SNAPSHOT: Fossil Divestment Gains Momentum as Global Finance Begins to Realign

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2018 saw major progress in the determined push for fossil fuel divestment and realignment of the world’s financial flows to drive faster decarbonization. But there was still more work to be done.

In September, just ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, reported that the global fossil divestment movement had reached US$6.24 trillion in assets under management, a 120-fold increase over four years. And after years of seeing the campaign dismissed as impractical or unrealistic, there was a definite “said it couldn’t be done” tone to 350’s announcement. “Since it was first launched by students as a moral call to climate action in 2011, the fossil fuel divestment movement has grown tremendously in impact and scope, with new divestment commitments from a broad array of institutions ranging from medical associations, to religious institutions, to museums, which are dropping fossil fuel company sponsorships,” 350 noted. “In 2018, the movement also saw new growth outside the United States and Europe, with divestment commitments from Pakistan, India, Fiji, and Bangladesh.”

In the course of the year, Norway edged closer to a decision to drop the $40 billion in oil and gas stocks it holds in its $1-trillion sovereign wealth fund, the mayors of London and New York City urged their counterparts around the world to dump their fossil investments, and New York promised $5 billion in divestment by 2023. The Royal Bank of Scotland cut funding for Arctic oil and tar sands/oil sands projects and tightened up its loan criteria for coal. Irish parliamentarians voted to divest from fossil fuels, UK solar entrepreneur and advocate Jeremy Leggett said the iconic Lloyd’s of London was 25 years late in its decision to divest from coal, and the McGill University senate in Montreal voted in favour of divestment.

Fossil executives searched for public relations strategies to combat the growing divestment movement. BP CEO Bob Dudley called for trillions in new fossil spending and cast climate risk disclosure as a danger to his industry. Big institutional investors demanded a sharper climate focus as colossal fossils entered annual meeting season in late May, but Exxon shareholders still committed a “failure of epic proportions” by declining to set a higher standard for climate risk disclosure.

The big HSBC bank cut off investment in Arctic drilling, tar sands/oil sands, and most coal projects. The world’s biggest insurer, Allianz, dropped its coverage for coal projects, ING announced a new “science-based approach” to aligning its €500-billion lending portfolio toward the Paris targets, and the Financial Times called it a “welcome and logical development” that the insurance industry was backing away from coal and other fossils. “A pressing question,” the paper editorialized, “is whether there are some activities that the global insurance industry should not make possible. Climate campaigners are calling on insurers to stop providing cover for the coal industry, arguing that it is both a moral imperative and a matter of self-interest, given the rising costs to insurers of natural disasters and the havoc global warming could wreak on their business models.” An international campaign urged reinsurers to do the same, and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis predicted that “other industrial behemoths” would follow the lead of Tokyo-based conglomerate Marubeni in stepping away from future coal projects.

Changing investor perceptions were pointing toward declining demand for oil. A big U.K. investment fund demanded that the chair of Loblaws resign over the company’s slow response to the climate crisis. Canadian banks were said to be swinging into action as investors demanded a closer look at the carbon risk in their portfolios, but 44% of Canadian companies were still failing to disclose that risk. Low-carbon stock indices were getting more mainstream attention from fund managers, and British Columbia faced scrutiny over its C$1 billion per year in fossil subsidies, largely devoted to building up its liquefied natural gas industry.

But against that uptick in activity, a Sierra Club report in early April showed private banks around the world, including Canada’s Big Five, increasing their fossil fuel investments by 11% and their tar sands/oil sands financing by 111% in 2017. A close connection to fossils was giving Canadian banks a continuing interest in the industry’s continuing growth, and too many big insurers were still undercutting the Paris Agreement with their coal and tar sands/oil sands investments. Multilateral banks were falling short as well, as dollars for fossil projects continued to flow, although the World Bank turned down financing for a new 500-megawatt coal plant in Kosovo, leaving the Kosovar government to seek financial support from the Trump administration.

