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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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to promote hydropower exports to the United States, as one response to President Joe Biden’s commitment to decarbonize his country’s sprawling electricity grid by 2035. But analysts say Canada’s network of hydro dams might be useful as a place to store renewable power, rather than generating it.

Ecojustice Goes to Court Against Alberta’s ‘Foreign-Funded Influence’ Panel

A judge in Calgary was to hear arguments this week over whether Alberta’s public inquiry into the purported foreign funding of environmental charities is a valid defence of the province’s ailing oil industry or an attempt to silence dissent.

Alberta Looks to Lithium in Oil Deposits to Stock Electric Vehicle Batteries

Students Demand Faster Action After UVic Moves $80 Million to Low-Carbon Investment Fund

Canada’s EV Charging Network Posts Double-Digit Growth

New Owner Takes Over Quebec Uranium Mine Site

Suncor Restarts Emission Reduction Projects Despite Spending Freeze

Canada Can Thrive on Road to Net-Zero if Governments Make Good Decisions Now

Canada has multiple opportunities to thrive along the road to a net-zero economy by 2050 as long as governments make the right decisions now, concludes a study released this week by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC).

In Conversation: New Fibre Sources Are Key to Protecting Forest Ecosystems, Drawing Down Carbon, Rycroft Says

Nicole Rycroft is founder and executive director of Vancouver-based Canopy, and one of this year’s two recipients of the 2020 Climate Breakthrough award, a US$3-million, unrestricted award that supports “the kind of novel and potentially game-changing strategies we need in order to achieve massive greenhouse gas reductions”. In this feature interview, she talks about how to quickly and fundamentally shift supply chains and scale up next-generation alternative fibres as a key step to protect intact, carbon- and biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems.

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Produces Overheated Claims on Job vs. Environment

As officials in Michigan look to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, business interests in Ontario and Quebec are warning of dire economic effects. But others—like Green Party Leader Annamie Paul—say there are opportunities, too, and that presenting the pipeline as a choice between jobs and the environment is a false, and dangerous, dichotomy.

Coal mining

Loopholes Still Allow Mountaintop Mining, Law Prof Warns, after Alberta Reinstates 1976 Coal Policy

Doubts are being raised about the Alberta government’s decision to restore a policy that protects the Rocky Mountains from coal mining.

Alberta Fossil Cenovus Declares $100-Million Loss on Keystone XL Cancellation

The cancellation of the Keystone XL oil export pipeline has resulted in a second tar sands/oil sands company posting a multi-million-dollar impairment charge in its fourth quarter earnings report.

NS Firm Launches Latest Effort to Harness Bay of Fundy Tides

A large floating platform with six underwater turbines was launched Monday near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, marking the latest high-tech bid to generate electricity by harnessing the bay’s powerful tides.

WE Charity Bans Reference to Oil, Photo of Suzuki After 2016 Event in Alberta

Montreal Cleantech Leader Raises $100M for New Investment Fund

Alberta Builders Pitch Renovation Tax Credit

Nova Scotia Unveils $5.5 Million in Solar Panel Rebates

Brookfield Sells Off Toronto District Energy Utility Enwave

‘Hydropower Era May Be Over’ as Wind Farms Draw New Investment in Quebec, B.C.

Wind energy investment received twin boosts in Quebec and British Columbia last week, with one of the announcements prompting the Globe and Mail to comment that “the era of building big new hydropower dams in Quebec might be over”.

‘Intense Public Protest’ Prompts Alberta to Restore Some Coal Industry Regulation

The Alberta government says it plans to restore some aspects of a policy it revoked last spring that protected a wide swath of the province’s foothills and mountains from coal mines.
The move has provoked intense public protest.

Tech Sector Helps Diversify Alberta Job Market, But Gains May Not Last

Technology companies are delivering a ray of hope to an Alberta economy facing the combined impact of a global health crisis and shaky demand for oil. But the sector’s success could be precarious as the province competes with other jurisdictions for investment and jobs.

