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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Virginia Governor Sets Sights on 100% RE by 2050

In Nunavut, Jobs Come as a Region Thaws

UK Needs Distance-Based Fees as EVs Drive Down Gas Tax Revenues

The United Kingdom stands to lose billions of pounds per year in gas tax revenues as drivers increasingly shift from internal combustion to electric vehicles.

New York Grid Looks to Carbon Pricing to Support Zero-Emission Target

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is looking to carbon pricing as an option to reduce the otherwise “astounding” cost of bringing the state’s electricity system to zero emissions by 2040, though it says it won’t take action without a go-ahead from Governor Andrew Cuomo and state stakeholders.

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

Colorado Utility Inks Landmark Deal to Shift Major Steel Plant from Coal to Solar

U.S. utility Xcel Energy has announced a landmark, US$250-million deal to replace coal-fired electricity with a 240-megawatt solar power plant to power a steel mill in Colorado.

Net Zero Buildings Would Save At Least 1.7 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Net Zero Buildings place #79 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, capable of sequestering 7.1 gigatons of carbon by 2050 if only 9.7% of new buildings hit the standard. Net zero designs, which enable a structure to generate as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, integrate multiple energy solutions, so Drawdown calculates their impact as a single system.

Weaver to Step Down Next Year as B.C. Green Leader

Manitoba Cancels Furnace Replacement Plan, Claims Commitment to Energy Efficiency

Ottawa YWCA Builds 50-Unit Affordable Housing Complex to Passive House Standard

Ontario Power Supply to Get ‘Dirtier’ as Nuclear Refits Trigger New Demand for Gas

Ontario’s electricity supply is about to get dirtier and more carbon-intensive, as the province begins burning more natural gas to replace electricity from nuclear power plants going offline for expensive overhauls.

U.S. Utility Aims to Save $600 Million Over 20 Years by Replacing Coal with Cheaper Renewables

Big U.S. utility PacifiCorp is laying out a strategy that relies heavily on solar, energy storage, and wind and speeds up the phaseout of its economically fragile coal plants in a new integrated resource plan (IRP) covering investments through 2038.

Pennsylvania Moves to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Pennsylvania is moving to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), making it the biggest carbon emitter in what would now become a nine-state market aimed at reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation across much of the northeastern United States.

Alberta On Track to Phase Out Coal by 2023, Prompting More Demand for Gas

California Plans 2.5-GW Power Buy to Address Looming Grid Shortage

Autonomous Urbanism Blueprint Shows How Cities Can Serve Everyone

Toronto Unanimously Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution, Still Rebuilds Major Highway

The City of Toronto unanimously adopted a climate emergency resolution Wednesday morning and reaffirmed its plan to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero before 2050.

Sea Level Rise, Severe Storm Surge Could Sever Nova Scotia’s Land Link to Canada

The 23-kilometre land link that connects Nova Scotia to the rest of Canada is at risk as climate change drives up sea levels and makes severe storms more frequent.

Energy Efficiency Day Generates Praise for State and Local Leaders, Promises to Do More

Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York took top billing, while Maryland won honours as the most-improved U.S. state, when the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released its 2019 50-state scorecard to coincide with Energy Efficiency Day October 2.

Longer-Distance Commuters More Likely to Vote Conservative

Canadians who commute longer distances are more likely to vote Conservative in this month’s federal election, according to a new Ipsos poll released this week.

B.C. Municipalities Face North-South Split on Climate Accountability Lawsuits

Warming Will Produce Rapid Sea Level Rise, Annual ‘100-Year’ Storms, Declining Fish Stocks, Shrinking Glaciers Without Fast Climate Action: IPCC

The world’s oceans will rise nearly one metre (three feet) by 2100, 100-year coastal storms and flooding will happen annually, fish stocks will see serious declines, snow and ice cover will diminish, and killer storms will get wetter and more powerful without fast action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, concludes the latest science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued last week after a contentious negotiating session in Monaco.

#ClimateStrike in Pictures: Quiet, Staid Ottawa Comes to Life

Angry. Joyous. Creative. Determined. Loud. Ottawa isn’t a town that usually comes out in large numbers for public marches. For #ClimateStrike September 27, 20,000 people had other ideas.

Election Roundup: Parties’ Promises, Fossils Collect Campaign Data, and Climate Protesters Tread Carefully

Week three of Canada’s federal election saw a flurry of climate, energy, and environment promises from the four national party leaders, coinciding with a major United Nations climate summit in New York, dozens of successful #ClimateStrike marches across the country, and the latest IPCC report laying out the devastating impacts the climate crisis is wreaking on the world’s oceans and ice cover.

All Eyes on 2020 After UN Climate (Action) Summit Fails to Deliver

The tepid results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit pointed to the need for political will to match the urgency of the climate crisis, the opportunities in climate solutions, and rising public demand that governments take action, E3G co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey writes for Climate Home News.

How Quebec’s Environmental Movement Keeps On Winning

California Governor Directs $700-Billion Pension Funds Toward Climate Targets

B.C. Wins Injunction Against Alberta Bill to Cut Oil Supplies

Whitehorse, Yukon Declares Climate Emergency

UN Climate Summit Falls Short as Major Emitters Fail to Commit

With 77 smaller countries pledging to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the world’s biggest emitters largely failing to step up, UN Secretary General António Guterres’ much-anticipated Climate Action Summit is being cast as a missed opportunity to gain ground in the fight to get the climate crisis under control.

New Alberta-New Brunswick Pipeline Proposal Aims to ‘Succeed Where Energy East Failed’

A Montreal-based company is proposing to build a C$23-billion pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick that it says can succeed where the controversial Energy East megaproject failed.

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

Calgary Chamber of Commerce President Pitches Fossils at UN Climate Action Summit

With delegates and protesters from around the world gathered to push toward faster, deeper greenhouse gas reductions, the president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce was at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York earlier this week to lobby for the Canadian fossil sector.

University of California System Dumps All Fossil Investments

The University of California system has decided to drop all fossil fuel investments from its US$13.4-billion endowment and its $70-billion pension fund.

