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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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

Hamilton, Ontario Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution

Transport Canada Commissions Hyperloop Study

‘Underwater Homeowners’ Mobilize in Miami

EXCLUSIVE: Ottawa Leans Toward California on Fuel Economy Rules, Will Seek Feedback on Fossil Subsidies

The federal government is leaning toward supporting tougher fuel economy standards against Trump administration rollbacks, and is about to announce incremental progress on curbing fossil fuel subsidies, The Energy Mix learned Thursday evening, during a town hall hosted by Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna.

Environment Commissioner Sees Ontario Climate Policy in ‘Frightening’ State as Ford Closes Her Office

Climate policy in Ontario is in a “frightening” state, Environment Commissioner Dianne Saxe warned Wednesday, in the final report her office will issue before it is closed down by the provincial government of Doug Ford.

Line 3 Gains Final Approval from Minnesota PUC

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously Tuesday to quash all remaining petitions against Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline and grant it final approval, setting the company up to complete final regulatory steps for the controversial project by the end of 2019.

UK Fossils Should Pay £44 Billion Per Year in Climate Damages, Campaigners Calculate

The United Kingdom should apply the “polluters pay” principle by assessing the country’s coal, oil, and natural gas companies at least £44 billion per year for the climate damage their products cause, according to a new estimate by campaigners at Friends of the Earth UK.

Climate Disaster Losses Could Undermine Financial System Stability, U.S. Federal Bank Exec Warns

Economic losses from natural disasters and other climate impacts could produce enough risk to undermine the security of the financial system, according to a research letter released Monday by Glenn D. Rudebusch, a senior policy advisor and executive vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Nearby Neighbours Prefer Wind Farms to Fossil, Nuclear or Solar Plants, Study Finds

People who actually live near operating wind farms see them as better neighbours than fossil, nuclear, or solar plants, even if they’re located in U.S. coal country, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

Business Lobby Questions Victoria’s Climate Accountability Letter to Fossils

Urban Forests in U.S. Need Better Management

Motion Asks Toronto City Council to Study Climate Disaster Costs, Consider Fossil Lawsuit

Toronto will look into the costs it will incur as a result of climate change and whether a climate accountability lawsuit against fossil producers is worth pursuing if city council adopts a motion being introduced this week by Councillor Mike Layton.

B.C. Enables Billions in Tax Subsidies for LNG Development

British Columbia has introduced tax changes that confirm billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.

74% of U.S. Coal Plants Are ‘Walking Dead’ Thanks to Cheaper Renewables

New wind and solar projects can deliver cheaper electricity than 74% of the remaining coal plants in the United States, putting 211 gigawatts (that’s 211 billion watts) at risk from cleaner, less expensive competitors.

Shell Shifts 700,000 UK Homes to 100% Renewable Electricity

Royal Dutch Shell is switching more than 700,000 homes in the United Kingdom to 100% renewable electricity and rebranding its power and broadband provider First Utility to Shell Energy, just over a year after completing a deal to acquire the company.

Pine Ridge Reservation in Crisis, 13 Million People at Risk, as Experts Say Midwestern U.S. Flooding Could Continue for Months

The record-breaking floods that hit parts of the midwestern United States last week are shaping up as a long-term, slow-moving disaster, with residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation stranded for nearly two weeks with limited food and water, at least 50 levees across the region breached or overtopped, experts predicting months of flooding, and nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states facing elevated risk through May.

Climate Politics Complicate Copenhagen’s Drive for Carbon Neutrality by 2025

Copenhagen is setting out to reach a carbon neutral target by 2025—in a move that will “show what’s possible, and what’s tough, for other urban governments on a warming planet,” the New York Times reports.

B.C. Begins Environmental Review for $150-Million LNG Terminal on Tilbury Island

British Columbia has launched an environmental review for a new, C$150-million marine terminal to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a 48-year-old FortisBC plant on Tilbury Island, in the south arm of the Fraser River.

Houston Petrochemical Fire Produces More Toxic Air Than Hurricane Harvey

Alberta Municipalities Face $81 Million in Unpaid Fossil Property Taxes

Miami Beach Fights Expensive, Losing Battle Against Rising Seas

Smart Glass Would Save 2.19 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Smart glass ranks #61 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, smart glass can eliminate 2.19 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a net cost of $US74.2 billion, and would result in $321.5 billion in savings.

Ontario Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs, Delays Promise to Cut Hydro Rates

Ontario is eliminating seven key energy efficiency programs and bringing eight others under direct provincial government control, earning scorn from industry experts who see efficiency as the best tool to reduce electricity costs for consumers.