The rewards for accelerated fossil divestment were clearly sweet. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate concluded that the post-carbon transition would produce at least US$26 trillion in economic benefits through 2030, create more than 65 million low-carbon jobs, prevent 700,000 premature deaths, and deliver $2.8 trillion in government revenues in a single year. The second edition of French President Emmanuel Macron’s One World Summit delivered a flurry of new financing commitments during Climate Week in New York City, as an investor-led revolution began pulling financing away from fossil fuels. Environmental Defence climate and energy program manager Patrick DeRochie asserted that green investment and fossil divestment go hand in hand, and the CEO of the $300-billion Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec, Michael Sabia, urged big investors to get onboard a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity. Analysts expected breakaway growth for green bonds in 2018, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board closed renewable energy investment deals in India and Ontario.


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IEEFA Sees Renewables-Rich Rajasthan Leading India’s Shift Off Fossils

Beware ‘Climate Delay’ Tactics Meant to Undermine Effective Action, Hastings-Simon Warns

Climate change denial is dangerous, but just as harmful are “climate delay” strategies that merely pretend to address the climate crisis. And learning to recognize the difference between real action and climate delay tactics is critical for both the public and policy-makers, warns a veteran Canadian climate policy analyst.

Bulgaria Plans to Mix 2.6 GW of Renewables with Coal

Gulf Region Faces Uncertain Oil Prices, Deeper Austerity

Let Markets, Not Bailouts Decide Future of Coal, IEEFA Urges Indonesia

Uber Promises $800M to Help Drivers Switch to EVs by 2025

Alberta Surges, Ontario Fades as Canada’s Leading Jurisdiction for Wind, Solar

Alberta is set to surpass Ontario as Canada’s leading jurisdiction for utility-scale wind and solar, with 83% of the country’s new installations over the next five years, according to a new analysis by Oslo-based Rystad Energy.

Shell to Cut Oil and Gas Production Investment 30-40%, Fight Other Fossils for Renewables Market Share

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell is planning to cut its oil and gas production costs 30 to 40% and focus more of its efforts on renewable energy, Reuters reports, hoping to fight competitors like BP and Total for market share “as economies around the world go green”.

New Green Hydrogen Project Could Transform UK’s Heavy Transport System

The UK’s buses, ferries, and trains could be swapping diesel fuel for green hydrogen as early as 2022.

Solar+Storage to Replace Colorado Coal Plant

TC Energy CEO Girling Announces Retirement with Keystone XL Left Hanging

Suncor Shares Lose Value as Production Stalls

U.S. Utility Giant Duke Sees Carbon Cuts Up to 70% by 2030

Oilfield Services Giant Schlumberger Plans Geothermal Company

Revived Iowa Ethanol Plant Raises Flags on Life Cycle Emissions

South Africa Wants 6,800 MW of New Renewables

Asian Coal Exporters Face Uphill Battle

Falling Oil Prices Curtail South Sudan’s Ability to Pay Fossil Workers’ Wages

Extreme Heat Pushes Down Stock Market Activity

Hydrogen Won’t Be Profitable for Another Decade, German Utility Estimates

Pre-Throne Speech Commentary Stresses Climate Impacts, Green Recovery

With the wait for the federal Speech from the Throne winding down to the last couple of days, news analysts are pointing to air quality issues in the west and the need for a clean economy industrial strategy as evidence that now is the time for the Trudeau government to embrace a green recovery.

‘Extreme Carbon Inequality’ Has Wealthiest Driving Climate Crisis: Oxfam Report

The richest 10% of the world’s population accounted for more than half of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2015, and the richest 1% in Canada emitted more than 100 times as much per capita as the poorest 50% world-wide, Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute conclude, in a report to be launched during a Climate Week NYC webinar Friday morning.

China to Consider Carbon Neutrality by 2050 in Long-Term Climate Plan

China is considering a long-term climate plan that commits to carbon neutrality by 2050, just days after the European Union boosted its 2030 emission reduction target from 40 to 55%.

GM, Ford, Toyota Unveil Plans for Electric, Hydrogen Trucks

Three different automakers are unveiling new plans to introduce electric pick-up trucks, or to use the vehicles as emissions-free “power plants” by equipping them with hydrogen fuel cells.