High-Speed Rail Would Save 1.5 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

High-speed rail places #66 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. A global network of trains that travel at speeds of at least 220 kilometres per hour would cost close to US$1.3 trillion to install, but that budget would be almost entirely recouped over the lifetime of the infrastructure.

First Nations Buy 40% Stake in Alberta Transmission Line

New Hampshire Governor Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Global Electric Bus Buys to Triple by 2025

More Highways Mean More Congestion for Texas

Election Wrap: International Poll Flags Climate as Canadians’ Top Concern

As Canada’s federal election campaign entered its third week, a new international opinion poll identified climate change as Canadians’ leading concern, Green Party leader Elizabeth May promised to replace East Coast oil imports with domestic crude, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer pledged to fast-track new pipeline proposals directly to the Supreme Court.

Five Dead in Southeast Texas as Tropical Depression Imelda Dumps Up to 43 Inches of Rain

At least five people are dead in southeast Texas after Tropical Depression Imelda dropped up to 43 inches (1.1 metres) of rain on the region, becoming the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.

Falling Prices Force Medicine Hat to Shut 2,000 Gas Wells

Low global gas prices have prompted Medicine Hat, the southern Albertan community known as “The Gas City”, to permanently shut down 2,000 active gas wells and 100 jobs.

Toronto Mayor John Tory Says It’s Time to Declare Climate Emergency

San José Adopts Toughest Energy Building Code Among Large U.S. Cities

California Seeks to Reduce Wildfires with Home Battery Incentive

Latin America Turns to Electric Buses as it Urbanizes

‘Watershed Moment’ Begins as Millions Pour Into Streets to Demand Emergency Climate Action

High school and post-secondary students, employees, businesses, scientists, and city governments are all stepping up to take part in a global strike for climate action that could mark a turning point in the mounting campaign for faster, deeper reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that are feeding the climate crisis.

Ecojustice Threatens Legal Action Over Alberta’s ‘Foreign Interference’ Inquiry

Ecojustice is giving Alberta 30 days to respond to concerns about its C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign interference in the province’s fossil sector, asserting the probe is “unlawful and potentially unconstitutional” in its current form.

Energy Transition Plan Shows Nova Scotia Cutting Emissions 50%, Creating 15,000 Green Jobs by 2030

Supplying 90% of Nova Scotia’s electricity from renewable sources, cutting energy consumption in social housing 60%, tripling energy efficiency in the electricity sector, electrifying personal and public transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, and creating 15,000 green jobs are the key 2030 targets in a plan for the renewal of the province’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, released this week by the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.

Pollution Controls Will Decline as Alberta Shutters Monitoring Office, Ex-Official Warns

The former chief monitoring officer of Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is raising the alarm about the province’s decision last week to shutter the office and fold it into a new administrative structure, at the same curtailing its stand-alone climate change office, warning that the province’s monitoring of fossil-driven industrial pollution will continue to decline as a result.

Mississauga to Seek Public Input on 10-Year, $450-Million Climate Plan

The City of Mississauga is going out for public comment on its draft of a 10-year, C$450-million climate plan aimed at cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Minnesota Supreme Court Refuses Line 3 Review

Connecticut Governor Talks 2040 Deadline for 100% Carbon-Free Power

Seattle Considers Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings

U.S. Cities Adopt Stricter Building Codes

Squamish Nation Urges ‘Extensive and Deep’ Consultations as B.C. Court Sends Trans Mountain Back for Provincial Review

The Squamish Nation celebrated a limited victory yesterday in its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled the B.C. government must reassess its previous approval of the project based on changes to a federal regulatory review.

Greens Promise 60% Carbon Cut by 2030, Fossil Subsidy Phaseout in One Year

A 65% greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030, job transition programs for fossil workers, a ban on new pipelines, coal mining, and oil and gas drilling or mining, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies within a year are at the centre of the election platform released this week by the federal Green Party.

U.S. Aims to Strip California’s Right to Set Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standards

The Trump administration plans to follow through with an attempt to strip California of its hard-fought right to set tougher pollution control standards for cars and light trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing two senior government sources.

Alberta Looks for Advantage, But Oil Prices Recede Within Days of Saudi Drone Attack

Canada’s biggest oil refinery came in for some unwanted scrutiny and Alberta put itself forward as a more stable source of supply in the wake of the devastating drone strike on a Saudi oil production facility over the weekend. But within days of the attack, analysts were already talking down the impact the attack by Houthi rebels would have on global oil supplies or prices.

B.C. Greens’ Weaver Scales Back Work, Expects Full Recovery After Labyrinthitis Diagnosis

San Diego Utility Claims Solar Costs Drive Customer Rate Hike

Ottawa Looks at Economy-Wide Electrification to ‘Reduce or Eliminate’ Fossil Fuel Use

The federal government has issued a call for consulting proposals to study how widespread electrification can “reduce or eliminate” fossil fuel use across the economy.

Carbon Tax May Fail as Election Controversy with Gasoline Prices Holding Steady

While federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer may have hopes of turning the Liberal government’s carbon tax into an election issue, it’ll be hard to make the argument stick if actual gasoline prices aren’t cooperating, columnist Kelly McParland argues in the National Post.

Atlantic Canada Rethinks Infrastructure, Tree Planting to Prepare for More Frequent, Severe Storms

A steady stream of hurricane-force storms has Atlantic Canada rethinking its approach to electricity grids, shoreline defences, and even tree planting, while insurance companies brace themselves for damage claims that are set to double every five to seven years.

Researchers, Companies Look at Flash-Chargers for Electric Buses, Solar Cars that Need No Charging

A Swiss-Swedish automation company, a Japanese automaker, and an e-bus manufacturer in China are all reporting new developments in the race develop rapid recharging technologies for vehicles.

