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

Canadian Survey Shows 75% of Appliances Breaking Within 10 Years

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario Climate Hawks Join City Council to Oppose Fracked Gas Pipeline Through Hamilton [Sign-On]

The City of Hamilton and Ontario climate organizations are mobilizing against a 10-kilometre pipeline that would carry fracked gas from the United States and increase the province’s reliance on carbon-heavy natural gas power plants.

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

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

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

Week 9, March 2: Green Buildings

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

Great Bear Rainforest Faces Delays on $25M in Offsets

Canadian Climate Outrage Should Translate Into EV Job Training

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

Canadian Farmers Band Together for Climate Solutions

Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin

The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.

Alberta Delays Report Showing Warming, Climate Impacts Above Global Average

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

Shift Fossil Subsidies Into Orphan Well Reclamation Jobs, Green MPs Urge Morneau

The federal Green Party caucus is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to fund orphan well reclamation that would create jobs in the country’s fossil regions and ease the transition off oil and gas, iPolitics reports.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts NWT Oil Well Cleanup at Risk

Downtown Toronto Construction Project Has Low-Carbon Heating, Cooling

Petrosaurus Rex vs. Reality: Teck Mine Defeated by Low Price of Oil

Paleontology tells us the most fearsome Jurassic-era predators had no outer ears, and depended on a narrow range of sub-sonic vibrations to detect other earless, large, lumbering dinosaurs they could rip to shreds and render into raw-meat power lunches. They are now, of course, ancient history. In their place, evolution delivered far smaller, more agile mammals able to receive and process a wider range of warning signals. Enter Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who might aptly be classified as Petrosaurus Rex. An analysis by Paul McKay

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

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

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

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

Windsor Aims for Deep Energy Retrofits in 80% of Homes by 2041

The City of Windsor is closer to adopting a deep retrofit program to slash energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in 80% of its housing stock by 2041, following a unanimous standing committee vote last week.

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

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

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

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

Week 8, February 24: Cohesive Communities

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

Horgan, Trudeau Will Look Foolish if LNG Canada Project Crashes

Urban Trees Will Help Cool Boston, If They Survive

Teck Gives Up on Frontier Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

In a bombshell announcement yesterday evening, Vancouver-based Teck Resources has withdrawn the application for its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, less than a week before the federal cabinet was due to accept or reject the contentious and carbon-intensive project.

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

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

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

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

Four Former Climate Negotiators Demanded Trudeau ‘End the Hypocrisy’, Reject Teck

Days before Teck Resources dealt the final death blow to its own tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, four former Canadian climate negotiators called on the Trudeau government to “end the hypocrisy” and reject the project, pointing out that Canadian fossil production is still projected to skyrocket in spite of the country’s promises to cut emissions.

Tyendinaga blockade

Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory

With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.

Federal Budget Must Scale Up Energy Efficiency, Signal Long-Term Commitment, Analysts Urge

After Canadians voted for strong climate action in last fall’s federal election, and all the political parties represented in Parliament included energy efficiency in their platforms, the upcoming federal budget is an essential opportunity to slash pollution, create jobs, and make everyone’s lives more comfortable, Efficiency Canada argues in a recent opinion piece.

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

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

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

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

New Research Institute Supports ‘Burgeoning’ Canadian Electric Bus Sector

Powered by C$4.7 million in federal and industry funding, seven mostly post-secondary institutions in Ontario are forming North America’s first research cluster providing research support to zero-emission buses (ZEBs) powered by batteries or fuel cells.

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

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

Week 7, February 17: Climate Education and Research

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

Alberta Approves New Suncor Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

#ImperialOilKnew It Was Contributing to Climate Crisis

BREAKING: Federal Export Agency Considers ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Loan to Coastal GasLink

The federal Export Development Corporation is weighing what a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief calls a “highly inappropriate” loan to TC Energy, the company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline, to help the company push the 670-kilometre project through unceded Indigenous land.

Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.

Skyrocketing Price Drives Down Public Support for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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

Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

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

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

Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For

With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for. 

And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.

Oil Train Derails, Leaks Crude in Northwestern Ontario

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

Week 6, February 10: Prairie Solutions

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

Manitoba Premier Won’t Rule Out Oil Pipeline to Churchill

Guelph Invests $177 Million to Buy 65 Electric Buses

Tyendinaga blockade

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

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

Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review

With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.

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

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

Canadian Pension Board Becomes Lead Shareholder in India’s Biggest Renewables Company

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is about to become the largest shareholder in ReNew Power, India’s biggest renewable energy company, a business with 3.1 gigawatts of wind and 1.9 GW of solar generation currently in operation.

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

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

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

Regg Cohn: Conservative Leadership Race Looks ‘Frozen in the Past’ on Carbon Pricing

When it comes to climate policy, the federal Conservative Party’s leadership race looks to be “frozen in the past”, write Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn, with no candidate daring to suggest carbon pricing as a policy plank—and only one erstwhile carbon pricing proponent willing to step forward.

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.

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

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

100 Teck Protesters Occupy Guilbeault Constituency Office

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

Week 5, February 3: Climate Engagement

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

Kitimat LNG Project Reports $720-Million Write-Down

Toronto Neighbourhood Wants Nearby Nuclear Fuel-Maker Shut Down

Canadian Firm Unveils Electric ‘Superbike’

IESO Sees Cost Saving Potential in Ontario Greenhouses

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

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

Climate, Trans Mountain, and Clean Energy Were Top Three Topics in Canadians’ Letters to Trudeau

The climate crisis, the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the clean energy economy took the top three spots on the list of issues Canadians addressed in their emails and letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019.

Hold the Line on Urban Sprawl, Local Campaigners Urge Ottawa City Council

Holding the line on the City of Ottawa’s urban boundary is an essential first step if the community hopes to do its part to get the climate crisis under control, local green space advocate Daniel Buckles wrote in a recent Ottawa Citizen op ed.

City Data Show Young Talent Leaving Town as Calgary Stagnates

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

Policy Analysts Urge All-Party Cooperation on Climate Accountability

Now is the time for all parties in the House of Commons to cooperate on accountability measures to prevent Canada from missing its latest set of carbon reduction targets, four of the country’s leading climate policy analysts argued earlier this month in an opinion piece for the Hill Times.

Toronto Sets Sights on 100% ZEV by 2050

Wind, Solar Power Greenhouse in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

Alberta Fossils Tout Lithium as New Opportunity

Canadian Pipeliners Jump Onboard ESG Trend

Buying Trans Mountain Would End Badly for Brookfield, Analyst Warns

It would be a serious error for Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to invest in the Trudeau government’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a leading energy and finance analyst warned yesterday, after a news report identified Brookfield as a potential “dark horse” buyer for the project.

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

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

Halifax Takes Top Honours in National Climate League 2019 Standings

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

Freeland Holds ‘Bridge-Building’ Session with Western Municipalities

A new group of municipal leaders from western Canada held meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly earlier this week, during a day-long task force gathering in Leduc, Alberta organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Latest Saskatchewan Oil Train Derailment Spilled 1.2 Million Litres

Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa Set Financing Deal for Muskrat Falls Hydro

Trans Mountain Construction Cost Rises 133% to $12.6 Billion

The projected cost to complete the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has skyrocketed to C$12.6 billion, driving the total price tag above $16 billion when the expense of buying the project on taxpayers’ behalf is taken into account.