Gas Industry Plans Multiple Projects to Boost Demand, Combat Record-Low Prices

Canadian natural gas producers are scrambling to avoid the price disadvantage hobbling the country’s tar sands/oil sands industry, working on “a flurry of export and chemicals projects to avoid the same fate,” Bloomberg reports, in a post republished by JWN Energy.

Advocates Declare ‘Historic Moment’ as Navajo Nation Abandons Bid for Arizona Coal Plant

The Navajo Nation in Arizona is walking away from nearly 50 years of economic dependence on coal after dropping its bid to take over the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station, one of the largest remaining coal plants in the southwestern United States, and the Kayenta mine operated by the now-bankrupt Peabody Energy.

Great Lakes Face Severe Impacts from Rapid Warming

Rapid warming in the Great Lakes is likely to bring more extreme storms, degraded water quality, increased erosion, and challenges for farmers, the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center warns in a report issued last week.

Two Alberta Projects Aim for Wider Dialogue on Energy Futures

With the Alberta election campaign taking on the look and feel of a brutally divisive, month-long political brawl, a couple of recent news reports have focused on new strategies seeking common ground on the province’s shift to a post-carbon future.

Insulation Would Save 8.27 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Insulation places #31 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 8.27 gigatons by 2050. The option carries an upfront cost of US$3.66 trillion, $2.5 trillion of which would be recouped within 30 years.

Oslo Pioneers Wireless Charging for Electric Taxis

Federal Budget Creates New Revolving Fund for Municipal Climate Action

The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and its local partners are taking a victory lap after the federal budget included C$183 million for Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), a permanent revolving fund that will support local climate action plans in cities across the country.

Climate Threat to North Atlantic Ecosystem Means Newfoundland Can’t Double Oil Production

Climate change is a threat to the entire North Atlantic ecosystem, and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador won’t be able to do its part to confront the crisis without abandoning plans to double its oil and gas production, Memorial University professor Sean McGrath told a conference audience in St. John’s last weekend.

Rooftop Solar on 500 Palestinian Schools to Deliver Power for 16,000 Homes

Photovoltaic solar installations on 500 schools in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will produce 35 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 16,000 homes, under a US$18-million loan agreement between the European Investment Bank and the Palestine Investment Fund.

Rural Leaders Must ‘Come Out of Their Foxholes’ on Climate, Farm Writer Urges

It’s time for the “sharp lawmakers and staff” on the U.S. House and Senate agriculture committees to bring their expertise on farm and rural policy to a discussion on climate change, DTN Agriculture Policy Editor Chris Clayton writes in a recent opinion piece for Progressive Farmer.

Home Water Efficiency Would Save 4.61 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Water saving in the home places #46 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It can eliminate 4.61 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 at a net cost of $US72.44 billion, producing net savings of $1.8 trillion, based solely on energy savings from more efficient use of hot water.

Trump Administration Backs Fossils Against New York Lawsuit

New York State Plans 3 GW of Battery Storage

How Carbon Pricing Deals with Climate as an ‘Externality’

Morneau’s Pre-Election Budget Boosts ZEVs and Energy Retrofits, Extends New Fossil Subsidy

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a pre-election budget yesterday that included a 2040 deadline to phase out new internal combustion vehicle sales, major new funds for building energy retrofits, and a budget boost for municipal infrastructure, but introduced a new fossil fuel subsidy while doggedly claiming a fossil subsidy phaseout is still on the government’s agenda.

Three Dead, Thousands Evacuated as ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Brings Massive Floods to Nebraska

At least three people are dead, thousands have been evacuated, millions are under flood watch, and many farm operators have lost their livelihoods after last week’s “bomb cyclone” storm brought massive flooding to much of Nebraska, western Iowa, and parts of Wisconsin and South Dakota.

New Laws Aim to Protect Environment, Not Stop Trans Mountain, B.C. Tells Appeal Court

British Columbia has the right to pass environmental laws to mitigate the harm that could result from the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but it isn’t trying to stop the project outright, provincial lawyer Joseph Arvay told the B.C. Court of Appeal earlier this week.

U.S. Energy Storage Expected to Double in 2019, Then Triple in 2020

A run of record energy storage deployments in 2018 is just a sign of bigger things to come in the United States, with the industry on track to double in 2019 and triple again in 2020, according to an analysis published earlier this month by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association.

30 Years Later, World’s First Passivhaus is Still Going Strong

Architect and writer Lloyd Alter is arguing for Passivhaus design as the minimum standard for residential construction, based on a comprehensive assessment of the first home of its kind nearly 30 years after it was built.

NB Power Invests in Hydrogen Research for Carbon Reduction, Grid Resilience

New Brunswick Power is trying to position itself as the world’s first hydrogen-powered distributed electricity grid after investing C$13 million in what Greentech Media describes as a “mysterious hydrogen production technology” under development by Florida-based Joi Scientific.