‘Time to Pull the Plug’: Report Shows Construction Delays, Safety Issues Delaying Trans Mountain, Making Pipeline a Financial Loser

Construction challenges, steadfast opposition from landowners along the route, shocking safety and health risks at two tank farms, and the looming risk of construction “man camps” near B.C. Indigenous communities all call into question the federal government’s stated belief that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will open on schedule in 2022, Vancouver-based Stand.earth concludes in a blockbuster report released Wednesday.
The resulting delays could boost the project’s completion costs, undercutting its financial viability and turning the now publicly-owned pipeline megaproject into a “white elephant”, Stand says.

Kenney’s ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe Draws Criticism from All Sides

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is under fire from all sides, after unveiling details of a taxpayer-funded investigation of supposed foreign-funded pipeline opposition that includes an email “snitch line” for Albertans to report allegedly “un-Albertan” activities by their neighbours.

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

Horgan, Trudeau Accused of ‘Greenwashing’ Methane with Support for B.C. LNG

The British Columbia and federal governments are being accused of greenwashing the climate-busting methane emissions behind the province’s widely-touted liquefied natural gas expansion, with B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver—whose three-member legislative caucus is keeping Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats in power—comparing efforts to electrify LNG production to “putting lipstick on a pig”.

Cut Energy Waste to Prevent Three New Gas Plants, Michigan Utility CEO Urges Consumers

A Michigan power utility is turning to its customers for reductions in energy demand that will help it keep its promise not to build any more natural gas plants.

South Carolina Utility Pushes Toward Shutting Down Coal

Adaptation Efforts Need $1.8 Trillion by 2030 to Avert ‘Climate Apartheid’

Countries must invest US$1.8 trillion in climate adaptation funding by 2030 to prevent a world of “climate apartheid”, in which the wealthiest pay to protect themselves from sea level rise and mounting food shortages while everyone else suffers.

Trump’s Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $14 Billion Per Year

In what one major business-environment coalition is calling an “unforced error”, the Trump administration is moving to weaken a George W. Bush-era light bulb efficiency standard that dates back to 2007, was due to take effect in the new year, and would save enough electricity to power every home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Oxford Properties Plans One Million Square Feet of Rooftop Solar by 2022

One of Canada’s biggest commercial real estate companies, Oxford Properties, is planning to install a million square feet (92,900 square metres) of rooftop solar panels on its retail and industrial properties across North America by 2022.

Large Methane Digesters Would Save 8.4 Gigatons of Carbon Equivalent by 2050

rge methane digesters rank #30 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 gigatons by 2050. They operate at less cost than the conventional coal and natural gas power plants they replace, and would produce an estimated US$148.83 billion in savings over 30 years.

Montreal North Shore Nets $50M in Federal Flood Prevention Funds

Air Monitoring Shows Benzene Spikes as South Porland Worries About Oil Storage Tanks

Chicago Startup Pitches Clean Energy for Affordable Housing

Trans Mountain Wouldn’t Respond Fast Enough to Burnaby Mountain Tank Farm Fire, Federal Regulator Concludes

Trans Mountain Corporation won’t be able to respond fast enough if one of the bitumen storage tanks in its massive Burnaby Mountain tank farm boils over and spills, according to an audit completed in May by the National Energy Board, before it was replaced by the new Canada Energy Regulator.

‘Cruel Parody of Anti-Trust Enforcement’ as Trump Justice Department Probes Automakers’ Emissions Deal with California

In what a New York Times editorial calls a “cruel parody of anti-trust enforcement”, the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation after four major automakers embarrassed Donald Trump by striking a deal with California to boost their vehicles’ fuel efficiency and reduce their tailpipe emissions.

New U.S. Subdivision Will Have Battery Storage Throughout

California Looks to 2020 as Breakout Year to Decarbonize Buildings

Waste Heat from London Underground to Warm Hundreds of Homes

Phoenix Transit Faces Decision Time in America’s ‘Least Sustainable City’

NY Researchers Look at Mass-Hacking Risk in EV Chargers

Civil Liberties Lawsuit Says Ontario’s ‘Sticker Act’ Violates Free Speech Guarantees

The Ontario government is violating free speech provisions in the Canadian Constitution by forcing gas stations to display its propaganda stickers opposing the federal carbon tax, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association contends in a lawsuit filed this week.

Scotland Lays Out Net-Zero Emissions Plan, Draws Fire for Continuing Embrace of Offshore Fossils

The Scottish government has outlined plans to make its 2045 zero emissions target a “centrepiece” of its program and “lay the foundations for a new Scottish Green Deal”. But at least one major environmental group is pointing to the “obvious contradiction” in the country’s continuing embrace of its offshore oil and gas industry, Global Citizen reports.

Copenhagen Sets a Global Standard with 2025 Carbon Neutrality Goal

A vision of a “five-minute city”, restrictions on polluting cars, an awesomely effective transit system, and a shift to renewable energy are centrepieces of the effort to make bicycle-friendly Copenhagen a carbon-neutral city, a couple of decades ahead of most other leading municipalities and just a dozen years after it first set its 2025 target.

Queensland Extinguishes Aboriginal Title to Allow Construction of Adani Coal Mine

The state government in Queensland, Australia has gone to the extraordinary length of extinguishing Aboriginal title over 1,385 hectares of land to permit construction of the mammoth Adani coal mine, even as financial analysis concludes the project would be “unbankable and unviable” without billions of dollars in subsidies.

One-Third of Fort McMurray High Schoolers Show Signs of PTSD

More than one-third of high school students in Fort McMurray are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), three years after the wildfire known as The Beast tore through their home town and forced many of them to escape by road through a wall of surrounding flames.

Trump Moves to Roll Back Protections for World’s Largest Intact Temperate Rainforest

Donald Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are planning to roll back Bill Clinton-era logging restrictions in Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre/6.75-million-hectare Tongass National Forest, exposing more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest to logging, fossil, and mining projects.