Ottawa Instructs Infrastructure Bank to Invest $1 Billion in Indigenous Projects

Alberta Fossil Sues Province Over Stalled Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

Despite ‘Tons and Tons of Space’, Canada Lags on Rooftop Solar

Federal, Provincial Governments Fund Heating Efficiency in Manitoba

Conservationists Urge Alberta to Take Better Care of Wetlands

Melting Permafrost Forces Communities to Find Safer Ground

Alberta Fossil Defence Tactics Ripped Right from Fossil Petro-State Playbook, Analysis Shows

Alberta’s government may brandish democracy when it promotes its oil to the world, but its transparent efforts to silence voices of opposition to fossil fuels come direct from the playbook of some of the world’s most oppressive petro-states, says a new report from Toronto-based Environmental Defence.

‘Fire Yourself’ on Intergovernmental Affairs, UCP Co-Founder Urges Kenney

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is getting some unsolicited advice from the co-founder of the United Conservative Party: fire yourself as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Indigenous Ownership of B.C. Small Hydro Project Boosts Community Health, Well-Being

B.C. Offers 20% Power Subsidy for ‘Clean’ Biofuel, Hydrogen Industries

Vancouver Transit Agency Buys 15 New Electric Buses

Amazon HQ2 Turns to Halifax Start-Up for Lower-Carbon Concrete

Work from Home Pushes Bay Street Firms to Cut Office Footprint

Canada and U.S. Drastically Underestimate Methane Emissions as Atmospheric Levels Rise

Federal environmental agencies are underestimating methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells by 20% in the United States and 150% in Canada, according to a McGill University study published late last month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, one of several in recent weeks that have pointed to a mounting crisis in releases of the climate-busting gas.

Refocus Infrastructure Spending to Cut Carbon, Create Jobs, Blue Green Canada Urges

Canada is missing a big opportunity to create jobs, cut pollution, and advance a net-zero emissions agenda by failing to prioritize projects that use low-carbon building materials and cleaner construction processes, Blue Green Canada argues in a report issued this week.

New Campaign Presses RBC, Other Canadian Banks to Drop Fossil Investments [How-to Guide]

A series of socially-distanced demonstrations across Canada last Friday kicked off a national campaign to press the Royal Bank of Canada and other big banks to stop investing in fossil fuel projects and respect Indigenous rights.

B.C. Logging Practices Drive Up Climate Risk, Sierra Club Warns

After failing to assess elevated risks of drought, wildfire, and flooding resulting from its standard logging practices, British Columbia urgently needs to address impacts of forest clearcutting that were left out of its 2019 Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, according to a report released Monday by Sierra Club BC.

Regulatory Rubber Stamp Sets Nova Scotia Behind on Climate, Coal

Toronto Firm Delivers Renewable Power for Off-Grid Electronic Devices

First Nations Say Hydro-Québec Jumping the Gun on U.S. Transmission Line

Toronto Heat Pump Project Shows 36% Saving on Electric Heat

Analyst Suggests Path to Clean Up Ontario’s Hydro ‘Mess’

Alberta Grants Third Deadline Extension to Struggling ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Panel

The Alberta government has given an inquiry into the funding of oil and gas industry critics a third deadline extension to complete its report.

Jason Kenney vs. the Plimsoll Line

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proved to be “all hat but no horse” when it came to roping and tying down the ill-fated Keystone XL pipeline. Now, after risking billions in taxpayer funds on that folly, it appears he may soon be riding out of town on a one-trick pony. A metaphorical analysis by veteran journalist Paul McKay.

Job Prospects Evaporate, Student Interest Sags as Fossils Scramble for New Talent

A new generation of young professionals is coming back with an eloquent response to the idea that a declining fossil industry is a “slap in the face” to people who’ve set their sights on careers in fields like geology or petroleum engineering.

