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

 
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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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The Ontario government is introducing legislation to support transit-oriented development, with plans to build thousands of new homes—including affordable housing—on top of or adjacent to a dozen new stations along the Greater Toronto Area’s new Ontario Line, the Scarborough subway, and the proposed Eglinton West LRT and Yonge North subway extensions.

Small Modular Reactors Raise Nuclear Waste Risk, Distract from Real Climate Solutions

The rise of “small” nuclear reactors (SMRs) raises serious concerns about radioactive waste disposal and is ultimately a distraction from real climate solutions, according to two separate analyses published days apart in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, two of the three provinces that have been touting the technology.

California’s Electric Truck Plan May Do Better than Regulators Think

Illinois Considers Prospects for Great Lakes Offshore Wind

Species Risk Drives Court Ruling Against Nebraska Transmission Line

New Jersey’s Biggest Community Solar Project Will Use Industrial Rooftops

2.7-MW Community Solar Project is Biggest in Illinois

Saskatchewan Announces Nuclear Planning Office

Biden Can Be Swayed to Support Keystone XL, Kenney Claims

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden can be swayed into supporting the Keystone XL pipeline if he enters the White House in January, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said last week.

Study Shows Energy Costing More for Black American Households

Black American households continue to pay substantially more for energy than whites, pointing to yet another injustice radiating outwards from generations of racial segregation and discriminatory housing policies and lending practices.

U.S. Utilities Skip Natural Gas ‘Bridge’, Shift Directly to Renewables as Coal Plants Close

A growing number of United States utilities are skipping the natural gas “bridge” and shifting directly to renewable energy as they phase out their aging coal plants. And at least one European Union country is looking to shift its decades-old gas infrastructure in the same direction.

In Snub to Trump, Nevada Adopts California’s Tough Tailpipe Emissions Rule

Macron Responds to Municipal ‘Green Wave’ with €15-Billion Climate Pledge

E-School Buses Deliver 99% Emissions Reduction for Quebec Fleet

2050 View Foresees Hyper-Local Cities with More Bikes, Less Smog

Wisconsin on Track to Cut Electricity Emissions 40% by 2026

Farmers, Enviros Restart Old Fight Against Pickering Airport Plan

Ann Arbor, MI Plans Solar-Powered Climate Resilience Hub

Illinois Equity Program Delivers Free Solar to Chicago’s South Side

New Jersey Looks to Solar for Low-Income Benefits

Hydro-Québec Plans Another 100 EV Fast Chargers

Minnesota Start-Up Considers Shallow-Aquifer Geothermal

House Democrats’ Blueprint Aims for Net-Zero by 2050, Connects Racial Inequity with Rising Temperatures

A climate plan released this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives is receiving wide acknowledgement as a sweeping proposal that would bring the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, promote renewable energy, address environmental harms that fall disproportionately on poor and racialized communities, and implement much of the Green New Deal.

Supreme Court Dismisses Indigenous Appeal of Trans Mountain Re-Approval

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a bid by three British Columbia First Nations to appeal the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Judge Reopens Line 5, Gives Enbridge a Week to Report Safety Test Results

A county judge ruled Wednesday that Enbridge Inc. can reopen its troubled Line 5 pipeline in Michigan, despite technical concerns about possible structural problems with an underwater section of the line and mounting public skepticism about both the pipeline and its operator.

Details on Diversification Scarce as Alberta Cuts Corporate Taxes, Reannounces Keystone Subsidy

A faster corporate tax cut, a C$600-million infrastructure investment, and reannounced funding that was already allocated in the province’s spring budget are key elements of a highly-touted, $10-billion recovery plan for Alberta that is already taking fire for being far more tame and fuzzy than its architects claim.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynenf/3725860708

Australian Lobby Group Points to One Million Jobs in Green Recovery Plan

Countering Canberra’s fossil-backed call for a gas-powered pandemic recovery plan, the Australian lobby group Beyond Zero Emissions has mapped a solar- and wind-powered path to the swift creation of one million green jobs across the energy, manufacturing, and building sectors.

Hidalgo Re-Elected, Ecologists Deliver ‘Green Wave’ as France Holds Local Elections

Paris Mayor and leading climate advocate Anne Hidalgo was re-elected by a large margin and ecology candidates engineered what The Guardian called a “green wave” in local elections across France on Sunday.

Alberta Makes It Easy to Dump Orphan Wells on Taxpayers

Toronto’s 40 King St. W. Declared Zero-Carbon Building

Halifax Council Votes Unanimously to Buy 210 Electric Buses

NY Electric Vehicle Plan Skips Trucks, Buses

Michigan Clean Energy Job Losses Hit 31,000 Since Pandemic Began

California Community Choice Groups Pan Tighter Control by Utilities

Six Canadian Cities Band Together on Green Infrastructure

Pandemic Produces Global Bicycle Shortage

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

Line 5 Pipeline Faces Tuesday Court Date After Judge Orders Temporary Closure

A county judge in Michigan has ordered Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to shut down its troubled Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron until a hearing tomorrow can review the state’s request for a temporary injunction against the 67-year-old line.

U.S. Fossils Face New Lawsuits from Minnesota and Washington, DC

U.S. fossils are facing two more major legal challenges, after Minnesota and Washington, DC filed separate lawsuits alleging consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising.

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

Indigenous Leaders Warn They May Be Left Out of Abandoned Well Cleanup Fund

Indigenous leaders are concerned their communities may be left out as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia begin spending C$1.5 billion in federal funds to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by deadbeat fossils.