Lobbyists Ghost-Write Politicians’ Support on Colorado Gas Project

Michigan Farmers Look to Solar as New Cash Crop

Wisconsin Governor Orders Carbon-Free Grid by 2050

Bahamas Devastated by Hurricane Dorian as Storm Shifts to Florida Coast

After stalling for 36 hours over parts of the Bahamas and leaving mind-boggling destruction and devastation in its wake, Hurricane Dorian is on the move as a Category 2 storm and began hitting Florida’s east coast with 110-mile/177-kilometre-per-hour winds Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Alberta Solar Developer Catches International Eye with 600-MW Project, Canada’s Biggest Ever

Southern Alberta is drawing international attention after the province approved Canada’s biggest-ever solar-electric installation, the 600-megawatt, privately-financed Travers Solar project in Vulcan County.

B.C., Ottawa Get Mixed Reviews with LNG-Fracking Industry Electrification Plan

The federal and British Columbia governments are getting mixed reviews for their plan to partly decarbonize the province’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by electrifying upstream fracking operations.

Sticker Campaign Counters Ontario Carbon Tax Propaganda as Ford Government Launches Supreme Court Challenge

A new non-partisan volunteer group in Ontario is handing out free pro-carbon-tax stickers to counter the mandatory propaganda campaign mounted earlier this year by the province, just as the Ford government announced it would appeal a court ruling that the federal carbon tax is permitted under the Canadian Constitution.

PEI Steps Away from Supreme Court Carbon Tax Challenge

Green Builders Call for New Investment in 2020 Federal Budget

York Region Demonstrates Ontario’s First Local Electricity Market

Ontario Government Lays Groundwork to Abandon Legal Fight Against Federal Carbon Tax

Less than two months after a landmark Ontario Court of Appeals ruling upheld the federal carbon tax, Premier Doug Ford may be preparing the ground to abandon his much-publicized court challenge against the program.

Automakers Side with California Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Major automakers are siding with California against the Trump administration’s push to roll back Obama-era vehicle efficiency standards, as they scramble to dodge years of court battles and regulatory uncertainty and bolster their public credibility in the face of a mounting climate crisis.

Tesla Reboots Lagging Solar Rental Business as Walmart Sues Over Rooftop Panel Fires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to reboot his company’s lagging solar division by offering rooftop panels for rent in six U.S. states, just days before Walmart filed a lawsuit over seven fires it linked to Tesla rooftop installations between 2012 and 2018.

Federal Rebate Needed to Prevent Canada from ‘Missing the Bus’ on Electrified Transit

If Canada wants transit agencies to buy more electric buses, it should introduce the kind of simple, predictable, easily accessible funding that is jump-starting adoption of electric vehicles, Fernando Melo of Clean Energy Canada and Robert Parsons of the University of Manitoba argue in a post for Policy Options.

New Approach to Geothermal Requires No Fracking or Water, Produces No GHG Emissions

A first-of-its-kind approach to geothermal energy that uses no fracking or water and produces no greenhouse gas emissions is turning heads in central Alberta, where Calgary-based Eavor Technologies is building a C$10-million pilot plant.

Microgrids Can Deliver Decentralized Power, Boost Renewable Energy Use and Improve Public Health

Microgrids come in at #78 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Defined as locally-managed electricity generation systems, microgrids can be powered by renewable resources like micro-wind, solar power, in-stream hydro, and biomass energy—whatever resources are available. Drawdown doesn’t quantify the carbon reduction value of microgrids independently, but includes their positive impact in its calculations for each energy source.

Quebec Court Leaves Door Open for Climate Litigation

Lawsuits Begin After Trump Attack on U.S. Endangered Species Act

Hot on the heels of the Trump administration’s decision to aggressively weaken the nation’s highly effective Endangered Species Act, eight environmental organizations have launched a legal challenge, citing multiple violations of due process as well as a fundamental breach in the enshrined federal duty to protect America’s wildlife.

Bold Nebraska, Ponca Tribe Undeterred as State Supreme Court Approves Keystone XL Route

Bold Nebraska, Nebraska landowners, and tribal nations are vowing to carry on their fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, after the state Supreme Court upheld a November, 2017 route approval by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC).

Newfoundland Regulator Takes Notice as Latest Offshore Oil Spill Points to Continuing Risk

The latest in a series of offshore oil spills has roused the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to express some displeasure at fossils’ ability to meet their obligations for environmental protection.

Jaccard: Scheer Climate Plan Would Put Canada 100 Megatonnes Farther Behind Its Paris Target

Equipped with neither a carbon price nor meaningful regulation, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s proposed climate plan would ultimately find Canada’s emissions 100 megatonnes higher by 2030 than they would be under the Liberal Party’s existing strategy, writes climate and sustainability expert Mark Jaccard.

California Cuts Carbon Even Faster Than Ambitious State Mandate

California is cutting its greenhouse gas emissions even faster than state regulations require, and produced more electricity from renewable energy than from fossil fuels for the first time in 2017, according to data released earlier this month.

‘Flight Shame’ Produces Uptick in European Train Travel

The desire to lead “climate-friendlier lives”—an impulse driven by a mixture of shame and anxiety—is one of the reasons more and more young Europeans are choosing trains over planes as their mode of travel around the continent. (The ever-escalating hassle of flying coach is another.)

Mayor of Impoverished French Town Combines Green Strategy with Social Supports

Undaunted by 28% unemployment, and the fact that Marie Le Pen’s xenophobic National Rally party continues to appeal to a majority of his constituents, the Green Party mayor of an impoverished coastal town near Calais is determined to prove that strong environmental policy means a better life for working people.

Climate Brings New Urgency to Resilience Discussions in Detroit

Whitby, Ontario Pilot Project Turns Plastic to Diesel

California Utility Forms Astroturf Group to Fight Climate Action

Ohio Nuclear Bailout Allows Utility to Cancel Union Contracts

E-Bikes Deliver as Much Exercise as Regular Pedal Power

Coastal GasLink Asks First Nations to Squelch Community Opposition as NEB Rules Against Federal Review

Just two weeks after Canada’s National Energy Board rejected calls for it to review the contested Coastal GasLink shale gas pipeline, a First Nation in northeast British Columbia revealed the company behind the project tried to pressure it to squelch community opposition to the project.

Bankrupt California Utility Will Still Honour $42 Billion in Solar, Wind Contracts

There were sighs of relief in California earlier this month, after utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed it will honour all its contracts with renewable energy providers as it goes through bankruptcy reorganization.

