate Disasters Are ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ for Canada, Institute Warns

The billions of dollars Canadians are already paying out for weather-related climate disasters are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg that calls for proactive investment in climate adaptation and resilience, the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) concludes in a report issued last week.

Globe and Mail’s Radwanski Scorches $5,000 Home Retrofit Credits

River Otter Reproduction Study Raises Tar Sands/Oil Sands Pollution Concerns

Extreme Heat Can Affect Labour Productivity, Manufacturing Output

Seattle Firm Plans First Small Modular Reactor at Chalk River, Ontario

Fort Nelson-Area First Nation Seeks Provincial Funding for Geothermal Project

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Global Death Toll from Heat Emergencies, Air Pollution Shows Need for Climate Action, Health Professionals Say

Extreme heat killed 296,000 older adults world-wide in 2018, and heat-related deaths among seniors rose 58% in Canada and 50% internationally over a 20-year span, the 2020 edition of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change reported earlier this week.

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.

Ontario Making Little or No Progress on GHG Reduction Strategy, New Report Concludes

The Doug Ford government in Ontario has made little or no progress on key elements of its 2030 climate action plan, putting the province’s greenhouse gas emissions on track to increase rather than falling, Environmental Defence warns in a new report this week.

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.

Poll Shows No Public Mandate for Quebec LNG Project as ‘Fierce’ Opposition Mounts

Bank of Montreal Abandons U.S. Fossil Market

Manitoba Spends Only 9% of Available Federal Funds on GHG Reductions

First ‘Merchant’ Solar Plant Opens in Central Alberta

Montreal’s Boralex Buys Solar Farms in Alabama, Indiana, California

BREAKING: Countries’ Fossil Extraction Plans Drive Emissions Far Past 1.5°C Limit

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a “potential turning point” in global fossil fuel production, countries will drive greenhouse gas emissions far beyond a 1.5°C limit on average warming if their published plans to increase coal, oil, and gas extraction come to pass, according to the 2020 Production Gap Report issued this morning by five major international agencies.

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.

Exxon Writes Off $20 Billion, Imperial $1.2 Billion as Gas Properties Become Stranded Assets

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil announced yesterday that is writing off US$17 to $20 billion in natural gas holdings in North and South America as stranded assets, on the same day that its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil declared that it never expects to develop gas properties in Alberta worth up to C$1.2 billion.

Bank of America Becomes Last of Six Big U.S. Lenders to Abandon Arctic Drilling

The Bank of America has become the sixth of six big U.S. banks to declare that it won’t invest in fossil projects in the Arctic, including the ecologically precarious Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Price: Following the Money Spotlights ‘Big Banks’ Green Bafflegab’

There must be a basement somewhere on Bay Street full of English majors, writes campaigner and Engagement Organizing author Matt Price. Every day they churn out great reams of verbiage about “environmental, social and governance strategy” and fill annual reports with a dozen different ways to say the big five Canadian banks care about the environment.

Saskatoon Company Strikes ‘Gusher’ with Groundbreaking Geothermal Project

In a global first, a Saskatoon-based geothermal company has successfully drilled and fracked a 90-degree horizontal well, delivering enough heat to supply electricity to 3,000 homes. And it did so thanks to the expertise of over 100 oilfield technicians—a switch that is offering hope to many such workers facing unemployment as fossil fortunes tank.

Small Modular Reactors ‘Very Inappropriate for Remote Locations’, CELA Warns

It’s a potentially dangerous mistake to pitch small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) as a potential electricity source or remote Northern communities, according to one of the 30 local, regional, and national public interest organizations that have come out against federal financial support for the technology.

Report: Just Transition to Renewable Energy Requires Mining Industry Reform

The coming energy transition may be carbon-free, but it is still very much dependent on mining—and that has experts warning that stringent regulation is needed to ensure that the shift to renewable energy is truly sustainable. MiningWatch Canada has released some recommendations on how to make it happen.