Big-City Mayors Call for Predictable, Long-Term Transit Funding

Canada’s big-city mayors are pushing for predictable, long-term mass transit funding and immediate dollars for climate change programming when Finance Minister Bill Morneau issues his climate-focused budget next month.

Garneau Orders Slower Speeds After Second Oil Train Derailment in Two Months

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has ordered all large trains carrying dangerous goods to slow their speeds along federal rail lines for 30 days, after a second crude oil train in two months derailed near the Saskatchewan hamlet of Guernsey.

Tyendinaga Protesters Block Rail Line Near Belleville in Support of Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protesters from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario have blocked passenger and freight trains through Belleville, Ontario, in a multi-day demonstration of support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia.

Cape Breton’s Donkin Coal Mine Reports 11th Rockfall Since 2017

The Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton is reporting its eleventh rockfall since it opened in February 2017, about 20 metres away from where miners were last working.

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

Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval

With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.

Week 3, January 20: Canada’s Carbon Tax

Carbon taxation is a net benefit to all Canadians and an essential tool as we navigate a rapid transition to renewable energy. The current tax is $30 per tonne in 2020, rising by $10 a year to $50 by 2022, the revenue from which is being returned to Canadians as tax rebates.

Toronto Takes Delivery of First Made-in-Canada E-Buses from BYD

National Parks in Canadian Rockies Report Bird Populations Doing Fine

RCMP Arrest Six in Pre-Dawn Raid on Wet’suwet’en Support Camp

More than a dozen heavily-armed RCMP arrested six people Thursday morning in a pre-dawn raid at a camp on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, as the force began acting on a court injunction against protesters blocking construction of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Ottawa River flooding

Updated Climate Risk Plan Will Withdraw Disaster Aid for New Homes in Flood Plains

Canadians building or buying new homes in areas at high risk for flooding will no longer have access to federal disaster relief under a new insurance plan set to take effect in the next three years, The Energy Mix has learned.

Teck Mine a ‘Pretty Easy No’, Liberal MPs Tell Trudeau in Raucous Caucus Meeting

Liberal Members of Parliament are taking a loud stand against Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receiving an “earful” at a caucus meeting Wednesday, Huffington Post Canada reports.

Nova Scotia Senator Calls for National Inquiry on Net-Zero Pathways

Nova Scotia Senator Mary Coyle is urging her Red Chamber colleagues to launch in inquiry into the pathways for Canada to meet a net-zero target for carbon and other greenhouse gases.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Sees Most Households Coming Out Ahead from Federal Carbon Price

Most households in provinces subject to the federal government’s backstop price on carbon will get more money back in rebates than they pay out in taxes, though less than Ottawa projected last year, the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded in a new analysis released this week.

Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge

The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.

Saugeen Nation Sends OPG Back to Square One, Voting 86% Against Nuclear Waste Site

The 4,500-member Saugeen Ojibway Nation has voted by an 86% margin to reject Ontario Power Generation’s plan for a radioactive waste repository at the Bruce nuclear station in Kincardine, about 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron, prompting OPG to launch a search for a new location and Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley to declare a “huge victory”.

African Development Bank Hires Ottawa Lobbyist, Seeking Funds ‘to Develop Climate Capacity’

The African Development Bank has hired an Ottawa lobbyist to reinforce its quest for funds to help the continent “develop the capacity to address climate change”, iPolitics reports.

Alberta Solar Farm, Canada’s Biggest, Nets $500 Million from Danish Infrastructure Fund

Canada’s biggest solar farm, the 400-MW, 1,900-hectare Travers Solar Energy Project in Alberta, has received a C$500-million cash infusion from Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that will allow Calgary-based Greengate Power to start construction at the site near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County.

Week 2, January 13: A Green New Deal

In Week 2 of Guy Dauncey’s 26-week climate emergency transition plan, Canada introduces a Green New Deal in partnership with business, labour unions, First Nations and non-profit societies to manage a 20-year transition off fossil fuels in a planned, coordinated manner.

Pickering Council Unanimously Backs Faster Nuclear Shutdown

Yeb Saño: Tar Sands/Oil Sands Morally Responsible for Death, Destruction

Canada to Enact Single-Use Plastics Ban in 2021

The Trudeau government will move ahead with a ban on single-use plastics next year, after a federal science report found more than enough evidence that plastics pollution causes harm, with 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage ending up as litter in 2016.

Cenovus Puts Up $50 Million for Indigenous Housing

Climate Denier Moore Gets $10,000 to Appear at Regina ‘Sustainability’ Conference

Canadians Take 12 Spots in Cleantech 100

Labrador Cultural Centre Learns to Build on Melting Permafrost

Petro-Canada Completes 50 EV Charging Stations from B.C. to NS

CAPE Documents Health Effects of Fracking, Calls for Immediate Ban

Birth defects, cancer, neurological issues, and psychological effects are among the documented impacts of natural gas fracking, prompting the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) to call for a ban on the practice in a literature review released this week.

Jonathan WIlkinson

Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built

Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.

Alberta Aims for Different ‘Balance’ in Climate Change Curriculum

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange is weighing in with a new definition of “balance” in climate change education for K-12 students, after getting wind that students are acquiring the “extremist view” that we’re running out of time to get the climate crisis under control.

Alberta Cold Snap Kills Off 95% of Mountain Pine Beetles

Auditor Tells Travel Manitoba to Factor In Climate Risk

Freeland Pushes for Quick Vote on Trade Deal with Big Concessions to Fossils

The Trudeau government is making it a top legislative priority to ratify a trade agreement with the United States and Mexico that is under fire in the U.S. for its concessions to oil and gas companies.

Three-Year Federal EV Incentive Burns Through Half Its Budget in Eight Months

It’s only taken the Canadian government eight months to burn through nearly half of its three-year budget for electric and zero-emission vehicle rebates, leaving the funds at risk of running out by year-end and Transport Minister Marc Garneau considering whether to extend the program to meet the demand.

Child labour artisan mining Congo cobalt

Surging Mineral Demand Produces Sharper Focus on ‘Ethical’ Batteries

Blockchain-enabled transparency, rigorous third-party mining standards, local production, and recycling are among the strategies in play to create batteries that are planet- and people-friendly—a tall order, given that the supply chains supporting the EV revolution remain linked to environmental degradation and human suffering.

Support for Trans Mountain Narrows 11 Points, But Majority Still Backs Construction

Smart Thermostat Start-Up Sees Gain for Newfoundland-Labrador Grid

Reject Teck Wilkinson petition

41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine

Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.

Fossil Industry Sees Financial Value Collapse as Prices Stay Low, Renewables Surge

Despite record production and rapidly-rising greenhouse gas emissions, North American oil and gas companies are coming off a notably bad financial year in 2019, and analysts are predicting they won’t be any happier about their financial results in 2020.

