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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Japan to Ban New Internal Combustion Cars in Mid-2030s

France Opens Bids for 1 GW of New Wind Off Normandy Coast

Japan Aims for Net-Zero by 2050, Fossils Below 50% of Power Supply by 2030

Study Puts Cost of 2018 California Wilfires at $145 Billion

Off-Grid Power Providers Await Role in Post-Pandemic Recovery

Designers Look to ‘Creatively Repurpose’ Older Buildings

With $170/Tonne Carbon Price, $15B in New Spending, Canada’s 2030 Carbon Target Still Falls Far Short

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an updated national climate plan Friday that includes a $170-per-tonne carbon price in 2030, C$15 billion in new climate spending, a more modest Clean Fuel Standard, and a slight increase in the country’s 2030 carbon reduction goal—just barely enough to keep the government’s promise to boost its ambition beyond the 30% target originally adopted by the Stephen Harper government in 2015.

Montreal Vows 55% Emissions Cut by 2030

In its just-released 10-year climate plan, the city of Montreal is vowing to cut emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. Environmental groups like Équiterre are praising the plan as a “very pragmatic and serious” effort grounded in the realities of climate science.

Lax COVID-19 Safety at B.C. Man Camps Puts Indigenous Communities at Risk

WorkSafe BC documents have revealed shocking carelessness with worker protections in the province’s northern “man camps.” And as COVID-19 cases continue to mount in the region, more than 180 front-line health workers have signed an open letter urging the immediate closure of camps on Indigenous territory.

EU Aims for 30 Million EVs by 2030

‘New Energy Super-Majors’ Are Renewable, Bloomberg Finds

Dunsky, TAF Help Google Model Transportation Emissions

Quebec Green Plan Misses the Moment to Cut Carbon

Earth Day Canada Launches EV Charging Network with IGA

North Dakota, Texas Fossils Increased Gas Flaring in 2019

California Faces Bumpy Road Using Microgrids to Confront Wildfires, Outages

Oregon, California, Two Indigenous Tribes Restart Biggest Dam Removal Project in U.S.

Japanese Court Shuts Two Nuclear Plants Over Earthquake Concerns

Ecuador Could Install 400 MW of Photovoltaics this Decade

Locals Evacuate as Winds Fan South California Canyon Fires

2020 Storms Were ‘Just a Preview’ for Central America

North Sea Consortium Looks to Old Oil Wells for Geothermal

Skyscrapers Use, Lose More Energy than Four-Storey Buildings, Researchers Say

In Conversation: Climate Response, COVID Recovery Must Factor in Adaptation, Bardswick and Ness Say

Kathy Bardswick is President and Ryan Ness is Adaptation Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. In this feature interview, they talk about their new report on climate impacts and adaptation, the close connections between adaptation and mitigation, and how to get rolling on climate action while the detailed data is still taking shape.

Trans Mountain Poised for Tree Clearing Despite Promise to Protect Burnaby Salmon Habitat

The federally-owned company building the Trans Mountain pipeline is about to begin clearing trees near sensitive salmon habitat along the Brunette River in Burnaby, British Columbia—even though a company executive swore in an affidavit that the fish would be protected, and two government reports in the last two weeks have concluded there’s no likely justification for completing the project.

Prairies Face ‘Consecutive Years of Severe Drought’ from Drier, Warmer Climate

Federal scientists are predicting a hot, dry, and fiery future for the Prairies. “In a warming climate, you can expect extreme weather events to occur with increased severity,” said Dave Sauchyn, a professor at the University of Regina and a lead author of an extensive report released Monday by Natural Resources Canada.

EU Considers 50% Toll Reduction for Zero-Emission Trucks

European Union transport ministers have agreed to a new tolling system that will give truckers a price break of at least 50% if they use emissions-free vehicles.