Ontario Cancels Nuclear Waste Storage Plan Near Lake Huron Shoreline

Ontario Power Generation has pulled the plug on a multi-billion-dollar effort to store hazardous nuclear waste in underground vaults at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, near the Lake Huron shoreline.

Alberta to Restart Environmental Monitoring in Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Virtual Power Plant in South California Aims to Drive Down Peak Demand

Texas Fossils Burned Off $749.9M in ‘Waste’ Gas in 2018

NJ Builds Resilience with New Waste-to-Energy Microgrid

Colorado Coal Plant to Shut Down 16 Years Early

Vermont Nabs $800,000 for Electric Transit Vehicles

St. Albert Bus Fleet Wins Alberta’s Top Environmental Honour

COVID Has Canadian Climate Researcher Considering His First Car Purchase

Pandemic May Defeat Billion-Dollar Climate Program for CIties

Analyst Urges Quebec to Embrace Electric Ferries

Updated New Jersey School Standards Highlight Climate

Five FCM Case Studies Track Cities’ Response to Water System Risks

30% of U.S. Shale Drillers ‘Technically Insolvent’ as Analyst Places Economic Recovery Three to Five Years Away

Nearly one-third of shale oil and gas drillers in the United States are “technically insolvent” at today’s oil prices, as crashing demand drives the industry into a period of “great compression” that could last for years, according to an analysis released this week by management consulting firm Deloitte.

Michigan Goes to Court, Calls for Independent Review After Enbridge Partly Reopens Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking a judge to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, less than a week after a company repair crew reported “significant damage” to an anchor support on the line’s eastern portion under the Straits of Mackinac.

U.S. Policy-Makers Are ‘Easy Prey’ for Anti-Solar Lobbyists, Study Finds

Inoculating policy-makers against utility lobbying by helping them understand the benefits of community solar will be critical to realizing the promise of energy equity that lies in the technology. 

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts 401 Orphan Wells on B.C.’s Cleanup List

Calgary Pushes Ahead with New LRT Line

New England Looks for E-Bike Rebates as Auto Sales Decline

Indiana Utility Plans to Cut Coal Use 85% by 2025

Environmental Justice Drives Chicago’s New Chief Sustainability Officer

Homes Start to Emerge as ‘Grid Flexibility’ Resources

California Scrambles to Add Microgrids Before Wildfire Season

Toronto’s Centennial College Builds Net-Zero, Mass Timber Structure

Momentum Builds for Canadian Climate Accountability Act, Long-Term Carbon Targets

Momentum for Canadian climate accountability legislation is beginning to build, with campaigners laying out five pillars for a federal accountability act, a national think tank arguing the benefits of legislated milestones, and a CBC News analysis laying out how such a law might work in practice.

B.C. Dramatically Overestimates Old Growth Forest, Faces Climate Impacts Without Better Protection

British Columbia is dramatically overestimating the size of productive old growth forests that have all but vanished across the province, according to an independent science report that warns of serious climate impacts if remaining forests aren’t protected.

Declaration for Resilience Urges ‘New Normal’ for Canadian Cities

Canada’s urban planning experts, along with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, have signed on to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, urging policy-makers at all levels to create a “new normal” that makes affordability, sustainability, climate-friendliness, and equity the four cornerstones of any pandemic recovery plans.

New Jersey Unveils Plan to Become ‘Wind Turbine Capital’

Determined to be for wind energy what Texas is to fossil fuels, New Jersey has announced plans to become the go-to state for the production of offshore wind turbines, beginning with the construction of a giant port along the Delaware River.

Minnesota Utility Speeds Up $3B in Projects to Boost Post-COVID Recovery

Low-Carbon Income Trusts Could Supercharge, Transform Alberta Fossil Sector

Texas Regulator May Lower the Boom on Natural Gas Flaring

Aging California Oil Wells Turn to More Carbon-Intensive Extraction Methods

Michigan Dam Disaster Shows Climate Impact on Infrastructure

Lower Emissions Could Drive Down California’s Cap-and-Trade Revenue

Retrofits, EV Charging Lead Canadian Cities’ Climate Actions in 2019: FCM

Cities Promote Food Security, Social Justice with Local Composting

New Yorkers Fight to Save Composting from COVID-19 Budget Cuts

Analysts See No More Need for New Pipelines as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Production Slides

After years of complaints that Canada lacked space in its crowded export pipelines to serve tar sands/oil sands producers in the Alberta oilpatch, analysts are beginning to point to a different problem: a surplus of pipeline capacity, even as governments and industry boosters try to push, pull, and drag the Keystone XL and Line 3 pipelines and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion toward completion.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Firms Drop $1.8B in Environmental Projects in COVID Cost Cuts

Three of Canada’s top tar sands/oil sands companies have dropped C$1.8 billion in environmental projects as part of their cost-cutting during the pandemic, prompting at least one major investment fund to declare itself vindicated for divesting from the companies last year.

Next Six Months Will Determine Success of Green Recovery, IEA Warns

The world’s governments can either spend the next three years and US$3 trillion entrenching the greenhouse gas emission cuts that accompanied the pandemic lockdown and creating a new narrative on climate change, or allow a record increase in oil demand next year that will push consumption back toward historic levels, the International Energy Agency warned this week.

Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030

The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.