Michael Chong, MP

Demands for Climate Action Put Pressure on Conservatives in Canada, Australia

From Canada to Australia, the resistance to climate action generally associated with conservative governments may be showing early signs of burning to the ground—though CBC isn’t minimizing the challenges the next Conservative Party of Canada leader will face reconciling the urgency of the climate crisis with a largely westernized political base.

Fracking Tied to Two Central Alberta Earthquakes in 12 Months

Two earthquakes in central Alberta in 2018 and 2019 were caused by nearby shale oil fracturing operations, a research team from the province’s geological society and energy regulator has concluded.

Wildfires Causing Permanent Change in Canada’s Boreal Forest

Canada’s vast boreal forest, one of the largest remaining intact ecosystems on Earth, is beginning to show signs of permanent damage and dissolution due to wildfires—which are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.

NS Community Wind Project Could Be Model for Canada

Ontario Cash for Clunkers Plan Offers $2,000 Toward EV Purchase

multi-storey Volkswagen parking lot

Record $196.5M Fine in Dieselgate Scandal Points to ‘New Era of Environmental Protection’

A record-setting C$196.5-million fine levied against Volkswagen after it pleaded guilty to dozens of charges in the epic Dieselgate scandal, heralds a “new era of environmental protection,” according to judge who heard the case.

Wilkinson Tips Early Moves on Just Transition Act, Tougher 2030 Carbon Target

The second-term Trudeau government is considering kicking off its legislative response to the climate crisis with a new Just Transition Act, adjustments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and new carbon reduction measures aimed at exceeding its Harper-era goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, iPolitics reports, citing an interview late last week with Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

Ex-Alberta Liberal Leader Declares Tax Revolt Over Deadbeat Fossils’ $173M Debt to Rural Municipalities

A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.

Wet’suwet’en Supporters Blockade Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal

A group of protesters produced decidedly mixed reactions Monday, after blocking the busy Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Vancouver Island in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Surging Quebec SUV Sales to Drive Oil Consumption 30% Higher This Decade

Surging sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are on track to drive Quebec’s oil consumption up by 30% over the next decade, according to a study released by HEC Montréal.

Day Five of Snow Emergency Sees Lines Form Outside NL Supermarkets

Canadian Start-Up Nets $2M to Develop Longer-Lasting Zinc Battery

New Canadian Climate Institute Warns of ‘Harsh Realities’ Ahead

The new Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC), an independent think tank that begins life with C$20 million in federal funding over five years, is warning of the harsh realities and global economic shifts the country will face as the climate crisis evolves.

March to Stop Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline

Ottawa Won’t Offload Trans Mountain to First Nations While Legal, Political Risk Remains

The federal government won’t try to sell off the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the new Indigenous owners it hopes to attract as long as the project is beset by legal and political risk, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week.

Scott and DeRochie: Coastal GasLink Buy Undercuts Pension Fund’s Duty to Alberta Retirees

Buying a 65% stake in the C$6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeastern British Columbia was the wrong way to invest Alberta’s public pension fund, Adam Scott and Patrick DeRochie of Shift: Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health argue in an op ed last week for the Edmonton Journal.

From Newfoundland Snowstorms to Australian Bushfires, Climate Means the ‘Exceptional Becoming Normalized’

From an epic snowstorm blanketing Newfoundland to devastating bushfires and flash floods in Australia, climate change is the common thread that is turning the exceptional into the “new normal”, a Calgary-based climatologist told CBC News this week.

Quebec, Atlantic Look to Boost Hydropower

Chetwynd, B.C. ‘Renewable Hydrogen’ Plant Gets $200M Cash Injection from Macquarie

A new C$200-million “renewable hydrogen plant” is about to get off the ground in Chetwynd, British Columbia with a boost from the green energy arm of Australian infrastructure investment giant Macquarie Capital.

Summerside

High-Fives in PEI After Officials Announce $68-Million Solar+Storage Project

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey shared a “small victorious high-five” in Summerside, PEI last week after announcing construction of a C$68-million, 21-megawatt solar farm with 10 MW of battery storage.

Construction on Cross-Border Segment of Keystone XL to Begin in April

Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.

Toronto Sets Plan to Boost Electric Vehicle Use

Shoreline Erosion Hits Lake Erie

Alaska pipeline winter

Supreme Court Rejects B.C.’s Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, concluding that the province’s bid to regulate the flow of heavy oil through its territory would defeat the federal government’s constitutional authority to approve and regulate interprovincial pipelines.

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

Teck Mega-Mine Shows ‘Misguided and Reckless’ Disregard for Low Oil Prices

Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mega-mine in Alberta reflects a “misguided and reckless” disregard for economics, given a review panel’s approval that assumed an unrealistically high world oil price “for years to come”, according to an analysis released this week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

TerraForm Buyout Would Lift Toronto-Based Brookfield Renewable’s Asset Base to 22 Gigawatts

Toronto-based Brookfield Renewable Partners is pitching a US$1.5-billion offer to buy out the remaining shares of TerraForm Power Inc., a move that would boost its global portfolio of renewable energy and energy storage assets from 18 to 22 gigawatts.

Tenured Professor Resigns Over McGill’s Failure to Divest Fossil Fuels

A tenured professor at Montreal’s McGill University has quit his job over the board of governors’ refusal to dump its investments in fossil fuels.

LED lighting energy efficiency

LED Retrofit Cuts Lighting Costs 94%, Points to Fast ROI for Commercial Buildings

An LED lighting replacement project at a manufacturing plant in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata cut lighting costs 94% while providing better illumination, delivering the equivalent of a one-day return on investment after factoring in federal and provincial incentives.

Pieridae Plans Decision This Year on Nova Scotia LNG

Teck Buys B.C. Solar Project for $2 Million

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau Ryerson University

Morneau Cites Climate as ‘Central Focus’ of 2020 Federal Budget

The climate crisis will be a “central focus” of the 2020 federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told students at Toronto’s Ryerson University Monday, during a kick-off event for this year’s pre-budget consultations.

Pickering nuclear

False Alarm Draws Attention to Delayed Pickering Nuclear Shutdown, Triggers Surging Demand for Emergency Iodide Pills

Millions of people across Ontario woke up in a panic early Sunday morning, after an emergency alert falsely announced an incident at the Pickering nuclear station east of Toronto.

Telus Pension Plan Faces Losses in Calgary’s Slumping Fossil Economy

Stop Indigenous Evictions at Coastal GasLink Site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Urges

Canada must stop the eviction of Wet’suwet’en and Secwepemc protesters blockading the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, guarantee that no force will be used against them, and prohibit the use of lethal weapons on the site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said Friday.

Cenovus Sets ‘Aspirational’ Net-Zero Target, Pledges 30% Carbon Intensity Cut by 2030

Alberta tar sands/oil sands fossil Cenovus Energy is promising to cut its carbon emissions per barrel produced 30% by 2030, reclaim 1,500 decommissioned oil wells by the same year, hit “net zero” emissions by 2050, and expand its work with Indigenous businesses by C$1.5 billion.