Virginia Utility Cancels $200-Million Gas Peaker Plant

Indonesia Considers Closing 3,400-MW Coal Plant

Hopi Fear for Way of Life as Climate Warming Withers Corn

PEI Legislature Adopts Net Zero by 2040

German EV Registrations Approach 29,000 Per Month

OPG Draws Fire for Basing Carbon-Neutral Program on Unproven Technologies

Canada Signs Non-Binding Pledge for Sustainable Oceans

Pandemic Expected to Trigger Second Bankruptcies for Some U.S. Fossils

Pandemic, Price Crash Wipe Out 3,000 Fossil Jobs in Alaska

Hurricanes Drive Gulf of Mexico Oil Output to Lowest Level Since 2008

Ohio Start-Up Plans to Create Jobs by Reusing EV Battery Cells

Iberdola Plans to Double Installed Capacity by 2025, Embrace Smart Grids and Storage

Indonesia Nabs $600M Renewables Loan from Asian Development Bank

13 Small Hydro Projects Boost Rural Electrification in Pakistan

New Zealand Looks to Volcanoes for Geothermal Power

Barcelona Scrambles to Save Disappearing Beaches

California Looks to Airborne Moisture to Quell Droughts, Fight Wildfires

High-Voltage DC Line with Storage Would Link California with U.S. Midwest

Poland Could Cut Emissions 44-51% by 2030, Think Tank Says

Quebec Rules Out Provincial Funding, Won’t Cancel Project After 110,000 Sign Petition Against GNL Québec Megaproject

Quebec Premier François Legault has ruled out provincial financial support for a plan to build the GNL Québec liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the province’s Saguenay region, but stopped short of cancelling a controversial and high-carbon project that he previously supported.

Globe Editorial Board Calls for Deep Investment in Canadian Public Transit

With Canada’s government short on specifics for how the billions in “smart investments” promised in its recent Fall Economic Statement will be spent, the Globe and Mail is calling for deep investments in public transit as a timely and just use of the funds.

$875M Quebec Biofuel Project Will Process Non-Recyclable Waste, Prevent Methane Emissions

Quebec and federal officials announced an investment Tuesday in a biofuel production facility that will use non-recyclable residual materials, diverting those items from landfills while reducing greenhouse gases in the province.

‘Checking the Box’ on Environmental Justice Produces $8-Billion Liability for Virginia Utility Giant

Callous disregard for community health has left a Virginia utility giant on the hook for a US$8-billion cancelled pipeline. And more of the same lies ahead for fossil interests as citizens, courts, and legislators increasingly say to no to projects that bode ill for people and climate.

Dozens Laid Off at Husky Work Site After Ottawa Pours Money into Newfoundland Offshore

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/coned-faces-102m-penalty-possible-license-revocation-for-hurricane-isaias/589619/

New York Utilities Could Lose Licences Over Poor Hurricane Response

Build EVs to Hit Climate Targets, Boost Manufacturing, Clean Energy Canada Urges

B.C. Boosts Rebate for EV Chargers

Chalk River Nuclear Lab Slated for $1B in New Investment this Decade

Policies, Business Models Make Rooftop Solar Less Available to Low-Income Americans

New Installations to Deliver 1,000 MWh of Battery Capacity in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas

Virginia Clean Economy Law Pushes Coal Utility Toward Renewables

Key West, Florida Bans Big Cruise Ships in Bid to Protect Ecosystems

Dozens of Fossils Commit to Better Methane Reporting

Counting Trees is First Step to Ensure Access to Urban Canopy

Alberta Power Producer Announces 2023 Coal Phaseout as Province Pushes Rocky Mountain Mining Leases

Alberta took one step forward and one step back on the road to phasing out coal, with independent power producer Capital Power announcing it was speeding up its shift to coal-free electricity but the province opening up new mining leases across nearly 2,000 hectares on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Call for Shutdown of Fossil Man Camps as Infections Rise

As COVID-19 numbers rise in northern British Columbia, 22 Ts’ako ze’—female chiefs—of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are urging the province’s public health officer to shut down Coastal GasLink work camps located on their territory, fearing especially for their Elders—both as beloved individuals and as essential repositories of oral culture.

Ottawa Announces $41.5 Million for Offshore Oil Jobs in Newfoundland

The federal government is directing C$41.5 million to Husky Energy to help the company keep 331 workers employed on its West White Rose offshore oil development through the end of next year—even though there’s no decision yet on whether the project will go ahead.