Milne Ice Shelf Collapse Shows Urgent Need for Arctic Conservation, Scientists Warn

LNG Canada Site Reports More COVID-19 Cases

Canadian Railways CN, CP Face Investor Pressure to Cut Emissions

Canadian Mining Companies Push Toward Full Electrification

Departing Oilfield Services Exec Launches Clean Energy Accelerator Fund

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.

Fossil Companies Tout Diversity, Downplay Racism at Worksites

As minority workers in Canada’s tar sands/oil sands speak up about systemic racism on the job, U.S. fossil companies are trying to present themselves as an ally to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities—against considerable evidence to the contrary.

UN Research Confirms Effectiveness of Indigenous-Led Biodiversity Protection

The critical role of Indigenous-led conservation efforts in protecting biodiversity has been gaining recognition. But now that understanding is backed up by research from the United Nations, say two Indigenous leaders from Northern Canada.

Imperial Oil to Lay Off 200 Staff, 450 Contractors as Suncor Takes Over Management of Syncrude Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

Calgary-based Imperial Oil announced last week that it is laying off 200 staff, just a day after the ExxonMobil subsidiary agreed to hand over business management of the mammoth Syncrude Canada tar sands/oil sands mine and upgrader to project partner Suncor Energy.

B.C. Orphan Wells More Than Double in One Year, Regulator Reports

Enbridge Touts Hydrogen Blend to Justify Gas Heating

AIMCo CEO Departs After $2.1-Billion Investment Loss

Carleton U Researcher to Look Into Health Impacts Near Canadian Nuclear Plants

No Need for Driveway as Toronto Pilots On-Street EV Charging

Keystone Decision May Be a ‘Tough Moment’ for U.S.-Canada Relations, Biden Ally Warns

With the federal and Alberta governments mounting an all-out diplomatic effort to prevent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, a close political ally of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is warning the new administration’s decision on the controversial project will be a “tough relationship moment” for the two countries.

As an Oil Un-Building Looms, Newfoundlanders Ask: What Next, and Who Pays?

With 5,200 direct jobs lost in the fossil sector since March, the government of Newfoundland is beginning to talk, tentatively, about reinventing itself as a green energy leader. Also on the horizon: finding answers to the murky question of who will pay to decommission the fossil infrastructure left behind.

In Conversation: A Better Climate Accountability Bill Serves Everyone’s Interests, Croome and Andrews Say

Julia Croome and Alan Andrews are staff lawyers at Ecojustice, where they’ve been leading much of the climate community’s research and analysis leading up to the release of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, last week. In this feature interview, they explain the essential difference between an accountability bill and a climate plan, the gaps in the current legislation, and why every party in Parliament should want C-12 strengthened.

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.

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.

Canadian Climate Youth Take Case to Federal Court of Appeal

New Industry Coalition Promotes Zero-Emission Vehicles in Canada

Pilot Project to Treat EVs as Grid Batteries on Wheels

Edmonton Bike Shop Owner Tries to Make Winter Cycling Safer

PEI Energy Corporation Appeals Rejection of Wind Farm Expansion

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).

‘Window is Rapidly Closing’ for Canadian Fossils to Adapt to Falling Oil Demand

With nearly four decades of growth in global oil demand coming to an end, Canada’s fossil industry is going to have to pay closer attention to a combination of climate response and surging new technologies if it wants to stay competitive in a “quickly changing world”, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in the second of a series of three blog posts.

Calgary Aims to Reinvent Itself as Fossil Slide Continues

With its September unemployment rate standing at 12.6% and office space vacancies approaching 30%, Calgary is struggling to reinvent itself in a world accelerating beyond fossil fuels.

Downtown Vancouver Congestion Pricing Proposal Draws Mixed Reviews

Two Vancouver policy experts are offering opposing views of the city’s proposed downtown driving congestion charge, with one saying the idea is rife with equity concerns, and the other countering that the proposal is fundamentally driven by a concern for equity itself.