Surging Canadian Renewables Stocks Deliver ‘Pleasant Side Benefit’ to Ethical Investors

Shares in three Canadian renewable energy companies surged in 2019, producing a “pleasant side benefit” to investors who may have signed on for the good of the planet by “delivering gains that mock the fossil fuel-clinging political leadership in Washington,” the Globe and Mail reported in mid-December.

BC Hydro Dismisses Concerns About Fracking-Related Earthquakes Near Hydro Dam Sites

BC Hydro is dismissing concerns raised by a dam safety specialist who repeatedly warned about the risk of fracking-induced earthquakes in a region that is home to some of the province’s biggest hydroelectric dams, according to internal documents obtained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Canada, U.S. Report Rising Cost, Frequency of Climate-Fuelled Disasters

Canada and the United States are both beginning to count up the rising annual cost of climate-fuelled natural disasters, with Canada placing the tab at more than C$430 million and the U.S. reporting a doubling in the number of billion-dollar climate- and weather-related events in the last decade.

Trump Middle East Strategy: Trade Blood for Oil

Long before an early January geopolitical crisis led to an errant missile attack on a civilian airliner, with 176 lives lost, Donald Trump was making it clear that his Middle East strategy amounted to trading blood for oil.

Ontario Auditor General to Probe Nation Rise Wind Farm Cancellation

Canada’s Second-Largest Pension Fund Steps Away from Coal, Oil

Fort Mac Homeowners ‘Very Much Underwater’ as Foreclosure Rate Rises

Mayor Declares ‘Betrayal’ After Ontario Cancels Funding for Hamilton LRT

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger declared a betrayal in mid-December, after the Ontario government announced it was cancelling C$1 billion in funding for the community’s long-awaited light rail transit (LRT) system.

Canada Faces Similar Wildfire Risk to Australia, as Alberta Lays Off Specialist Firefighters

With heat waves and extended drought making Canada vulnerable to massive wildfires like the ones now sweeping Australia, Alberta has cut funding and jobs for about 63 specialized remote-region firefighters—and British Columbia is “poaching” some of them to join its own wildfire prevention and response team.

UN Human Rights Panel Calls for Pause on Trans Mountain, Site C, Coastal GasLink

The committee that monitors a United Nations convention to end racial discrimination is calling on Canada to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Site C hydro megaproject, and the Coastal GasLink pipeline until they receive approval from all affected First Nations.

Green-Themed Christmas Pageant Triggers Outrage in Saskatchewan Oil Town

The angry backlash against a green-themed Christmas pageant at a small-town Saskatchewan public school revealed the fear-filled defensiveness produced by a precarious western Canadian fossil economy—while offering unsettling proof of the “social power” Big Oil holds over vulnerable people still dependent on the industry for a paycheque.

75% Say Carbon-Free Transition Helps Canada Over Long Term

Three-quarters of Canadians see the shift to less carbon-intensive energy as a necessary transition that will help the country over the long term, even if it raises the cost of living, according to a new Abacus Data survey conducted for Vancouver-based Clean Energy Canada.

Canada’s New Building Code Aims for ‘Culture of Thinking About Resiliency’

Canada’s updated national building code this year is set to begin addressing the climate crisis for the first time, with further refinements to follow in revisions scheduled every five years.

Saskatchewan Sets 600,000 Barrel/Day Target for 2030

Yurek Cancels Eastern Ontario Wind Farm Despite Looming Fears for Electricity Supply

The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Contractors, Expect RCMP Push After Judge Extends Injunction Against Blockade

Wet’suwet’en land defenders issued an eviction notice to a Coastal GasLink pipeline work site near Houston, British Columbia but were expecting a stepped-up RCMP presence in their territory, after a provincial supreme court judge extended an existing interim injunction against their blockade of the controversial, C$6.6-billion project.

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

Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.

Review of Colossal Fossils’ Climate Promises Separates Spin from Substance

Though Big Oil increasingly acknowledges the threat of climate change, and the corresponding need to do its part to reduce emissions, trillion-dollar business-as-usual production plans, a low-bar emphasis on emissions intensity, and buck-passing to consumers and society at large remain the industry’s primary order of the day.

‘Normal Weather Doesn’t Exist Anymore,’ Says Veteran CBC Climatologist Dave Phillips

From an overheating Arctic to a frigid B.C. Lower Mainland and Maritimes, from a parched (then drowning) Prairie region to an epically deluged Eastern Canada, the fingerprints of the climate crisis were all over the extreme weather events experienced by Canadians in 2019, says legendary Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.

Fort Mac Condo Owners Face Staggering Insurance Costs

Irish Firm Plans to Double Solar Farm on Calgary Brownfield

Canadian LNG Promoters See Opportunity in UK Brexit

Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.

Ottawa Aims for 100% Clean Energy in Federal Buildings by 2022

New Greenhouse to Make Montreal Home to World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

17 of 37 Cabinet Ministers Receive Climate Action Goals in Mandate Letters from Trudeau

Seventeen of 37 federal cabinet ministers received instructions to address some aspect of the climate crisis, and National Observer says Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emerges as “an especially active and influential figure in cabinet,” in the long-awaited mandate letters published Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

House of Commons Motion Backs a Green New Deal for Canada

The first motion filed in the reconstituted House of Commons calls for MPs to endorse a Green New Deal for Canada.

Radwanski: Scheer’s Exit Could Open Doors for Conservatives Who Want Climate Action

Andrew Scheer’s abrupt exit from the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada is a “step in the right direction” for Tories who want their party to get more serious about the climate crisis, Globe and Mail columnist Adam Radwanski writes in a new opinion piece.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, 15 Other Youth Call Out Canadian, Norwegian Fossils for Violating Children’s Rights

With #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth campaigners in Madrid calling out Canada and Norway for violating children’s rights and urging them to wind down their oil and gas production, Norway’s top fossil lobbyist is openly fretting about the “intense” nature of the debate around his industry’s climate impact.

Globe and Mail Editorial Rejects International Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

The Globe and Mail editorial board is weighing in against the fossil industry’s increasingly faint hope that Canada can earn international carbon reduction credits for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia.

District Heating Would Save 9.38 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

District heating ranks #27 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, the technique could eliminate 9.38 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a net cost of US$457.1 billion, and produce $3.54 trillion in savings.

Ontario’s New Hydro One CEO Plans Climate Focus

Alberta Fossil Earmarks $935M for New Petrochemical Plant

Canadian Research Boosts Lithium Ion Battery Capacity by 50%

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

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Alberta Launches ‘Hopeful, Uplifting’ War Room After Kenney’s Ottawa Visit Fizzles

The Alberta government has officially launched its C$30-million “war room” to counter what it claims is misinformation about the province’s fossil industry.

Ottawa Won’t Confirm Trans Mountain Timeline or Budget as Cost Estimate Balloons to $12 Billion [Petition]

Despite the Trudeau government’s assurance that the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the national interest, and will turn a profit for the taxpayers who became its involuntary owners last year, new disclosures show the project could run out of cash in the next few months and cost more to complete than Ottawa estimated, National Observer reports.