Record Losses from Climate Disasters Are ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ for Canada, Institute Warns

The billions of dollars Canadians are already paying out for weather-related climate disasters are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg that calls for proactive investment in climate adaptation and resilience, the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) concludes in a report issued last week.

Energy Efficiency Improvements Stall Out as COVID-19 Roils National Economies

The International Energy Agency is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for dragging annual improvements in energy efficiency down to their lowest pace since 2010, in a report that urges governments to pick up the pace on efforts to reduce global primary energy intensity.

Four Decades of Research Show Gas Stoves as ‘Overlooked’ Risk to Indoor Air, Child Health

As a physician and epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, T. Stephen Jones spent his career fighting major threats to public health in the United States and globally, from smallpox to HIV to viral hepatitis. But it wasn’t until Jones was well into retirement that he learned about a widespread yet widely overlooked health risk in his own home in Florence, Massachusetts, and in most U.S. households: pollution emitted by natural gas appliances.

Globe and Mail’s Radwanski Scorches $5,000 Home Retrofit Credits

Some Kids Face Higher Health Impacts as Wildfire Smoke Poisons California Air

Seattle Firm Plans First Small Modular Reactor at Chalk River, Ontario

Fort Nelson-Area First Nation Seeks Provincial Funding for Geothermal Project

Appalachian Fracking Industry Shows Sea of Red Ink

Massachusetts Okays 809-MW Offshore Wind Project

Maine’s Solutions to Rural EV Infrastructure Could Point the Way

Belgium Ready to Flip the Switch on North Sea’s Biggest Wind Farm

Poland Approves Funding for 10.9 GW of Offshore Wind

Albania Invites Bids for 100-MW Solar Park

Tucson, Arizona Declares Climate Emergency

Yorkshire Communities Must Look Out for Themselves, UK Storm Inquiry Finds

Bogotá Aims to Cut Air Pollution in One of World’s Most Congested Cities

European Cities Hope to Make Cycling a Permanent Habit Post-Pandemic

Projection Shows Central, Eastern Europe Renewables Hitting 34% by 2030

Don’t Let Fossil-Derived Hydrogen Undermine New Federal Strategy, Climate Hawks Urge

The Canadian government has a chance to tap into renewably-produced hydrogen as a way to decarbonize key sectors of the economy, but not if it allows that potential to be “undermined by a focus on fossil fuel-derived hydrogen,” a list of 27 environmental organizations and other non-profits warned last week in a letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and three of his cabinet colleagues.

Ontario Making Little or No Progress on GHG Reduction Strategy, New Report Concludes

The Doug Ford government in Ontario has made little or no progress on key elements of its 2030 climate action plan, putting the province’s greenhouse gas emissions on track to increase rather than falling, Environmental Defence warns in a new report this week.

Canadian Urban Couriers Test Switch from Cars to E-Bikes

In a bid to reduce both emissions and costs—especially as online shopping explodes—major parcel couriers in Toronto and Montreal are experimenting with delivery by e-bike and trike. Collateral benefits include cleaner air, safer pedestrians and cyclists, and delivery workers delighted to be out from behind the wheel.

California Wildfire Turns 500-Year-Old Sequoias into ‘Blackened Toothpicks’

Study Shows UK Insurance Industry ‘in Denial’ on Climate Impacts

Manitoba Spends Only 9% of Available Federal Funds on GHG Reductions

First ‘Merchant’ Solar Plant Opens in Central Alberta

Montreal’s Boralex Buys Solar Farms in Alabama, Indiana, California

Big Utility to Shutter 1.6 GW of Texas Coal Capacity in 2028

Fossils Funded U.S. Politicians Who Pushed Anti-Protest Laws

Mountain Valley Pipeline Reports New Delays, Cost Overruns

California Freezes Insurance in Wildfire Areas

Deutsche Bahn, Siemens Look to Hydrogen Trains to Replace Diesel

Rystad Cites Africa as Renewable Energy Hotspot

Shell-Owned Storage Company Unveils $9,500 Home Battery

Fiscal Update Delivers ‘Downpayment’, Falls Short of Full Funding for Green Recovery

Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is receiving mixed reviews for the green components of a Fall Economic Statement that includes $5,000 grants to help households fund energy retrofits, a $150-million boost for zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, nearly $4 billion over 10 years for a list of nature-based climate solutions, and a promise of permanent funding for public transit systems.

