SNAPSHOT: Sub-National Governments, Cities Step Up on Climate Action

Full Story: The Energy Mix

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Sub-national and municipal governments continued to take an outsized role in 2018 in setting ambitious targets to reduce carbon pollution and drive a transition to renewable energy.

The year saw some acknowledgement that cities, regions, and private businesses won’t be able to drive the transition far enough, fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change without renewed ambition at the national level. But more than 3,000 U.S. cities, states, businesses, investors, counties, regional associations, faith communities, and post-secondary institutions were still on track to meet 65% to 85% of the United States’ emissions target under the Paris Agreement, and decision makers in North America, Europe, and elsewhere saw lots of opportunities for leadership from the levels of government that are closest to citizens’ everyday lives.

California continued to position itself as a carbon-reduction leader at the state level, hosting a mid-September Global Climate Action Summit that produced a flurry of low-carbon announcements from participants. In August, the state had published an alarming climate impact assessment that pointed to apocalyptic threats ahead in a high-carbon future—and those projections were quickly made obsolete when the Camp Fire, California’s worst wildfire ever, killed at least 85 people and destroyed 14,000 homes just three months later. At the conference, Governor Jerry Brown renewed his pledge to “launch our own damn satellite” if the U.S. government didn’t step up and show climate leadership. At the same time, he drew sharp criticism for his refusal to plan an orderly phaseout for his own state’s oil industry, the second-largest in America after Texas’. After California adopted a 2045 deadline to convert its electricity system to 100% renewable energy, supported by an expanded electric vehicle mandate, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy cautioned that the target would be attainable only with an aggressive effort to curb demand.

Colorado set an example for other U.S. states with its low-income solar program, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper set a 2025 deadline to cut his state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, and 14 states set up a court battle with Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency over methane control regulations. Citizens seized power over the energy agenda with more than five dozen ballot initiatives in 24 states, though fossils won in Colorado, Washington state, and Arizona when they opened up their massive coffers for the fight. A community network in Catalonia, Spain, pushed for regional energy sovereignty, while U.S. utilities and global fossils tried to fight public opinion and slow down the transition to 100% renewable energy. A U.S. appeals court decision in support of a nuclear subsidy in Illinois set a precedent that could help state renewables programs.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Dianne Saxe, an independent officer of the provincial legislature, advised Doug Ford’s new government that it was obliged to spend C$1 billion in carbon cap-and-trade revenue on climate solutions, even as Ford moved to shut down the province’s cap-and-trade and climate programs. Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli tabled legislation a month later to shut down Saxe’s office and two other independent accountability offices in an ironically titled Plan for the People. In Montreal, 50,000 people marched to demand climate action from the new Coalition Avenir Québec government; and sustainable energy veteran Guy Dauncey critiqued British Columbia’s “timid” plans for climate action.

Municipalities embraced a suite of climate solutions against a backdrop of mounting climate impacts. Researchers pointed to more severe climate impacts ahead for European cities, C40 Cities said everyday consumer goods were driving up municipalities’ carbon footprints by 60%, U.S. cities and states were warned that their bond ratings would take a dive if they failed to address the climate risks they face, and a tornado turned a beloved, wooded neighbourhood in Ottawa into a logging camp.

But C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and the NewClimate Institute also reported that communities could create 13.7 million jobs and prevent 1.3 million premature deaths by 2030 by pursuing “ambitious urban climate policies” that “vastly reduce carbon emissions globally.” The mayors of London and New York City urged cities around the world to dump their fossil fuel investments, while UN climate secretary Patricia Espinosa joined C40 Cities Chair and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in a call for ramped-up climate action. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, co-chair of the 400-member Climate Mayors network, invited his counterparts in other U.S. cities to share their energy demand data and eventually pool their requests for project estimates from renewable energy developers as a cost-saving measure. The world’s wealthiest cities were told they hold the key to fast, effective climate action, and a court ordered German municipalities to consider banning the highest-polluting diesel vehicles from their streets. Hamburg was considering doing just that, and Reuters reported that “the court said Stuttgart, which styles itself the birthplace of the modern automobile and is home to Mercedes-maker Daimler, should consider gradually imposing a year-round ban for older diesel models, while Düsseldorf should also think about curbs.”

Nineteen cities with a combined population of 130 million, including Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, promised that all new buildings under their jurisdiction would be net-zero carbon by 2030. Planting 20% more urban trees had the potential to boost well-being and add $500 million to the value of the world’s megacities. More than 100 cities were already sourcing at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources in 2017; San Diego created a new public power company with a 2035 deadline to hit 100% renewable energy; and Orlando, Florida, recognized coal generation as a key challenge in its push toward 100% renewable energy. Edmonton set a 2030 deadline to convert its corporate operations to 100% renewable energy after hearing the Republican mayor of Georgetown, Texas, extol the benefits of the off-carbon transition; and Calgary allowed homeowners to finance energy retrofits through their property taxes. Regina city council unanimously adopted a 2050 deadline for 100% renewable energy, and a Guelph University urban specialist said cities need practical programs more than earnest, 100% goals. More Canadian communities were adopting development strategies that support urban transit, and Project Drawdown reported that cities could eliminate 2.92 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050 by making their neighbourhoods more walkable.

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Billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating US$500 million over three years to Beyond Carbon, a new push to phase out all remaining coal plants in the United States by 2030 and begin the process of shutting down the country’s natural gas plants.

Kenney Unveils Fossil ‘War Room’, Faces Criticism on Carbon Tax Repeal, Wildfire Impacts

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Women, Younger Voters, and Key Provinces Cite Climate as Top Ballot Box Issue

Climate change continues to place as a top ballot box concern in the months leading up to federal election in October, with nearly six in 10 Canadians saying the issue will influence their vote and women more than men, younger voters more than older ones, and voters in Quebec, the Atlantic, and British Columbia giving higher priority.

India Bakes Under Stifling Heat Wave as Data Show Warming Trend

Much of the Indian subcontinent was blanketed in a stifling heat wave last week, with five of the 15 hottest places on the planet located in India or Pakistan and the northern town of Churu hitting a high of 50°C (122°F) on Monday.

Quirky Ontario Electricity Pricing Creates Opportunity for Battery Storage

Battery developers have become the unintended beneficiaries of a strange quirk in Ontario energy policies that has a growing number of commercial and industrial power consumers turning to energy storage to help avoid costly peak power supplies.