Chevron to Dump 50% Share in Kitimat LNG, Writes Off $10 Billion in Oil and Gas Assets

California-based colossal fossil Chevron Corporation has announced it is writing off US$10 billion of the value attached to its various projects and selling its 50% stake in British Columbia’s Kitimat LNG project, blaming a drop in the long-term price of oil and gas.

Harbour Air Completes First Test Flight for Battery-Powered Seaplane

With allusions to the Wright Brothers’ first test flight in 1903, Harbour Air Seaplanes completed its first all-electric flight in Richmond, British Columbia December 10 with CEO Greg McDougall at the controls.

District Energy Systems Gain Ground Despite High Up-Front Cost, Low Gas Prices

Community-based district energy systems are spreading across Canada despite steep up-front costs and tough competition from cheap natural gas, with innovative examples popping up in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, and more than 2,600 other places in between.

Saskatchewan Train Derailment Leaks 1.5 Million Litres of Crude

Tsilhqot’in Solar Farm Ready to Go Online

Vancouver Port Expansion Raises Air Quality Concerns

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

Canada Pledges Net Zero by 2050 as Major Emitters Dig In to Block COP 25 Progress

Canada earned praise for promising to legislate a 2050 deadline for net-zero carbon emissions, but big emitters like Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, and China were called out for blocking progress, as COP 25 moved into a crucial round of high-level negotiations this week in Madrid.

VW

Enviros Call for Billions in Fines After VW Canada Pleads Guilty to Dieselgate Charges

Volkswagen is pleading guilty, and two environmental groups are calling for billions of dollars in penalties, after the federal government capped a four-year investigation of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal by laying 60 charges against the company under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Wilkinson Throws Cold Water on Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is raising major flags about the fossil industry’s hope of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to earn carbon reduction credits under the hotly-contested Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and aiming to meet Canada’s Paris targets without resorting to international carbon trades.

Logging Costs Ontario 650,000 Hectares of Forest, 16.5 Mt of Carbon Storage Over 30 Years

Despite persistent claims that Canada has a near-zero deforestation rate, Ontario alone has lost an expanse of productive forest equivalent to 10 times the City of Toronto in the last 30 years, along with 16.5 million tonnes of carbon storage capacity, according to a new report released last week by the Toronto-based Wildlands League.

Rural Municipalities Take the Hit as Alberta Cuts Taxes for Gas Producers

Alberta’s rural municipalities already straining to make up for deadbeat fossils’ unpaid property tax bills, will be expected to shell out C$20 million per year in lost revenue from 2020 on, under a tax rebate for shallow gas well developers introduced by the provincial government.

Canadian Sustainable Beef Standard is ‘Marbled with Loopholes’

Lacking real substance, marbled with loopholes, and in need of a crash course in regenerative agriculture is Corporate Knights’ assessment of the green burger promise being served up by the Calgary-based Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

Developer Brings First Geothermal to Saskatchewan Grid

U.S., Canadian Fossils to Lead $1.4 Trillion in New Oil and Gas Development Through 2024

Fossils in the United States and Canada are leading plans to invest another US$1.4 trillion in new oil and gas extraction projects over the next five years, even though the industry already has enough existing fields and mines to blow past a 1.5°C limit on average global warming and nearly exhaust the carbon budget for 2.0°C, according to an analysis released late last week by the Global Gas & Oil Network (GGON).

Businesses See Climate Action Emerging as Job Creator, Economic Driver: Pittis

Overheated claims that climate action will cost millions of jobs are quickly giving way to the realization that the transition off carbon will produce an employment boom, CBC business columnist Don Pittis reports in a post-Throne Speech analysis.

Ottawa Approves Alberta Tax on Industrial Carbon Emitters

The federal government has approved Alberta’s new C$30 per tonne tax on industrial carbon emitters, a move that “avoids escalating a fight between Ottawa and the Prairie province but does nothing to end the battle over the consumer-based carbon tax, which the federal Liberals say will still come into effect in Alberta on January 1,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Carbon Pricing ‘Isn’t the Only Tool in the Toolbox’: Wilkinson

Carbon pricing is just one part of a complete climate plan, and it will be at least two years before the Canadian government decides whether to extend the federal floor price beyond C$50 per tonne after 2022, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told The Canadian Press last week.

Former Oilpatch Roughneck Traces Hardships of Fossil Employment, Urges Better Deal in Carbon-Free Transition

The boom and bust nature of a fossil-fuel based economy, together with the callous greed of those at the top, means a “pretty brutal, pretty unforgiving” existence for oilpatch workers, self-described “oilpatch brat,” one-time roughneck, and oil and gas anthropologist Rylan Higgins writes in a recent CBC op ed.

Did Kenney Just Link the Moody’s Ratings Agency to His Anti-Alberta Conspiracy Theory?

So, look, just because a major credit rating agency reviewed Alberta’s fossil-dependent economy and issued a downgrade, there’s nothing wrong with the province’s economic strategy. It just means Moody’s Investors Service is “completely factually wrong”, and probably a part of an international conspiracy to persecute the Canadian oilpatch.

Washington State Shifts Ferry Fleet from Diesel to Batteries

The west coast of North America is making initial moves toward decarbonizing marine shipping and aviation, with Washington State Ferries switching its vessels from diesel to batteries and Richmond, British Columbia-based Harbour Air Seaplanes just days away from testing the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

Suncor Announces New 200-MW Wind Farm in Alberta

Throne speech Ottawa 2019 climate action emissions Trudeau Payette

Wilkinson Vows Tougher 2030 Emissions Target as Throne Speech Promises Net-Zero by 2050

A 2050 deadline to achieve net-zero emissions, a price on carbon in every part of the country, and new initiatives on energy-efficient buildings, zero-emission vehicles, “clean, affordable power”, and climate change adaptation are major elements of the legislative program the incoming federal government laid out in the Speech from the Throne delivered in Ottawa yesterday by Governor General Julie Payette.

Canadian Food Prices Set to Rise $487 Per Family, with Climate a Major Cause

The average Canadian family will pay $487 more for food next year, and the authors of the country’s annual food price report are pointing to climate change as a major cause of the increase.

Ontario Climate Plan Won’t Hit 2030 Target, Isn’t Based on ‘Sound Science’: Auditor General

The climate plan introduced last year by the Doug Ford government in Ontario is not based on “sound evidence”, and the province is warming faster than the global average and off-course to meeting its 2030 emission reduction targets, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk concluded in her annual report issued Wednesday.

Hamilton Granddad Sees Hope for Alberta Transition in Ontario’s Past Economic Pain

In a heartfelt letter to westerners going through the economic pain he endured in the 1990s, when free trade agreements shut down 200,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario’s industrial heartland, Hamilton resident Robert Fraser is urging his fellow Canadians in the oilpatch to “put aside the climate change thing for a bit and focus on some realities”.