Home Retrofit Grants Won’t Deliver the Energy Savings the Climate Crisis Demands, Analysts Warn

Impatience is building among policy analysts behind the push for mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of Canada’s post-pandemic green recovery, after this week’s Fall Economic Statement from Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland came up with just a fraction of the funding and none of the design and structure that a comprehensive program would require.

Utah Tries to Block Cities from Banning Natural Gas

UK Government Grant Funds Solar-Powered Railway

Canadian Railways CN, CP Face Investor Pressure to Cut Emissions

Canadian Mining Companies Push Toward Full Electrification

Departing Oilfield Services Exec Launches Clean Energy Accelerator Fund

Wisconsin Utility to Close 1,135-MW Coal Station in 2024

Mid-Manhattan Office Towers Could Get Second Life as Affordable Housing

New Boston Mayoral Candidate Opens Campaign with Green New Deal Agenda

UK Telecom Company Vodafone Touts 2030 Target

Florida Disaster Recovery Need Extends to Mental Health Services

Texas Steelmaker Signs Up for 15-Year Solar Buy

Toledo Joins Solar Co-op with 59 Other Communities

Connecticut Project Could Set the Pace for Energy-Efficient Hotels

The Rise of SWB: Seba Says Solar, Wind, Batteries Can Deliver 100% RE by 2030, Make New Fossil Investment Irrational

An all-renewable electricity system is “both physically possible and economically affordable by 2030,” according to a new report from the RethinkX think tank, write co-founder Tony Seba and research fellow Adam Dorr in an early November post for Utility Dive.

Climate Groups Must Connect with Communities that Feel ‘Villainized’ by Just Transition

Coal country in Utah is at risk of being left behind as the United States accelerates its shift off fossil fuels, making it that much more important for just transition advocates to make a place for fossil communities rather than allowing them to feel “villainized”, writes Chris Barnard, policy director with the Appleton, Wisconsin-based American Conservation Coalition, in a post for The Independent.

Europe Clean Air Rules Prevented 60,000 Premature Deaths in a Decade

B.C. Orphan Wells More Than Double in One Year, Regulator Reports

Arizona Utility Pitches $144M Transition Fund for Coal Communities

Enbridge Touts Hydrogen Blend to Justify Gas Heating

No Need for Driveway as Toronto Pilots On-Street EV Charging

North Dakota Regulator Redirects COVID Aid to Fracking Sites

Alaska Village Sees Biomass as Cheaper Heating Source

South Carolina, Missouri Face Biggest Earthquake Risk for U.S. Nuclear Plants

$41B Per Year Would Deliver Clean Energy for All by 2030

Kuwait Hits Record 53.9°C

Australia Braces for 4,500-Kilometre-Long Heat Wave

Minnesota Tribe Plans Solar, Microgrid, Efficiency in Drive for Zero Emissions

Tesla Co-Founder Aims for Circularity for EV Batteries

New Energy Trading Plan Puts Power in Consumers’ Hands

As an Oil Un-Building Looms, Newfoundlanders Ask: What Next, and Who Pays?

With 5,200 direct jobs lost in the fossil sector since March, the government of Newfoundland is beginning to talk, tentatively, about reinventing itself as a green energy leader. Also on the horizon: finding answers to the murky question of who will pay to decommission the fossil infrastructure left behind.

Ottawa’s Greening of Government Plan Foresees Building Retrofits, 80% Hybrid/Electric Fleet by 2030

Building retrofits, more telecommuting, and a fleet consisting of 80% hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030 are among the highlights of a greening of government strategy unveiled yesterday by Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.

GM Abandons Support for Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Giant automaker General Motors is stepping away from its support for Donald Trump’s efforts to strip California of its ability to set tougher fuel economy standards for vehicles, a move that some observers see as an early sign of U.S. industry embracing the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration when it takes office January 20.

