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


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.


Alberta Calls for $30-Billion Carbon Capture Subsidy in Upcoming Federal Budget

The Alberta government is pitching for a 10-year, C$30-billion federal budget commitment to subsidize large-scale carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) projects, even as the federal and provincial governments form a joint working group to develop CCS strategy for the fossil sector.

Panicky Messaging on Line 5 Closure Threat Masks Real Issues with Pipeline, Oil by Rail

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is framing Michigan’s intention to shutter Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline as a dire threat to energy security on both sides of the border. Calmer analysis suggests otherwise.

Quebec LNG Megaproject Will Drive Up Power Rates with $310M Revenue Hit, Analysis Finds

The controversial GNL-Québec liquefied natural gas megaproject will drive up electricity rates across the province by producing a roughly C$310-million revenue shortfall for utility Hydro-Québec, the province’s Union des consommateurs warned in an open letter late last month.

Bankrupt Texas Oil Companies Abandon Toxic Wells, Cash Out CEOs

Texas oil and gas companies are pulling up stakes, pleading bankruptcy, and leaving the public on the hook for abandoned wells they insist they cannot afford to plug themselves. But the pay packages delivered to CEOs just prior to the declarations of bankruptcy seem to show that different decisions could have been made.

800-MW Vineyard Wind Project Off Massachusetts Coast Moves Closer to Approval

The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm is inching closer to U.S. government approval, years after an earlier project off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts was brought down by an unusual alliance between the Kennedy and Koch families.

Economic, Racial Bias Skews Cascadia’s Push to Decarbonize

The fight for climate justice continues to struggle for air as Cascadia races ahead to decarbonize. But brighter days may lie ahead.

David Schindler, Alberta Scientist Who ‘Talked Truth to Power’, Dies at Age 80

His research in the lab and the field was published in some of the world’s top journals, but that was never enough for David Schindler, who died Thursday at the age of 80.

China Plans Online Carbon Trading Market by Mid-Year

Second-Biggest U.S. Coal Mine Heads Toward Closure

Yukon Energy Turns to First Nation as Site for Territory’s Biggest Grid Battery

Electric Motorbikes Fuel Carbon-Free Future for East Africa

Northeastern B.C. First Nation Gets Oilfield Services Training

‘Robodogs’ to Take Basic Maintenance, Security Jobs at Shell Complex in Alberta

Coal Utility TransAlta Claims 60% Target by 2030, Carbon Neutral by 2050

Fort Nelson, B.C. Weighs Decision on Forest Clearing for Wood Pellets

U.S. Legislator to Target Big Oil for Oversight

Nevada Kicks Off Extraction Boom with ‘Hasty’ Approval of New Lithium Mine

Minnesotans Debate Whether Net-Zero Future Needs Gas

Des Moines, Iowa Pushes Utility Toward Carbon-Free Electricity

Pacific Islands Unveil Faster Shift to Renewables

Portuguese Developer Plans 20 GW of New Renewables by 2025

Victorian Big Battery is a Go as Australian Developer Nabs Funding

Ikea Helps Swedish City Develop Sustainable Community

Chicago Neighbourhood Calls Hunger Strike to Fight Pollution

North Dakota Aims to Protect Coal by Blocking Wind Projects

Heidelberg, Germany Makes Cars Unwelcome

UK Insurer Aviva Promises Net-Zero Investments by 2040

Groups Urge Toronto Council to Solve Its ‘Embarrassing Gas Problem’ [Sign-On]

The City of Toronto will have a chance Wednesday to deal with what one leading advocate calls its “embarrassing gas problem” when councillors vote on a motion to support a phaseout of power plants running largely on fracked gas.

Alberta Regulator Clamps Down after Deadbeat Fossil Falls $67 Million Short on Cleanup Funds

The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending licences for thousands of wells and pipelines after an oil and gas producer failed to bring its operations into regulatory compliance.

Volvo Plans All-Electric Product Line by 2030

U.S. Gulf Coast Refineries May Take Weeks to Recover from Blackouts

NREL Industry Growth Forum Invites Five Canadian Cleantech Startups

Alberta Fossil CNRL Loses $143M on Keystone Cancellation, Still Boosts Payout to Shareholders

Calgary Tech Start-Up Draws from Funds Linked to Al Gore, Bono

Quebec Pushes Green Procurement, with Extra Points for Local Bidders

Regina Report Outlines Barriers, Opportunities for Net-Zero Housing

South Side Chicago Microgrid Project Seeks to Balance Community Needs, Utility Plans

California Could Lead on Pollution-Free Construction

U.S. Ex-Inmates Build Furniture from Construction Waste

Robert Downey Jr. Plans Sustainable Technology Investment Fund

Monbiot Cancels UK Science Museum Talk Over Fossil Sponsorship

Tesla Gigafactory in Berlin Will Speed Germany’s Shift to EVs

Swedish Developer Starts Work on Wave Power Site on Port of Jaffa Seawall

Fossil Subsidies in Ukraine Could Put 16 GW of Coal Closures in Doubt

Firefighter Leaves Hospital Nearly Four Months after Critical Burns in California Wildfire

Canadian Fossil Pembina Pipeline Loses $1.2B on Cancelled, ‘Uncertain’ Projects

UK Universities Set ‘Sustainable Routines’ on Air Travel, Food

Carbon Capture in Concrete Could Double with New Formula

Researchers Look to Gravity Storage for Renewables

$565-Billion House Bill Aims to Cut U.S. Emissions 50% by 2030, Decarbonize Grid by 2035

The United States would cut its greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and count on a clean electricity standard to achieve a 100% clean energy grid by 2035 under legislation reintroduced this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ottawa Sends $2.7 Billion to Transit Agencies for Zero-Emission Buses

Canadian transit agencies are in line to receive C$2.7 billion in new federal funding over five years to begin converting their diesel fleets to electric buses.

Appalachia’s Coal Fate Could Hold Lessons for New Mexico

Analysts are warning that New Mexico’s dependence on oil and gas could lead to the same legacy of poverty and pollution as Appalachia inherited after the decline of coal. That has some observers pointing to the option of a better ending—by using the state’s confirmed potential as a solar and wind powerhouse.