Montreal Transport Companies Push Demand for Electric Vehicles

Rail Travel Up 8% as ‘Flight Shame’ Keeps Swedes on the Ground

Rising Heat Will Kill Hundreds More in U.S. Cities

Calgary Loses $300 Million in Tax Revenue on Unused Fossil Office Space

Ottawa’s Climate Response Violates the Rights of an Entire Generation, Class Action Argues

Lawyers representing Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse went to court yesterday to make the case for the organization’s class action suit against the Trudeau government’s inadequate response to the climate crisis.

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

Canadian Senate Passes Tanker Ban Bill, Massively Amends Impact Assessment Act

With the clock ticking toward the end of the Parliamentary session in Ottawa, the Senate voted yesterday to pass the Trudeau government’s proposed ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s sensitive northern coast, while sending its proposed Impact Assessment Act back to the House of Commons with more than 180 amendments.

Ottawa Announces $15-Million Lifeline After Ontario Cuts Successful Tree Planting Program

The federal government has tossed an emergency lifeline to Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, committing C$15 million over four years after the Ford government suddenly cut the non-profit initiative in its 2019 budget.

Beer: Climate Intensity Has Arrived, and Politicians Ignore It At Their Peril

The age of “climate intensity” is upon us, and politicians who fail to take notice are at risk of being swept aside, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

Carbon Tax Mustn’t Shield Fossils from Climate Liability

Private Cars in Calgary Exact Heavy Price Tag

German Transport Authority Orders World’s Biggest Hydrogen Train Fleet

Quebec LNG Megaproject Would Boost Emissions by 37 Million Tonnes Per Year

The GNL Quebec liquefied natural gas megaproject would increase life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 37 million tonnes per year, a group of more than 150 Quebec scientists is warning in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault.

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

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

The Ford government’s new climate plan for Ontario will cost taxpayers half again as much as the federal carbon tax, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

Ohio House Bill Bails Out Coal and Nuclear, Cuts Renewables and Efficiency Programs

Ohio businesses and homeowners are a big step closer to picking up the tab for their utilities’ uneconomical power plants, after the state House passed a bill last week to subsidize existing coal and nuclear capacity while cutting back on renewable energy and energy efficiency programming.

Kenney Courageously Strikes Back After Wildfires Defame Alberta’s Oilpatch

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is all set to strike back at the perfidious wildfires besmirching the fossil industry’s good reputation, reports Canada’s satirical online magazine, The Beaverton.

Heat Wave, Drought Sweep Two-Thirds of India

Burnaby Mayor Seeks Trudeau’s Assurance on Tank Farm Safety

Sudbury Declares Climate Emergency

Alberta Wildfires Shut In 65,000 Barrels Per Day

Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows

Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.

Oregon Senate Adopts Five-Year Fracking Moratorium

The Oregon State Senate adopted a five-year moratorium on oil and gas fracking last week, after amending a House resolution calling for a 10-year ban.

Kenney Kills Carbon Tax, Offers ‘Hopes and Prayers’ as Wildfires Rage

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney helpfully pointing out that carbon taxes don’t prevent forest fires, multiple communities were under evacuation orders and crews across Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Ontario spent the week fighting the flames as an early fire season hit full stride.

NDP Outlines ‘Canadian New Deal’ While Trudeau Promises to Support Cities’ Climate Action

Pre-election commitments on climate action were in the air last week, with New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh releasing early snapshots if his party’s plan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making new promises to cities and small businesses.

Ban Non-Electric Cars to Improve Air Quality, Extend Lives, Bloomberg Editors Urge

One of the surest ways to improve air quality and extend lives shortened by pollution is for cities to ban non-electric cars, two opinion editors with Bloomberg News conclude in a recent post.

Montreal Plans 187-Kilometre ‘Express’ Bike Network

Toronto Islands Face Distressing Lake Rise, High Winds

B.C. Liberal ‘Climate Candidate’ Downplayed Oil and Gas Health Risks

Sonnen Pushes Batteries to Passive Solar Homebuilders

Vrooman, Guilbeault Urge ZEV Mandate, Support for Deep Energy Retrofits

A federal zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and stronger support for deep energy retrofits are the main recommendations of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action, released during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver earlier this week.

Coastal First Nations Demand Senate Passage of B.C. Tanker Ban

A coalition of nine First Nations from coastal British Columbia is demanding that unelected senators endorse the Trudeau government’s bill to ban tanker traffic on the province’s northern coast, after the Senate Energy Committee defeated the measure on a tie vote May 15.

Quebec’s Legault Promises 40% Cut in Oil Consumption by 2030

Quebec will invest massively to cut its oil consumption 40% by 2030 and shift transportation, buildings, and businesses to electricity, Premier François Legault announced Sunday, during his party’s general council meeting in Montreal.

Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies

The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.

EVs Can Save Drivers Thousands, BC Hydro Says

Utility Advocate Challenges NJ’s $300-Million Nuclear Bailout in Court

Greens Want to End Oil Imports by 2030, Break Canada’s ‘Oil Habit’, but Keep Producing Plastics from Bitumen Past 2050

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May appears to be borrowing a page from Conservative Andrew Scheer’s playbook, with a campaign promise to free the country from oil imports and rely on domestic crude while it still needs to.

Local Fracking Suspended After Earthquake Near Alberta’s Brazeau Reservoir

An earthquake last March near the Brazeau Reservoir, a large dam in east central Alberta, has prompted the province’s energy regulator to restrict oilfield fracking in the surrounding area.

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

Energy Efficiency Alberta May Survive UCP Cuts, But Homeowners, Installers Still Face Uncertainty

Alberta’s new United Conservative Party (UCP) government may be stepping away from one of its more rash campaign promises, opting to review each of the 20 programs run by Energy Efficiency Alberta rather than scrapping the entire effort.
But uncertainty over the agency’s future is still leaving homeowners in limbo and could cost the province thousands of jobs.

High Gas Prices, Government Rebates Drive Hot B.C. Market for Electric Vehicles

Sky-high gas prices, together with up to C$10,000 in government rebates, are forecast to give a serious boost to an already healthy electric vehicle market in British Columbia.

Energy Revolution Must Give Low-Income Communities Better Access to Affordable Technologies

It isn’t an energy revolution if it doesn’t “provide low-income communities with better access to affordable clean energy technologies”, Yale Environment 360 reports, in a post that points to the nearly one-third of U.S. households that struggle to cover their energy bills.

Louisiana Plans for Big Population Movements as Gulf Coast Washes Away

Responding to rising seas and their attendant storm surges, Louisiana has developed a 1,500-page plan to keep its citizens as safe as possible under the circumstances.