France Budgets Record €6 Billion for Renewables in 2021

Couche-Tard Plans EV Charging Push Across North America

Religious Charity Becomes Ontario’s Biggest Passive Solar Developer

Ottawa Puts $3 Million into Energy-Efficient Building Projects in Alberta

Alberta Community Felt Duped by Wind Developer’s Sales Tactics

Indiana Solar Ordinance Requires Pollinator-Friendly Ground Cover

Greece to Invest $5.9 Billion, Dump Coal by 2028

Asia Infrastructure Bank Pledges End to Coal Financing

Uganda, Tanzania Agree on Terms for New Oil Pipeline

Wind Giant Siemens Gamesa Plans Push Into Hydrogen

Energy Retrofits, Green Grids, ZEVs Lead Recommendations from Resilient Recovery Task Force

A $27-billion energy retrofit program, stepped-up investment in green electricity, and building an “industrial ecosystem” for zero-emission vehicles are lead elements of a five-year, $55.4-billion green investment program released Wednesday by the 15-member Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.

Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction

A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.

Countries Miss All 20 Targets Under UN Biodiversity Convention

A decade after adopting a set of biodiversity restoration goals under a United Nations treaty, countries have missed every single milestone in the effort to protect the world’s genetic diversity, food supply, health, and security, according to a report released by the UN this week.

67% of Low-Income U.S. Households Face High Energy Burden

Two out of three low-income households in the United States face disproportionately steep energy bills, says a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Pension Plan’s Fossil Investments Undercut Canada’s Climate Commitments, Report Concludes

The Canada Pension Plan’s “substantial private equity investments” in the fossil industry over the last few years have undercut the country’s climate commitments and “underestimate the urgent need for climate action and energy transition,” according to a new report from the Canada Climate Law Initiative that scorches the “troubling incrementalism” in the CPP’s investment strategy.

BP Plans ‘Five-Year Sprint’ to Deploy 20 GW of Renewables by 2025

Colossal fossil BP is launching what Bloomberg Green calls a “five-year sprint” to increase its renewable energy portfolio eight-fold, or by 20 gigawatts, by 2025.

Only One in Three Canadian Dealerships Stocks EVs Despite Surging Demand

Canadians looking to buy an electric vehicle likely face a long wait, with auto dealerships across the country chronically undersupplied even as policy-makers invest in charging infrastructure and incentives, says a new report commissioned by Transport Canada.

UK Developer Cancels Two Nuclear Plants After Hitachi Backs Out of £20-Billion Project

A UK nuclear developer has abandoned two projects in a decision described as a “huge blow” to the industry, after Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi announced it was withdrawing from one of the two, the £15- to £20-billion Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey, Wales.

TAF Fetes ‘Big Canadian Moment’ as Community Investment Model Goes National

South Korean President Promises 30 More Coal Plant Closures

Maryland Approves Offshore Wind Farm Using 12-MW GE Turbines

Six Alberta First Nations Invest in $1.5-Billion Gas Plant with Provincial Loan Guarantee

CN Buys 50 Lion Electric Transport Trucks

Federal Program Helps Freight Handlers Decarbonize Their Fleets

So Cal Ed’s $436M EV Charging Program is Biggest in U.S.

Chamber of Commerce (Still) Elevates Climate Deniers in U.S. Congress

U.S. Funds Industry Pushes Back After Trump Tries to Limit Green Investments

Senegal Offers Tax Incentive for Off-Grid Solar

China Coal Miner Plans Big Solar Manufacturing Investment

Fast Renewables Ramp-Up Drives Down Australian Coal Use

Charleston, SC Becomes First U.S. Southern City to Sue Fossils for Climate Damages

Global Coal Hits First-Ever Decline Despite Continuing Growth in China

Bosch Aims to Decarbonize Operations with Three New Solar Contracts

Exclusive: NDP Riding Presidents Push Singh, 150 MPs and Staffers Talk Green Recovery, as Throne Speech Looms

The federal New Democratic Party leadership is taking grassroot fire for failing to use its position in a minority parliament to press the Trudeau government for tougher green recovery measures in its hotly-anticipated Speech from the Throne September 23.

Sustainable City Investments Drive COVID-19 Recovery, Global Coalition Concludes

Municipalities are the cornerstone of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and low-carbon investments and infrastructure will deliver the jobs, resilience, and support for marginalized and vulnerable populations the Trudeau government is expected to emphasize in its Speech from the Throne next week, according to the lead author of a new report on greening the global recovery through cities.

Investors Worth $41 Trillion Demand Net-Zero Strategies from World’s Biggest Emitters

A group of big, institutional investors with a combined US$41 trillion under management is turning up the heat on 161 fossils, mining companies, and other major emitters, demanding that they adopt a set of strategies to reach net-zero emissions and pledging to hold them to account for their actions.