Opinion: An Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable Electricity Future for Atlantic Canada is Renewable

Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth, far cheaper than coal, nuclear, or natural gas. When paired with energy storage technologies and regional hydropower networks, they can deliver reliable power while reducing utility bills for ratepayers who most need the savings, say the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre.

Consumer Goods Giants Mull International Plastic Pollution Treaty

While many of the world’s consumer goods giants—along with the majority of UN member countries—support a global treaty on plastic pollution, the creation of any serious framework will depend on the United States and China signing on to the agreement.

Enbridge Gets Crucial Army Corps Permit for Line 3 Pipeline

U.S. Climate Hawks Sue to Stop Arctic Drilling Plan

Pilot Project to Treat EVs as Grid Batteries on Wheels

Edmonton Bike Shop Owner Tries to Make Winter Cycling Safer

PEI Energy Corporation Appeals Rejection of Wind Farm Expansion

Vermont Aims for Fuel-Efficient Cars for Low-Income Households

Minnesota Hydro Plant Gets $2.75-Million Upgrade

Solar Lighting Improves Safety in Malawi Village

Study Finds ‘Prevalent’ Methane Leaks in Connecticut Housing

ConocoPhillips Reopens Four Alaska Drilling Rigs

Ohio Regulator Fails to Protect Coal Miners’ Health

Toshiba Looks to Dump Coal Plants, Embrace Renewables

Hydro Reservoirs Emerge as Prime Location for Floating Solar

Columnist Cites Solar as ‘Lifeline’ for Vulnerable Communities

‘Window is Rapidly Closing’ for Canadian Fossils to Adapt to Falling Oil Demand

With nearly four decades of growth in global oil demand coming to an end, Canada’s fossil industry is going to have to pay closer attention to a combination of climate response and surging new technologies if it wants to stay competitive in a “quickly changing world”, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in the second of a series of three blog posts.

Calgary Aims to Reinvent Itself as Fossil Slide Continues

With its September unemployment rate standing at 12.6% and office space vacancies approaching 30%, Calgary is struggling to reinvent itself in a world accelerating beyond fossil fuels.

Downtown Vancouver Congestion Pricing Proposal Draws Mixed Reviews

Two Vancouver policy experts are offering opposing views of the city’s proposed downtown driving congestion charge, with one saying the idea is rife with equity concerns, and the other countering that the proposal is fundamentally driven by a concern for equity itself.

15-Minute City Groundswell Shows Desire for ‘Greener, Safer, Kinder Spaces’

From Portland to Melbourne to Paris, city planners are dreaming of—and, in some cases, creating—the “15-minute city.” But while many are rejoicing in the potential for greener, safer, kinder spaces, others warn that such visions are blind to equity issues—especially if affordable housing is lacking.

Climate-Focused Green Banks Could Spur Sustainable Cities, Just Recovery

In an effort to help cities balance climate action with pandemic recovery, C40 Cities has released a guide to establishing local green banks as an equitable, resilient, and sustainable path to achieving both goals.

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Opens Canada’s Biggest Solar Farm

Invenergy’s 1.3-GW Solar Project is Biggest in U.S. History

Clean, Green California Still Allows Oil Drilling Next to Schools

Harper-Era Environment Minister Peter Kent to Quit Politics

PEI Gets Federal Boost to Buy 12 Electric School Buses

Ontario Power Generation Expands EV Charging Network

Restaurant Patio Heaters Drive Up Toronto GHGs by 0.2%

California to Buy Mobile Microgrids to Counter Utility Shutoffs

Iowa Utility Shuts 46 Wind Turbines for Review of Recent Blade Failures

Minnesota Coalition Flags Financial, Environmental Risks in New Gas Plant

Only 45 of Top 100 U.S. Cities Have Specific Carbon Targets

Botswana Sets Funding Scheme for Rooftop Solar

Hurricanes Will Reach Farther Inland Due to Climate Change

In Conversation: Local Climate Action Depends on Reaching Out to a Wider Community, Moffatt Says

Scott Moffatt has been an Ottawa city councillor since 2010 and became chair of the city’s Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management in 2018. In this feature interview, he talks about what it took to get the city’s Energy Evolution decarbonization strategy adopted by a disparate group of councillors, and how to turn ideas into action.