Report Cites Nuclear as Seven Decades of Economic Ruin

UK Tries ‘Sandscaping’ to Save Coastal Homes

Blockbuster News Investigation Reveals ‘Culture of Silence’ in Fossil Health and Safety Violations

National Observer and Global News are out with a blockbuster investigative report that alleges potentially deadly health and safety problems in the western Canadian oilpatch, driven by a pervasive “culture of silence” in which accident reports are falsified, would-be whistleblowers are at risk of being fired and ostracized, and not a single fossil in Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever been charged or penalized for filing deliberately misleading paperwork.

Lac-Mégantic Rail Line Faced ‘Several Urgent’ Issues in May, 2019 Transport Canada Inspection

The rail line that runs through Lac-Mégantic, the Québec community whose downtown was incinerated by a runaway oil train that killed 47 people in 2013, faces “several urgent” issues, according to a May, 2019 inspection report issued by Transport Canada and obtained by CBC.

Climate Change Makes Record-High Great Lakes Water Levels the ‘Evolving Normal’

Climate change is a “deciding factor” in this summer’s record high water levels on the Great Lakes, CTV News reported earlier this month, citing climate adaptation specialist Blair Feltmate of the University of Waterloo.

Falling Short on Climate Target, Edmonton Plans Suite of New Carbon Reduction Programs

Faced with a shortfall between his city’s carbon reduction target and its climate programming, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is vowing to do better.

Corporate Renewable Energy Buys Could Set All-Time Record in 2019

Corporate renewable energy purchases are on track to set another all-time record in 2019, with the United States still driving a strong growth trend and China moving toward a more prominent role.

Free Speech at Risk, Fossil Lobbyist Touts Success as Nine U.S. States Declare Pipeline Protest a Felony

Campaign groups and constitutional lawyers are raising concerns about free speech and a fossil lobbyist is bragging about his success, after nine U.S. states adopted laws at the behest of the fossil and chemical industries that make it a felony to engage in peaceful anti-pipeline protests.

Trudeau Announces $1.2 Billion for Transit in Quebec City

80-MW Solar Cancellation Raises Issues with North Carolina Grid Monopoly

Alberta Loses 14,300 Jobs in July Despite Corporate Tax Cut, Profitable Fossils

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage is declaring herself “disappointed” that her province lost 14,300 jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate up to 7%, in spite of healthy second-quarter fossil profits driven up by a 1% corporate tax cut introduced by Savage’s boss, Premier Jason Kenney.

22 U.S. States, Seven Cities Challenge Trump Rollback of Obama Clean Power Plan

Twenty-two U.S. states and seven cities went to court last week, trying to block the Trump administration from rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal-fired electricity under the Clean Power Plan.

Pipeline Opponent Sees Fossil Subsidies Campaign as Latest Front Against Trans Mountain

A new campaign against the fossil fuel subsidies on which projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion depend is just the latest front in a fight against the pipeline that is far from over, writes Robert Hackett, professor emeritus of communications at Simon Fraser University and co-director of NewsWatch Canada, in an opinion piece for National Observer.

Power Prices Hit $9,000/MWh as Texas Grid Declares First Supply Emergency Since 2014

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued its first emergency alert since January 2014, after record demand driven by a summer heat wave last week pushed electricity prices above $9,000 per megawatt-hour and reduced the sprawling state’s electricity reserves from at least 3,000 to less than 2,300 MW.

Living Buildings Would Revitalize the Environment, Build Community

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

Edmonton Increases Solar Rebate to Make Up for Stalled Provincial Program

Nuclear Refurbishments Forced Ontario to Buy New Gas Plants

B.C. Actively Promotes Fracking Boom as New Study Reaffirms Climate Impact

British Columbia is taking heat from two different news outlets for its avid support of natural gas fracking to feed its liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom, just as a new study reasserts the connection between fracking and a continuing increase in climate-busting methane emissions.

Exxon Accused of Pressuring Witnesses in NY Fraud Case, Disappoints Investors with Latest Financial Results

ExxonMobil faced accusations last week that it pressured possible witnesses in a climate fraud case brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, just as analysts pointed to continuing business challenges in the colossal fossil’s earnings report for the second three months of 2019.

Water Shortages in 17 Countries Put One-Quarter of Global Population at Risk

From India to Iran to Botswana, the New York Times is out with text and graphics that illustrate the 17 countries, home to one-quarter of the world’s population, that are at increasingly urgent risk of running out of water, according to new data from the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Solar Price Beats Grid Electricity in Every City Across China

Subsidy-free solar is now less expensive than grid electricity in virtually every city across China, according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Energy.

Hyperloop Could Cut Travellers’ Transportation Emissions by 90 to 95%

Drawdown lists the Hyperloop as a Coming Attraction—a climate solution in development that is not yet ready for prime time, but might be by mid-century.

Alberta Reviews Prevention, Response in Wake of ‘Massive’ Wildfire Season

B.C. Transit Shifting to Electric Bus Fleet

New York Officials Tour Quebec Cree Territory Before Deciding on New Hydro Project

Georgia State Regulators Mandate 2.2 GW of New Solar by 2024

‘Stunning’ Poll Results Show Canadian Public ‘Ahead of Our Politics’ on Climate Action

Two-thirds to 84% of Canadians would accept bold measures to address climate change, more than four-fifths see the climate crisis as a serious problem, 47% consider it extremely serious, and one in four “report thinking about climate change often and are getting really anxious about it,” according to a new Abacus Data poll commissioned by Seth Klein, an adjunct professor of urban studies at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.

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

Greens Unveil Job Transition Plan for Fossil Fuel Work Force

With the federal election campaign about to hit high gear, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Vancouver last week to unveil a plan to extend the federal government’s existing job transition plan for coal workers to oil and gas.

Alberta Efficiency Programs Cut GHGs by 5.7 Megatonnes, Save $692 Million Over Two Years

Energy Efficiency Alberta is earning praise at the national level, even as it faces an uncertain future in its home province, after reporting C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions over its first two years of operation.