BP Says Oil Demand Will Never Recover as OPEC, IEA Predict Continuing Losses Due to COVID

The global fossil industry is facing a parade of bad news this week, with colossal fossil BP concluding that global oil demand has already peaked, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) predicting a steeper demand drop due to the slow recovery from the pandemic, and the International Energy Agency warning that “the path ahead is treacherous”.

Newfoundland Turns Thumbs Down on Husky’s Offshore Oil Bailout Demand

With Husky Energy on the hunt for government bailouts for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project off the Newfoundland coast, the provincial government is making it clear it doesn’t have any spare cash available to help the Calgary-based fossil out.

Move Toward EVs Not Enough to Mitigate Ride-Hailing Emissions

While recent pledges by Lyft and Uber to electrify their entire Canadian fleets by 2030 are laudable, public policy is still needed to tackle the growing spike in emissions as a pandemic-wary public increasingly turns away from transit and toward ride-hailing.

New Solar+Storage Megaproject a ‘Game Changer’ for Kansas Utilities

A massive proposed solar+storage project in Kansas City could be a “game-changer” that shuts down claims that fossil fuels are still needed as a backstop for when the sun doesn’t shine.

TC Energy Appoints New Coastal GasLink President

Feds Back 10-MW Solar+Storage Project on PEI

Chicago Suburb Decides to Carry On with Community Solar Program

Big Investors Get Behind $100M Floating Wind Project Off Maine

Saudi Aramco Stops Work on $10B Oil Refinery in China

Russia’s Richest Oligarch Could See Permafrost Melt Harm His Siberian Mining Empire

Delaware Sues Fossils for Climate Impacts

Unilever to Invest €1 Billion to Drop Petrochemicals from Cleaning Products

Pandemic Doesn’t Dent Demand for Sustainable Products

UK Citizen Climate Assembly Calls for ‘Fair’ Green Recovery

A ban on SUVs, a frequent flyer tax, carbon emissions labelling, and protections for those most exposed in the push to net zero were among the core recommendations when the UK’s citizen-led Climate Assembly issued its final report last week.

Analysts Foresee Big Boom in Asia’s Renewable Energy Generating Capacity

Analysts are predicting a massive renewable energy boom across the Asia Pacific region over the next decade, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) anticipating a 250% increase in renewables’ share of power generation between 2014 and 2025 and Wood Mackenzie forecasting more than 170 gigawatts of new renewables capacity each year through 2030.

Renewables in Latin America Set to Grow 250%, to 123 Gigawatts, by 2025

Renewable energy capacity in Latin America is set to grow 2½ times, from 49 gigawatts today to 123 gigawatts in 2025, with Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina leading the rise of an emerging “green powerhouse”, analysts at Rystad Energy write in a new assessment for Energy Voice News.

Australian Utility to Offer EV ‘Subscriptions’

In an Australian first, Sydney-based public utility AGL is launching a “Netflix for EVs”: a rather pricey subscription service, paid weekly, that offers customers access to a serviced and insured electric car, along with the home charging system they need to keep it powered.

Climate Risk Could Cut Nuclear Plants’ Operating Efficiency, Financial Viability

The risk of climate hazards is likely to increase over the next couple of decades for U.S. nuclear power plants whose economics are already tenuous enough that one unplanned disaster could put them out of operation, Utility Dive reports, citing a report issued last month by Moody’s Investors Service.

Vancouver International Airport Pulls Plug on $600-Million Expansion

With passenger traffic at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) down 63% from last year, airport authorities have terminated a C$600 million expansion project—and the 4,000 jobs that went with it.

Coast Guard Deploys Dispersants as Tanker Off Sri Lanka Leaks Oil

Germany Links Green Hydrogen to Hydro Megaproject in Congo

BP Buys Into $1.1-Billion Offshore Wind Farm

Unstable Foundations Have B.C. NDP Fretting About Site C Cost Overruns

Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador Resist Class Action Suit in 2017 Flood

U.S. EV Makers Find New Route to Wall Street Financing

Masdar Buys Into 1.6-GW Renewables Portfolio in U.S.

U.S. Utilities Pitch $100M Cleantech Research Effort

Houston Water Pumping Plant to Get Biggest Microgrid in U.S.