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Opens Canada’s Biggest Solar Farm

Harper-Era Environment Minister Peter Kent to Quit Politics

PEI Gets Federal Boost to Buy 12 Electric School Buses

Ontario Power Generation Expands EV Charging Network

Restaurant Patio Heaters Drive Up Toronto GHGs by 0.2%

Hurricanes Will Reach Farther Inland Due to Climate Change

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.

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.

With Fossils Making Net-Zero Promises, Not All Targets Are Equal

Most North American and European fossil producers have published voluntary carbon reduction commitments, but not all targets are equal, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in a new analysis, the first of three looking at the future of oil in a decarbonized world.

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.

Alberta Youth Want Better Education on Climate Change, Survey Concludes

A recent survey by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education concludes that 61% of the province’s youth are worried about climate change, and 69% get anxious when they contemplate what they see as the competing needs of the economy and the environment. What’s needed to allay both worries is better education on climate change.

Two-Thirds of Canadian Fossils Cut Jobs Due to Pandemic

Trans Mountain Declares Construction Project a COVID-Free Zone

Wood Pellet Producer Buys Forest Tenures Near Fort Nelson, B.C.

TAF’s Pickering Charts ‘Uncomfortable Path’ to Scaling Up Climate Action

Kids Under Nine in Greatest Danger as Unstable Lake Ice Increases Winter Drownings

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.

G20 Survey Finds Canada’s Renewables Growth Stagnating, Fossils at 76% of Total Energy

While Canada has the second-largest share of renewable energy in its electricity mix, it was one of only four that didn’t have plans to increase renewables output in 2020, even as its greenhouse gas emissions soared far above its fair share of a 2030 carbon budget, according to the latest edition of the Climate Transparency Report released earlier this week.

Pick Up the Pace on Climate Risk Exposure, Bank of Canada Governor Macklem Urges

Canada’s banks and businesses must pick up the pace on disclosing the risks they’re exposed to as a result of the climate crisis, newly-installed Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told an online panel earlier this week organized by the Public Policy Forum.

‘Scathing’ Auditor General’s Report Shows Ontario At Risk of Missing 2030 Carbon Targets

The Doug Ford government’s failure to make greenhouse gas reductions a “cross-government priority” has placed it at risk of missing its 2030 carbon targets, and Ontario has reached “surprising” levels of non-compliance with a decades-old requirement to consult the public on environmentally significant projects, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk warned Wednesday in her annual review of the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights.

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Example Builds Case for Chief Climate Officer for B.C.

E-Truck Maker Seeks Investors for Quebec Battery Plant

Edmonton Offers Rebates for EV Fast Chargers

Canada Touts Investment in Nova Scotia Tidal Power

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.

Farmers Sue Alberta Fossil for Unpaid Oil Lease Rent

Put off by their tenant’s abrupt decision to cease making its lease payments, two Alberta farmers have launched what may become the first class action lawsuit against unpaid oil leases—a far too common practice that weighs heavily on the public purse, and on rural landowners’ finances.

Safety Issues, Cost Overruns Mean It’s Time to Cancel Site C Megadam, Dogwood Says

With its price nearly doubling, construction deadlines slipping, and serious geological challenges on the ground, BC Hydro’s plan to complete the Site C megadam on the Peace River may be slipping away, Dogwood B.C. warns in a recent blog post.

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.

Indigenous Investor Offers $1B for Keystone XL Pipeline as Possible Cancellation Looms

Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy and Natural Law Energy announced a tentative agreement yesterday that could bring up to C$1 billion in new investment and the imprimatur of three Indigenous treaties to the struggling Keystone XL pipeline.

The details of the deal allow nearly a year for Natural Law to raise the funds it will need to seal its investment—or, presumably, to step away if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden follows through on his promise to cancel Keystone once and for all.