‘Industry Consortium’ to Intervene in Ecojustice Case Against ‘Foreign Funded Radicals’ Panel

A self-styled “industry consortium” that includes pro-fossil provocateur Brett Wilson will be allowed to intervene in a court case launched by Ecojustice, aimed at quashing the Jason Kenney government’s C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed interference in the Alberta oilpatch by “foreign-funded radicals”.

Firefighters Douse Flames Near South California Solar Plant

Minnesota Band Receives $46M for Net-Zero Project

Modular Reactors Bring ‘Nuclear Boondoggle’ to New Brunswick

Manitoba-Minnesota Power Line Goes Live

Florida Utility Falls Behind on Energy Efficiency

U.S. Cities Need More Expertise to Push 100% RE

Saskatchewan Announces New Lithium Production Project

Government Stimulus Packages Lock In Fossil Growth, Squander Opportunity for Green Recovery, Global Assessment Warns

Too many governments are squandering the opportunity to build a green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, directing dollars to technologies that will lock in their dependence on fossil fuels, the Paris-based REN21 Secretariat warned yesterday with the release of its Renewables 2020 Global Status Report.

85 Spills in 67 Years: Groups Call for Indigenous-Led Probe into Aging Trans Mountain Pipeline

After a history of 85 spills along the 67-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, the federal and British Columbia governments must launch an “independent, Indigenous-led expert investigation” into the line’s safety and integrity, a group of Indigenous leaders and environmental groups say in a release issued yesterday by Stand.Earth.

Shift to Electric Buses Emerges as ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’ for Canada

With more than 425,000 electric buses on the roads world-wide, four Canadian manufacturers with customers across the continent, and transit agencies in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Laval adding the vehicles to their fleets, there’s still time for the country to hop onboard a growing international trend, Clean Energy Canada concludes in a report issued this week.

Transit Agencies, Advocates Sort Out Safety in the Age of COVID

Despite serious concerns that fears of coronavirus infection will drive commuters out of mass transit vehicles and into their cars, there’s an emerging body of knowledge on how cities can deliver a safe commute—and evidence that some communities are keeping their transit systems free of COVID clusters.

PG&E Pleads Guilty to 84 Deaths in 2018 Camp Fire

Mammoth California utility PG&E pleaded guilty yesterday to 84 charges of involuntary manslaughter, and was expected to acknowledge each victim by name, after sparks from its equipment set off the 2018 Camp Fire, the biggest wildfire in state history.

COVID Forces Colorado Campaigners to Put Off Anti-Fracking Ballot Measure

Invenergy Pulls the Plug on Missouri Wind Farm

New Plan Offers Pathway for Rebuilding British Columbia

Harness Avalanche of Data to Address Climate Causes, Impacts, C40 Cities Urges

Urban Density Delivers What Communities Need in a Crisis

Australia’s Morrison Wastes $700-Million Opportunity to Push Home Energy Efficiency

New Charleston, SC Development Will Destroy Wetlands, Worsen Flooding

Toronto Airport Reports 96.9% Drop in Traffic for April

Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.

Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030

Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.

Burnaby Opponents Point to 190,000-Litre Trans Mountain Spill as Wake-Up Call for Future Hazards

Opponents of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline are pointing to a crude oil spill at the Sumas pump station in Abbotsford, British Columbia Saturday as a wake-up call for what could happen if the expanded pipe is extended all the way to Burnaby, B.C.

Brazil Becomes Key Battleground in Accelerating Global Deforestation

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest accelerated by 55% in the first four months of 2020 compared to the previous year. Brazil’s answer? Slash the budgets for ecosystem and climate protection—and double down on the notion that the military is the best defender of the forest.

Emissions Show ‘Surprisingly Rapid’ Rebound as Pandemic Lockdowns Ease

Global greenhouse gas emissions are going through a “surprisingly rapid” rebound as pandemic restrictions begin to lift, according to an update to the Global Carbon Project research that previously tracked a 25% reduction in output at the height of the lockdown.

Post-Pandemic Land Use Changes Could Cut Emissions in Urban Centres

Canadian urban planners are urging cities to implement land use changes in their post-pandemic recovery plans, arguing that bringing work and shopping closer to home can revitalize local economies while reducing emissions-heavy commutes.

Week 24, June 15: Ecological Restoration

We face an ecological as well as a climate emergency. Because of our human influence, Earth is in the midst a mass extinction crisis: up to a million species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

Deep Energy Retrofits Boost Local Resilience

340-MW Wind Farm Near Buffalo Will Be New York State’s Biggest Yet

Renewables Deliver Boost to Iowa Economy

Surrey, BC Unveils Passive House-Certified Community Centre

Prince George, B.C. Aims for 80% Carbon Cut by 2050

Virtual Energy Audits Likely to Continue Past Pandemic Lockdown

Ontario Farm Community Frets About Taking ‘Forever’ Nuclear Waste

Local Authorities in Germany Get Interested in Climate Adaptation

New Study Shows Clean Power Supplying 90% of U.S. Electricity by 2035

Clean electricity could power 90% of the United States grid by 2035, at lower cost than non-renewable sources, according to a new study released this week by the University of California Berkeley and Berkeley-based GridLab that projects more than a 10% reduction in electricity costs if utilities can make the transition.

More Than 350 Pennsylvania Companies Could Pivot into Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

The electric vehicle supply chain in Pennsylvania could easily grow by more than 350 companies, many of them in counties and industries that have seen tough economic times in recent years, according to an analysis published late last month by the national business association Advanced Energy Economy.