California Declares End to 376-Week Drought

SF City Utility Pivots to 100% RE, Job Creation

Kansas City Opts for Carbon-Free Electricity by 2020

B.C. Faces $3-Billion Tab for Inactive Oil and Gas Wells as Fracking Boom Gains Momentum

British Columbia now has more than 10,000 inactive oil and gas wells, and the cost of cleaning them up stands at C$3 billion and rising, according to a new report by the provincial auditor general that also tracked a seven-fold increase in “orphan” wells whose owners are bankrupt, insolvent, or can’t be found.

Alberta UCP Candidate Calls Climate a ‘Pretty Good Thing’ for Some People

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Transition Task Force Urges Financial, Training Support for Workers Caught in Coal Phaseout

A “pension bridging program” for workers who retire early, special provisions for employment insurance and wage top-ups, and funding for private health coverage, education, skills-building, and relocation for new employment are among the recommendations from the task force the Canadian government commissioned last year to map out a just transition for workers in the country’s coal industry.

Construction Boom Drives Up China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

China’s greenhouse gas emissions grew about 3% last year, despite rapid gains in clean energy production that couldn’t keep pace with surging demand for electricity.

Connect Infrastructure Planning with Climate Crisis, Analysts Urge U.S. Legislators

Linking infrastructure policy with the climate crisis, introducing more low-carbon transit, and incorporating more nature in infrastructure design are all key steps in addressing the urban sprawl that is one of the underlying causes of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.

58 Small, Mid-Sized Cities Receive Federal Staffing Grants for Climate Action

Asphalt Removal Helps ‘Soften’ Cities

Fossils Threaten Job Losses After Colorado Moves to Regulate Oil and Gas Health and Safety

U.S. fossils are rumbling about a threat to hundreds of thousands of jobs after the transport and energy committee of the Colorado state senate voted 4-3 to refocus the state’s oil and gas regulations on health and safety.

Courtenay Becomes 20th B.C. City to Send Accountability Letter to Major Fossils

British Columbia municipalities campaigning to have oil, gas, and coal companies cover their fair share of the cost of local climate impacts celebrated a milestone last week, when the City of Courtenay became the twentieth community to send accountability letters to 20 major fossils, West Coast Environmental Law reports.

Risks of Higher Emissions, Community Impacts Add Complexity to Green New Deal

With Congressional Democrats planning to “go on offence” on climate change in hopes of mobilizing younger voters, the Green New Deal unveiled last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is coming in for some thoughtful criticism from analysts who support its direction but worry about its unintended consequences.

South Dakota Plans Financial Penalties for Keystone XL Protesters

South Dakota’s Republican-dominated legislature has adopted two bills aimed at recovering costs from demonstrators who oppose construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

MEG Energy Cancels Tar Sands/Oil Sands Expansion, Cites Line 3 Delay

Calgary-based MEG Energy Corporation is blaming a one-year delay in completing the controversial Line 3 pipeline for its decision to shut down expansion of its Christina Lake tar sands/oil sands project in northern Alberta.

Oregon Carbon Cap Could Boost Microgrids

Kingston Becomes First Ontario City to Declare Climate Emergency

Kingston has become the first Ontario community to declare a climate emergency, after city council adopted a resolution Tuesday “for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our ecosystems, and our community from climate change,” the Whig-Standard reports.

Quebec Cap-and-Trade Revenues Exceed $3 Billion as Carbon Market Withstands Ontario Withdrawal

A new infusion of C$215 million has pushed Quebec’s cumulative carbon cap-and-trade revenues above the $3 billion mark, at just the moment when Ontario has cancelled its carbon pricing program and Alberta’s Jason Kenney is vowing to do the same if he wins the provincial election later this year.

Kenney Would ‘Roll Back the Clock’, Cost Albertans More by Cancelling Solar, Wind Subsidies

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s pledge to phase out subsidies for solar- and wind-powered electricity would “roll back the clock” and could cost Alberta more in the long run, according to Warren Mabee, director of the Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.

Central Alberta Fracking Site Shuts Down After Reporting 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Calgary-based Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend fracking activities at one of its drilling sites after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta early Monday morning.

Alberta Appoints Whittingham to Energy Regulator

Environmental Groups Fight Controversial Licence Renewal for East Coast Oil Explorer

Five environmental groups represented by Ecojustice were in court last week, trying to stop the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) from extending an offshore drilling licence for the Old Harry prospect, near the marine border between Newfoundland and Quebec.

New U.S. Accelerator Aims for 2.8 GW of City Renewables Purchases by 2021

U.S. cities are setting out to procure an additional 2.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2021, as part of a wider, US$70-million initiative by Bloomberg Philanthropies to promote municipal climate action.