Developers Clash with U.S. Cities on Vote for Greener Building Codes

Two years ago, sustainability-minded city planners across the United States discovered they could vote to change the national energy codes that many states adopt to set efficiency standards for larger buildings. Voting in droves, they voted deep green. Now, developers are determined to overturn the results.

New Technologies Could Cut Millions of Tonnes of Carbon, Save U.S. Utilities Billions of Dollars

Utilities in the United States could cut millions of tonnes of carbon pollution, save billions of dollars, and double their capacity for new wind and solar capacity if federal government incentives can be set up to support a suite of “grid-enhancing technologies”, the Boston-based Brattle Group concludes in a report released last month.

River Commission in Biden’s Home State Bans Fracking

U.S. Could Use 100 GW of Storage to Replace Peak-Period Gas Plants

Climate Projections Show More Severe Drought in China

South Africa Coal Closures Put Tens of Thousands of Jobs at Risk

Montrealers Battle to Save Urban Forest from Clearcutting

Globe and Mail Pans Ontario Hwy 413 as ‘$6-Billion Sprawl Accelerator’

Secwepemc Matriarch Makes Eight-Foot Quilt to Resist Trans Mountain Pipeline

LNG Canada Janitors Win 40% Wage Hike Over Three Years, Better Health and Safety

Alberta Company Produces Power, Green Fertilizer from Manure

Kern County, California is Oil Country, and Wants to Stay That Way

Blumenauer Introduces Tax Credit for Bicycle Commuters

California Approves Blackout Prevention Plan Despite Enviros’ Concerns

Alabama Genetic Researchers Look to Switchgrass for Biofuel

Australian Transmission Firm Buys In to 1.5 GW of Renewable Supply

Brazil Reaches 18 GW of Installed Wind Capacity

Construction Starts on 448-MW Wind Farm Off Coast of France

Developers Raise $100 Million for 150-MW Solar Project in Pakistan

Philippines Plans Massive Solar Development

Passivhaus Challenge Shows How Long Homes Can Go Without Heat

Illinois Pitches Non-Profit Green Bank

U.S. Adds Combined Heat and Power to Energy Modelling Tool

BREAKING: Powering Past Coal Alliance Urges Faster Phaseout While Co-Founders Allow New Coal Mines

The global Powering Past Coal Alliance is taking sharp criticism from both sides of the Atlantic this week, with delegates gathering for a three-day online summit while the PPCA’s two founders and co-chairs, Canada and the United Kingdom, allow new coal mines to go into operation.

Windsor, Ontario Courts Investor for $2-Billion Battery Manufacturing Plant

The auto manufacturing town of Windsor, Ontario is angling for a C$2-billion investment in an electric vehicle manufacturing plant, Canada’s first, that would create 2,000 local jobs and be “truly transformative” to the local economy.

Seven in 10 Canadian Car Shoppers Plan to Go Electric

Nearly 70% of Canadians looking to buy a new vehicle within the next five years plan on dumping the internal combustion engine and going with an EV, according to a new KPMG survey.

Fracked U.S. Gas the Main Culprit as Toronto GHG Emissions Rise 7% in 2018

Greenhouse gas emissions rose 7% in Toronto and 5.2% across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in 2018, with natural gas the major cause, a new report warns this week.

Canadian Environmental Justice Bill Set for Commons Debate [Petition]

A private member’s bill seeking to address environmental racism in Canada, in part by empowering BIPOC communities to act in their own defence, is due to be debated in the House of Commons later this month—the first step in moving the legislation forward to committee.

Heritage Group Places Entire City of Providence, RI, on ‘Endangered Property’ List

The iconic 1928 “Superman” building is just one of many heritage treasures to be found in the 385-year-old Rhode Island city of Providence. Now, a local preservation society has moved to place the entire city on its annual “most endangered properties” list, citing sea level rise and storm surge risk.

New Window Design Directs Sunshine, Indoor Light to Solar Cells

An engineering team at Rice University in Houston has come up with a new design for window glass that redirects incoming sunlight, or even indoor illumination, to solar cells that can turn it into electricity.

Western Australia Plans 1,000 New Microgrids Combining Solar+Storage+Hydrogen

The Labor government in Western Australia expects to save hundreds of millions of dollars with a A$259-million, five-year green manufacturing plan that will see 1,000 new microgrids, combining solar, batteries, and hydrogen electrolyzers, installed across the state.

Puerto Rico Looks for 1 GW Renewables, 500 MW Storage

Iraq Plans 750 MW of New Solar Capacity

German Economic Ministry Sees Departure from Gas Heat Starting Soon

The Tyee’s Nikiforuk Scorches ‘Pharoah’ Horgan’s $16-Billion Hydropower Monument

Canada Energy Regulator Declares Against Systemic Racism

Oakville, Ontario Completes ‘Intensive’ Climate Action Pilot

Appeals Court Refuses to Hear Landmark Youth Climate Case

Coal Output Falls, Mines Close in U.S. Powder River Basin

Biden EV Push Could Draw Dollars Out of Other Infrastructure Spending

California Extends Deadline on High-Speed Rail Project

East German Union, Grid Operator Launch Plan for Climate-Friendly Industry

Amsterdam Neighbourhood Tries Floating Homes to Tackle Sea Level Rise, Urban Density

Nestlé Subsidiary Opens Solar-Powered Factory in Morocco

Lebanon Electricity System Set to Run Out of Fuel This Month

Analysts See 10 GW of New Battery Installations This Year

B.C. Pushes Forward with Site C Hydro Megaproject Despite $16-Billion Price Tag

Premier John Horgan has given the green light for work on British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam to proceed, citing termination costs of more than C$10 billion and expert opinion that the geotechnical problems that have haunted the project can be fixed. Members of the West Moberly First Nations say they’ll see the province in court.

‘Future Belongs to Renewables’ as Norwegian Wealth Fund Blacklists Four Alberta Fossils

Norway’s US$1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund is following through on its threat to drop investments in Canadian tar sands/oil sands production, with four Alberta fossils showing up among the 15 companies the fund blacklisted last year, the Globe and Mail reports.

TAF Urges $27-Billion Federal Investment for ‘Well-Functioning Deep Retrofit Market’

The federal government should build on the work of the 2020 Task Force for a Resilient Recovery by investing at least C$27 billion in resilient, energy-efficient buildings and directing the dollars to help build an effective deep retrofit industry, The Atmospheric Fund recommends in its 2021 pre-budget submission.