Pandemic Produces New Efforts, Wider Paralysis on International Climate Action

The economic and logistical paralysis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a mixed picture for global action on the climate crisis, with countries, cities, businesses, and others scrambling to accelerate action under the Paris Agreement but some of the key commitments under the 2015 accord facing serious obstacles.

B.C., Coastal GasLink Drop Charges Against 22 Wet’suwet’en Protesters

Toronto Community Housing Gets Ready for Tougher Green Code

Montreal Pilots Electric Cargo Bikes for Local Deliveries

Groups Demand More Storage as California Considers Fossil Backup for Grid

Colorado, Virginia Move to Shut Down Super-Polluting HFCs

Locals See Hope of Cleaner Air as Maharashtra State Delays 1,320-MW Coal Plant

Time to Double Down on Wind, Iowa Conservative Says

Mid-Sized Buildings Fall Behind on Deep Energy Retrofits

Alberta Community Sees Flooding Despite Recent Mitigation Project

U.S. Cities Look to Green Methods for Stormwater Control

How to Keep Traffic Under Control Post-Coronavirus

Minneapolis Climate Plan Fails to Serve Black, Low-Income Neighbourhoods

What was greeted seven years ago as a groundbreaking local climate action plan in Minneapolis is now being flagged as a source of racial division in the city where the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer, sparked massive protests and renewed attention to police brutality across the United States.

Student Organizers Push Salt Lake City School Board to 100% Clean Energy by 2040

The district school board in Salt Lake City will shift to 100% clean electricity by 2030 and drop all fossil fuels for heating and transportation by 2040, after a campaign led by students from the community’s three major high schools.

New Vancouver Firehall Cuts ‘Operational Emissions’ 99.7%

First Nations, Other Residents Raise Flag About Northern B.C. Plastics Plant

Minnesota Investment Board Dumps Thermal Coal Holdings

Suburban Chicago Mayor Drives Big Energy Code Improvements

Edmonton Develops Local Climate Resilience Tool

Michigan Utility Thermostat Rebate Supports Peak Power Management

Venice Glimpses a Different Life as Port Cities Mark World Oceans Day [Global Virtual Rally Today]

As Venice slowly emerges from lockdown—and braces for the return of millions of tourists—locals are daring to imagine another future for their beloved City of Water, after seeing a glimpse of what life could be like without colossal cruise ships and inflated rents.

Resist Fossil Lobbying, End Oil and Gas Subsidies, International Agencies Urge Canada

Two leading international agencies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency, are urging the federal and provincial governments to do away with fossil subsidies worth US$3.7 billion last year, just as the fossil lobby accelerates its demands for exactly that kind of largesse from taxpayers.

Alberta Under Pressure to Restart Environmental Monitoring for Oil and Gas Operations

A group of seven environmental groups and Indigenous communities in Alberta is pressing the Jason Kenney government to restart environmental monitoring for oil and gas operations and release its criteria for when that work will begin again.

COVID-Wary New Yorkers Weigh Risks of Traffic Versus Transit

As New Yorkers give a wary eye to public transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is scrambling to inform citizens that the very last thing they should do is hop in their cars.

Missouri Utility to Test On-Bill Payments for Fund Home Energy Retrofits

A Missouri utility is moving to clear one of the barriers to home energy retrofits, with a pilot program to cover the up-front cost of the work on its customers’ behalf.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Tracks ‘Dirty Battle’ for Ohio Nuclear Bailout

Arkansas Tosses Rooftop Solar a Net Metering Lifeline

Transit Use Patterns Show Inequalities in Cities

Bangalore Plans Faster Transition for Urban Mobility

U.S. Home Battery Installations Set Fourth Straight Quarterly Record

Vancouver to Permit 12-Storey Mass Timber Buildings

New Jersey Becomes First U.S. State to Build Climate into K-12 Curriculum

North Carolina Releases Climate Risk Report, Roadmap

Charges Laid in Extinction Rebellion Protest Outside Horgan’s Home

Climate Justice Requires Racial Justice, Expert Panel Says

The roiling traumas of racial injustice, coronavirus, and climate change are a “veritable witch’s brew of community risk,” according to a panel of five environmental justice leaders recently brought together by Grist. The antidote? To make sure that “normal” is never the same again. 

Electrifying GTHA Cars, Trucks, and Buses Would Prevent 731 Premature Deaths, Cut 8 Mt of Emissions Per Year

A shift to electric cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses would prevent 731 premature deaths per year in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and reduce the region’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes, bringing Ontario half-way to meeting its 2030 carbon target, according to a modelling study released this week by Environmental Defence Canada and the Ontario Public Health Association.

Weaver Wins ‘Ultimate Vindication’ in Appeal Court Ruling Against Climate Denier Tim Ball

UNFCCC climate scientist and departing British Columbia Green Party leader Andrew Weaver scored a long-awaited legal victory last week against climate denier Tim Ball, after the provincial court of appeal ordered Ball to stand trial in a nine-year-old libel case.