B.C. Leads, Alberta and Ontario Imperil National Results in Efficiency Canada’s Latest Provincial Scorecard

British Columbia maintained its lead as Canada’s top jurisdiction for energy efficiency in 2019, Saskatchewan came in last for a second year running, Prince Edward Island distinguished itself as most-improved province, and program cuts in Alberta and Ontario emerged as a serious threat, as Efficiency Canada released its second annual scorecard of provincial efficiency programs.

Sea Level Rise Requires ‘Equitable Retreat’ from Coastal Communities

As rising seas and fiercer storms make the coast an ever more tenuous place to live, policy-makers all over the world need to plan and fund a managed retreat to ensure that under-resourced populations are not forced to forfeit what little security and agency they possessed in their former homes.

Transit Authorities Across U.S. Face Pandemic-Driven Funding Crisis

Pandemic-struck New York City is pleading for emergency transit funding, with tens of billions in local GDP, hundreds of thousands of transit-dependent jobs, and the ongoing struggle for social justice all hanging in the balance. And with former commuters continuing to shun their service in droves, transit districts across the U.S. are facing the same crisis.

Banff–Calgary Passenger Rail Plan Draws Mixed Reviews

A C$1-billion-plus proposal to re-establish 130 kilometres of passenger rail service between Calgary and Banff is earning serious attention from both the provincial and federal levels. But local First Nations, those anxious to protect the fragile ecology of the Bow Valley, and even the Canadian Pacific Railway itself are yet to be convinced.

Alberta Youth Want Better Education on Climate Change, Survey Concludes

A recent survey by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education concludes that 61% of the province’s youth are worried about climate change, and 69% get anxious when they contemplate what they see as the competing needs of the economy and the environment. What’s needed to allay both worries is better education on climate change.

UBC Climate Hub: Finding Hope, Joy, and Community in the Climate Movement

You don’t have to look far to find dispiriting news about climate change these days, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by anxiety and grief. So how can we continue educating ourselves and taking action on climate when the planet’s outlook often looks so bleak? According to some inspiring young climate leaders, one answer is community.

Environmental Justice Campaigners Quit Advisory Body After Minnesota Approves Line 3 Pipeline

Pennsylvania/Maryland Utility to Shutter 3.6 GW of Coal Capacity by 2025

New Mexico Enforces Clean-Up Rules Before Oilfield Leases Expire

Texas Pipeliners Claim 238,000 Jobs Created Last Year

Solar+Storage to Power New Gold Mine in Mali

140-MW Wind Farm Goes Online in South Africa

Chinese Manufacturer Starts Work on 2-GW Solar-Wind-Battery Project in Upper Mongolia

UK Regions Compete for EV Battery Gigafactory

Marine Ports Vulnerable to Climate Impacts

Cyprus Needs Modernized Grid for Wind, Solar

Front-Line Communities Are Driving Force for Biden’s Climate Transformation, Salazar and Goloff Say

Adrien Salazar is Senior Campaign Strategist for Climate Equity at Dēmos, a U.S. racial and economic justice policy organization. Ben Goloff is Senior Climate Campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. In this feature interview, they talk about what the Biden-Harris administration can get done on climate, energy, and environmental justice, and how front-line communities across the United States put them in a position to make a difference.

Vancouver Passes $500-Million Climate Emergency Action Plan

If Vancouver’s newly-minted Climate Emergency Action Plan goes well, 2030 will find 80% of all trips within city limits occurring by foot, bike, or transit, embodied emissions in new buildings reduced by 40%, and 50% of all kilometres driven on city roads emitting zero greenhouse gases.

‘Scathing’ Auditor General’s Report Shows Ontario At Risk of Missing 2030 Carbon Targets

The Doug Ford government’s failure to make greenhouse gas reductions a “cross-government priority” has placed it at risk of missing its 2030 carbon targets, and Ontario has reached “surprising” levels of non-compliance with a decades-old requirement to consult the public on environmentally significant projects, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk warned Wednesday in her annual review of the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights.