One Company’s Orphan Wells Could Cost B.C. Taxpayers $90 Million

Toronto Heat Pump Retrofits Reduce Building Energy Consumption 32%

Five New Energy Policies Would Add 135,000 Jobs in Florida

Another Century of Fossil Use Could Eliminate Cloud Cover, Trigger 8.0°C of Additional Warming

A startling new study in the journal Nature Geoscience concludes that another century of burning fossil fuels at today’s levels could trigger the total loss of the world’s stratocumulus clouds and trigger another 8.0°C/14.0°F of global warming.

NDP Leader Singh Faces Demands for Tougher Climate Stance After Backing LNG Canada Megaproject

Fresh from his by-election win in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South Monday evening, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh can expect to face pressure for more robust policy on climate change after supporting the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas megaproject.

Arizona in Line for Crashing Property Values as Climate Impacts Mount

With property values plummeting across south Florida as prospective buyers prepare for the reality of rising sea levels, Arizona real estate will be next to feel the savage bite of climate change as researchers forecast that rising temperatures will leave the Grand Canyon State feeling like Kuwait at its most humid.

Youth Protesters from Kentucky Scorch McConnell on Green New Deal

Hundreds of youth activists descended on the office of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Monday, demanding to talk to him about the Green New Deal resolution.

Mass Transit Would Save 6.57 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Expanding use of mass transit ranks #37 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 6.57 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce US$2.38 trillion in savings. The cost, according to Drawdown, is too variable to be determined.

TVA Plans No New Coal Plants for 20 Years

Montana Judge Orders Climate Review of Giant Coal Mine Proposal

Coalition Uses Saskatchewan Carbon Case to Stress Governments’ Intergenerational Duty

Saskatchewan’s long-shot effort to defeat the federal government’s floor price on carbon has turned into a venue for one intervenor to argue for Canada’s obligation to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change.

Alberta Oil-By-Rail Plan Could Block Grain Shipments, Farmers Warn

Alberta grain farmers are expressing serious concern about the province’s three-year, C$3.7-billion plan to ship oil by rail.

Runaway Uptake of Community Solar Has St. Louis Utility Planning Big

A stellar community response to a St. Louis-based utility’s launch of a community solar program has renewable energy advocates in Missouri celebrating and the utility planning to expand its renewable energy.

Smart Policy, No Natural Gas Deliver Green Win for Small New York Town

Marbletown, New York, population 5,500, is poised to achieve 100% low-cost renewable electricity within the year, and has a serious plan to decarbonize the rest of its energy supply, thanks to its newly-minted membership in a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, a fortuitous absence of natural gas resources, advances in heat pump technology, and progressive local policies.

Building Automation Would Save 4.62 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Building automation ranks #45 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate up to 4.62 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a cost of US$68.1 billion, eventually saving building owners around $880.6 billion.

Koch Network Wins as Trump Halts Vehicle Efficiency Talks with California

Tallahassee Sets 2050 Deadline for 100% RE

Pro-Pipeline Convoy Delivers Toxic Mixed Message as White Nationalists Take Centre Stage

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer welcomed pro-pipeline protesters to Parliament Hill and white nationalist Faith Goldy told Indigenous protesters to go back where they came from as the United We Roll protest descended on Ottawa Tuesday and Wednesday.

B.C. Budgets $902 Million to Fully Fund CleanBC Climate Plan

The British Columbia government is getting strong positive reviews for a provincial budget that allocates $902 million over three years to fully fund its CleanBC climate program.

Petro-Canada Announces Canada-Wide EV Charging Network

Petro-Canada has unveiled plans to install more than 50 electric vehicle fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway between British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

Alberta Spends $3.7 Billion for Three-Year Tanker Car Lease

Alberta will spend C$3.7 billion over three years to lease 4,400 tanker cars from CN and CP Rail, in order to ship up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by rail, Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday.

Canada’s $180-Billion in Infrastructure Investment Must Emphasize Low-Carbon Opportunities

The C$180 billion Canada is set to invest in infrastructure over the next decade represents a massive opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions, two senior policy advisors from Clean Energy Canada argue in a post last week for Policy Options.

U.S. Utilities’ Push for Solar+Storage Holds ‘Major Implications’ for Fossil Electricity

Despite their “checkered history” on renewable energy development, U.S. utilities have begun to drive the transition to solar-plus-storage projects, in particular—with “major implications for baseload power providers,” analyst Dennis Warmsted writes for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Canadians Cite Climate as Top Global Issue, But Confusion Reigns on Impact of Human Activity

While a large proportion of Canadians identify climate change as the most important global issue, they’re still confused about whether it’s caused by human activity or natural cycles, according to the latest polling by Vancouver-based Insights West.