Alberta Fossils Aim to Push More Oil Through the Same Pipes

With the three new pipelines they’ve been counting on all delayed, Alberta fossils are looking to at least two new strategies to push more bitumen through the pipes and rail lines they’ve already got, even as two major tar sands/oil sands operators cut back their investment plans for 2020.

Via Rail Go Transit commuter train Brampton Innisfil Ontario

Ontario Town Counts on Transit, Urban Design to Protect Rural Flavour, Prevent Sprawl

Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as the garden city movement of the early 20th century, Israel’s cooperative moshavs, and the annual Burning Man event, the town council of Innisfil, Ontario has developed a new model of suburban intensification built around nature, two wheels, and walking, in a bid to protect the good things about rural life.

Stouffville Condo Developer Plans Eight-Storey ‘Green’ Building

Carbon Fibre for EVs May Be Next Use for Alberta Bitumen

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

BREAKING: Moody’s Downgrades Alberta’s Credit While Federal Regulator Predicts Continuing Over-Dependence on Oil

One of the world’s leading credit assessment agencies has downgraded its rating for Alberta, citing the province’s over-dependence on fossil fuels, lack of pipeline access, carbon intensity, and vulnerability to climate disasters.

Throne Speech in Ottawa, COP Negotiations in Madrid Raise Pressure on Canada for Climate Action

With a much-anticipated Speech from the Throne taking place tomorrow in Ottawa, and United Nations climate negotiations under way in Madrid, the Trudeau government is under sustained pressure to make climate action a priority at home and do its fair share internationally to limit average global warming to 1.5°C.

Trans Mountain Begins Construction Near Edmonton

Pipe for Coastal GasLink Arrives in B.C.

Analysts See More Workplace EV Charging in North America, Europe

Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick Agree to Develop Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick will work together to research, develop, and build the technology for small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday by Premiers Doug Ford, Scott Moe, and Blaine Higgs.

Mark Carney

Carney Tapped as UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance

Bank of England and expat Canadian Mark Carney will become the United Nations special envoy on climate action and climate finance when he leaves his current post next year, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced in Madrid yesterday.

‘Unprecedented’ Interest Could Pour $4B into Oil and Gas Drilling Off Newfoundland and Labrador Coast

Oil and gas exploration off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to boom in the next few years, with fossils poised to spend up to C$4 billion on what they hope will be the province’s next big production project, the Financial Post reports.

Engineering Study to Map Out High-Speed Rail from Quebec City to Toronto

Via Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank have set a March 31, 2021 deadline for final engineering for a high-speed passenger rail line along the Toronto-Quebec City corridor.

Cut Carbon by Giving Citizens More Transportation Choices, Veteran City Planner Urges

A key step in getting Canadian urbanites out of high-emitting cars is to shed the notion that roads are natural habitat for cars alone and redesign city streets to give citizens more transportation choices, former Toronto chief planner and mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat argues in a Globe and Mail op ed.

Line 3 Pipeline Begins Operations Between Alberta and Manitoba

Vancouver Prevents ‘CO2 Nightmare’ by Averting Transit Strike

$38.9-Million Price Tag Made Dorian NS Power’s Most Expensive Hurricane Ever

Ontario Pot Industry to See 1,250% Jump in Electricity Use Over Five Years

McKenna Pledges Fast Action on Infrastructure Through a ‘Climate Lens’

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna donned a hard hat for her first major speech in her new portfolio this week, telling the Federation of Canadian Municipalities she plans to get money out the door and shovels in the ground on projects that are all undertaken through a “climate lens”.

Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target

Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.

Greg Rickford

Rickford Rolls with Climate-Denying Trolls to Justify Cancelled Renewables Contracts

Ontario Energy Minister Greg Rickford resorted to a terse, five-second media availability yesterday, after sustaining three days of political pressure and online mockery for citing a climate denial blog to justify his government’s decision to dismantle a brand new wind farm and cancel 758 signed renewable energy contracts.

Brian Mulroney

Ex-PM Mulroney Urges Ambitious Action on Climate

Former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney is calling for ambitious action on the climate crisis, even if it’s unpopular with voters, and praising former Liberal environment minister Catherine McKenna for trying to deliver on that expectation.

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University Promises 45% Fossil Fuel Divestment by 2025

British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University has adopted a plan to reduce its fossil fuel investments by 45% from 2015 levels by 2025.

Arctic Temperatures Up to 11° Above Normal Produce Treacherously Thin Ice

Treacherously thin ice, arriving very late, is one of the immediate impacts of the shockingly warm temperatures this autumn across much of the far North, reports The Canadian Press.

Federally-Owned Trans Mountain Takes Criticism for Surveillance on Indigenous Opponents

In a move that legal experts are condemning as a disquieting disregard for the democratic rights of assembly and free expression, federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation has been conducting surveillance on its opponents, trolling their social media posts, and exchanging intelligence with the RCMP.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Seven Youth Sue Ford Government for ‘Tearing Up Ontario’s Climate Laws’

Seven Ontario youth are suing the Doug Ford government for “tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person,” Ecojustice announced yesterday.

Oil and gas investment Canada Pension Board

Corporate Connections Drive $4 Billion in Fossil Investment by Canadian Pension Board

With more than C$4 billion invested in the world’s top 200 publicly-traded fossils, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is placing bets that those companies will exceed the 1.5°C carbon emission targets in the Paris Agreement, according to a report released last week by the Corporate Mapping Project and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

BC LNG LNG Canada

B.C. Directs $830 Million in Subsidies to Climate-Busting LNG Industry

British Columbia paid out C$830 million in subsidies to help build its liquefied natural gas industry in 2017-18, according to a report released this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

London, Ontario Sets 2050 Target for Net Zero GHGs

Alberta_oil_energy

Secession Would Make Alberta the World’s Biggest Per Capita Carbon Polluter

If Alberta ever pursued some of its louder residents’ “Wexit” dreams and separated from the rest of Canada, it would instantly become the world’s biggest carbon polluter, with per capita emissions three times higher than Saudi Arabia, currently the worst colossal fossil among the world’s nations.

Ecojustice Challenges ‘Partisan Political Purposes’ Behind Alberta’s Foreign Funding Inquiry

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has filed a legal challenge against the Kenney government’s C$2.5-million commission on supposed “foreign-funded radicals” opposing the Alberta fossil industry, asserting the probe was set up for “partisan political purposes” and has been tainted by bias in its operations.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work

Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.

Nova Scotia wind power

Scenario Shows Nova Scotia Phasing Out Coal, Hitting 90% Renewable Power by 2030

Nova Scotia can phase out all coal-fired electricity production and generate 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 under an ambitious but achievable new modelling scenario released today by the Ecology Action Centre.

Wind turbine

Opposition Demands Audit After Cancelled Renewables Contracts Cost Ontario $231M

The NDP opposition is asking Ontario’s auditor general to investigate after documents showed the province setting aside C$231 million for the Ford government’s decision to cancel a completed wind farm and break 758 smaller renewable energy contracts after it took office last year.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Alberta Coal Phaseout Shows Need for ‘Deliberate, Coordinated’ Transition

Supported by Rachel Notley’s provincial government, and at least partially imperiled by Jason Kenney’s, Alberta’s plan to phase out coal by 2030 offers critical lessons on how best to support the transition to the green economy, according to a new report from the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute.