Pennsylvania Pollution Regulators Scramble During Pandemic

Pollution in Canadian Cities Down One-Third During Pandemic Lockdown

San Francisco to Turn 29-Acre Fossil Site Into Low-Carbon Neighbourhood

Two Missouri Cities Go Opposite Directions on Energy-Efficient Buildings

Calgary Cycle Shops Report Bikes Flying Off the Racks

Tennessee Invests $5.7M Payout from VW Scandal in Transit Projects

New Orleans Contends with ‘Inevitable’ Loss of Protective Marshes

Pandemic Produces Moratorium on Ontario Nuclear Rebuild

Massachusetts Solar Firms Complain About New Land Use Rules

Suncor CEO’s ‘Stark Prediction’ Has Off-Carbon Transition Driving Down Oil Demand

The CEO of Suncor Energy is admitting that the transition off carbon could hit crude oil demand as hard as the pandemic did, in what Reuters describes as a “stark prediction in an industry that frequently downplays the impact of electrification” on its future prospects.

Federal Officials Express Doubts on Post-COVID Recovery Package as Cabinet Seeks Free Consulting Advice

Federal government department officials may be throwing cold water on the idea of a green recovery package—or any economic recovery package at all—the Globe and Mail reported last Friday, in a story that focused mainly on the Trudeau government turning to one of the world’s biggest management consulting firms for free advice on its post-pandemic strategy.

Hundreds of Companies, Regional Governments Demand Green Recovery Post-Pandemic

The pressure on governments to make the post-pandemic economic stimulus a green recovery continues to intensify, with 155 multinational companies and more than 220 state and regional governments joining the call, and business analysts suggesting the right recovery package could make 2019 the year of peak carbon while delivering badly-needed job creation.

Empire State Building Retrofits Cut 10-Year Emissions by 40%

Thanks to a scrupulously well-planned retrofit, the owners of the Empire State Building have been able to reduce the structure’s emissions by 40% over the last decade. They’re now determined to cut emissions a further 40% by 2030, an ambition borne forward, in part, by the conviction that the building must remain what it has always been: a beacon of faith that better times lie ahead.

Plug’n Drive Toronto Showroom Reopens After Pandemic Lockdown

Skill-Building Program for Fossil Transition Runs Out of Funds

$1B Solar Project to Power 260,000 Las Vegas Homes

Two European Cities Introduce Net-Positive Buildings

Majority in UK Support Weekly Car-Free Days

Hotter-Than-Usual Summer Could Drive Texas Demand for Microgrids

Charleston, SC Approves $2B Seawall in Bid to Protect Historic Downtown

Now-Bankrupt Coal Company Spent $1M to Fight Ohio Renewables Law

Alberta Fossils Plot Reboot on Higher Oil Prices

Gas Pipeline Leaks Cause Urban Tree Deaths

Mini-Boom in Renewables Hiring Offers Lifeline to Laid-Off Texas Fossil Workers

Even as the coronavirus pandemic wipes out tens of thousands of renewable energy jobs, Texas is going through a mini-boom in renewables hiring, Bloomberg Green reports, as a handful of clean energy executives in the state tap into an opportunity to recruit talent from an industry that has been hit even harder.

U.S. Green Jobs Program Earns Cross-Party Support

The idea of a green jobs creation program is receiving bipartisan support in the United States as policy-makers grapple with the twin spectres of skyrocketing unemployment and escalating ecological breakdown—perfect timing, as recent high school graduates pile onto the ranks of millions of Americans desperate for work in a COVID-ravaged economy.

Montreal’s High Temperature in May was the ‘Definition of Extreme’

Montreal earned coverage in the Washington Post last week after experiencing its second-hottest day on record, with the mercury soaring to 36.6°C—far above normal for May. Adding to the swelter: nighttime temperatures that never dropped below 20.5°C. 

Uber Scraps Tens of Thousands of E-Bikes in Shocking Move

Cycling advocates are confused and outraged following Uber’s recent decision—in the middle of a transportation-choking pandemic—to send massive numbers of e-bikes and scooters to the scrap heap.

Petition Urges B.C. Bus Line to Buy Electric [Sign-On]

Outside Accountants to Probe AIMCo’s $2.1B Loss

Six New Wisconsin Solar Farms to Deliver 675 MW, Power 175,000 Homes

Virginia Launches Technical Assistance to Make Solar ‘Faster, Easier, More Affordable’

Toronto Neighbourhood Gets Serious about Urban Farming

Canadian Real Estate Giant Launches Green Bond Framework

New Colorado Law Requires GHG Polluters to Report their Emissions

Toronto Transit Faces 50% Service Cut Without Federal, Provincial Funding [Urgent Sign-On]

Public transit advocates have launched an emergency appeal for federal funding for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), after Mayor John Tory announced the system faces a 50% service cut without federal and provincial support.

Newfoundland Fossils Demand Big Federal Bailout While Drilling Program Faces Legal Challenge

Fossils in Newfoundland and Labrador are warning that the industry crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has thrown exploration commitments worth billions of dollars into limbo, raising questions about the province’s previous plan to double the size of its oil and gas sector by 2030.

It’s 2030. Here’s How Calgary Transformed Itself into a Cleantech Capital.

The city at the heart of the Alberta oilpatch can transform itself into a cleantech capital by the end of this decade if it makes the right decisions and brings together the needed investment now, Calgary-based environmental lawyer Jeremy Barretto argues in an opinion piece for CBC.

Courts Rule Against Fossils in California Climate Disclosure Case, Reject Montana Oil and Gas Leases Over Sage Grouse Protection

Five of the world’s most colossal fossils will have to face a pair of lawsuits from California cities and counties in state court, rather than trying for more favourable rulings from federal judges, after an appeals court ruled this week that the state level is the proper venue for the courts.