Maryland Capital and Its County Launch New Climate Suits Against Big Fossil

Annapolis, Maryland, has launched a lawsuit against 26 fossil companies—including heavyweights ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell—in a bid to hold the industry liable for its decision to pursue fossil fuel development despite full knowledge of the environmental consequences.

Alberta Budget Makes ‘No Provision’ for Keystone Cancellation

GM Unveils Retooled, Less Expensive Chevy Bolt

Empire State Building to Run on 100% Renewables

Sask First Nations Rally Behind Community in Fight Against Uranium Firm

Enbridge Subsidiary Announces Green Hydrogen Project in Gatineau, QC

Nova Scotia Paper Plant Plans Province’s Biggest Wind Farm

Minnesota Governor Sets 2040 Carbon-Free Power Target

NJ Faces ‘Incredible Hill to Climb’ to Cut Emissions 80% by 2050

Wind Developer Faces Indigenous Opposition to Project Near Historic Petroglyphs

Spanish Broadband Firms Tap In to Solar

U.S. Towns Look for Barriers to Combat Gradual Flooding

Battery Technology Funding ‘Exploded’ in 2020

China Three Gorges Purchases 400 MW of Wind, Solar in Spain

Roadbuilders Mix Plastic Waste into Asphalt

Ikea Aims to Make Cheap Furniture Last Forever

Canadian Fossil Subsidies Tripled in 2020, Report Shows

A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada’s oilpatch.

Nova Scotia Unveils EV, Energy Retrofit Fund, but Climate Analysts Look for More

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin has announced C$19 million in rebates to help people buy electric vehicles and to assist low-income families in making their homes more energy efficient.

Communities in B.C.’s West Kootenays Sign on to New 100% Renewables Playbook

Building non-partisan community support for climate action that will endure through municipal election cycles is an absolute imperative to solving the climate crisis. That is the core message being delivered in the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s 2020 Climate Playbook and Toolkit.

Rising Rents, Hurricane Damage Drive Homelessness Crisis in Louisiana

Only six months after seeing their homes destroyed by back-to-back hurricanes, many renters in the industrial heartland of southwest Louisiana have found themselves literally on the street due to unconscionable eviction laws, a woefully insufficient federal aid response, a pre-existing housing crisis, and pandemic-related job losses.

Wildfires Deliver Economic Hit After Flames Go Out

Taiwan to Offset Coal with 20.4 GW of Renewables by 2030

Toronto Transit Expansion Means Expropriation for Some Landowners

BP, Chevron Invest in Calgary Geothermal Startup

Virginia Environmental Justice Council Urges Action on Regional Transportation

Utility to Close Wisconsin’s Second-Biggest Coal Plant by 2025

Iowa Sees Longer Wait List for State Solar Tax Credit

Wells Fargo Plans 30 MW of Rooftop Solar in Seven U.S. States

Australia Coal Hub Building World’s Biggest Battery

Punjab Region Wants 5,000 MW of New Power Production by 2024

Dominican Republic Puts More Emphasis on Renewables

U.S. Flood Damage Costs to Rise 61% by 2051

Equinor Drops Bakken Shale Stocks after Multi-Billion-Dollar Losses

IBM Pledges Net-Zero GHG Emissions by 2030

Cement Makers Look to Cut Emissions with Green Hydrogen, Carbon Capture

Musk’s Carbon Capture Prize Has Big Cost Hurdles to Overcome

Coastal GasLink Costs Rise as B.C. Flags Environmental Impacts Along Pipeline Route

The CEO of TC Energy Corp. is warning that the cost of its Coastal GasLink pipeline to bring natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to Canada’s first LNG export terminal is rising and completion will likely be delayed due to a construction halt to control spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote Russian Region Aims for Net-Zero Emissions by 2025

Possibly signalling a (slow) shift in Vladimir Putin’s unambitious climate agenda, the far east Russian island region of Sakhalin has declared its intent to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.

Canada Needs a ZEV Target This Year to Meet Climate Targets, Analyst Warns

It’s essential for Canada to deliver on a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate this year if it wants to stay true to its commitments under the Paris Agreement, Équiterre mobility analyst Andréanne Brazeau writes in a recent post for Policy Options.

Toronto Cuts Climate Funding, Delays Long-Term Emissions Plan as Pandemic Strains Finances

Toronto city council decided last week to delay planning activities and reduce funding for its TranformTO climate plan, ignoring warnings that the climate crisis and the community’s own environmental targets will make it tough to make up the lost time.

City Forests Hold Promise for Significant CO2 Offsets, Study Concludes

Urban reforestation in cities in the Global South could be a cost-effective path to offsetting some part of global city emissions, according to a new study. And the researchers are calling their findings a conservative estimate, calculated with due concern for land use conflicts and other fundamental constraints.

Off-Gassing Upholstery, Highway Emissions Make Cars Toxic Inside and Out

The average commute time in California is 30 minutes, and growing. And according to a new study, the half-hour spent in vehicles that off-gas benzene and formaldehyde—and driving on highways befogged with toxic tailpipe emissions—is increasing some very specific health risks.

Environment Groups Head to Court to Defend Federal Impact Assessment Act

Vanishing Louisiana Island Community is Bellwether for Sea Level Rise

Coastal GasLink Restarts Construction with Approved Pandemic Plan

Sask First Nation Mounts Blockade Against Intruding Uranium Company

Richmond, B.C. Ponders Passive Solar Incentives

Siemens to Build Canada’s First Waste Heat-to-Power Plant

Tucson Electric Nears Completion of 100 MW Solar/30 MW Storage Plant

Granholm Vows ‘Safe, Workable’ Alternative to Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository

Fuel Reduction Helped Limit Losses in Recent California Wildfire

Texas Utility Shuts Gas Plant that Powered Coal Generator’s Carbon Capture Project

Thailand to Receive Green Loan to Boost EV Charging

Japan Pilots First Tidal Turbine

Scotland Urged to Take ‘More Devolved Approach’ to Decarbonization

Nairobi Company Turns Plastic Waste into Strong, Durable Building Materials

Illegal Logging Adds to Malaria Threat in Venezuela

Analyst Sees VW Overtaking Tesla by 2025

Big Three Manufacturers Compete for World’s Largest Wind Turbine

New Team at East Anglia Links Food Security, Climate Resilience

Green Roofs, Solar Panels Lead Changes in World’s Buildings

Coalition Pushes for 50% Carbon Cut by 2030 as U.S. Rejoins Paris Agreement

The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement Friday, with climate envoy John Kerry warning that high-stakes negotiations at COP 26 in Glasgow this fall represent the “last, best hope” to avert catastrophic climate change.