New MN Governor Vows to Continue Fight Against Line 3

New Mexico Plans Faster Closure for Major Coal Plant

Marine Corps Microgrid Draws Power from Landfill Methane

Exotic Carbon Capture Techniques Prop Up Fossil Interests, Aren’t Needed to Hit 1.5°C, New Study Asserts

The urgency and scope of the climate crisis are being needlessly exploited to drive fringe ideas like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM) from the margins to the mainstream, according to a hard-hitting report issued last week by the Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law and Berlin’s Heinrich Böell Foundation.

Coastal GasLink Suspends Work After Unist’ot’en Recover Ancient Artifacts at Man Camp Site

Construction of the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline was suspended late last week after members of the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation found two Indigenous artifacts on the site where the company is currently building a work camp near Houston, British Columbia.

Study Reveals Unreliable, Inconsistent Assessments of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Impacts

Inconsistent science has marred the credibility of dozens of past environmental impact studies of the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, according to a new assessment published in the journal Environmental Reviews.

Métis Receive 50% Stake as Alberta Announces Three New Subsidy-Free Solar Farms

Alberta will double its solar capacity and save C$3.9 million per year after commissioning 94 megawatts of new generation under a 20-year contract with Canadian Solar Solutions and Conklin Metis Local 193, which has a 50% equity stake in the project.

IESO Transmission Request Would Boost Ontario Hydro Imports from Quebec

A request last week from the independent agency that runs Ontario’s electricity grid could open the door for the province to import inexpensive, renewable electricity from existing hydroelectric facilities in neighbouring Quebec.

Poll Shows Little Public Awareness, Balanced Perspective on Federal Impact Assessment Act

Despite a months-long effort by the fossil industry and its supporters to gin up opposition to the new federal Impact Assessment Act, pollsters say Bill C-69 has yet to emerge as a “highly controversial” national concern.

Optimism, Opportunism, and Climate Denial Combine as Florida Keeps Building Condos

Florida’s coastal real estate may be poised to deliver a wake-up call on climate change, at a time when sea levels are rising, new condos are still being built, and not everyone seems to see the severe risk lurking right around the corner.

California Sets Sights on Up to 100,000 New Net-Zero Homes Per Year

Net-zero buildings that produce as much energy as they consume may be about to hit the mainstream in California, where most new homes and multi-residential structures up to three stories high will be equipped with rooftop solar panels beginning next year.

Saskatchewan Announces 23 Solar, 15 ‘Carbon-Neutral’ Fossil Projects

$7.5-Billion Atlantic LNG Project Poised for Final Decision

Austin Energy Tests EV Batteries for Grid Services

Texas Sees 80% of New Power Coming from Wind, Solar in 2019

Milwaukee Invests in Solar, Slams Utility for Stifling Market

U.S. States Look for Models to Cut Transport Emissions

Ontario Introduces Carbon Tax After Railing Against Carbon Taxes

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is introducing a carbon tax on large emitters that exceed a yet-to-be-established provincial standard, after launching a lawsuit against the federal floor price on carbon and deliberately gutting the province’s most affordable pathways to a sustainable economy.

Analysts See Oil Industry’s Twilight, But Not Soon Enough to Hit Climate Targets

Two different analyst reports this week show the oil industry moving into its twilight, but the projected rate of decline is still far too slow to hit a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming and hold off the worst effects of climate change.

Study Projects Warming Trends, Rain and Drought for 540 North American Cities in 2080

Average winters in 2080 will be 9.5°C warmer in Montreal, 7.3°C warmer in Quebec City, 6.1°C warmer in Ottawa, and 5.6°C warmer in St. John, New Brunswick than they were in 1990 unless humanity moves quickly to get greenhouse gas emissions under control, according to a new study in the journal Nature Communications.

Baltimore Utility Cuts Peak Demand by 300 MW, Puts Money in Ratepayers’ Pockets

Six years after it launched its Smart Energy Rewards program, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) is reporting that local energy efficiency measures have reduced peak electricity demand by more than 300 megawatts, cut operating costs by almost US$200 million, and left ratepayers with more money in their wallets.

Utilities Seek New Identity, Different Revenue Sources in Post-Carbon Economy

From rebranding themselves as “partners” in energy delivery, to renovating legacy infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicle charging, to redirecting into the business of “smart” homes, microgrids, and energy storage, utilities are working overtime to reinvent themselves for a post-carbon world.