Ecofiscal Commission Cites Six Places Where Carbon Price is Working

Decentralized Wind Builds Local Power in Denmark, Scotland

Berkeley Bans New Natural Gas Hook-Ups

California Mandates Zero-Emission Buses at Biggest Airports

Babies with Congenital Heart Disease More Likely Near Active Oil and Gas Sites

Mothers living near active oil and gas sites in Colorado are 40 to 70% are more likely to give birth to babies with congenital heart defects (CHDs) compared to their counterparts in areas with less intensive fossil development, researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health conclude in a study published last week in the journal Environment International.

Global Water Crisis Requires Local Solutions, Not More Megaprojects

Human-scale water conservation methods, both ancient and modern, not big-budget, Delhi-directed megaprojects, will be critical to helping India survive and gain resilience as monsoon rains fail and temperatures rise, says journalist and environmental activist Meera Subramanian.

Vrooman: EV Infrastructure, Better Buildings Data Would Unlock Progress Toward Decarbonization

In an exclusive interview with The Energy Mix, Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union, talked about the next steps the federal government could take down the road toward decarbonization, after getting at the short-term wins that she and Steven Guilbeault of Montreal looked into as co-chairs of the federal Advisory Council on Climate Action.

Republican States Lead the Transition as U.S. Regulators Push Renewables Over Coal, Natural Gas

Alert to the steadily improving economics of wind and solar—and growing ever more wary of natural gas investments becoming stranded on the fossil slag heap—U.S. state regulators are increasingly pushing utilities towards renewables, with Republican states leading the transition.

Britain’s First-Ever Citizens’ Climate Assembly Generates 600 Ideas, Demands Local Government Action

In Britain’s first-ever citizens’ assembly on climate change, participants convened by Camden council in north London came up with rooftop solar, cutting fossil fuels out of local government developments, and 15 other steps their community could take to cut emissions and boost sustainability.

Local Naturalist Blames Climate Change, Human Activity for Steep Drop in Alberta Bird Populations

Alberta bird populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years, and a Calgary naturalist and citizen scientist is blaming a combination of human activity and climate change.

RMI Cites Shenzen as ‘Miles-Ahead’ EV Pace-Setter

BREAKING: Greens Would Support Conservative Minority Government that Got Serious About Climate

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would work with any other party in a minority Parliament with a serious climate plan—and even thinks she could influence Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives to drop their crusade against carbon pricing “if it means the difference for them between governing or spending more time in opposition,” The Canadian Press is reporting today.

India Renewables Capacity On Track to Overshoot Paris Target by 60%

India is on track to overshoot a key Paris Agreement target by nearly 60% by obtaining close to two-thirds of its installed electricity capacity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report from the country’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Campaign Roundup: Pre-Election Advertising, Carbon Tax Politics, Kenney Makes Trudeau Look Good, and the Prospect of a Coalition Government

With the federal election less than 100 days away, news reports last week focused on the financial action around the upcoming campaign, provinces’ mixed reaction to programs the Trudeau government wants to fund out of carbon tax revenue, the possibility of extreme fossil ideology uniting Canadians behind a more moderate alternative, and the prospects for a Liberal-Green-NDP coalition that would truly be those ideologues’ worst nightmare.

Canada’s Approach to Trans Mountain Violates International Law, Washington State’s Lummi Nation Asserts

Canada is violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and sidestepping international environmental law in its handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and a proposed three-berth marine container terminal south of Vancouver, contends the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state, in a letter this week to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

New Canadian Association Builds Energy Efficiency’s Profile, Beginning with the Industry Itself

With a national think tank positioning energy efficiency as a kind of “all-of-the-above” strategy to deliver lower home energy bills, boost business productivity, and cut pollution, the industry’s newly-minted trade association is embarking on an initial campaign to help energy efficiency companies and professionals see their own place in the sector.

Minnesota Sees Energy Storage Competing Against Natural Gas Peaker Plants

Minnesota is the latest U.S. state to consider grid-scale storage as a possible alternative to natural gas peaker plants, under a new state law that requires power companies to include storage in their long-range plans.

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Biggest-Ever Renewables Procurement Makes New York a U.S. ‘Epicentre’ for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind developers Ørsted and Equinor and industrial workers along the eastern United States coast were the biggest winners last week as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced contracts for 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind while signing his state’s Green New Deal into law.

Household Recycling Would Save 2.77 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Household recycling ranks #55 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It could eliminate 2.77 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions at a net cost of US$366.9 billion, while producing net savings of $71.1 billion.

Michigan State Touts New Transparent Solar Panel

Alberta Fossil Spills 320,000 Litres of Crude Oil, ‘Produced’ Water

U.S. Study Endorses Vancouver-Seattle-Portland High-Speed Rail

BREAKING: Trump Abandons Fast-Tracked Fuel Efficiency Rollback as 2020 Election Deadline Approaches

The Trump administration is abandoning its accelerated timeline for rolling back the tougher fuel efficiency standards adopted under President Barack Obama, making it virtually certain the inevitable court challenges to the deregulatory push will be heard after 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

2.0°C Would Bring ‘Profound Climate Shifts’ to Every City in the World

Virtually 100% of all global cities will experience profound shifts in climate by 2050 if average global warming reaches 2.0°C, with 77% on track to experience the temperature and rainfall patterns now associated with equatorial regions and 22% projected to suffer conditions never before seen in any city on Earth, says a new study.

Two Million People Lose Access to Water as Drought, Dam Management Problems Hit Harare

Only about half of the 4.5 million people living in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare and four satellite towns have access to municipal water supplies, with some suburbs going weeks without water and reported cases of typhoid beginning to emerge, Climate Home News reports.

Canada-Wide Survey Finds Broad Support for Single, National Policy on Climate

Even in the country that is the developed world’s most decentralized federation, and in spite of the tendency in some regions to trust provinces rather than the federal government to set energy policy, a comprehensive survey of Canadians’ attitudes to federalism has detected strong support in almost every province for a single, national climate policy.