Doig: For 1.2 Billion People, Decarbonization is a Matter of Survival

I have sat in many long Zoom calls this year discussing climate ambition. Never once have I thought these were life or death discussions for me personally. But for 1.2 billion people across the globe, the collective decarbonization commitments put forward by all governments are a matter of survival. The tempest of our changing climate is right on their door and pushing hard.

Shell Canada Invites Customers to Pay Carbon Premium to Help It Meet Paris Targets

Minnesota Permits Allow Line 3 Pipeline to Begin Construction

IESO Extends Deadline for Nation Rise Wind Farm Near Cornwall

Globe Editorial Connects Climate Crisis to Road Pricing, Sprawl

Storage Industry Sees Alberta Pilot Project as ‘Step in Right Direction’

Kingston-Area Entrepreneur Touts Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling

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.

Canada Boosts Fossil Subsidies to $14.3B Per Year, Joins Saudi Arabia as G20’s Top Two Oil and Gas Funders

Canada averaged US$14.3 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2017 and 2019, earning it top ranking alongside Saudi Arabia as the two G20 countries with the most generous subsidies for oil and gas production, according a scorecard issued last week by three international think tanks.

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.

Ontario Youth Climate Defenders Win Their Day in Court

Almost a year after launching a climate lawsuit against their province’s government, seven young Ontarians have learned that their case can go forward, and they will have their day in court.

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.

Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Calls for Ontario Gas Phaseout

Alberta Mining Town Weighs Costs, Benefits of Coal Export Plan

Ontario Developer Introduces Airtightness Testing for High Rises

New AI Could Help Building Managers Cut Carbon Footprint

Six-Step Guide Supports EV Charger Installations in Condos

Biden-Harris Win ‘Likely Spells the End’ for Keystone XL Pipeline [Sign-on]

President-elect Joe Biden’s convincing election win last week “likely spells the end of the Keystone XL oil pipeline,” The Canadian Press reports this week, even as the Trudeau government pushes the controversial and beleaguered project to the “top of the agenda” for its rebooted relationship with the United States.

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.

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.

Newfoundland Records ‘Catastrophic’ Drop in Offshore Oil Bids

Teck Resources Falls Short of Profit Target

Alberta Offers $50 Million in Energy Efficiency Grants Over Three Years

Smart Prosperity Lays Out Policies to Drive Circular Economy

Biden-Harris Win Could Bring 1.5°C ‘Within Striking Distance’, Climate Think Tank Declares

With their promise to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement on Day One of their new administration, and a US$2-trillion climate plan in their back pockets, a major climate think tank says the election win by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris could be enough to bring a 1.5°C limit on average global warming “within striking distance”.

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%.

Alberta Auditor General Slams Fossil ‘War Room’ for Undocumented Sole-Source Contracts

Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie took aim at the Jason Kenney government’s hapless fossil industry “war room” in an annual report that identified more than C$1.7 billion in accounting errors, inaccurate projections, and other “adjustments” in the provincial budget.

‘Scared’ Auto Mechanics, Tow Operators Need Training to Work with Electric Vehicles

A shortage of mechanics who are comfortable working on electric vehicles is the latest training challenge Canada will run into in the shift off fossil fuels.

Environmental Defence Scorches ‘Weak’ Ottawa Methane Deal with Alberta, Saskatchewan

Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction Hits Roadblock

Still No Budget for Trudeau’s Pledge of Two Billion Trees by 2030

Quebec Announces $90 Million for Clean Energy Mineral Supply Chains

Queen’s U Family Medicine Prof Urges No More Nuclear Subsidies

Biden-Harris Campaign Launches BuildBackBetter. com Transition Team Site

With the final ballots still being counted in five key states, but analysts and a desperate-sounding Donald Trump signalling the imminent end of the U.S. election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled BuildBackBetter. com as the online address for the transition leading up to their inauguration 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.