Energy poverty

Online Tool Connects Energy Poverty to Climate, Housing Crises

A group of sustainability specialists is out with a new online mapping tool to help policy-makers navigate the challenging nexus between the climate crisis, the housing crisis, and poverty, to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition out of a fossil economy.

Castlegar, B.C. Sets 100% RE Target

Alberta Pot Producer Installs Rooftop Solar System

New Interactive Map Shows Sharp Decline in Boreal Caribou

Repsol Looks to Alberta to Replace Venezuelan Heavy Oil

Guilbeault to Heritage, McKenna to Infrastructure, Wilkinson to Environment as Climate Rises to Top of Federal Agenda

Veteran climate hawk and newly-minted Montreal MP Steven Guilbeault is expected to be named heritage minister, former environment minister Catherine McKenna takes over the infrastructure and communities portfolio, and climate action is set to emerge as a government-wide priority, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduces his second-term cabinet this morning in a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

March to Stop Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline

Trans Mountain Subsidies Hit $320 Million in First Six Months of 2019

The Trans Mountain pipeline took home C$320 million in direct and indirect subsidies in the first six months of the years that were not clearly disclosed to the taxpayers who now involuntarily own the project, the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report released this week.

Kalamazoo River tar sands oil spill

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Provincial Energy Efficiency Rankings Map of Canada

Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows B.C. Leading, But All Provinces with Room to Improve

British Columbia leads, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador lag, and no province receives a score above 58 points on a 100-point scale in the first annual provincial energy efficiency scorecard released yesterday by Efficiency Canada.

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Federal Figures Show Alberta Carbon Emissions Continuing to Rise

Carbon pollution from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is continuing to rise, notwithstanding Premier Jason Kenney’s insistence that his province’s product is the cleanest, most ethically-produced in the world.

Woman and child walking in forest

‘New Kind of Protected Area’ Would Store Carbon, Conserve Nature’s Ecological Services

Rapid climate change should be the catalyst for Canada to embrace “a new type of protected area” devoted to sequestering carbon, argues Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star.

Coastal GasLink Opens 700-Unit Man Camp Near Chetwynd, B.C.

New Map Shows 19 Years of Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Spills

B.C. Energy Efficiency Regs Quietly Do Their Job

Analysts Slam Scotiabank’s Fossil Investments Despite $100-Billion Climate Fund

Scotiabank’s decision to pour C$100 billion by 2025 into projects to address the climate crisis is receiving mixed reviews from organizations that track its massive, continuing investments in fossil fuel projects.

Fossils Claim They Receive No Subsidies as Fossil Subsidy Review Bogs Down

Canada’s fossil lobby is setting out to redefine the lavish government handouts it receives as anything but a subsidy, even as the federal finance department drags its feet on a binational peer review intended to quantify that funding as a first step to phasing it out.

Zero-Emission Vehicles Hit 10% of New Car Sales in British Columbia

British Columbia has surged into a Canada-wide lead in its buying habits for zero-emission vehicles, with electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell cars accounting for 10% of all new purchases, far ahead of a national average of 3.5%.

Charity Slams ‘Undemocratic, Unfounded’ Foreign-Funded Radicals Panel

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government is taking fire from one of the province’s most established philanthropic institutions, with the Edmonton-based Muttart Foundation declaring that Alberta’s inquiry into supposed foreign funding of anti-fossil advocacy is polarizing, undemocratic, and unfounded.

Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years

An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.

LNG Transforms Kitimat into Canada’s Next Boomtown

B.C. Fossils Tout Floating LNG Project

New Net Metering Program Drives Sask Solar Company to Alberta

Doctors Urge Rapid Decarbonization to Avert Life-Long Health Impacts of Climate Change

The increase in extreme weather and air pollution due to climate change is seriously harming human health, and a world of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods, and extreme heat will produce life-long health risks for a child born today unless countries move swiftly to curb carbon pollution, according to the latest annual climate and health update published this week by the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet.

IEA Drives Fossil Growth, Climate Breakdown with Latest World Energy Outlook

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is undercutting its own, essential role in confronting the climate crisis by downplaying renewable energy options and driving future investment to more expensive, higher-carbon fossil fuels, according to analysts responding to the release of its annual World Energy Outlook report earlier this week.

Party Leaders Lay Out Climate, Energy Priorities in Private Meetings with Trudeau

The divisions and potential points of agreement in a minority parliament are beginning to emerge as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way through a series of private meetings with federal party leaders before the House of Commons reconvenes December 5.

Swedish Central Bank Sells Off Carbon-Intensive Alberta Bonds

Sweden’s central bank has sold its Alberta Government bonds and declared it will no longer invest in assets with high carbon footprints, even if they offer solid financial yields.

TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled

TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

Fossil Production, Inefficient Buildings Make Canada a Global Climate Laggard

Canada shows up as one of the world’s biggest climate laggards in the Climate Transparency consortium’s annual Brown to Green report, with energy-inefficient buildings and fossil-intensive Alberta and Saskatchewan accounting for much of the country’s failure to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, National Observer reports.

Magdalen Islands Crumble Into the Sea as Protective Ice Melts

Canadian Tire Distribution Centre Cuts Energy Use by 46%

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada

Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Federal Action on Climate Crisis

Two-thirds of Canadians want the country’s response to the climate crisis to continue or accelerate under Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government, and nearly 60% were dissatisfied with the Conservative Party’s climate platform in the recent federal election, according to polling results released last week by Clean Energy Canada.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Could Add 1,400 Orphan Wells, Pipelines to Alberta Cleanup Backlog

Alberta is on the hook for as many as 1,400 more abandoned oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure after the officers and directors of Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd. laid off their staff and contractors, shut down the company, and walked away from their responsibility to clean up after themselves.

Green Budget Coalition Urges Ottawa to Acknowledge Cost of Climate Impacts

Next year’s federal budget must acknowledge the hundreds of millions of dollars Canadians are already paying due to climate change and its impacts, the 22-member Green Budget Coalition says in a set of recommendations released last week.

Study of Fracking-Related Earthquake Shows B.C. Rock Formations in ‘Hair-Trigger State’

Fracking operations should proceed with caution in gas-rich northeastern British Columbia, with recent research into last November’s fracking-induced 4.5 magnitude earthquake near the Site C dam site revealing underground rock seams in a hair-trigger state—needing only a small injection of fracking fluid to induce “seismicity”.

Buyout by Vancity Brings New Financial Clout to Green Bond Provider CoPower

Vancity Community Investment Bank has announced plans to acquire CoPower Inc., a Toronto-based green financing platform that offers green bonds to investors with as little as C$5,000 to spend.

Concordia Promises Full Fossil Divestment by 2025

Montreal’s Concordia University plans to divest about C$14 million in coal, oil, and gas companies and redirect its entire C$243-million endowment to sustainable investments by 2025.