Alberta Towns Declare Crisis as Deadbeat Fossils’ Unpaid Tax Bills Triple to $245 Million

The exponential growth of unpaid property taxes from Alberta’s struggling oilpatch is threatening small communities and they need new ways to enforce the rules, says the group that represents them.

B.C. Pension Fund Plans $5 Billion for Sustainability Bonds as ESG Investments Surge

The investment fund responsible for British Columbia’s public sector pensions is committing to buy C$5 billion in new sustainability bonds and reduce the carbon dioxide exposure of its existing investments 30% from 2019 levels by 2025, at a moment when the broader field of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is taking financiers by surprise with its “astronomical” rise.

Federal Committee Undercuts Net-Zero Pledge by Making Airtightness Testing Voluntary

The federal committee responsible for building code development is undercutting Canada’s commitment to a net-zero future by making airtightness testing a voluntary measure, Efficiency Canada warns in a new blog post.

$16,752 Power Bill was a Feature, Not a Bug, in Texas’ Market-Driven Electricity System

With one Texas ratepayer looking at a US$16,752 power bill, and another down to her last $200 after her electricity reseller cleaned out her bank account, the architect of the state’s deregulated electricity market says it’s functioning exactly as it’s supposed to.

Texas Blackouts Highlight Disaster Risk for U.S., Canadian Utilities

With many Texans still scrambling to recover from a week of freezing cold weather, power blackouts, and water shortages, early analysis in the United States and Canada is pointing to the episode as a wake-up call for grid operators—and electricity users—across the continent.

Going All In on EV Adoption Won’t Solve America’s Car Addiction: Op-Ed

While the Biden administration’s recent pledge to replace the U.S. government’s fleet of some 650,000 vehicles with EVs is being welcomed, observers warn that simply replacing one car type with another won’t solve a deeper issue at the heart of America’s transportation fabric.

Fort McKay First Nation, Alberta Sign Land Management Deal

U.S. Utility Giant Duke Plans to Build 15 New Gas Plants, Retire Them Early

Family Day Rally in New Westminster Stands Against TMX Expansion

Northeastern B.C. Fracking Town Sees Fossil Merger as Sign of New Production Boom

Fort Nelson First Nation to Start Geothermal Drilling in June

‘Dirt Cheap’ Rammed Earth Construction Offers Great Thermal Mass

Colorado Utility Says Emissions Down 50% from 2005 Levels

Washington State Guide Helps Utilities’ Drive for Coal-Free by 2025

New U.S. Study Shows Utilities How to Make Batteries Work

Florida Governor Proposes $1 Billion for Climate Resilience

Long-Duration Storage Could Find ‘Enormous’ Market in Developing Countries

Denmark, Belgium to Connect Grids through Offshore Renewables Island

Accelerate Renewables Investment, Caribbean Analyst Urges

Southern Peru Sees Key Role in Geothermal

Cities Coping with Waves of Incoming Climate Migrants

China Requires Grids to Buy Minimum 40% Renewables by 2030

Oilfield Services Giant Schlumberger Looks to CCS for Cement Plants

Tesla Recalls 12,300 Model X SUV’s

Study Looks at Energy Taxes, Fossil Subsidy Reform for Green Recovery

BREAKING: Texas Was ‘Seconds and Minutes’ from Months-Long Blackouts, Grid Operator Admits

At least 47 people were dead, hundreds of thousands of homes were still without power, half of the state was under a boil water order, racialized communities were bearing the brunt, and the electricity system operator admitted it had only narrowly averted months-long blackouts as Texas began taking stock of a rolling disaster brought on by climate-driven severe weather and ideologically-driven grid deregulation.

Missouri Solar Installer Reports ‘Overwhelming’ Interest as Customers Face Rolling Blackouts

Though politicians in Texas might insist on wrongly blaming renewable energy for the devastated condition of the state’s power grid, people in northwestern Missouri know what to do. A solar company in St. Joseph, about 55 miles north of Kansas City, says its phones have been ringing off the hook as customers respond to rolling blackouts in the region and across much of the United States

California Senate Bill Would Halt New Fracking, Set 2027 ban

Citing the “existential threat” of the climate crisis, two California senators have introduced a bill that would sharply curtail fracking in the state—and eventually ban it outright. And despite the predictable backlash from fossil interests, the bill makes explicit a commitment to a just transition.

Alberta Business Council Calls for Provincial Sales Tax, Reinstated Carbon Tax

A business council with representation from virtually all the major fossil companies in Alberta is calling on the Jason Kenney government to introduce a provincial sales tax and reinstate a consumer carbon tax.

Ottawa Underestimates Carbon Tax Rebates after Revenue Exceeds Predictions

The federal government owes Canadian families in three provinces more than C$200 million after underestimating how much it would raise from the carbon tax during the first year of the program.

New U.S. Scenarios Show State-by-State Benefits of Net-Zero Shift

A modelling study published earlier this month by three U.S. organizations breaks down the state-by-state benefits the country can expect from the drive to a net-zero economy by 2050.

Teachers, Youth Fight Fossil Influence in U.S. Schools

The heavy influence of Big Oil in U.S. teaching materials and a lack of support for educating students about climate change has left many American children ignorant about the climate crisis and its solutions. But some teachers and youth are fighting back against the lies and condescension.