Alberta Considers $5-Billion Petrochemical Deal with Saudi Investor

After years of insisting that tar sands/oil sands bitumen is ethically superior to petroleum from countries like Saudi Arabia, the Jason Kenney government in Alberta has decided it likes the desert kingdom just fine as a possible source of investment for a new C$5-billion petrochemical plant.

TransAlta to Phase Out Alberta Coal Mine Four Years Ahead of Plan

Calgary-based TransAlta Corporation is shutting down its Highvale coal mine near Wabamun Lake, about 70 kilometres west of Edmonton, by the end of next year, four years ahead of schedule.

Newfoundland Fossil Crash Triggers Emotional Toll of Earlier Cod Moratorium

Transition Bonds Could Help Finance Just Recovery: Smart Prosperity

CARE Canada Urges Gender-Just, Inclusive Climate Finance

Nissan Leaf Owner in Powell River Has Trouble Getting Replacement Battery

Ottawa Demands Water Quality Improvements at Teck Coal Mines in B.C.

Citizens Decry Incomplete Assessment of Quebec’s Saguenay LNG Project

Environmental groups and concerned citizens are decrying the province of Quebec’s refusal to look beyond site-specific concerns in its analysis of a proposed C$9-billion natural gas liquefaction terminal on the Saguenay River.

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.

Regulator Raises ‘Pointed Questions’ about Site C as Project Threatens Prime Farmland

A provincial regulator has filed a list of 75, often sharply-worded questions with BC Hydro, aiming to get to the bottom of the stability risks the utility is now reporting with its multi-billion-dollar Site C hydropower project.

TC Energy Admits Rising Costs on Coastal GasLink Pipeline

Incident at Trans Mountain Construction Site Kills Father of Four

Cenovus-Husky Takeover Will Hurt Downtown Calgary Hard

Solar, Wind Can Unlock Jobs in Alberta, Pembina Says

Vancouver Has More to Do to Hit 2030 Carbon Target

Biden Win, Pandemic Economy Could End Keystone XL as Trudeau, O’Regan Pledge Pipeline Support

The Keystone XL pipeline may be coming to the end of a very long road, ultimately brought down by the combination of a Joe Biden presidency and crashing global oil demand—even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan are still standing beside Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to support the controversial project.

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.

Opinion: Time to Uncover the Toxic Legacy of Plastics Recycling

Blue bins have long been a symbol of reassurance for convenience-craving consumers across North America, offering citizens the comfortable belief that the disposables we put out on the curb every week will be safely put to “green” use. But as Alberta sets its sights on becoming “western North America’s centre for excellence for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030,” it might be time to throw an uncomfortable light on the actual benefits—and the true costs—of an industry that has too long been cloaked in smoke and mirrors. An analysis by Gaye Taylor.

How Lucky Do You Feel? The bottom falls out of B.C.’s overhyped LNG gamble

I’ve had friends over the years whose favourite pastime was to visit their friendly neighbourhood casino. But most of us would draw a big, bright line if we thought our governments were gambling our tax dollars and pension funds on “sure” bets about as reliable as a craps table or a one-armed bandit—like the fever dream of a fracking and liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom in British Columbia. (A chapter excerpt by Mitchell Beer, adapted from Watershed Sentinel’s new book, All Fracked Up! The Costs of LNG to British Columbia.)

Unstable Hillsides, Homes ‘Ripping in Half’ Emerge as Legacy of Fort Mac Wildfire

Fort McMurray’s devastating Horse River wildfire of 2016—known locally as The Beast—continues to haunt the town’s residents, with the resulting land instability now literally tearing some homes in half.

Industry and Nature Make Peace at Former Home of North America’s Largest Coal Plant

This community story was originally posted in text and video by Charged Up, a David Suzuki Foundation program on empowering communities across Canada with renewable energy.

Newfoundland Confirms Two New Offshore Oil Discoveries

Pembina Flags Three Climate Priorities for B.C.’s Majority Government