Majority of Canadians Support Single-Use Plastic Ban

More than four in five Canadians support or somewhat support a ban on single-use plastics, and most would be willing to pay a little bit extra for more environmentally sustainable products, according to a new survey released this week by Nanos Research.

Utility Safety Outages in California, Nevada Boost Interest in Solar and Storage

With utilities in two southern U.S. states resorting to planned outages to stop their equipment from sparking wildfires during dry, windy conditions, power users are looking for more reliable electricity—and solar and storage battery providers are stepping up to respond.

70% of Americans Want National Rooftop Solar Mandate

A year after California became the first state to mandate rooftop solar on all new homes, a nationally representative survey by CITE Research has found that 70% of Americans would like to see the same policy in place across the country.

Chevron Gets Two-Month Oil Spill Under Control After California Orders Action

Two months and 800,000 gallons (three million litres) of crude oil-contaminated water later, Chevron Corporation has been ordered by California officials “to take all measures” to shut down an oil spill into a dry creek bed in Kern County and prevent any and all future disasters.

Decentralized Renewables Create Jobs, Boost Economic Activity in India, Kenya, Nigeria

Off-grid energy systems already employ as many people as centralized utilities in India, Kenya, and Nigeria, and that total is expected to more than double by 2022-23, Power for All reports in its first-ever census of employment in rural electrification.

Pieridae Delays Nova Scotia LNG Decision While Chevron Unveils New Plans in B.C.

Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Inc., the company behind the C$10-billion Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, has postponed the go/no-go decision on its investment by a year.

COSIA Steps Up Effort to Brand Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Cleantech Innovator

With a new CEO set to take over August 6, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is about to double down on its effort to brand the tar sands/oil sands industry as a clean technology leader.

Replacing Cotton with Industrial Hemp Could Reduce Demand for World’s ‘Dirtiest Crop’

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

Quebec Youth Vow Appeal After Judge Rules Against Class Action

Nova Scotia Approves Bay of Fundy Tidal Project

New Brunswick’s Higgs Pushes for National Energy Corridor

New Orleans Catches a Break as Hurricane Barry Weakens to Tropical Depression

New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and other Louisiana communities caught a break over the weekend as Barry, the first named storm of the 2019 season, briefly came ashore as a hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm, then a tropical depression.

CBC: Climate Action Costs Less, Delivers More Side Benefits Than Estimates Usually Assume

Reversing the climate crisis will cost less and deliver more positive impacts than most estimates usually assume, and that gap in analysis is shaping up as a barrier to climate action, CBC reported last week, as part of its In Your Backyard climate series.

Nearly Two Dozen States Back California Fuel Economy Rule as White House Prepares to Finalize Rollback

Governors from 22 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico, including at least three Republicans, are urging the White House to adopt tougher fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, contending that consumers, automakers, and the environment will all suffer from Donald Trump’s determined effort to roll those standards back.

New Investment, Demand from New Data Centre Make Georgia a Hot U.S. Market for Solar

The southeastern U.S. state of Georgia has emerged as the country’s hottest new market for solar, driven largely by data centre demand from tech giant Facebook and regional reaction to the punishing, 30% tariff the Trump administration imposed on solar components from China in 2018.

Prefab Passive Solar Offers Simpler, Faster Construction, Healthier Homes, Lower Emissions

With prefabricated housing gradually gaining ground in North America, Canada is beginning to see a small surge in the number of companies producing prefab, high-performance wall panels for passive solar homes.

Building with Wood Could Sequester Carbon, Produce Fewer Emissions Than Concrete

Building with wood is making a comeback, and is included in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” as a decarbonization option that hasn’t yet hit the mainstream, but could be a part of a wider set of post-carbon solutions by 2050.

Alberta Consults Fossils on Plan to Loosen Regulations, Lower Taxes

Ontario’s New Environment Commissioner Wins Rave Reviews

Transit Agencies Fail to Report, Take Action on Sexual Violence

Toronto, Hamilton Get Federal Dollars for Apartment Building Retrofits

Climate Making Some Homes Uninsurable

Summerside, PEI Puts Demand-Side Management Ahead of New Diesel Plant

New Orleans Already Flooding as Tropical Storm Barry Nears Louisiana

Ontario Township Aims for Net Zero

BC Hydro Study Probes E-Bus Role in Renewable Grid

New York Looks to Infamous Rikers Prison as Future Solar Site

Florida Utility Prevents Residents from Maximizing Rooftop Solar

Saulteau First Nation Deploys Sheep to Protect Tree Seedlings Without Chemical Sprays

Scheer Vows to Scrap Federal Clean Fuel Standard

Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is vowing to scrap a key element of the Trudeau Liberals’ climate agenda, its yet-to-be-finalized clean fuel standard, if he forms a government after the federal election this fall.

UN Stresses Adaptation Funding as Frequency of Global Climate Disasters Hits One Per Week

The frequency of major climate disasters has reached one per week around the world, a top United Nations official warns, in a new report that calls for developing countries to prepare now for the “profound impact” they will continue to face.

Buildings, Coastlines, Northern Communities Face Worst Climate Impacts

Buildings, coastlines, and Northern communities in Canada face the most serious risks from climate change, according to a new report produced for the federal Treasury Board by the Council of Canadian Academies.

Anti-Carbon Tax Text Messages Don’t Conflict with Elections Canada Rules

Propaganda by automated text message appears to be the favoured modus operandi of a newly-minted lobby group pushing opposition to the federal carbon tax—possibly because Elections Canada guidelines do not currently require the third parties behind such communications to disclose their finances.

Utility Sees 14 GW of New Solar Capacity Attracting Investors, Data Centres to U.S. Southeast

The mammoth Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to add up to 14 gigawatts (14 billion watts) of new solar capacity and five GW of storage by 2038, in a bid to draw business investors and data centres to the southeastern United States.

Forest Herbicides, Monocultures Drive Wildfires, Harm Wild Species

Forest companies using herbicides and mechanical removal methods to eradicate aspen from the spruce and pine crops they want to harvest are depriving moose of a winter food source and making wildfires more likely in Alberta forests, the Edmonton Journal reports.