Infrastructure Giant Macquarie Raises Nearly $2B for Green Investments

U.S. Grid Operators Look for Gigawatt-Scale Storage

Salesforce ‘Work from Anywhere’ Order Could Shake Up Downtown San Francisco

Study Pinpoints Quebec’s Fair Share of Global Emission Reductions

Passive House Canada Presents Concept for Zero Emissions Buildings Exchange

Heat Pumps Arrive as Hot New Trend for Canadian Condos

Alberta Announces Plan to Expand Boreal Forest Preserve

Agencies Aren’t Disclosing COVID Hospitalizations among U.S. Wildfire Fighters

Detroit Project Extends Solar Ownership to Low-Income Tenants

U.S. Municipal Bonds Help Drive Green Economy

New Zealand Aims for Decarbonized Buses, Clean Car Imports

Research Shows Tropical Cyclones Moving Closer to Coastlines

Colossal Fossil Total Buys Solar, Storage Assets in Texas

North America, Europe Get Rolling on Lithium Ion Battery Recycling

Brutal Cold Snap Triggers Rolling Blackouts, Drives Up Power Costs as Texas Gas Plants Fail

A brutal blast of cold, winter weather this week killed at least 14 people in four U.S. states, dropped snow and ice on an area from Texas to New England, took 34,000 megawatts of power offline in Texas, drove wholesale electricity rates up by more than 10,000%—and prompted a brief, inevitable burst of complaints directed at the state’s wind farms, before it became clear that most of the missing electricity was from the state’s gas plants.

Line 3 Pipeline Runs $1.1 Billion Over Budget as Eleventh-Hour Opposition Mounts

Construction of the U.S. portion of the Line 3 pipeline will cost $1.1 billion more than expected due to regulatory and court delays in Minnesota, but the CEO of owner Enbridge Inc. says the project is on track to start delivering “lots of free cash flow” by late this year.

New Deforestation Map Reveals Shocking Loss of B.C.’s Old Growth Stands

Despite its “Super, Natural” branding, British Columbia is by no means a haven for old-growth forests, according to a new mapping project that points to a massive toll from logging and industrial activity.

Pickering-Area Citizens Launch Blockade, ‘Shoe Strike’ to Protect Sensitive Local Wetland

Community groups and angry citizens from Pickering, Ontario are going up against what one news report calls “a billionaire and a business-friendly government” to try to stop the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland, a provincially significant local green space, wildlife habitat, and buffer against climate impacts, from being bulldozed for a massive warehouse and entertainment complex.

Citizen ‘Climate Brigades’ in Ecuador Build Resilience, Cohesion

The citizen brigades of Guayaquil, Ecuador, were established to help the city’s poor find safety during extreme weather events. But the results have gone far further—with positive reverberations both political and personal.

Amtrak One? With a Rail Enthusiast in the White House, Transit Advocate Eyes a Renaissance

Through a three-decade career in the U.S. Senate, President Joe Biden famously made the commute from Delaware to Washington, DC by rail, and his plans to arrive at his inauguration in a train car were only derailed by threats of Trump-instigated violence.
Now, a former customer advocate for New Jersey Transit says the new occupant of Air Force One should imagine a transition to Amtrak One.

Net-Zero Home Rides Out Edmonton Cold Snap with No Furnace Required

A net-zero home in Edmonton, Alberta stayed toasty warm this week when the polar vortex brought bitterly cold temperatures to town, enabling Darryl Zubot and his family to stay comfortable and safe—without having to turn on the furnace.

Vista Coal Mine Lays Off 300 in Alberta

Denmark Approves North Sea Renewable Energy Island

Indigenous Energy Company Gives $1.7M to Northern Ontario Communities

BC Ferries Plans Seven New Electric Vessels

Calgary Tech Start-Up Raises $43M, Raises Hopes in Busted Oilpatch Economy

Work-from-Home Has Power Corp. Dumping Penthouse Suite in Downtown Toronto Office Tower

Regulations Could Deal Fatal Blow to Oregon LNG Exports

Battery Storage Scores First Big Win with New England Utilities

Minnesota Governor Aims for 100% Carbon-Free Power by 2040

Ohio Regulatory Hearing Shows Strong Support for New Solar Farms

Spain Plans to Double Energy Storage Capacity by 2030

100-MW Wind Farm Starts Up in Kenya

Croatia Turns to Adriatic for Offshore Wind

Colossal Fossil Equinor Writes Off $982M Loss on Tanzania LNG Plant

Floating Power Plant Providers Pitch Oil, LNG for West Africa

Malaysia Turns to Net Metering for 50 MW of Rooftop Solar

UK Think Tank Urges Mandatory EV Chargers at Petrol Stations

Australian Renewables Rise as Gas-Fired Electricity Hits Lowest Point Since 2006

Kenya to Add Solar to 22 Diesel Mini-Grids

Valentine’s Day Campaign, New Research Highlight B.C. Subsidies to Top Fracking Companies

“Roses are red/Money is green/Thanks for the cheque/Glad we’re on the same team.”
That’s the tone of a series of valentines released late last week by Dogwood BC, this one addressed from fossil producer Encana (now Ovintiv) to Premier John Horgan, just days after a four-page analysis by the Wilderness Committee listed the subsidies going to the province’s top 10 fracking companies.

Appalachia Counties Lose Jobs, Population Despite Massive Fracking Boom

The 22 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that have been at the centre of an extraordinary, decade-long fracking boom have seen very little job creation or economic gain as a result, concludes a new study released last week by the Pennsylvania-based Ohio River Valley Institute.

Indigenous Clean Energy Seeks Federal Endowment to Build ‘Decolonized Energy Future’

With nearly 200 renewable energy projects in progress, each of them generating more than a megawatt of electricity at full capacity, Indigenous Clean Energy is calling on the federal government to invest C$500 million in a “decolonized energy future” for Indigenous communities.

Alberta’s Reinstated Coal Policy Leaves Gaping Opportunities for Mining

Its recent mea culpa notwithstanding, the Jason Kenney government in Alberta has by no means closed the barn door on the idea of metallurgical coal mining in the beloved, and ecologically sensitive, eastern slopes of the Rockies.

Fact Checker Scorches Kenney’s Keystone Claims as Premier’s Political Woes Deepen

The Edmonton-based Parkland Institute is out with a detailed fact check of Premier Jason Kenney’s recent pronouncements on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Maclean’s magazine speculates on whether this is the job Kenney was looking for when he sought the Alberta premiership.

Alberta, B.C. Receive New Funding Under Federal Oil Well Cleanup Program

The Alberta, British Columbia, and federal governments have unveiled a new round of funding to help clean up inactive oil and gas sites in the province, including C$400 million in Alberta and $120 million for B.C.