Utility-Scale Energy Storage Enables Distributed Renewables on the Grid

Critical to enabling a wholesale shift to variable sources of renewable power like solar and wind will be Utility-Scale Energy Storage which, alongside grid flexibility, places #77 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions.

PG&E to Cut Power to Avert Wildfires, and Californians Aren’t Ready

B.C. Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Judges’ Decision Against Trans Mountain Regulation

British Columbia is on its way to a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled unanimously against its right to apply environmental regulations to heavy crude shipped through the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

With Industry Dating Back to 1859, Pennsylvania Struggles with 200,000+ Orphan Wells

Although pressure is building on the fossil industry to address fugitive emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells, deadbeat drillers and insufficient public funds for cleanup mean Pennsylvania landowners who once played host to oil and gas extraction remain captive to all that was left behind.

China Boosts Unsubsidized Renewables But Storms Ahead with Coal Production, Air Pollution

While China is surging ahead with more than 20 billion watts of unsubsidized renewable energy, the country is also seeing alarming increases in coal consumption, coal-driven air pollution, and emissions of an ozone-destroying chemical that was banned in 2012.

GAF Energy Claims Faster Installation Rate by Merging Roofing, Home Solar

With “hundreds” of installations in the last year, solar roofer GAF Energy and its parent company, global roofing manufacturer Standard Industries, claim they’re getting their product to market faster than Tesla Energy, just months after they announced their entry into the U.S. market.

Ohio Becomes Battleground on the Legal Rights of Nature

Ohio is becoming a battleground in the fight over the legal rights of nature, after voters in Toledo adopted a ballot initiative in February that establishes a bill of rights for Lake Erie.

100 Resilient Cities Closure Shows Limits of Climate Philanthropy

In the spring of 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation—the hundred-year-old charitable organization started by Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller—launched an ambitious program to help cities around the world adapt to the physical, social, and economic challenges of the 21st century. Known as 100 Resilient Cities, the initiative was designed largely to address challenges of urban population growth and the increasing threat posed by climate change.

Legault Touts Quebec as ‘Battery of North America’

Cities Get Creative About Carbon Reductions

San Diego Microgrid Plan Faces Regulatory Hurdle

Clean Energy Jobs Growing 60% Faster than National Average, Study Shows

Clean energy employs nearly 300,000 Canadians from coast to coast, and the sector’s job count was growing 60% faster than the Canadian average in 2017, according to a 10-province survey conducted by Navius Research and released today by Clean Energy Canada.

Pre-Election Messaging Rolls Out as Ottawa Confirms Federal Carbon Tax for Alberta

With Ottawa confirming last week that it will impose its backstop price on carbon after the Jason Kenney government moved to eliminate Alberta’s carbon levy, fossil-friendly pundits are working to frame climate and carbon as a winning issue for Conservatives in this fall’s federal election.

Ford’s Anti-Carbon Tax TV Ad Backfires, But Indigenous Budget Cut Hits Home

The Doug Ford government in Ontario faced widespread ridicule last week for an inept anti-carbon tax video that delivered the opposite of its intended message when played on mute.

New York State Rejects $1-Billion Natural Gas Pipeline

Presenting their decision as rooted in a responsibility to protect state waters from pollution, New York State regulators have rejected a contentious US$1-billion dollar natural gas pipeline that would have linked their state to the gas fields of Pennsylvania.

Unchecked Warming Could Drive Two Metres of Sea Level Rise by 2100, Experts Say

Coastal communities around the world should gear their climate resilience planning for a “catastrophic” two metres (6.5 feet) of sea level rise by 2100, more than double the likely outcome most recently projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if nothing is done to reverse the greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate emergency, according to a survey of expert judgement published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alberta Pays Landowners $20 Million Since 2010 to Cover Deadbeat Fossil Leases

Inslee Declares Drought Emergency Over Half of Washington State

Indiana Regulator Blocks Utility’s Plan to Replace Coal Plant with Gas

New Federal-Provincial Rules Will Allow ‘Inevitable’ Release of Toxic Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings

The federal and Alberta governments are planning to allow tar sands/oil sands companies to release 1.3 trillion litres of liquid waste, currently held in 220 square kilometres of tailings ponds across the northeastern part of the province, into the Athabasca River, under new regulations intended to take effect in 2022, the Globe and Mail reports.

Giant News Chain Postmedia Plans to Cash In on Alberta’s Fossil ‘War Room’

Canada’s biggest newspaper chain is hoping to make money by offering content services to the C$30-million fossil “war room” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has vowed to set up, in what one Alberta journalism professor calls a “complete abrogation of the societal mandate that Postmedia should be upholding.”

Wildfire Expert Warns of ‘Nightmare Scenario’ as High Level, Alberta, Bushe River Dene Evacuate

About 4,000 people in and around High Level, Alberta are under an evacuation order as the 60,000-hectare Chuckegg Creek wildfire, one of six burning out of control across the province, approaches from the southwest.

‘Unprecedented’ Interference by Unelected Senators Puts Environmental Reforms in Jeopardy

Politicians and environmental groups are raising the alarm about political interference after unelected Canadian senators voted down one environmental protection bill in committee and adopted hundreds of amendments to a second one, after both had been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Oilpatch Journalist Debunks Krause’s Conspiracy Theories About Anti-Pipeline Campaigners

Part of Jason Kenney’s “pushback strategy” is a C$2.5-million public inquiry into “the foreign source of funds behind the campaign to landlock Alberta energy.” Another is a $30-million-per-year “energy war room” that will “tell the truth assertively,” presumably tweet for tweet. Kenney has said in speeches and press releases that his pushback strategy is based upon VIvian Krause’s work. What if she’s wrong? – An investigative report by Markham Hislop

Trump Organization Must Hit Building Retrofit Deadline or Face Millions in New York City Fines

Donald Trump’s refusal to confront the climate crisis will soon prove costly to his stumbling business empire, with a number of his New York City properties in line to be heavily fined if they are not rapidly retrofitted to reduce their currently sky-high level of emissions.

Montreal Mayor Promises New Climate Action But Critics Call for More

Montreal’s city administration is vowing to get tougher on fossil-fueled heating and fossil company divestment, but its climate plan has already led to the defection of one borough mayor who plans to advocate for faster, deeper carbon cuts as a private citizen.

In-Stream Hydro Would Save Four Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

In-stream hydro ranks #48 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 4.0 gigatons by 2050, at a net cost of US$202.5 billion but with net savings of $568.4 billion.