Local Traffic Concerns Block Approval of UK Firm’s Second Big Fracking Site

New Mexico Moving Fast on Tougher Methane Regulations

Micromobility ‘Revolution’ Must Put Safety First

Los Angeles Shifts Billions of Dollars from Gas Plants to Storage, Efficiency, and Solar

Los Angeles is walking away from a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, in what Mayor Eric Garcetti cast as a boost for the city’s 100% renewable energy goal and its plan to improve air quality in polluted neighbourhoods.

Health Professionals Point to Cumulative Impacts of Wildfire Smoke

Experts who attended a wildfire workshop hosted by the British Columbia Lung Association last week in Vancouver are sounding the alarm about the health threats posed by wildfire smoke.

Green New Deal Comes to Life in Portland Affordable Housing Project

Affordable, green, and employing immigrant Americans, a new housing project in a low-income neighborhood in Portland, Oregon is being cast as an early glimpse of all that a Green New Deal could bring.

Gap in Low-Carbon Construction Skills Costs Ontario $24.3 Billion Per Year: CaGBC

A gap in low-carbon construction skills—from construction trades to designers, architects, and engineers—is costing Ontario C$24.3 billion in annual economic activity and another $3.7 billion per year in lost tax revenue, while impairing the province’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) concluded last month.

Hydro-Québec Floats $40 Million for Maine Transmission Line

Toronto’s Annual Inventory Shows GHG Reductions, Future Challenges

Green New Deal Brings Climate Transition to the Mainstream, Omits Key Issue of Urban Sprawl

With supporters hailing U.S. Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution as a breakthrough and some of its predictable opponents declaring it wildly unrealistic, a handful of analysts are pointing to an important omission in the plan unveiled last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

Moving Energy Efficiency to the Tax Base Would Raise Ontario Power Costs, Increase Emissions, Efficiency Canada Warns

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is at risk of driving up electricity costs, stifling energy innovation, and driving up the need for peak electricity supplied by carbon-emitting natural gas plants if it follows through on a plan to fund energy efficiency programs through the tax base, rather than consumers’ power bills, Efficiency Canada warns in a new policy brief.

Equipment Manufacturer Urges Bold Energy Efficiency Action to Meet Paris Climate Goals

Energy efficiency is poised to meet the carbon reduction targets in the Paris Agreement, depends on readily-available technology, and constitutes a trillion-dollar opportunity, writes Kim Fausing, President and CEO of Danish energy systems manufacturer Danfoss, in a recent post for the World Economic Forum. All that’s needed is a change of mindset on the part of energy consumers—especially the big industrial ones—and smart governance.

Policy Support Could Make Community Projects the Second-Biggest Source for U.S. Solar Power

Community solar in the United States is seeing such an influx of funding and an uptick in institutional interest that one of its proponents says the right policy support could make it the country’s second-biggest source of solar-electric capacity.

Origami-Style Window Blinds Would Produce Solar Electricity, Deliver Better Daylighting

An Australian architectural design firm is working on a new origami-style window blind that produces electricity and even brings more natural daylighting into the space.

Washington Governor Inslee Pledges to Fight Trans Mountain ‘Every Way’ He Can

Critics Scorch Ottawa City Budget for Climate Inaction

NAACP Rejects Timeline for Indiana Coal Plant Phaseout

BC Hydro Racks Up $5.5 Billion in Future Ratepayer Costs

Green New Deal Envisions Net-Zero Emissions in 10 Years Through WWII-Scale Effort

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released an outline of the Democrats’ Green New Deal yesterday, in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution that would bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in 10 years by “dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources”.

Developers Announce New Solar Farms in Fort Chipewyan and Calgary

Alberta has two new solar farms in its immediate future, following an announcement by First Nations and Métis in Fort Chipewyan and a planning decision this week by the City of Calgary.

Trump Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $12 Billion, Boost Emissions by 34 Megatonnes Per Year

The Trump administration’s decision to rescind new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs will cost consumers at least US$12 billion per year by 2025, while increasing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 34 million tonnes and annual electricity use by 80 billion kilowatt-hours in that year, according to an analysis released this week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Union Pitches Postal Stations as Local Green Hubs

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is trying to sell Canada Post on a plan to connect neighbourhood post offices to a greener, more just future by expanding their services to include community banking and electric vehicle charging stations.

Notley’s Tantrums Won’t Pull Alberta Out of Fossil-Induced Slump

Microgrids Foresee Boost from Four Mega-Trends

Record Flood Hits Queensland, Australia While Tasmania Burns

Hundreds of people in northern Australia were forced to evacuate their homes and about 18,000 lost power after the coastal city of Townville, in Queensland, received nearly four feet (120 centimetres) of rain between January 26 and February 4.

Study Shows ‘Sizable Disconnect’, Big Opportunity, in Corporate Clean Energy Strategies

Despite tech giants like Google setting 100% renewable energy targets, and corporate buyers signing up for five gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity in 2017 alone, there’s still lots of scope for the rest of the private sector to shift its energy behaviour, according to a new study by Centrica Business Solutions.