Pact for a Green New Deal Holds 150 Town Halls, Reaches 7,000 Canadians in Two Months

wo months after a diverse collection of Indigenous, civil society, environmental, and labour groups launched the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, organizers have issued a report summarizing key recommendations submitted to date by thousands of interested citizens.

Trudeau Offers Dollars for Montreal Subway Expansion First Proposed in 1979

Ottawa, PEI Earmark $14.5 Million for Climate Adaptation Centre

Minnesota Extends PACE Financing to New Construction

Alberta Launches $2.5-Million ‘Show Trial’ Against Tar Sands/Oil Sands Opponents

Albertans will shell out C$2.5 million in hard-earned tax dollars over the next year for Jason Kenney’s provincial inquiry into the supposed “foreign-funded special interests” undermining the province’s tar sands/oil sands industry.

Montreal Boosts Heat Relief for At-Risk Populations While Toronto Cuts Back

Eastern Canada’s two biggest cities have unveiled contrasting approaches as the summer heat wave season looms: while Montreal is making a renewed effort to protect vulnerable populations, Toronto is raising concerns that it is cutting back access to life-saving cooling centres.

Physical, Psychological Stress of Annual Wildfires Has Westerners Moving East

Made physically and psychologically ill by choking smoke from wildfires that grow ever more commonplace as the climate crisis escalates, more and more western Canadians are grimly choosing the painful social and economic costs of relocating over the toxic toll of remaining.

Parks Canada Tries to Duck Climate Reality After Warming Threatens Alberta Historic Site

When a near century-old alpine hut high in the Rockies was precipitously threatened by thawing permafrost last August, Parks Canada struggled with just how much to publicly link the event to climate change—a poor decision, say those urging straight talk on the growing crisis.

Alberta Towns, Utility Embrace Solar as ‘the Business of the Future’

Undaunted by a premier avowedly hostile to renewable energy, communities across Alberta are embracing solar electricity as good business, with the small southern town of Raymond determined to be the first in Canada to power itself entirely by the sun.

Ottawa-Area Solar Farm Uses Sheep for Herbicide-Free Weed Control

Two years after a family of Ottawa Valley sheep farmers partnered with French-owned EDF Renewables on a “vegetation abatement” pilot, their herd has grown, they have a significant secondary source of income, and EDF has secured a herbicide-free way to keep over-enthusiastic weeds from overtaking its solar arrays.

Weekday Car Ban in Paris Hits Nearly Three Million Vehicles

Research Finds Bike Lanes Boost Retail Sales, Home Values

Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing

While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Federal Carbon Tax

The Doug Ford government will be looking for a hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 last Friday that the federal government had the constitutional authority to introduce its national carbon pricing plan.

Michigan Attorney General Sues Enbridge to Shut 66-Year-Old Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., demanding the company shut down the 66-year-old Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

New York Becomes Biggest City Ever to Declare Climate Emergency

Feds Announce $3.2M in Coal Transition Support for Edmonton-Area Counties

Ottawa Announces First Low-Carbon Cities Grant in Toronto

Canada Joins California on Tailpipe Emissions Standard, Clean Vehicle Development

Canada is aligning its automobile tailpipe emissions standard with California and will work with the most populous U.S. state to promote cleaner-running vehicles, under a new agreement that puts the country onside against the Trump administration’s attempt to roll back fuel efficiency targets introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012.

GE Shuts California Gas Plant 20 Years Early, Sells Site to Battery Storage Provider

General Electric plans to close and demolish a 750-megawatt natural gas power plant in California 20 years ahead of schedule, after concluding it can’t compete with inexpensive solar- and wind-generated electricity.

Analyst Sees Next Opportunity for U.S. Pipeliners in Contaminated Fracking Water

Having done their very best to boost an oil and gas fracking industry that leaves behind massive quantities of contaminated water, U.S. pipeline companies are looking to their next big business opportunity in hauling that water.

Richmond, B.C. Council Votes to Hold Fossils Accountable for Climate Impacts

B.C. Suddenly Slashes EV Rebate

Quebec Overhauls, Renames $1.3-Billion Green Fund

Alberta Offers Fossils 10-Year Guarantee of Low Royalty Rates

C40 Cities Links Urban Consumption to Rising Emissions

Morneau Delivers $275 Million in New Subsidies for LNG Canada Megaproject

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was in Kitimat, British Columbia Monday to announce the latest federal subsidy to the C$40-billion LNG Canada megaproject—a $220-million cash infusion to help project developers buy energy-efficient gas turbines, plus another $55 million to replace the city’s Haisla Bridge to accommodate an expected increase in traffic.

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‘Send Bachelors and Come Heavily Armed’: Rogue Senators Threaten Violence, Destroy Oregon Climate Bill as Democratic Majority Caves

An Oregon senator promised violence against state police, threats from right wing militia shut down the state legislature, and a website using the “blue lives matter” slogan touted a crowdfunding campaign supporting the renegade legislators over the local constabulary, after Democrats tried to pass a carbon cap-and-trade bill introduced by Governor Kate Brown.

Memories of Harper’s Decade Prompted Guilbeault to Run for Trudeau’s Liberals

The reaction was mixed when the former climate activist nicknamed the “green Jesus of Montreal” announced he would run for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the federal election this fall. But in an interview last week, Équiterre co-founder Steven Guilbeault was clear about why he had jumped into the electoral fray.

U.S. Health Professionals Call for Fracking Moratorium

An ever-growing chorus of American scientists, health professionals, politicians, and media is calling for a country-wide moratorium on fracking, as evidence accumulates that the industry and the known carcinogens it relies on are causing profound harm to public and ecosystem health.

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Canada Still Lacks ‘Orderly, Effective’ Plan to Welcome Climate Refugees

Nine years after federal civil servants first urged Ottawa to “plan an orderly and effective response” to help resettle at least some of the tens of millions of people forecast to be displaced by climate impacts by 2050, Canada has no comprehensive plan to do so, and international law isn’t helping.