B.C. Abandoned Wells Program is ‘Swamped’ with Requests

Early Coal Plant Closure Will Cut Costs for Wisconsin Ratepayers

44-MW Solar Project Delivers Big Savings for Philadelphia Transit Agency

Colorado Utility Agrees to $23.4M Microgrid

Squamish District Declares Woodfibre LNG ‘Unwelcome’ Unless It Meets Paris Targets

The Woodfibre LNG liquefied natural gas project should be unwelcome in Squamish, British Columbia unless it can align with the greenhouse gas reduction goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement, district councillors decided earlier this month, in a hotly-debated preliminary motion adopted by a 4-3 margin.

‘Great Time to Build a Pipeline’ While Protesters Can’t Gather, Alberta Energy Minister Says

It’s a great time to build a pipeline while pandemic-related public health measures prevent mass protests against them, Alberta Energy Minister and former pipeline executive Sonya Savage told a podcast last week hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

Landmark NY Pipeline Rejection a Turning Point for State Action

New York State’s recent rejection of a new gas pipeline to Long Island and New York City, based in part on its recent-enacted climate law, is emerging as a possible precedent for other jurisdictions across the U.S.. But legal counters are just as likely, particularly given the Trump administration’s predilection for challenging state authority when it comes to fossil fuel development.

New York Mega-Utility Triples Energy Efficiency Budget to $1.5 Billion

New York state mega-utility Consolidated Edison is tripling its budget for energy efficiency to US$1.5 billion through 2025, in an aggressive program expansion that will include incentives for customers to install ground- and air-source heat pumps to reduce their dependence on natural gas.

Alberta Flooded with Applications for Orphan Well Cleanup Fund

California Oil and Gas Drilling Goes Full Steam Ahead During COVID

New Plan Will Put More EVs of All Sizes on Colorado Roads

Orillia Continues LED Streetlight Project Despite Pandemic

New Quebec City Tram Features Wider Sidewalks, More Parks

Glasgow Unveils Green Hydrogen Bus Plan

EU’s Massive Green Recovery Plan Includes 15-GW Renewables Tender, Support for Green Hydrogen

The European Union is set to propose a massive economic stimulus plan, complete with a 15-gigawatt renewable energy tender and auctions for green hydrogen, that will transform the European Commission’s Green Deal into the world’s greenest recovery package, according to leaked documents released last week by Bloomberg News and Euractiv.

In Conversation: Canada Can Create Jobs, Set a ‘Signpost’ for the World in Shift to 100% Renewable Electricity, Hornung Says

Robert Hornung has been president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association since 2003. Last week, CanWEA and the Canadian Solar Industries Association announced they are merging to form the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, with Hornung at the helm. He talked to The Energy Mix about a massive moment of opportunity for solar, wind, and storage, and the importance of speaking with a common voice.

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges

The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.

‘Office Centricity is Over’, Shopify Declares, as Tech Companies Embrace Working from Home

Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify has declared itself “digital by default”, joining a growing list of North American tech companies that are rethinking their work arrangements in the wake of the pandemic—with still unpredictable but potentially huge implications for everything from commuter traffic and congestion to the demand for downtown real estate.

Michigan Dam Failures Highlight Risks in Aging Infrastructure, Toxic Sites

Safety officials warn that last week’s double dam failure and resulting, massive flood in Michigan foreshadows a frightening future for aging dams throughout the United States—structures that were never intended to withstand the torrential rains that are arriving with climate change.

Global Cycling Revolution Finding Deep Roots in Toronto

With bike shops reporting thriving sales across Canada and around the world, cycling advocates are pushing hard to ensure that post-pandemic cities include more cycling infrastructure—an evolution that has a lot of public support, even in traditionally car-smitten suburbs.

Ontario Foresters Complete 80% of Annual Planting Despite Pandemic Restrictions

A different kind of essential service is becoming a good news story during the pandemic, with tree-planting activities in Ontario hitting about 80 to 85% of their target for the year in spite of logistical snags due to physical distancing.

Manitoba Cree Take Down Keeyask Hydro Blockade After Protesting COVID-19 Risk

Ontario Privacy Commissioner Orders Bruce Power to Reveal True Cost of Nuclear

Pandemic Slows Down 2.5-GW Wind Procurement in New York

Michigan Utility Drives ‘Wave’ of Solar Development

Minneapolis Leads State in Renewable Electricity

New Quebec Liberal Leader to Emphasize Environment, Economy

New York Races to Make Subway Rides Safer

Eurostar Introduces Sleeper Car from UK to Sweden

Toronto Community Housing Brings Passive House to Alexandra Park

Heiltsuk Nation Turns to Heat Pumps for Cleaner, Cheaper Power

Wisconsin Biogas Project Aims for Renewables Credits

Pandemic Delays Climate Plan Update as Ottawa Mulls Green Recovery Options

A recent wave of policy advocacy aimed at shaping the Canadian government’s green economic stimulus package is beginning to generate media coverage of its own, with the Globe and Mail reporting this week on the “frenzy” now under way “to determine just how—and how much—the federal government’s strategy for economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown will be shaped by its climate change agenda.”

Major Cities Urge Green, Resilient Recovery with ‘No Return to Business as Usual’

There’s no going back to “business as usual” after the COVID-19 pandemic when that previous path had the world on track for at least 3.0°C average global warming, the mayors of more than three dozen major cities declared in a statement of principles released earlier this month.

E-Bikes Sales Spike as Commuters Prep for Return to Work

Lighter and faster than ever, e-bikes are in high demand as lockdown regulations ease and commuters begin to return to work. Add in ever-increasing urban density, and producers are forecasting a bright future for e-bikes as an alternative to a second family car. 