Three Canadian Cities Make CDP’s Climate Action ‘A List’

Provinces Ask Ottawa for $138 Million to Buy Out Flooded Properties

Lake Erie Wind Project Agrees to High-Tech Bird, Bat Monitoring

Two Emergency Resolutions, One New Climate Platform as Parties Position for Fall Vote

Three federal political parties in Canada are talking about the climate crisis this week, with the Liberals and New Democrats tabling duelling emergency resolutions in the House of Commons and the Green Party releasing a five-page plan that includes a call to double the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 60%.

Blockbuster Report Shows Plastics Producing 850 Million Tonnes of Emissions This Year

Producing and incinerating plastic will emit more than 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gases this year, the equivalent of 189 new 500-megawatt coal plants, according to a blockbuster report released this week by the U.S. Center for International Environmental Law and five other organizations.

IEA Places Canada’s Gas-Guzzling Vehicles Dead Last in Fuel Efficiency

Canada comes in dead last in the International Energy Agency’s latest ranking of average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre travelled, University of Calgary economist Blake Shaffer reports in a commentary for Global News.

Federal Tanker Ban Goes to Full Senate After Committee Defeat [Campaign]

The Trudeau government’s ban on oil tanker traffic off the north coast of British Columbia, Bill C-48, was defeated Wednesday evening on a 6-6 vote of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee. It now goes to the full chamber for further debate.

Albertans Anxious About Future of Solar, Energy Efficiency Rebates

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to cancel his province’s carbon tax has produced anxiety about the future of the solar and energy efficiency rebates introduced by the previous Rachel Notley government.

Nebraska Flooding Points to Spill Risk from Keystone XL

The “bomb cyclone”-driven flooding across the midwestern United States has become the latest in a litany of arguments against construction of the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, with a Nebraska farmer, former oilfield worker, and avowed Republican pointing out that the rising waters could have triggered a spill on his property if the pipeline had been in place.

Climate Change Might Force Indonesia to Relocate Capital City

Florida City Votes to Close Local Coal Plant by 2024

Singh Discovers New Interest in Climate, Declares Against Oil and Gas Fracking in Wake of B.C. Byelection Loss

A week after the Green Party of Canada won a British Columbia byelection in a seat formerly held by the New Democrats, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is discovering new interest in the climate crisis, declaring himself against oil and gas fracking, and expressing concern about liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from B.C.

Alberta Carbon Tax Repeal Will Have ‘No Bearing’ on Trans Mountain Decision, Trudeau Says

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is on the verge of tabling a bill that will cancel his province’s carbon tax by the end of the month, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will have “no bearing” on whether the federal government re-approves the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

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

Provinces Shouldn’t Opt Out of Federal Climate Effort, 64% of Canadians Say

By nearly a two-thirds majority, Canadians believe it’s unacceptable for provinces to opt out of national efforts to fight climate change, and oppose governments like Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives spending taxpayers’ dollars to propagandize against measures like the federal carbon tax, according to a new Nanos Research poll conducted for the Globe and Mail.

Hero or Villain? International Policy-Watchers Weigh Trudeau’s Climate Record

With many Canadians engaged in a pitched pre-election debate about whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a climate hero or villain (average of all answers: yes), The Tyee’s Geoff Dembicki says he got some surprising answers when he put the question to a collection of global climate experts.

‘Construction Behemoth’ Heidelberg Cement Matches Emission Targets with Paris Agreement

The world’s fourth-largest cement company pledged on Monday to bring its emission reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in a first for the industry.

Edmonton Prepares Backup Plan if UCP Cuts Energy Efficiency Funds

Carbon Farming Could Sequester Billions of Tonnes of CO2, with U.S. Pilot Project as One First Step

A concerted, well-supported effort by the world’s farmers to restore and protect soil health could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by as much as 65 parts per million (ppm) from the current, alarming level of more than 413 ppm, participants heard during an April 10 carbon farming webinar hosted by Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

U.S. Solar Celebrates Two Millionth Installation, Predicts Market Dominance in 2020s

U.S. solar is laying claim to having “reshaped the energy conversation” and aiming to “dominate in the 2020s”, after the latest data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables showed the industry exceeding two million installations earlier in 2019, a year later than analysts originally predicted.

Tasmania Closes In on 100% RE as Australian Renewables Undercut Coal, Gas on Price

The state of Tasmania is on track to become the first in Australia to be powered 100% by renewable energy, just as an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) declares new wind and solar with battery storage less expensive than coal- and gas-fired generating stations.

September Climate Summit Prompts Goal-Setting on Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance

United Nations agencies and various international coalitions are beginning to gear up for the Climate Action Summit that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is set to convene in New York City September 23, with the heads of 37 UN agencies issuing a joint appeal for an “ambitious” climate response and nine track coalitions unveiling their work plans to deliver on that call.

Green Leasing, PACE Financing Transform 1960s Commercial Building in Cleveland

A non-descript office building in Cleveland is about to complete a big leap in operating efficiency, becoming the community’s first to finance a major energy retrofit through Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).

Pipeline Plan Fractures New York State’s Green Image

B.C. Offers Bigger Energy Efficiency Incentives for Homes, Businesses

Forget Kenney: Climate Change is Already Canada’s National Unity Crisis, Columnist Concludes

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fulminating about western alienation as a national unity crisis—after working so hard to stoke that alienation on the campaign trail—Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason says Kenney is too late. The unity crisis is already here, and its name is climate change, amped up by the extreme communications of the social media era.

Biologists Say Biodiversity Crisis is Already Happening, Despite Limited Public Attention

In the wake of this week’s UN commission report warning of up to a million plant and animal extinctions in the next couple of decades, biologists in Quebec are raising alarms about species loss that is already happening, while U.S. media focus on the challenge of getting the issue on the agenda.

Canada On Track to Re-Approve Trans Mountain, But Northern Gateway Restart Looks Unlikely

Canada is likely to re-approve the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, but a resurrection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline plan is not in the cards, according to two separate news reports this week.

Climate Adaptation Question on Quebec Exam Prompts Student Pushback, Government Response

A climate adaptation question on a high school French exam in Quebec triggered a wave of pushback from students—which in turn received an acknowledgement from the provincial education minister.

Alberta Fossil Nets Another $8-Million Federal Subsidy to Cut Production Emissions

Saskatchewan Issues 10-MW Solar Tender

Climate Emerges as Ballot Box Question as Greens Win British Columbia Byelection

The Green Party’s win in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection in British Columbia signals that climate change and other environmental issues will be at the top of Canadians’ minds during the federal election campaign this fall, victorious candidate Paul Manly said Monday night.