Midwestern U.S. Mayors Launch $60-Billion Energy Transition Blueprint

Mayors in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia recently unveiled a US$60-billion Marshall Plan for Middle America, intended to accelerate a compassionate, equitable, just, and sustainable transition away from fossil fuels.

California Fracking Triggers Earthquakes Near San Andreas Fault

Scandal-Plagued U.S. Utility Touts Net Zero with No Clear Plan to Cut Coal

More Than 600 Million in Africa Lack Access to Electricity

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Example Builds Case for Chief Climate Officer for B.C.

Edmonton Offers Rebates for EV Fast Chargers

Canada Touts Investment in Nova Scotia Tidal Power

U.S. Philanthropies Invest in ‘Tough’ Climate Technologies

Last Coal Plant Shuts Down in Oregon

Philadelphia Cuts Fees, Red Tape for Solar Installers

Walmart Teams Up with Energy Consultants to Drive Supply Chain Emission Cuts

New South Wales Introduces Renewable Transition Plan

Abu Dhabi Funds 500-MW Solar Development in Sudan

Lithuania Lets Drivers Trade Clunkers for e-Scooters

Campaigners Protest Opening of Expanded Berlin Airport

Maritime Port Engineers Need Guidance on Sea Level Rise

Pandemic Has Homeowners Focusing on Energy Security

JPMorgan, Brookfield Plan 100% RE for 500 New York Offices

Trump Makes Last-Ditch Effort to Sell Drilling Rights in Arctic Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration is making a last-ditch effort to sell oil and gas drilling rights in Alaska’s environmentally fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before it hits its own best-before date January 20—despite the fierce local opposition any new projects will ignite, and some skepticism on whether cash-strapped fossils will be interested in the leases.

Quebec Green Plan Falls Far Short of 2030 Carbon Target, Analysts Say

The Quebec government may have nabbed some early headlines by tipping the centrepiece of its Green Economy Plan, a 2035 phaseout of internal combustion vehicle sales. But once the full strategy was released Monday, climate analysts and campaigners quickly concluded that it won’t meet the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Farmers Sue Alberta Fossil for Unpaid Oil Lease Rent

Put off by their tenant’s abrupt decision to cease making its lease payments, two Alberta farmers have launched what may become the first class action lawsuit against unpaid oil leases—a far too common practice that weighs heavily on the public purse, and on rural landowners’ finances.

Safety Issues, Cost Overruns Mean It’s Time to Cancel Site C Megadam, Dogwood Says

With its price nearly doubling, construction deadlines slipping, and serious geological challenges on the ground, BC Hydro’s plan to complete the Site C megadam on the Peace River may be slipping away, Dogwood B.C. warns in a recent blog post.

Cities, Transit Agencies Urge Federal Investment in Expanded Networks, Zero-Emission Fleets

Transit is having a moment toward the top of the agenda for economic recovery investment requests, with both the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and a national transit consortium urging Ottawa to make it a priority for federal spending.

UK Expected to Set 2030 Target to Ban Petrol, Diesel Vehicle Sales

Michigan, Missouri to Net Hundreds of Jobs from Ford EV Investment

Minnesota Permits Allow Line 3 Pipeline to Begin Construction

IESO Extends Deadline for Nation Rise Wind Farm Near Cornwall

Globe Editorial Connects Climate Crisis to Road Pricing, Sprawl

Storage Industry Sees Alberta Pilot Project as ‘Step in Right Direction’

Kingston-Area Entrepreneur Touts Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling

Iowa Utility Shuts Coal Plant, Builds Solar

Arizona Regulator Sets 2050 Carbon-Free Target for Utilities

Grid Limits Could Slow Maine’s Shift to Renewables

Las Vegas Fire Captain Teaches Solar, Battery Safety to First Responders

Singapore Aims for 1.5 GW New Solar by 2025

French Developer Starts Work on 41-MW Solar Plant in Mozambique