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Edmonton Company’s New Technology Turns Windows Into Transparent Solar Panels

A company in Edmonton is working on technology to turn windows into transparent solar panels, with a boost from Alberta carbon tax revenues.

IEA Sees Railways as Path to Peaking Global Transport Emissions in 2030s

An “aggressive” expansion of railways—with well-engineered policies in the conductor’s seat—could see global transport emissions peak in the 2030s, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

BC Hydro Awarded $90M in No-Bid Contracts for Site C

New Michigan Governor Focuses on Clean Water, Climate Change

California Study Urges Road Usage Charge for EVs

Opponents Jubilant as Port of Vancouver Cancels 2015 Coal Transfer Permit

The Port of Vancouver has cut off a potential gateway for thermal coal from the United States with a decision to cancel its permit for a coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks, following adamant opposition from residents of Surrey and New Westminster.

Supreme Court Holds Bankrupt Fossils Responsible for Cleaning Abandoned Sites

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling that holds bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up their abandoned oil and gas wells will produce lasting impacts across western Canada, but may not completely address the massive environmental liabilities the companies leave behind, according to initial reporting and analysis of the decision.

Canada Falls Farther Behind Its Paris Emissions Target, with Fossils the Primary Driver

Carbon pollution from Canada’s fossil industry and some questionable assumptions about carbon credits are driving projected greenhouse gas emissions more than 100 million tonnes beyond the country’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement, according to an analysis of the federal government’s latest emission calculations.

Media Take Notice as Canadian School Strikes Gain Momentum

School strikes across Canada are beginning to gather momentum and media attention, with student leaders from Vancouver, Sudbury, and Fredericton receiving weekend radio coverage and CBC Toronto documenting an event where student Zoe Keary-Matzner, 12, issued a late slip to Premier Doug Ford and an absent slip to Environment Minister Rod Phillips.

Fort McMurray Adopts 75-Kilometre Ban on Fly-In/Fly-Out Work Camps

Staring down fierce opposition from tar sands/oil sands companies, councilors from Fort McMurray and the surrounding region have voted to impose a moratorium on fly-in/fly-out work camps that critics increasingly identify as benefiting only the fossils’ bottom-line, while extracting steep costs from surrounding communities.

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California Could Become a ‘Timely Laboratory’ for Cutting Fossil Fuel Production

California may be setting itself up as a “timely laboratory” to test supply-side reductions in fossil fuel production as a key tool for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, three authors with the Stockholm Environment Institute suggest in a recent paper in the journal Nature Climate Change.

New Great Lakes Governors Make Climate a Priority

B.C.’s ‘Uncounted Forest Emissions’ Exceed 400 Million Tonnes Over Two Years

British Columbia’s “uncounted forest emissions” of climate-warming greenhouse gases in 2017 and 2018 were more than three times higher than the province’s emissions from all sources in 2016 and exceeded 400 million tonnes, according to an analysis released this week by Sierra Club B.C.

Halifax Declares Climate Emergency, Aims for Net Zero Carbon Before 2050

The Halifax Regional Municipality became the third major city in Canada to declare climate change an emergency, after regional council unanimously adopted a motion yesterday that gives city staff a year to come back with an updated action plan.

Santa Barbara Activists Trace Green Awareness, Fossil Skepticism to 1969 Offshore Oil Spill

With the Donald Trump administration racing to deregulate the fossil industry and encourage oil and gas drilling off America’s coasts, Californians stopped on January 28 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill—the worst disaster of its kind to that date, and one of a handful of ecological disasters that launched the modern U.S. environmental movement.

Community Effort Delivers Solar Microgrid for Washington School District

New MN Governor Promises ‘Active Engagement’ on Line 3

Why Musk’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ Misses the Point on Mobility

Miami Septic Tanks Overrun by Rising Sea Levels

Alberta Wants $1.6B to Upgrade High-Load Road Corridor

Six Pipelines, Assorted Tax Breaks Lead Fossil Wish List as Alberta Election Approaches

Government support for six new tar sands/oil sands pipelines and four major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, along with assorted tax cuts and regulatory breaks, led the wish list the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released Tuesday in advance of the provincial election coming up in Alberta this spring.

100% Renewables, Land Restoration Can Meet 1.5°C Target Without ‘Unproven’ Geoengineering Techniques

A rapid shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050, combined with land restoration efforts to boost the resilience of natural ecosystems on every continent, would be enough to hold average global warming below 1.5°C without resorting to unproven and potentially dangerous “negative emissions” techniques, according to a two-year modelling effort conducted by 17 leading scientists and funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Florida Utility Plans to Install 30 Million New Solar Panels by 2030

Florida Power & Light unveiled a bold “30 by 30” plan last week to install 30 million solar panels over the next dozen years, a feat that would stand as “the largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world.”