Deadbeat Fossils Withhold Taxes, Lease Payments from Alberta Municipalities and Landowners

Rural municipalities in Alberta are out more than C$81 million in tax revenue from oil and gas companies, and deadbeat fossils are also asking landowners, mostly farmers, to let them skimp on lease payments on the properties their oil and gas rigs occupy, according to a follow-up news report on Trident Exploration’s decision last week to shut down operations and abandon 4,700 gas wells.

Canadian Coalitions’ Election Platforms Call for Faster Action on Climate

With national elections in Canada just 5½ months away, three different coalitions are out with non-partisan campaign platforms aimed at propelling all the federal parties toward faster, more ambitious action on climate change.

U.S. Solar Tax Credit Extension Would Help Communities Facing Coal Phaseout

There’s an unexpected good reason for the U.S. government to extend its solar energy tax credit through 2024, according to a new briefing note by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis: It’s an essential support for coal communities making the transition to cleaner, less expensive, low-carbon energy.

Idaho Republican Acknowledges Climate Change, Considers Dam Removals to Save Endangered Salmon

A U.S. Congress member from deep-Republican-red Idaho is acknowledging climate change and stressing the need for action, as part of an all-out effort to save his state’s critically endangered salmon population.

Coastal Wetland Protection Would Save 3.3 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Protection of Coastal Wetlands ranks #52 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. The strategy could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 3.3 gigatons by 2050, as long as 75 million acres of these vital ecosystems (out of a total of 121 million world-wide) can be secured within the next 30 years.

California Rebuilds Lost Neighbourhoods Without Fire-Safe Standards

Losing Up to a Million Species Will Create ‘Danger Zone’ for Humanity: UN Commission

The Earth is on track to lose up to a million species, many of them within decades, a rate of extinction that represents a danger zone for humanity, according to a leaked draft of a global biodiversity assessment due to be released today.

Bankrupt Alberta Fossil Abandons 4,700 Wells, $329 Million in Clean-Up Costs

A bankrupt Canadian fossil is walking away from 4,700 abandoned natural gas wells and an estimated C$329 million in clean-up costs, according to a report last week by the industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Saskatchewan’s Moe Vows Supreme Court Appeal After Judges Uphold Federal Carbon Tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is vowing a Supreme Court appeal after his province’s Court of Appeal ruled Friday that a federal carbon tax imposed on the province is constitutional and falls within Ottawa’s authority.

Kenney’s Big Promises Face Economic Realities, Grassroot Expectations

On his first visit to Ottawa last week as Alberta premier, Jason Kenney rattled sabres about national unity and fossil regulation, briefly stepped back from a campaign promise to abandon his province’s cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and mostly managed to avoid the economic and political realities and grassroot expectations already confronting his new government.

Students Take Action on Climate Anxiety as #FridaysforFuture Logs 725 Strikes World-Wide

The latest in the series of #FridaysforFuture school strikes took place May 3, with youth in 725 locations expected to make what one social media videographer called “beautiful trouble” in communities around the world.

Soil Health Emerges as Critical Climate Mitigation Tool as ‘Carbon Farming’ Takes Hold

The urgent need to restore the health of the world’s agricultural soils—for the sake of the food supply, and as a critical tool in climate mitigation—is one of the major themes of the global biodiversity report due for release today by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The ‘What Were They Thinking’ Moment: How Was St-Marthe Built on a Lake Bed?

In the aftermath of last month’s catastrophic flooding in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le Lac, on the shore of Lake of Two Mountains outside Montreal, some local planners are having a ‘what were they thinking’ moment: How is it that much of the town, which more than doubled in population between 1995 and 2016, was built on a lake bed?

Texas State Bill Would Punish Pipeline Protest on Par with Second-Degree Murder

The Texas state legislature is considering a bill that could make peaceful efforts to hinder pipeline construction a crime on par with second-degree murder, an escalation of penalty which observers say violates constitutional protections on the rights to protest, and to protection from undue punishment.

Oilpatch Tour ‘Dispels Myths’, But Victoria Mayor Still Backs Fossil Phaseout

Amsterdam to Ban Petrol, Diesel Vehicles by 2030

LA Aims for 100% Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2050

New York State Bans Offshore Drilling

U.S. EPA Contradicts Politicians, Tells Communities to Brace for Climate Impacts

California Restaurants Add Optional 1% Climate Fee

Brick Towers Could Offer New Energy Storage Solution

Epic Eastern Canadian Floods Drive Adaptation Discussion as GHG Reductions Lag

With record, devastating flooding in parts of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario, thousands of people evacuated with their homes underwater, 2,000 Canadian Forces troops providing assistance, and everyone from students to inmates volunteering to fill sandbags or lend a hand, experts and commentators are calling for a more serious approach to climate change preparations and adaptation.

But it remains to be seen whether the latest round of climate-fuelled natural disasters will be enough to shift the national debate on greenhouse gas reductions.

Jason Kenney: ‘Emissions Be Damned’

Premier-designate Jason Kenney torqued up his recent Alberta election win by triumphantly arriving at a Calgary Stampede site stage with the help of almost 400 horses corralled under the hood of his eight-cylinder Dodge Ram campaign truck. It was painted Party blue. His UCP crowd went wild, and began chanting “Build that pipe! Build that pipe!” An analysis by Paul McKay.

Solar+Storage Dominates Natural Gas Across Most U.S. Grid Areas

Solar+storage is beginning to undercut natural gas “peaker” plants in Arizona on price, and is now in a position to supply more affordable peak-hours electricity in every part of the United States, 8minuteenergy Renewables CEO Tom Buttgenbach asserted in a recent post by PV Magazine.

Whittingham Quits Alberta Regulator in Face of Kenney ‘Smear Campaign’

Conservatives, Fossils Plot ‘Growing Collaboration’ to Defeat Liberals in Federal Election

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is making no apologies after the Globe and Mail revealed that he addressed and his officials took part in a day-long meeting with fossil executives April 11 to coordinate strategy for the upcoming federal election.

Sohi Makes No Promises as Liberals Weigh Delaying Trans Mountain Pipeline Reapproval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says there is no guarantee the federal cabinet will reapprove the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ahead of the federal election this fall, and a national columnist reports Ottawa is getting serious about holding up the project if incoming Alberta premier Jason Kenney rescinds his province’s promise to cap carbon pollution from the tar sands/oil sands.

Wet’suwet’en Raise Human Rights Violations with UN Special Rapporteur

Hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation spoke before the special rapporteur for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York last week, alleging ongoing human rights violations in the name of resource development—most immediately, the construction of TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Ottawa, Toronto, Burlington, and Victoria Step Up with New Action on Climate

Four Canadian cities have stepped up their action on climate change in the last week, with Ottawa and Burlington, Ontario declaring a climate emergency, Toronto considering climate liability action against major fossil polluters, and Victoria endorsing free transit across B.C.’s Capital Regional District.