Major Canadian Solar Firm Denies Reports of Forced Labour

A Canadian solar company is claiming that no Uyghurs are employed at its 30-MW solar farm in China’s Xinjiang region, nor are any members of the persecuted Muslim community being forced into labour anywhere along its solar supply chain. But human rights observers say that last assertion doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

Trudeau Tree-Planting Plan to Run $2.78B Over Budget, PBO Warns

The parliamentary budget office says a pledge by the Trudeau Liberals to plant two billion trees could cost almost double what the government says.

Impact Assessment Agency to Review Suncor Mine Expansion

Cenovus to Lay Off 2,150 as Spending Plan Emphasizes Debt Reduction

First Nations Demand Horgan Release Site C Report

Ontario Pension Fund Buys In to U.S. Solar Project Developer

Feds Keep Lights Burning in Ottawa Buildings Despite Work from Home

Cambodia Lines Up Investors for $400M Large Hydro Project

CNRL, Imperial, 11 Others Face Rating Downgrades Due to Competition from Renewables

Alberta fossils Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Imperial Oil are on a list of 13 big oil and gas companies that may face rating downgrades within weeks, and Suncor Energy was also assigned a negative outlook, after ratings agency Standard & Poors shifted its risk assessment for the entire fossil industry from “intermediate” to “moderately high”.

Biggest-Ever Global Climate Poll Reveals Overwhelming Demand for Action

The biggest climate survey ever conducted has confirmed that nearly two-thirds of people around the world see climate change as a “global emergency”—a mandate for action that is clear and unquestionable. And with the desire for change even higher among young people, it’s also clear that education has played a big role in the groundswell.

Alarmingly Warm Water Temperatures Put Gulf of St. Lawrence in ‘Uncharted Territory’

Deep waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are hitting record highs that fall far beyond normal variations, part of a decade-long trend emerging from research released earlier this week by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

‘Net Negative’ Claims from Alberta Fossils Underscore Flaws with Carbon Capture

Two Alberta-based fossil companies are reporting that they’ve reached “net-negative” carbon emissions, thanks to carbon capture technology. But while the news sounds promising for CCS—which experts increasingly believe will be necessary to keep average global warming below 2°C—there are still concerns about how emissions reductions are calculated, and how CCS may reduce the incentive to actually reduce emissions.

Discouraging EV Battery Recycling Could Lead to Environmental Disaster

In September, Tesla announced that it would be phasing out the use of cobalt in its batteries, in an effort to produce a US$25,000 electric vehicle within three years. If successful, this bold move will be an industry game changer, making electric vehicles competitive with conventional counterparts.

Government Review Connects Canadian Solar Firm to Alleged Forced Labour in Xinjiang

Tesla Renews Research Partnership with Dalhousie University

Mississauga Logistics Firm Orders 6,300 Electric Trucks

Shopify Founder Drops Investment Dollars into Nuclear Fusion Developer

PEI Farms, Fishing Operations Adapt to Climate’s ‘New Normal’

Vulcan County, Alberta Sets Sights on 500-MW Wind Farm

The rural county in Alberta that brought Canada its biggest solar farm to date is at it again, with word this week that it is seeking regulatory approval for a 500-megawatt wind farm.

Hydro-Québec Lands 88-MW Green Hydrogen Deal with Thyssenkrupp

Provincial utility Hydro-Québec has signed a deal with a division of Essen, Germany-based industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp to build one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, an 88-megawatt facility in Varennes that will produce 11,100 tonnes of the product per year.

Alberta Coal Expansion Plan Raises Flags Over Past Toxic Contamination, Missed Monitoring

EDMONTON — Critics are asking why Alberta Environment has been sitting on years’ worth of data about pollution from coal mines while the government considers a dramatic expansion of the industry.

TC Energy May Survive Keystone Cancellation Unscathed. Alberta Not So Much.

In the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, analysts say proponent TC Energy should be able to walk away from the intensely controversial megaproject relatively unscathed. But the same can’t be said for the Jason Kenney government in Alberta, whose eleventh-hour subsidy kept the pipeline alive long enough for Biden to shut it down.