McQuaig: GM Canada Closure Should Prompt Federal Buyout, Shift to EV Production

The impending closure of the General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario creates an opportunity for the federal government to step in, buy the facility, and shift its production to electric vehicles, columnist Linda McQuaig argues in a recent post for the Toronto Star.

Fossil Threatens to Move Workers Out of Fort McMurray Over Restrictive Work Camp Policy

Tar sands/oil sands producers and elected councillors in Fort McMurray got into a heated debate earlier this week over a proposal to move more of the work force out of the “man camps” surrounding the community.

Exxon PR Officials Masquerade as Journalists in Bid to Draw Out Opposing Lawyer

Two ExxonMobil public relations officials recently masqueraded as journalists in hopes of gathering information from a Colorado lawyer involved in a lawsuit against the colossal fossil for climate-related damages.

Albertans Paying the Price for Delinquent Oil Wells

Rossland, B.C. Commits to 100% Renewables

North Stormont Wind Farm Clears Regulatory Challenge

Developers Move Toward Complete Suburban Communities

Indiana Utility Sees Renewables as Part of Industry ‘Revolution’

Steelhead LNG Proposes Fracked Gas Pipeline from Chetwynd, B.C. to Vancouver Island

The Steelhead LNG liquefied natural gas project is studying a pipeline route from Chetwynd, in northeastern British Columbia, to the Kwispaa LNG facility it plans to build on Vancouver Island.

Canadian EV Strategy Stalls Out Amid Federal-Provincial Wrangling

Ottawa’s plans for an ambitious electric vehicle strategy appear to be stalling out, months after it was supposed to be released, due to difficulties reaching agreement with provincial and territorial governments on the scope of the strategy.

Beer: If Fossils ‘Don’t Need Handouts’, Let’s Do Something About Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Federal Opposition leader Andrew Scheer’s mid-December claim on behalf of Canadian fossils that “we don’t need handouts” was a great invitation to rescind the billions of dollars in subsidies the industry happily takes from federal and provincial coffers, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

Victoria Supports Class Action Lawsuit to Hold Fossils Accountable

Victoria has become the first city in British Columbia to support a class action lawsuit calling on fossil companies to cover their fair share of the costs municipalities will incur as a result of climate change.

World’s Biggest Roofing Manufacturer Launches U.S. Rooftop Solar Venture

The world’s biggest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer is launching a rooftop solar business in the United States with the declared goal of “revolutionizing” adoption of the technology by “everyday consumers”.

Fact Check: No Support from Economists for Ford’s Claim that Federal Carbon Price Will Trigger a Recession

Economists are steering clear of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s wild, apparently unsubstantiated assertion earlier this week that the federal government’s floor price on carbon will trigger a recession. And it appears that the report his office cited to back up the statement draws the opposite conclusion.

CN, Alberta First Nation Plan Pilot Plant to Produce ‘Bitumen Pucks’

CN Rail and the Heart Lake First Nation northeast of Edmonton are planning to build a pilot plant this year to produce “bitumen pucks”, a solid tar sands/oil sands bitumen product that would float on water, could be delivered without pipelines or oil tankers, wouldn’t require diluent, and could increase fossil producers’ profits by C$15 per barrel.

80-MW Wind Farm Brings Melbourne, Australia to 100% Renewable Power

Massive U.S. Oil and Gas Expansion Imperils Global Climate Goals, Oil Change Warns

The United States is “gearing up to unleash the largest burst of new carbon emissions in the world between now and 2050,” with an oil and gas expansion equivalent to nearly 1,000 coal-fired power plants, according to an explosive new analysis released last week by Oil Change International and 17 other organizations.

Vancouver City Council Declares Climate Emergency, Seeks Faster Push to Net Zero Emissions

Vancouver City Council voted unanimously last Wednesday evening to declare a climate emergency and gave city staff 90 days to “come up with new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set new climate change targets,” Global News reports.

10 Arguments for Carbon Pricing: ‘Don’t Throw Any Tool Out of the Toolbox’

After a multi-year fight for political acceptance, carbon pricing is suddenly under attack from all sides of the political spectrum. Lyn Adamson, co-chair of Toronto-based Climate Fast and member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, has 10 reasons not to abandon a key tool in the climate action toolbox.

Buck: Albertans Are Frustrated, but Pipeline Protesters Aren’t Singling Them Out

A singular focus on pipeline politics and carbon pricing may be distracting from all the other steps Canada m