Town Evacuates Ahead of Possible Dam Failure as West Quebec Floodwaters Surge

With the decommissioned Chute-Bell/Bell Falls hydro dam west of Montreal holding back “millennial” water levels and the downstream town of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge evacuated against a possible breach, authorities are watching and waiting as provincial utility Hydro-Québec predicts a 30% increase in water flow over several days.

Solar Water Heating Would Save 6.08 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Solar water heating ranks #41 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate 6.08 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a net cost of US$3 billion, resulting in net savings of $773.7 million.

Ontario Cancels Plan to Plant 50 Million Trees

Ontario Chamber Opposes Mandatory Gas Pump Stickers

Alaska Governor Seeks Trump Permit for Oil-by-Rail from Alberta

Massachusetts Approves 800-MW Offshore Wind Project

Trudeau Warns of More Climate-Driven Floods, as Researcher Suggests Rethinking Quebec’s Relationship with Water

In the wake of massive spring flooding in Quebec, New Brunswick, and parts of Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning of more of the same in an era of climate disruption, while a researcher in Quebec says it’s time for the province to rethink its relationship with water.

Péloffy: ‘Epic Clash of World Views’ Pits Public Mobilization Against Fossil Lobby

Quebec’s “climate spring” is a cascading grassroot trend that the province’s “powers that be” ignore at their peril, argues Karine Péloffy, legal counsel for the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), in a recent post for iPolitics.

Nevada, Washington State Declare 100% Clean Energy Targets

Nevada and Washington State have been the latest in a string of U.S. jurisdictions to adopt rapid steps to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Ontario Guts Endangered Species Act with ‘Pay-to-Kill’ Revisions

Doug Ford’s Conservative government in Ontario is taking serious criticism for a plan to allow municipalities and developers to pay a fee in lieu of meeting their responsibilities under the provincial Endangered Species Act.

Out-of-State Interests Fund Pro-Coal Campaign in Indiana

Gyms, Pools, Amenities Drive Up Energy Use in New Condo Buildings

Electric Bikes Withdrawn Over Faulty Brakes

BREAKING: Emissions at Four Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mines 64% Higher Than Fossils Reported

Carbon pollution from four major tar sands/oil sands mines in northern Alberta is 64% higher than their owners reported using the United Nations’ standard emissions measurement framework, according to a study released this morning in the journal Nature Communications.

News Analyst Hopes for ‘Less Bellicose’ Kenney as Climate Groups Prepare for the Worst [GoFundMe Campaign]

News commentary in the wake of the United Conservative Party’s decisive election win in Alberta last week is skewing in two equal and opposite directions, with some stories pointing toward a more moderate, somewhat middle ground for UCP leader Jason Kenney, while the climate groups he spent much of the campaign vilifying prepare for the worst.

Asadollahi: Kenney Won, But Alberta’s Politics Are Forever Changed

The results of last week’s Alberta elections were disappointing — the incoming government is largely in denial of anthropogenic climate change and has openly declared war against the environmental movement. These Harper-era fear tactics to undermine environmentalists didn’t work then, and will especially prove futile now, against the backdrop of a population that is aware of climate risks, and of the economic opportunities afforded by climate action.

New York Passes Landmark Bill to Cut Buildings’ Carbon Emissions, Energy Use

New York City has adopted a plan to reduce carbon pollution from large buildings by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030—roughly a 26% cut from present-day emissions—with an approach that limits the cost to low-income residents and creates local jobs.

Booming Community Solar Sector Promises Access for Low-Income Households

Determined to make good on the promise of equity contained in the phrase “community solar,” more than a dozen U.S. states and non-profit developers are working hard to ensure that low-income Americans have fair access to the power of the sun.

Planners Look for U.S. ‘Climate Havens’ to Receive Millions of Internal Migrants by 2100

Urban planners are looking to cities like Duluth, Minnesota, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Portland, Oregon as future refuges for climate migrants displaced within the United States by rising seas and higher temperatures.

Bike Infrastructure Would Save 2.31 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Bike infrastructure ranks #59 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Better and more widespread bike infrastructure would eliminate 2.31 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce net savings of US$400.5 billion, with further lifetime savings of $2.1 trillion.

Ohio Subsidizes Nuclear, Blocks Clean Air Credits for Most Renewables

Kenney Vows to ‘Stand Up’ for Fossil Jobs, ‘Turn Off the Taps’ to B.C.

With about 55% of the popular vote and 63 out of 87 seats in the next Alberta legislature, premier-designate Jason Kenney used his victory speech Tuesday evening to amp up the rhetoric on the perceived mistreatment of his province’s fossil sector and lay down a warning to environmental groups.

Ontario Plans Gas Pump ‘Propaganda’ Sticker on Carbon Tax, with Fines if Gas Stations Refuse

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is raising eyebrows with a provision buried deep in its recent budget bill that sets fines of up to C$10,000 per day for gas stations that refuse to display its new propaganda sticker attacking the federal carbon tax.

Ottawa City Committee Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution

Ottawa City Council is on track to adopt a climate emergency resolution after the measure was adopted on a 6-2 vote by the city’s environment committee.

Conservation Measures Avert Cape Town’s Day Zero, But Tensions Remain

While technical fixes like lowering municipal water pressure helped Cape Town keep the taps on through its recent drought, it was the city’s carefully calibrated and data-savvy escalation of camaraderie-building outreach (that, and some actual, long-overdue rain) which truly helped avert Day Zero.

Cities Scramble to Keep in Touch as Rockefeller Shutters 100 Resilient Cities Network

The Rockefeller Foundation is shutting down its 100 Resilient Cities network, a major initiative that has helped communities around the world prepare for the impacts of climate change and respond to local challenges as diverse as transportation, poor sanitation, flooding, fire control, and cholera outbreaks.

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

Commercial Buildings Drive 75% Growth in Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

American commercial builders and retrofitters determined to deliver a lower-carbon product are signing up in droves for long-term financing using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) mechanism and hammering home cumulative savings of 6.3 billion kWh, the amount of electricity used annually by around 25,000 commercial office buildings.

North Carolina Opens Community Dialogue on Clean Energy

Alberta Builds World’s Biggest CO2 Pipeline

Shade Trees Could Cool Cities by 5°C

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

Expect ‘Flood of Litigation’ if Bill C-69 is Watered Down, Athabasca First Nations Warn

Canada will face a “flood of litigation” if the Trudeau government’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is watered down, four First Nations chiefs from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands region warned last week in testimony to a travelling Senate committee.