Court Agrees to Delay Decision on Dakota Access Pipeline Shutdown

South Australia Averages 60% Renewable Grid Over 12 Months

South Korea Lays Out $43B Plan for World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm

Squamish Nation Plans Sustainable Community for 9,000

New Brunswick Announces $20 Million for Small Modular Reactors

Advocates Push Teachers’ Pension Fund on Green Shift

Chevron’s Richmond Oil Refinery Spills 600 Gallons into San Francisco Bay

Renewables Will Dominate U.S. Grid in 10 Years: EIA

Australia Amps Up Collections for Solar Panel Recycling Project

Romania Sweetens Rebates for Rooftop Solar

Japan Develops New Procurement System for Renewables

IEA Sees India Solar Output Pulling Even with Coal in 2040

UK Nuclear Project Reports Rising Costs, Missed Deadlines

SolarAid Delivers Radios for Vulnerable Students in Malawi

South Africa Miner Promises No New Coal Projects

National Programs Point to ‘Explosion’ of Interest in Hydrogen

UK Football Clubs Offer Big Promises, Limited Action on Green Transition

EXCLUSIVE: Study Shows Governments’ Oil and Gas Revenue Crashing as Decarbonization Takes Hold

Canadian governments stand to lose more than half of their revenue from oil and gas activities through 2040, and nearly nine-tenths of the taxes and royalties the industry says they will collect, as the global economy decarbonizes and shifts away from fossil fuel production, the UK-based Carbon Tracker Initiative concludes in an analysis released this week.

Fund Low-Income Building Retrofits in Upcoming Budget, Efficiency Canada Urges Ottawa [Sign-Ons]

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2021 budget must include funding for building energy retrofits for low-income households that can’t afford the up-front cost of a home renovation, Efficiency Canada argues in a sign-on published this week.

Big City Mayors Cheer as Trudeau Offers Permanent Federal Transit Funding

The federal Liberal government is promising cash-strapped cities billions of dollars in permanent funding for their public transit systems—though most of the money won’t start flowing until later in the decade.

Trudeau Touts Hydropower Exports as U.S. Looks to Canadian Dams for Electricity Storage

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to promote hydropower exports to the United States, as one response to President Joe Biden’s commitment to decarbonize his country’s sprawling electricity grid by 2035. But analysts say Canada’s network of hydro dams might be useful as a place to store renewable power, rather than generating it.

Ecojustice Goes to Court Against Alberta’s ‘Foreign-Funded Influence’ Panel

A judge in Calgary was to hear arguments this week over whether Alberta’s public inquiry into the purported foreign funding of environmental charities is a valid defence of the province’s ailing oil industry or an attempt to silence dissent.

Study Shows U.S. Decarbonizing by 2050 for $1 Per Person Per Day

The United States—per head of population perhaps the world’s most prodigal emitter of greenhouse gases—can reverse that and have a carbon-free future within three decades, at a cost of no more than $1 per person per day, according to a new study in the journal AGU Advances.

Enviros Warn California Blackout Prevention Plan Could Drive Up Gas Consumption

London Hedge Funds Bet on US$100 Carbon Price

Alberta Looks to Lithium in Oil Deposits to Stock Electric Vehicle Batteries

Students at France’s Elite Universities Want Climate at Heart of Curriculum

Students Demand Faster Action After UVic Moves $80 Million to Low-Carbon Investment Fund

Canada’s EV Charging Network Posts Double-Digit Growth

New Owner Takes Over Quebec Uranium Mine Site

Suncor Restarts Emission Reduction Projects Despite Spending Freeze

U.S. Fossil Utilities Fund Republicans in Georgia Runoff Elections

Integrating Clean Energy Options Could Create ‘Paradigm Shift’, U.S. Researchers Find

Ford Boosts EV Investment After $1.28-Billion Loss Last Year

Washington State to Require All New Cars Electric After 2030

South Africa Aims to Buy 6,800 MW of Renewables this Year

Foreign Funders Bolster India’s Green Energy Ambitions

Australia’s ‘Do-Nothing’ EV Strategy Won’t Stop Emissions from Rising

Norway Probes Corruption in National Oil Companies

Smart Cameras on Wind Turbines Cut Eagle Deaths by 82%

Microsoft Claims 6% Emissions Cut in One Year

Report Shows 330 Companies Moving Faster than Paris Targets

Canada Can Thrive on Road to Net-Zero if Governments Make Good Decisions Now

Canada has multiple opportunities to thrive along the road to a net-zero economy by 2050 as long as governments make the right decisions now, concludes a study released this week by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC).

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Produces Overheated Claims on Job vs. Environment

As officials in Michigan look to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, business interests in Ontario and Quebec are warning of dire economic effects. But others—like Green Party Leader Annamie Paul—say there are opportunities, too, and that presenting the pipeline as a choice between jobs and the environment is a false, and dangerous, dichotomy.

Coal mining

Loopholes Still Allow Mountaintop Mining, Law Prof Warns, after Alberta Reinstates 1976 Coal Policy

Doubts are being raised about the Alberta government’s decision to restore a policy that protects the Rocky Mountains from coal mining.

NS Firm Launches Latest Effort to Harness Bay of Fundy Tides

A large floating platform with six underwater turbines was launched Monday near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, marking the latest high-tech bid to generate electricity by harnessing the bay’s powerful tides.

Omar Urges Biden to Block Line 3 Pipeline

Offshore Rig Builder Cites Renewables in Decision to Shut Down Operations

Montreal Cleantech Leader Raises $100M for New Investment Fund

Alberta Builders Pitch Renovation Tax Credit

Nova Scotia Unveils $5.5 Million in Solar Panel Rebates

Brookfield Sells Off Toronto District Energy Utility Enwave

U.S. Institute Campaigns for 30 Million Solar Homes

North Carolina Solar Rebate is Over-Subscribed in 161 Seconds

Arizona Navajo Fight for Equitable Energy Economy

U.S. Utility Boosts Gas Plant Demand by Overstating Future Energy Demand

Sweden Plans Onshore Wind Farm with Turbines as Tall as Eiffel Tower

Fiji Sets 2036 Target for 100% RE

South Australia Looks for More Options to Add Rooftop Solar

Sri Lanka Utility Uses ‘Creative Accounting’ to Justify Continuing Coal Reliance

‘Staggering Increase’ Produces Record Heat Deaths in Arizona

Colorado River Hit ‘Incredibly Fast, Incredibly Hard’ by Climate Change

Amazon Bets Big on Natural Gas Vehicles

EV Maker Faraday Future Aims for $3.4 Billion with Public Offering

Concrete Producers Aim to Boost Sustainability with Root Vegetables, Ash

‘Hydropower Era May Be Over’ as Wind Farms Draw New Investment in Quebec, B.C.