Ford Government to Spend Two Years Researching Impacts of Climate Change

Nova Scotia Declines Cities’ Request for Offshore Oil and Gas Moratorium

Two First Nations Abandon Trans Mountain Appeals

U.S. Indigenous Leaders Look to ‘Decolonize Green Power’

Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government

The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.

Pipeline Politics: Who Buried the Lede?

Award-winning investigative reporter Paul McKay looks into how mainstream media tilts coverage by assigning climate science missing-in-action status.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Buys Major Wind Farm Operator

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is acquiring a major North American wind farm operators, in what Greentech Media describes as one of the U.S. industry’s biggest mergers and acquisitions deals of the year.

May Steps Down as Canadian Green Party Leader

Ontario Counties Look to Rapid Growth in Electricity Demand

Low Oil Prices, Renewed Climate Concern Drive Awful Week for Alberta Oilpatch

Calgary-based Pengrowth Energy closed out a worrying week for the Alberta oilpatch Friday with the announcement that it was being acquired at a bargain basement price of 5¢ per share, down from the $13 per share its stock commanded in 2011.
“Essentially, a piece of leftover Halloween candy is worth more than a share in Pengrowth,” CBC reports.

Alberta Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs That Delivered 3-to-1 Return on Government Dollars

Alberta has reclaimed the dubious distinction of being the only North American jurisdiction with virtually no government support for energy efficiency programs, after mostly cancelling the rebate and incentive programs that had delivered C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions in their first two years of operation.

Get Started Now on Deeper Emissions Cuts, Climate Organizations Urge Federal Parties

The four federal parties that went out to voters this fall with strong climate policies had better get started on implementing those policies right now, a coalition of Canadian climate organizations asserted Friday.

Canadian CEOs’ Lobby Calls for Climate Risk Assessment, Still Wants More Pipelines

The lobby group representing CEOs of Canada’s biggest corporations is calling on businesses to disclose the long-term risks they face as a result of the climate crisis.

B.C. Introduces Climate Accountability, Independent Monitoring

Canadian Entrepeneur Converts Gas Guzzlers Into EVs

Analysis: Encana Departure Puts Canada, Alberta at Crossroads to a Carbon-Free Future

The overwrought grief that greeted Encana Corporation’s decision to move its Calgary head office to the United States shows Canada and Alberta at a crossroads, facing an increasingly obvious choice between yesterday’s energy options and tomorrow’s.

Keystone Pipeline Spills 1.4 Million Litres in North Dakota

Repairs and clean-up could take anywhere from 10 days to two or three months after the Keystone pipeline spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,119 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota Tuesday.

Climate Groups Urge Canadian Green New Deal, Demand Fast Action on Climate Accountability Law [sign-on]

Pressure is mounting on Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to deliver on its promise of climate action, with 27 youth protesters briefly occupying the lobby of the House of Commons earlier this week and a public interest law firm campaigning for a new climate accountability law.

Diesel Trucks, SUVs Imperil Health, Drive Up Carbon Emissions

Big diesel trucks and ever more numerous sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are driving up lung-damaging emissions of small particulate matter, while producing enough extra carbon dioxide to significantly imperil efforts to hold average global warming below 2.0°C, according to a two-year study released this week by the University of Toronto’s Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR).

https://pixabay.com/en/solar-energy-photovoltaic-panels-868663/

Two-Year Lag in New Solar Rebate Leaves Manitoba Falling Behind

Manitobans will have to wait another two years for the return of rooftop solar rebates the province’s public utility withdrew in 2018. At least one installer says that’s too long a lag.

Alberta Cuts Funds, Changes Contract Terms for Calgary, Edmonton LRTs

Trans Mountain Dreams Might Die in Coldwater

Energy Efficiency Begins to Show Up on Winnipeg Skyline

B.C. Lays Plans to Modernize Disaster Response

‘Step Backwards’ on Carbon Rules Saves Alberta’s Big Emitters $330 Million Per Year

Alberta has introduced a new C$30-per-tonne carbon cap-and-trade system that covers most of its biggest industrial greenhouse gas emitters, but will cost them $330 million less next year because of looser compliance requirements.

Fossil Lobbyists Aim for Wider Influence with Minority Parliament Set to Take Office

With a new minority government about to take office in Ottawa, the fossil lobby is getting to work, aiming to extend its influence to smaller parties in the House of Commons that may have received less of its attention when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held a parliamentary majority.

U.S., Australia Refuse to Pitch In as 27 Countries Pledge $9.8 Billion to Green Climate Fund

More than 27 countries, excluding the United States, promised US$9.8 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) by the end of a two-day pledging conference last week in Paris, aimed at beginning the process of replenishing the badly-depleted fund.

New Brunswick to More Than Double Protected Areas by End of 2020

New Brunswick is earning praise from conservation groups after promising to more than double its protected lands and freshwater, from 4.6 to 10% of the province, by the end of next year.

Burnaby Mountain Drilling to Start ‘as Early as October’

Trans Mountain Says It’s Hired 2,200 Workers

Climate Isn’t a Partisan Issue for Vancouver City Councillors

Delta, B.C. Mayor Invites Youth to Help Shape Climate Plan

‘Oil and Gas Filter’ Shapes School Curriculum in Saskatchewan

15,000 Rally with Thunberg in Vancouver as Youth Lawsuit Lists Climate-Related Injuries

An estimated 15,000 supporters crowded through downtown Vancouver for the city’s first weekly climate strike since the federal election, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg on hand to lend her support to a youth lawsuit against federal climate inaction that was launched the same day.

Minority Government Could Deliver Climate Action, But Time to Change the Front-Line Conversation

A week after the climate crisis emerged as the big winner in Canada’s federal election, politicians and opinion writers are beginning to probe the prospects for climate action in a period of minority government—and the extent to which the Liberals’ choices over the next several months will determine Justin Trudeau’s legacy as prime minister.

Election Post-Mortems Point to Conservatives’ Climate Problem, Urge Massive Federal Investment in Carbon Reductions

In the wake of last week’s federal election results, two different clean transition organizations are pointing to the climate policy problem now facing Conservative politicians in Canada, and the opportunity for governments to invest in the shift off carbon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Fossils Lobby for Subsidies as Decommissioning Orphan Wells Becomes Oilpatch’s Only Growth Industry

With more oil and gas wells abandoned than drilled in Alberta this year, decommissioning dead rigs is the only business showing any kind of growth in Western Canada’s struggling oilpatch.

Dauncey Analysis Highlights Strengths, Gaps in 10 Green New Deal Plans

Greater community engagement, the imperative for national carbon budgets, and the need to recognize and harness the power of central and public banks are takeaways identified by British Columbia sustainability specialist Guy Dauncey in a recent analysis of 10 Green New Deals published in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada.

Banff Communicators’ Conference Dumps Krause as Keynote Speaker

An international communicators’ conference opening in Banff today has dropped pro-fossil provocateur Vivian Krause as one of its keynote speakers.

B.C. Backs Plan to Deliver LNG for Marine Fuel

Vancouver Approves Landfill Gas Reclaim Project