Cyclone Amphan Hits South Asia Communities Already Coping with Pandemic

After initially shaping up as the biggest cyclonic storm South Asia had seen in 20 years, Cyclone Amphan brought less death and damage than expected when it came ashore yesterday, after authorities in India and Bangladesh evacuated more than three million people from the storm’s path.

U.S. Lags in Preparing for a Just Transition to Decarbonization

The United States is failing coal and nuclear plant workers who are seeking a just transition to a decarbonized economy, while their counterparts in many European countries face much better odds. 

Power lines, Mississauga, Canada

Maine Approves New Transmission Line from Quebec to New England

Regulators in Maine have approved a 145-mile, US$950-million transmission line that will carry 1,200 MW of electricity from Quebec to New England.

Vancouver Passive Solar Building Will Deliver 146 Affordable Housing Units

Homes with No Rooftop Exposure Turn to Community Solar

Will Riders Feel Safe Returning to Commuter Rail?

Texas to Restart Shuttered Coal Plant

Nova Scotia Gives Up on $48-Million Wind Plant Investment

Minnesota Scientists Try to Plan Forests of the Future

Community Planners, Homeowners Must Step Up for Fire Suppression

Saudi Arabia Buys Into Canadian Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Norwegian Wealth Fund Declares Blacklist

Saudi Arabia bought into Canada’s two biggest tar sands/oil sands companies, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund jumped ship, and the World Economic Forum highlighted the slow pace of carbon reductions in the Canadian oil and gas industry, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to roil global fossil markets.

Spain’s Green Recovery Bill Pledges 350,000 Jobs Per Year, Sets 2050 Net-Zero Target, Halts All New Fossil Projects

The Spanish government is expected to table a draft law today that will aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, call an immediate halt to new coal, oil, and gas projects, and ground the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a green transition.

Judges Reverse Ford Government Bid to Cancel Cornwall-Area Wind Farm

The 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm near Cornwall, Ontario is back on the boards, following a court decision that quashed the last-minute decision by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek to cancel the project in December.

1.5¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour: New Mexico Solar Project to Deliver Power at Record-Low Price

A state regulator has approved two new projects that will deliver electricity in southern New Mexico and west Texas at the record-low prices of just US1.5¢ per kilowatt-hour for solar and 2.1¢ for solar plus storage.

‘Landmark Decision’ Blocks Fracked Gas Pipeline in New York State

In what Politico is calling a “landmark decision” grounded in New York State’s “sweeping climate law”, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has rejected a permit for the US$1-billion Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline to supply fracked natural gas to Long Island and New York City.

Edmonton Lays Plans to Reboot, Diversify Local Economy

A new agency unanimously approved by city council in Edmonton, Alberta will oversee the creation of a post–COVID-19 economy—equipped with a C$11-million budget and an advisory table that adds foreign investment, trade, and tourism interests to the usual oil and gas voices. 

B.C. Unveils Orphan Wells Plan

Passive House Design Can Slow COVID’s Spread

Communities Bear Environmental Justice Burden During Pandemic

Minnesota Power Co-op Plans Coal Shutdown

Ontario Company Plans New Cobalt Refinery for EV Batteries

Ohio Utilities, Gas Companies Gang Up Against Village’s Clean Energy Target

New Task Force Touts Hydrogen for Alberta’s ‘Industrial Heartland’

Alberta Designer Looks to Net-Zero Renovations

Canada’s Green Municipal Fund Traces Success Factors from First 20 Years

Ramp Up Training, Break Down Market Barriers to Boost Zero-Carbon Buildings, CaGBC Urges

Canada’s building industry “still has work to do” to acquire the skills and knowledge it’ll need to deliver zero-carbon buildings at scale, even based on the country’s current greenhouse gas reduction target of just 30% by 2030, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) concludes in a report issued last week.

Researchers Cite Urban Density as Solution, Not Cause in Pandemic Spread

It is not density, but instead an inhumane and unhealthy infrastructure rooted in a long history of pervasive inequality and bigotry, that is fuelling the COVID-19 pandemic in the world’s cities, according to several environmental health experts who are urging city planners not to waste a critical insight laid bare by the current health crisis.

WRI ‘Build Back Better’ Webinar Addresses COVID-19 Recovery and Public Transport

As the COVID-19 pandemic makes its relentless sweep across the world’s cities, it is revealing the vital importance of urban public transport systems in delivering essential workers to hospitals, grocery stores, and other critical services the entire community relies on. At WRI’s most recent webinar on how to build back better after the pandemic, panelists pointed to this moment as an opportunity to invest deeper in public transit—not just as an essential system, but as a path to economic recovery. 

High School Transit Training Offers Independence, Confidence to Young Riders

Youth, schools, and communities all stand to gain from a public transit initiative in Kingston, Ontario that is empowering young riders, making (pre-COVID) field trips less costly and more climate-friendly, and encouraging life-long transit ridership.

Orphan Wells Funding Draws ‘Significantly Higher’ Interest Than Expected

The federally-funded program to help clean up thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by delinquent fossils received nearly 18,000 funding applications from 530 companies in its first four days online, prompting Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan to declare the level of interest “significantly higher” than governments expected.

Bail Out the Living World, Not Its Destroyers, Monbiot Urges

It’s time to attach a Do Not Resuscitate tag to the fossil, airline, and car companies that have been desperately trolling for government bailouts in response to the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, UK essayist and activist George Monbiot argues in a recent post for The Guardian.