Plastic-Free Food Delivery Service Launches in San Francisco

As home grocery delivery ramps up plastic use in cities across North America, a Bay Area start-up is hoping to become the 21st century’s answer to the milk delivery company—but with a much expanded product list.

Iqaluit Temperatures Nearly ‘Two Dozen Degrees’ Warmer than Normal

Quebec Logs 92,000 EVs, Just Short of Year-End Target

Humber-Area Residents React to Local Pipeline Project

UVic Divestment Plan Falls Short on Carbon Cuts, Reconciliation

LNG Producers Squabble over Patent Dispute

Time to Move On from Keystone, Ambassador Says, as Biden, Trudeau Talk Climate Cooperation

With U.S. President Joe Biden making climate action a top priority for his new administration, and an analyst warning that the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation will stifle Alberta’s fossil industry for years, Canada’s U.S. ambassador is saying that it’s time to move on and focus on other opportunities in the bilateral relationship.

‘Gas Is Over’, EU Banker Declares, Casting Pall on Ontario Teachers’ Fund’s Net-Zero Plans

A European banking executive’s declaration that “to put it mildly, gas is over” is casting a pall over what should have been a moment of triumph for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)—the release of a new net-zero emissions plan, just a month after the fund became majority owner of Italy’s second-largest natural gas pipeline network.

Rethink ‘Pugilistic’ Approach to Pipelines, Environment, Political Scientists Advise Kenney

EDMONTON — Political analysts say Premier Jason Kenney must rethink his traditional “fight back” approach and start building bridges to reconcile environmental concerns with oil and gas development.

Sask Premier Tries to Bully Regina Councillors Over Fossil Ad Restrictions

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is warning Regina city council there could be financial consequences if it restricts energy companies from sponsoring or advertising with the city.

Severe Weather Costs Canadian Insurers $2.4 Billion in 2020

Irving Refinery Cites Falling Demand after Laying Off 60 in St. John

‘Our Normal Has Changed’ as Climate Shifts Outdoor Work on PEI

Canadian E-Bus Maker, Battery Recycler Announce Successful Pilot Project

‘Humiliated’ Kenney Demands Trade Sanctions, Could Sell Pipeline for Scrap as TC Shuts Down Keystone Construction

A “humiliated” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney demanded trade sanctions against the United States, TC Energy cut 1,000 construction jobs, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal falsely claimed 10,000 to 11,000 jobs lost, and the Keystone XL pipeline was at risk of being sold off for scrap after President Joe Biden signed a Day One executive order cancelling the presidential permit for the intensely controversial fossil megaproject.

Power Corp. Division Says $1-Billion Renewables Fund Will Be ‘First of Several’

A division of storied Quebec industrial conglomerate Power Corporation is launching a C$1-billion investment fund focused on solar and wind projects.

Wind power turbine

Alberta, B.C. Polls Show Strong Support for Net-Zero, Low Buy-In for LNG

More than two-thirds of Albertans support a 2050 target for net-zero emissions, and six in 10 British Columbians back clean energy over liquefied natural gas (LNG) development, according to separate research released last week by the Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada.

Federal Green Economy Procurement May Kick Off in October, Government Relations Specialist Advises

A Toronto-based government relations specialist is advising clean transition entrepreneurs to tentatively mark October in their calendars for the first signs of federal procurement supporting a Build Back Better agenda.

Canadian Carbon Price Proponent Pushes Back on False Narratives

Those peddling the notion that Canada’s federal government is holding back some portion of the federal carbon tax from its citizens are pushing a false narrative, writes Toronto-based Clean Prosperity, in an analysis that lays out the plain truth: nine out of every ten dollars is returned via taxpayer rebates, with the remainder going to support local emissions reduction projects.

B.C. Regulator Imposes Independent Auditor After Coastal GasLink Imperils Prime Fish Habitats

Northeastern British Columbia pipeliner Coastal GasLink has been ordered to abide by provincial laws and start preventing polluted sediments from flowing from its work sites into prime fish habitats. And it won’t be trusted to take these protective measures on its own.