Wind energy investment received twin boosts in Quebec and British Columbia last week, with one of the announcements prompting the Globe and Mail to comment that “the era of building big new hydropower dams in Quebec might be over”.

‘Intense Public Protest’ Prompts Alberta to Restore Some Coal Industry Regulation

The Alberta government says it plans to restore some aspects of a policy it revoked last spring that protected a wide swath of the province’s foothills and mountains from coal mines.
The move has provoked intense public protest.

Tech Sector Helps Diversify Alberta Job Market, But Gains May Not Last

Technology companies are delivering a ray of hope to an Alberta economy facing the combined impact of a global health crisis and shaky demand for oil. But the sector’s success could be precarious as the province competes with other jurisdictions for investment and jobs.

U.S. Cities Vastly Underreport Their Emissions, Study Concludes

A new study in the journal Nature Communications warns that most American cities are likely underreporting their greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%, an alarming statistic given that the world’s cities already produce the lion’s share of CO2 emissions—and many are expected to triple in size by 2030.

Ottawa Instructs Infrastructure Bank to Invest $1 Billion in Indigenous Projects

Coal Operations in Russia Produce ‘Extraordinary Pollution’, High Death Toll

Alberta Fossil Sues Province Over Stalled Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

Despite ‘Tons and Tons of Space’, Canada Lags on Rooftop Solar

Federal, Provincial Governments Fund Heating Efficiency in Manitoba

Conservationists Urge Alberta to Take Better Care of Wetlands

Empire State Building Now Powered by Wind

Poland Plans to Sideline Coal, Embrace Renewables

Germany Claims it Beat its 2020 Carbon Reduction Goal

Melting Permafrost Forces Communities to Find Safer Ground

60% of North American Fleets Can Save Money by Electrifying

Decarbonizing Cities Means Harmonizing Buildings, Mobility, Infrastructure

Anglo-Russian Firm Pledges Net-Zero Aluminium, Energy by 2050

White House Abandons Trump-Era Attacks on Vehicle Efficiency, Methane Standards

The Biden administration is abandoning a controversial Trump-era attempt to challenge California’s legislated authority to set its own tailpipe and methane emission standards under the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Alberta Fossil Defence Tactics Ripped Right from Fossil Petro-State Playbook, Analysis Shows

Alberta’s government may brandish democracy when it promotes its oil to the world, but its transparent efforts to silence voices of opposition to fossil fuels come direct from the playbook of some of the world’s most oppressive petro-states, says a new report from Toronto-based Environmental Defence.

‘Fire Yourself’ on Intergovernmental Affairs, UCP Co-Founder Urges Kenney

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is getting some unsolicited advice from the co-founder of the United Conservative Party: fire yourself as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Wyoming Citizens Divided on Economic Shift from Fossil to Renewables

As the low-carbon transition takes hold, fossil-producing Wyoming is at a crossroads. The windy state is grasping at the potential to invest big in renewable power—but old habits die hard, and uncertainty about wind’s ability to deliver has many citizens fearing change.

‘Ending Zero-Sum Green Energy Politics’ Depends on Local Solutions, Win-Win Thinking

A detailed, local pitch for jobs and economic activity will be central to the Biden administration’s push to transform the way the United States produces energy and addresses the climate crisis, writes Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, in a recent opinion piece on the pathway to “ending zero-sum green energy politics”.

China Reports Record 72 GW of New Wind in 2020

Indigenous Ownership of B.C. Small Hydro Project Boosts Community Health, Well-Being

Black Property Owners at Risk as U.S. Pipeliners Assert Eminent Domain

B.C. Offers 20% Power Subsidy for ‘Clean’ Biofuel, Hydrogen Industries

Vancouver Transit Agency Buys 15 New Electric Buses

Amazon HQ2 Turns to Halifax Start-Up for Lower-Carbon Concrete

Work from Home Pushes Bay Street Firms to Cut Office Footprint

Colorado Plans 90% Air Pollution Cut by 2050

New York Pushes Utilities to Disclose Climate-Related Risk

Florida Utility Shutters its Last Coal Station

Los Angeles Builds Partnerships, Engages Students with UN Sustainable Development Goals

Iberdola, Danone Build Europe’s Biggest Solar Project in Spain

Italian Fossil Leads Push for Wind Energy

Aging Dams Could Put Large Populations at Risk by 2050

Biggest Snowfall in 50 Years Adds to Misery in Poor Madrid Neighbourhood

New Analysis Shows Unabated Climate Change would Turn Cities into Ovens

Norwegian Firm Aims to Make Green Hydrogen Cost-Competitive by 2025

Mars, DHL Invest £350 Million in Sustainable Warehousing, Logistics

Canada and U.S. Drastically Underestimate Methane Emissions as Atmospheric Levels Rise

Federal environmental agencies are underestimating methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells by 20% in the United States and 150% in Canada, according to a McGill University study published late last month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, one of several in recent weeks that have pointed to a mounting crisis in releases of the climate-busting gas.

Refocus Infrastructure Spending to Cut Carbon, Create Jobs, Blue Green Canada Urges

Canada is missing a big opportunity to create jobs, cut pollution, and advance a net-zero emissions agenda by failing to prioritize projects that use low-carbon building materials and cleaner construction processes, Blue Green Canada argues in a report issued this week.

Executive Orders Good, Action Better, U.S. Environmental Justice Campaigners Say

Environmental justice campaigners in the United States have been feeling hopeful as President Joe Biden signs a string of executive orders to begin setting his climate program in motion. But more trust-building is needed, say observers—particularly after a long history of politicians talking big but delivering little.

B.C. Logging Practices Drive Up Climate Risk, Sierra Club Warns

After failing to assess elevated risks of drought, wildfire, and flooding resulting from its standard logging practices, British Columbia urgently needs to address impacts of forest clearcutting that were left out of its 2019 Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, according to a report released Monday by Sierra Club BC.