Analysis: Alberta Misses Out on Grown-Up Conversation About Fossil Transition

With Albertans voting tomorrow in the province’s 30th general election, most of the punditry and virtually every opinion poll reinforce the popular wisdom that rage at a failing fossil economy has made Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party pretty much bulletproof and headed for a massive electoral win.

Ontario Cuts Energy Efficiency, Talks Generalities on Climate in ‘Most Anti-Environment Budget Since Walkerton’

The Doug Ford government in Ontario released a budget last week that allocates job creation incentive funds for clean energy investments but cuts program funding for electricity conservation, even though the province could face electricity shortages as early as 2023.

‘Timid’ Transit Operators Have Canada Missing Out on Electric Bus Conversions

With electric buses on track to replace 270,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel this year, Canada is at risk of “missing the bus” due to transit operators’ timid response to a quickly-growing trend, Clean Energy Canada warned last month, in a release republished by Below2C.

Ridesharing Would Save 320 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Ridesharing ranks #75 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions. It could cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 0.32 gigatons at no cost, resulting in net savings of US$185.6 billion. That calculation is exclusive to commuters in Canada and the United States, and assumes ridesharing will rise to 15% of car commuters by 2050.

New York Congestion Pricing Could Shift Views on Cars and Infrastructure

Energy Storage to Become ‘Key Grid Asset’ with 13-Fold Growth Through 2024

The capacity of energy storage systems around the world is set to increase thirteenfold over six years, from 12 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in 2018 to an astonishing 158 GWh in 2024, according to a new market assessment by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

Analysis: If Kenney Takes Alberta, Trudeau Finally Gets to Make a Decision

With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) looking virtually certain to win the Alberta provincial election next week, news analysts are beginning to weigh in on the implications for Canadian pipeline politics and climate strategy.

Canada Rewrites Building Code to Avert $300 Billion in Climate-Driven Losses

Canada’s National Building Code is undergoing a major rewrite in a bid to avert C$300 billion in climate change-driven infrastructure failures over the next decade, according to high-level federal briefing notes reviewed by CBC News.

B.C. Seaplane Company Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Harbour Air is setting out to become the world’s first all-electric airline—not by developing a new fleet for delivery in the mid-2020s, but by taking the 40, mostly single-engine piston and turbine aircraft it already operates and equipping them with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.

B.C. Introduces Legislation for 2040 ZEV Mandate

All new cars and light-duty trucks sold in British Columbia by 2040 will have to be zero-emission vehicles under legislation tabled Wednesday by Energy Minister Michelle Mungall.

Chicago Sets 2040 Deadline for 100% RE

California Sues U.S. for Emissions Decision Data

Renewables Make Decarbonization $15 Trillion Cheaper, Promise $160 Trillion in Savings by 2050

The plummeting cost of solar and wind farms, coupled with government policies driving faster electrification, has cut the cost of reaching global climate goals by US$15 trillion in the last year, concludes a report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Alberta Oil Well Cleanup Costs Could Hit $70 Billion

The cost of cleaning up Alberta’s old and unproductive oil wells could max out at C$70 billion, according to a new report by a consortium of landowners and scientists that used data from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to come up with its estimate.

Alberta Officials Took 12 Hours to Notify First Nation of Potentially Toxic Hydrogen Sulphide Leak

When a cloud of toxic chemicals began wafting toward the First Nations hamlet of Fort McKay from Syncrude Canada’s Mildred Lake tar sands/oil sands plant 10 kilometres away, it took officials 12 hours to notify the community—a massive health and safety failure that critics blame on the fossil industry’s takeover of regulatory oversight in the Alberta oilpatch.

20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline

A group of 20 elected First Nations councils was expected to present a bid this week for a 22.5% share in TransCanada Corporation’s contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would connect fracked gas fields in Dawson Creek, British Columbia to the massive LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.

Cooling to Avert Heat Stress Could Cost African Regions $487 Billion by 2076

It will cost three key regions of Africa as much as US$487 billion in energy use by 2076 to deal with increased heat stress if the world’s governments fail to live up to their commitments under the Paris Agreement, according to a new modelling study reported in the journal Climatic Change.

UN Agency Backs Futuristic Floating Cities as Hedge Against Sea Level Rise

A research coalition backed by a United Nations agency will look at the possibility of building floating cities to provide a futuristic form of relief for coastal communities facing rapid sea level rise.

70% of Nova Scotia Dikes Need Redesign to Address Coastal Erosion, Rising Seas

With its oldest sections dating back to the Acadian settlements of the 1700s, the 241-kilometre dike system which today protects Nova Scotia’s maritime lowlands is in urgent need of a redesign, thanks to the combined threat of rising seas and foreshore erosion.

Alternative Cement Would Save 6.69 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Alternative cement places #36 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to avoid 6.69 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2050. The shift would save US$174 billion, because such alternatives ultimately last longer.

Cities Announce Scoring System for Air Pollution from Cars

Pennsylvania Energy Efficiency Bill Would Create 30,000 Jobs

Chinese Cities Step Up to Do Their Part for Paris Goals

Chevron Asks to Double Proposed LNG Project as B.C. Completes ‘Fiscal Framework’ for LNG Canada

Chevron Canada has asked the National Energy Board to nearly double the size of its proposed Kitimat LNG facility, seeking a 40-year licence to export up to 28.23 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, just days before B.C. Premier John Horgan affirmed that the fiscal framework for another LNG megaproject has fallen into place.

B.C. to Log Old Growth Forest ‘to Oblivion’, Release Thousands of Tonnes of CO2

A British Columbia agency is proposing to log the province’s last ancient stands of old-growth forest “to oblivion”, Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) and Sierra Club BC warned in a release last week.

New Brunswick Touts Small Nuclear Reactor Potential, Though Decisions Are Years Away

Although any decision is years down the road, New Brunswick is considering building a second nuclear reactor at its Point Lepreau power station and turning it into a manufacturing hub for a new generation of small modular reactors.

Poor Community Bears the Brunt as ‘Racial-Ethnic Disparities’ Hit Bronx’s Asthma Alley

The low-income Bronx neighbourhood of Mott Haven, also known as “Asthma Alley”, is receiving some profile as an example of the “racial-ethnic disparities” in exposure to pollution captured in a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Meili: Saskatchewan Wants Climate Action, Not ‘All-or-Nothing Political Games’

Saskatchewan will be asking the wrong question on climate change until it looks beyond the carbon price debate and considers how to build a strong, diversified economy and shift to clean energy, provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili writes in an opinion piece for the Regina Leader-Post.