After Early Momentum, Cascadia Region Loses Focus on Climate Action

Political infighting, misinformation campaigns, and serial communication failures have dashed any hopes that the Cascadia region would take the lead in the climate fight and significantly reduce its emissions by the end of last year. Now, angry young people are asking the courts to force their leaders to do a better job, and fast.

Survey Shows Oklahoma, Texas Drawing More Fossil Investment than Alberta

Hydrogen Train Deal Brings Investor Attention to B.C-Based Ballard

Analysts Tout Intertie Between Site C in B.C., Electricity Demand in Alberta

Northern Hemisphere Faces Warmer Winters, More Ice-Free Lakes

U-Sherbrooke Students’ Off-Grid Greenhouse Feeds a Family of Four for a Year

Canada Launches Ocean Energy Integration Plan

Extreme Weather Gaining Severity Across Nova Scotia

Fossils Create Less than 1% of Canadian Jobs, Making 20-Year Phaseout ‘Very Feasible’, Study Concludes

The Canadian economy has added 42 new jobs for each one it has lost in fossil fuels since 2014, and a 20-year industry phaseout would only reduce fossil employment by about 8,500 positions per year—as many as the country usually creates every 10 days—concludes economist Jim Stanford in an analysis published this week by Environmental Defence.

Biden Brings a Policy ‘Sea Change’, Podesta Tells GreenPAC Webinar

An aggressive program of executive actions and green investments, a White House staffed with “climate champions”, and a concerted effort to rebuild the U.S. government’s scientific capacity and morale will all begin to take shape today with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, former White House counsellor John Podesta said Tuesday afternoon, during a webinar hosted by Toronto-based GreenPAC.

TC Energy Touts ‘Zero-Emissions’ Plan, Kenney Threatens Court Action as Keystone Cancellation Looms

Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy touted a “zero-emissions” approach to its fossil fuel transportation business, the federal and Alberta government vowed to continue the fight, and Premier Jason Kenney admitted his province stands to lose a billion-dollar gamble as the reality sank in that U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline after he’s sworn in later today.

Alberta Cancels 11 Coal Leases, Allows Development on 420,000 Hectares after Petitions Gather 100,000 Signatures [Sign-Ons]

EDMONTON — Alberta has decided to cancel recently issued coal leases in the Rocky Mountains, as public opposition grows to the United Conservative government’s plan to expand coal mining in the area.

Weak Climate Risk Disclosure Puts Canadian Businesses at Disadvantage

With Canadian companies continuing to flout climate risk disclosure regulations, even as many of their global competitors come clean, the CEO of one of the nation’s largest investment managers says the disconnect will come back to burn the economy, particularly as the country struggles to rebuild from the pandemic.

‘Smart Cities’ Hype Enters the Global South, after North American Projects Fall Short

While oft-criticized in North America for promising much and delivering little, the “smart city” concept is gaining a foothold in the Global South—a troubling development for those who worry about the incursions of Big Data, or see the projects as little more than oversized gated communities.

BitCrude Completes Commercial Demonstration for Semi-Solid Bitumen Shipping

Muskrat Falls Hydro Megaproject Gets $844M in Federal Debt Deferrals

Delay of Calgary’s Green Line LRT Could Cost Tens of Millions: Nenshi

Toronto’s First Cobalt Signs Tentative Deal for Supplies from Congo

Prince George Petrochemical Plan Gets New Lease on Life

Concrete Producer Lafarge Claims 30-70% Carbon Reduction

BREAKING: Biden to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline, Rejoin Paris Agreement on Day One as ‘10-Day Blitz’ of Executive Actions Kicks Off

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to rescind the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and bring his country back into the Paris climate agreement on his first day in office Wednesday, CBC reported yesterday, kicking off a 10-day blitz of executive actions this week and next, a first step in shifting the country’s direction after four years under the influence of Donald Trump.

GM Canada Announces $1-Billion Electric Van Investment in Ingersoll, Ontario

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