Finnish City of Oulu Shows How Winter Cycling Can Rule

Though the blame for Canada’s dearth of winter cyclists is typically placed on weather, it is the lack of dedicated—and snow-cleared—bike routes that keeps people tethered to their cars and public transit, according to a video that profiles the 200,000-strong city of Oulu, Finland as Exhibit A for how to make winter cycling work.

Solar Will Deliver World’s Cheapest Electricity by 2030, WoodMac Predicts

2020 Sees UK Renewables Overtake Fossils for First Time

445-MW Coal Plant in Tampa to Close in 2023, 18 Years Early

Regulatory Rubber Stamp Sets Nova Scotia Behind on Climate, Coal

Toronto Firm Delivers Renewable Power for Off-Grid Electronic Devices

First Nations Say Hydro-Québec Jumping the Gun on U.S. Transmission Line

Toronto Heat Pump Project Shows 36% Saving on Electric Heat

Analyst Suggests Path to Clean Up Ontario’s Hydro ‘Mess’

Vermont Utility Brings Car Dealers into the Picture on EVs

California Hydrogen Producers Look to Displace Diesel Backup

NYC Takes Top Marks for Carbon-Free Transportation

U.S. Announces $123.6 Billion for Manufacturing Innovation

New Approaches Can Help Cities Confront Climate, Inequality Crises

UAE Claims World’s First Solar Aluminium

Deutsche Bank Sees Climate Regs as Threat to German Automakers

Overbuilding, Pricey Coal and LNG Imports Drive Up Power Costs for Bangaldeshis

Shell Adds New Subsidiary to Boost EV Charging Capacity

Denver Sets 2030 Net-Zero Target for New Homes, Buildings

Abu Dhabi Funds Solar Project for 50,000 in Somaliland

Danish Vertical Farm Gets Power from Wind, Produces 1,000 Tons of Food Per Year

Fossils ‘Stunned’, ‘Aghast’ After Biden Pauses New Oil and Gas Leases

North American fossils are declaring themselves “stunned” and “aghast” at the wave of climate action emanating from the White House last week, with U.S. President Joe Biden ordering a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land and climate advisor Gina McCarthy promising “the most aggressive” greenhouse gas reductions the country can achieve.

Missing Federal Permit, Cancelled Insurance Bond Mean Mounting Legal Woes for Dakota Access Pipeline

Legal and regulatory problems are beginning to pile up for the troubled Dakota Access Pipeline, with a judge asking how the pipeline operator “expects to proceed” without a key federal permit and an insurance company cancelling an important financial guarantee in Iowa.

Alberta Grants Third Deadline Extension to Struggling ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Panel

The Alberta government has given an inquiry into the funding of oil and gas industry critics a third deadline extension to complete its report.

Jason Kenney vs. the Plimsoll Line

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proved to be “all hat but no horse” when it came to roping and tying down the ill-fated Keystone XL pipeline. Now, after risking billions in taxpayer funds on that folly, it appears he may soon be riding out of town on a one-trick pony. A metaphorical analysis by veteran journalist Paul McKay.

Collapsed Section of Pacific Coast Highway Points to Climate Perils Facing Coastal California

A section of the Pacific Coast Highway near Big Sur, California has collapsed into the ocean due to heavy rains and erosion.

State-Led U.S. Climate Alliance Still Sees Headwinds Post-Trump

A White House led by a climate denier who was actively working to undermine global efforts to meet the targets in Paris Agreement made work hard for the 25 U.S. states that pledged to make good on their country’s promises under the 2015 deal. But even with Trump gone, progress is still being hamstrung by a tendency to equate action with electric power.

Trudeau Tree-Planting Plan to Run $2.78B Over Budget, PBO Warns

The parliamentary budget office says a pledge by the Trudeau Liberals to plant two billion trees could cost almost double what the government says.

Coldest Town in Finland Unveils Satirical Bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

The self-described coldest town in Finland is making a pitch to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, with a mock promotional campaign that highlights the impacts of climate change in a place with an annual average temperature of -0.22°C/31.6°F.

Impact Assessment Agency to Review Suncor Mine Expansion

South Australia Hits 100% Solar with Lowest Prices in Country

First Nations Demand Horgan Release Site C Report

Ontario Pension Fund Buys In to U.S. Solar Project Developer

Feds Keep Lights Burning in Ottawa Buildings Despite Work from Home

U.S. Fossils Seek Farm Belt Allies to Fight Biden EV Plan

Lakeland, Florida Strikes Deal to Shut 360-MW Coal Plant in March

U.S. EV Charging Company Angles for $2.6 Billion in Public Offering

NREL Looks to Solar for Industrial Process Heat

Coal Plant Closure Leaves Portugal with One More in Operation

Cambodia Lines Up Investors for $400M Large Hydro Project

Millions of Americans Expected to Relocate in Bid to Dodge Climate Impacts

LNG in Vietnam Faces Regulatory, Market Obstacles

EU Sees Renewable Power Easing Environmental Burdens

Can a City Truly Be 100% Renewable?

Sweeping Biden Executive Orders Halt Fossil Leases, Boost Renewables, Stress Environmental Justice and Scientific Integrity

With a set of three sweeping executive orders Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden launched an abrupt shift from four years of climate denial and inaction. The orders included measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, increase its reliance on renewable energy, accelerate government renewables procurement and research, restore scientific integrity, and begin addressing the searing inequities and environmental justice issues that had been allowed to fester under his predecessor’s watch.

Alarmingly Warm Water Temperatures Put Gulf of St. Lawrence in ‘Uncharted Territory’

Deep waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are hitting record highs that fall far beyond normal variations, part of a decade-long trend emerging from research released earlier this week by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

New York Approves New Transmission Line, Calculates 39,000 MW of Renewables Demand by 2040

New York’s utility regulator has approved a new 93-mile, US$854-million transmission line that is just one part of a wider effort to decarbonize the state’s electricity grid by 2040.

Government Review Connects Canadian Solar Firm to Alleged Forced Labour in Xinjiang

Ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson Signs On to Climate Investment Fund

Tesla Renews Research Partnership with Dalhousie University

Mississauga Logistics Firm Orders 6,300 Electric Trucks

Shopify Founder Drops Investment Dollars into Nuclear Fusion Developer

PEI Farms, Fishing Operations Adapt to Climate’s ‘New Normal’

Construction Set to Start on Montana’s Biggest Wind Farm