Republican Senators, Governor Call Out Trump’s ‘Idiotic’ Wind Turbine Cancer Claim

Iowa’s two Republican senators and its Republican governor are calling out Donald Trump’s latest fulminations on wind turbines after the former reality TV star claimed without evidence that noise from the devices may cause cancer.

Green Roofs Would Save 770 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Green roofs rank #73 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By the year 2050, an increase in green and cool roofs could save 0.77 gigatons of carbon at a net cost of US$1.39 trillion, while producing $988.5 billion in savings.

Automaking Hub Stuttgart Bans Older Diesel Cars

Hamilton Completes Canada’s First Passive House Retrofit for Residential Tower

12-Storey Victoria Condo Brings Wood Construction to New Heights

Rebuilt Homes in Etobicoke Reuse 98% of Original Structures

Midwestern U.S. Loses Hundreds of Miles of Levees After ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Flooding

Severe flooding across midwestern U.S. states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri has taken out hundreds of miles of levees, leaving officials to compare the failed system to Swiss cheese, on the heels of mid-March “bomb cyclone” storm conditions that inundated more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) of farmland.

Australian Farmers Face Suicide Risk as Multi-Year Drought Turns from ‘Crisis’ to ‘Marathon’

A brutal, multi-year drought brought on by climate change is taking its toll on the mental health of Australia’s farmers, just as it has in India, leading to higher suicide rates as farm incomes and the communities that depend on them suffer.

WEBINAR SUMMARY: Connect Climate Crisis to Peoples’ Daily Lives, Pike Urges

At a time when public opinion on climate change is shifting in some “pretty positive ways”, climate communicators’ goal should be to make the reality of the climate crisis “understandable and relatable” in peoples’ daily lives, engagement specialist Cara Pike told a February 21 webinar hosted by Antioch University.

New York Backs Congestion Pricing

Alberta’s Oil-Producing First Nations Withdraw Support for C-69

Washington State Coal Port Plan Loses Another Round in Court

Canada Warming at Twice the Global Average, Deep Emission Cuts and Adaptation ‘Imperative’, Ottawa Concludes

Climate change is warming Canada twice as fast as the global average, Northern Canada is heating up nearly three times as fast, and three of the last five years were the country’s warmest on record, Environment and Climate Change Canada revealed this week, in the first of a series of Canada’s Changing Climate Reports (CCCR) the department plans to roll out between 2019 and 2021.

Canadian Organizer Calls for Bank Strike Against Fossil Fuel Investments

Scarcely two weeks after an international study placed five Canadian banks at the centre of financing fossil fuel development, in defiance of the targets in the Paris Agreement, Engagement Organizing author Matt Price says young people opening their first bank accounts might have the power to make them think twice.

Florida Utility to Replace Two Natural Gas Plants with World’s Biggest Battery

Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build the world’s biggest battery and charge it from an existing solar power plant to replace two of its existing natural gas generating stations, a deal it says will save its ratepayers US$100 million.

Idaho Signs Solar Contract at Record-Low 2.175¢/kWh, Sets 2045 Target for 100% Clean Power

A new, 120-megawatt solar farm in southern Idaho is on track to deliver electricity at prices started at 2.175 cents per kilowatt-hour, believed to be the lowest ever for a U.S. project.

Ford Government Names Prolific Climate Denier Joe Oliver to IESO Board

Doug Ford’s government in Ontario has named Joe Oliver, a former federal natural resources and finance minister described by National Observer as one of Canada’s most notorious climate deniers, to the board of the body that oversees the province’s electricity grid.

AT&T Studies Climate Impacts on Infrastructure Over 30-Year Span

Telecom giant AT&T is looking for advice on how climate change could damage its infrastructure over the next 30 years, after realizing that natural disasters had cost it US$847 million since 2016 and $626 million in 2017 alone.

EV Adoption Won’t Drive Full Decarbonization Without Better Policies, Consultants Warn

Simply electrifying personal vehicles won’t be enough to complete the transition to livable, low-carbon cities without efforts to help users drive less, walk more, and use parking lots as the “gas stations of the future”, four different consultants argue in posts published over the last three weeks.

Orwellian Doublespeak Aside, Pricing Carbon was a Conservative Idea, Globe and Mail Notes

In a post that evokes the doublespeak of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the Globe and Mail editorial board calls out Ontario and federal Conservatives’ all-out battle against the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, noting that the climate measure championed by the Liberals was originally a conservative idea.

Lookback from 2050: NPR Essay Shows How We Got Climate Change Under Control

It’s 2050. We’ve got climate change under control. And we got the job done through mass electrification, reimagining cities, protecting forests, and changing the way cows are fed.

Living Buildings Would Revitalize the Environment, Build Community

Living buildings is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

Global Consultants McKinsey See Home Storage Boosting Grid

Maine Legislature Revives Microgrid Bill

Most Chinese Cities Fall Short of Winter Smog Targets

738 Dead, 1.8 Million in Urgent Need, Cholera Cases Hit 271 as Cyclone Impacts Wrack Mozambique

Half a month after Cyclone Idai ripped through parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, destroying 90% of the port city of Beira, the numbers that trace the devastation are continuing to mount: At least 738 dead with many more missing, an estimated three million people affected and 1.8 million in urgent need, 136,000 displaced and 50,000 homes destroyed in Mozambique alone, and deadly disease spreading quickly to people with no choice but to drink contaminated water.

Svalbard’s ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault in Trouble Due to Rapid Arctic Warming

The Global Seed Vault in Norway, intended as “the ultimate failsafe for biodiversity of crops,” is now threatened by rapid warming in Longyearbyen, the town on the island of Svalbard that is the world’s northernmost community with 1,000 or more residents.

‘Incremental’ Gains in Budget 2019 Fall Short of a Path to Climate Stabilization

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s pre-election budget March 19 would have been “an historic milestone of massive proportions” had a government of any political stripe introduced it five, 10, or 20 years ago, but falls short of the climate challenges that every government today must confront, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer writes in a guest post for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.

Ottawa, National Capital Commission to Study Local Climate Impacts

The National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa have issued a call for a consultant to advise them on how climate change will affect local weather patterns over the next 20 to 80 years.

Electric Bikes Would Save 960 Megatonnes of Carbon by 2050

Electric bikes place #69 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. They can eliminate 0.96 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 at a cost of $US106.8 billion, with net savings of $226.1 billion.

Detroit Trashes Controversial Energy-from-Waste Plant