C40 Mayors Pledge Green Recovery, ‘No Return to Business as Usual’

New Brunswick Deal Would Revive Dangerous ‘Plutonium Economy’, Edwards Warns

Alberta Hires 200 More Wildland Firefighters

California Renewables, Storage Demand New Approach to Grid Reliability

Senior Republican Senator Celebrates as Wind Hits 40% of Iowa Power Supply

U.S. Rural Transit Systems ‘At Wits’ End’ in COVID Crisis

B.C. Allows Forest Companies to Chop Whole Trees for Pellets if They’re ‘Inferior’

New Alliance Looks to Geothermal to Get Alberta Oil Rigs Back in Use

In what the Globe and Mail calls “a rare united front between environment and energy,” Alberta’s shattered oil drillers are looking to the emerging geothermal industry as a place to get idled rigs back in production and begin a shift to post-carbon energy.

In Conversation: Energy Retrofits Can Drive Economic Recovery, But Financing and Logistics Are Key, Torrie Says

Ralph Torrie is a senior associate with the Sustainability Solutions Group, partner in Torrie Smith Associates, and one of Canada’s leading energy and carbon modellers. He’s been focusing on mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of a green economic recovery, the financing, training, and logistical approaches that will get the job done, and a “very human response” that might be the catalyst for action.

Lockdown-Driven Boost to European Air Quality Saves Thousands of Lives

Over one month of coronavirus lockdown, an estimated 11,000 fewer Europeans have died from illnesses caused by air pollution, and future effects will include 6,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma, 600 fewer preterm births, and far fewer sick days. That has health experts urging a permanent prescription for clearer skies and cleaner air.

Climate Hawks Push Back After Ontario Buys Three Gas Plants for $2.8 Billion [Sign-On]

Ontario Power Generation is receiving serious pushback after one of its subsidiaries announced a C$2.8-billion deal to buy three gas-fired power plants in Halton Hills, Napanee, and Toronto from TC Energy.

Doubling of Impacts by 2030 Points to Need for Flood Protection Investment

With the number of people around the world affected by flooding rivers, storm surges, and sea level rise set to double by 2030, aggressive investment in flood protection infrastructure could prove to be very cost-effective in the long term, the World Resources Institute (WRI) concludes in a recent blog post.

Wet’suwet’en Clans Endorse Governance Agreement with Canada, B.C.

Wet’suwet’en clans in British Columbia have ratified a memorandum of understanding that will see them take back management of their traditional territories, although one clan says the deal doesn’t go far enough in response to the controversial Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now being built across their lands.

Biden Pledges Tougher Climate Policy, Receives Key Endorsements After Nabbing Democratic Presidential Nomination

As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gears up for a fall campaign to defeat Donald Trump, he’s been moving to consolidate support from the less moderate wing of his party, promising to shore up his climate platform, and earning some high-profile endorsements in return.

Newfoundland Presses Ottawa for Fossil Bailout

Kinder Morgan Loses Permits After Texas Construction Spill Fouls Drinking Water

Near-Historic Low Snowpack Forces Yukon Energy to Look Beyond Hydropower

Manitoba Town Maps Groundwater Vulnerability

Oakland Battery Project Suggests New Way to Pay for Storage

Public Parks Can Help Build Local Reslience

Philippe Dunsky

In Conversation: Post-COVID Recovery Becomes Added Lens for Climate, Energy Efficiency Programs, Dunsky Says

Philippe Dunsky is President of Dunsky Energy Consulting, a 35-person Canadian firm specialized in accelerating the clean energy transition. In early April, he circulated a sampling of the energy efficiency, clean energy, electric mobility, and climate action plans his firm is continuing to support through the pandemic, with members of his Montreal-based team conducting their work from home. He talked to The Mix about what a future of rapid decarbonization could look like post-coronavirus.

Haley: Governments Need Long-Term Investment to Get Green Stimulus Right

Governments that hope to recapture the gains and avoid the pitfalls of the last big round of economic stimulus more than a decade ago should double down on decarbonization and energy efficiency programs—and take a careful look at the thinking of 1930s-era economist John Maynard Keynes for a guide to the best strategic investments, says Broadbent Institute Policy Fellow Brendan Haley.

Indigenous Group Warns of Possible Tailings Pond Leaks as Spring Floods Inundate Downtown Fort McMurray

With a 24-kilometre ice jam on the Athabasca River causing severe flooding in downtown Fort McMurray, Alberta, a local Indigenous advocacy group is raising flags about a lack of information on possible toxic releases from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds and holding ponds located alongside the river.

IonE Webinar: What the Media Gets Right—and Wrong—in Climate Coverage

Though media coverage of climate change has improved significantly in recent years, it still fails to adequately convey the scale of the crisis, according to five expert panelists at a webinar hosted earlier this month by the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.

Canadian-Designed Sensors Helping to Build ‘Smart’ Cities

Once used solely to light commuters’ paths after dark, streetlights can now serve as “technology pillars” for smart city development and maintenance around the world, thanks to a Halifax-based roadway lighting company.

Coal-Heavy Indiana Could Get 16 GW of New Solar

Building Codes Can Deliver Big Emission Cuts for U.S. Cities, States

Smart Meters On Track for $30B in Investment through 2025

California Looks for Cost Savings from Microgrids, E-Buses

B.C. Rethinks EV Charging with Accessibility in Mind