Big Australian Insurer Won’t Back Oil, Gas After 2025

Singapore Looks for New Output from Rooftop Solar

Flash Floods Kill at Least 15 in Karachi

Big Investors Push Texas to Ban Most Gas Flaring

Husky Seeks Government Bailout for $2.2-Billion Fossil Project Off Newfoundland Coast

Husky Energy is looking to federal and provincial governments for a bailout for its C$2.2-billion West White Rose project, an oil and gas drilling venture off the Newfoundland coast that it had planned to expand until the COVID-19 pandemic sent global fossil markets into a tailspin.

Fossils Keep Paying Shareholders Despite Epic Financial Losses, Declining Business Prospects

Some of the world’s most colossal fossils posted epic financial losses between April and June this year, all in the interest of preserving their dividends to shareholders, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concluded in a research brief late last month.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 2)

This is the second of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

Barry: U.S. Must Choose ‘Dignified Life’, Regenerative Economy for Citizens in Sacrifice Zones

Millions of Americans live in so-called “sacrifice zones,” where racism and rapacious economic imperatives are robbing entire communities of the fundamentals for a healthy and dignified life. That has activists calling for the creation of a regenerative economy in which communities have a direct say in the policies and decisions that affect their world.

Replace Pickering Nuclear Plant with Renewables, Not Gas, OCAA Urges

The impending closure of Ontario’s Pickering Nuclear Station is an opportunity to build a sustainable energy system based on sound energy efficiency programs, investment in local renewables, and hydroelectric power held in the public control—not ramped-up gas power generation, says the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Climate Will Be Bigger Financial Challenge than COVID-19, European Central Bank Executive Says

Climate change will be a far bigger challenge to national economies than the COVID-19 pandemic, European Central Bank executive board member Isabel Schnabel told Reuters in an interview last week.

B.C. Seniors Fight Wildfire with Cooler, Creek Water Until Help Arrives

Giant U.S. Utility Con Ed Will No Longer Invest in Gas Pipelines

Three-Quarters of Utilities World-Wide Failed to Expand Renewables

Liberals Promise Green Home Retrofits in New Brunswick Election

Nalcor Says Spill Contained After Muskrat Falls Powerhouse Leaks Oil

Nova Scotia Company Plans Another Try at Bay of Fundy Tidal

Chargepoint Raises $127M to Expand EV Charging Network

NJ Utility Plans to Sell Off Nearly 7 GW of Fossil Capacity

Saudi Aramco Puts $20B in Petrochemical Projects on Ice

Trade War Drastically Reduces China’s Fossil Purchases from U.S.

Solar, Wind Present $10B Opportunity for Australia

Investors Turn Up Heat on Samsung’s Vietnam Coal Project

Case Studies Look at Climate Vulnerability of Infrastructure

Big Financial Loss Prompts Petronas to ‘Reassess’ Oil and Gas Investments, Expand Renewables

One of the partners in British Columbia’s massive LNG Canada megaproject, Malaysian state fossil Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), is planning to cut global oil and gas production and expand its presence in solar and wind after posting a US$5.06-billion loss between April and June of this year.

Green Recovery Investments May Depend on Making Monetary Theory Cool Again

With the Trudeau government expected to introduce a vision for a just, green recovery in its Speech from the Throne later this month, a profound shift in national monetary policy—yes, monetary policy—is emerging as a cornerstone of the new strategy.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 1)

This is the first of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

IRENA Flags ‘Staggering’ $3.1 Trillion in Fossil Subsidies, 20 Times More than Renewables

The global fossil industry received a “staggering” US$3.1 trillion in direct and indirect subsidies in 2017, 20 times more than renewable energy, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed in an analysis released last week.

Site C Hydro Project Becoming a ‘Cash Bonfire’, Globe and Mail Warns

Renewables Surge Past Coal, Nuclear to Deliver Second-Largest Share of U.S. Electricity in Q2

France’s €100-Billion Stimulus Plan Stresses Green Investment, Jobs

Every 0.5°C Warming Costs China $60B Per Year in Flood Losses

Honda Unveils First Mass-Produced EV

LaRonge, Saskatchewan Faces Heavy Flood Damage

Pembina Sees Renewables Helping Canadian Communities Build Back Stronger

Arab World’s First Nuclear Power Reactor Starts Up in UAE

Supply Chains at Risk of Climate Disruption

Brazil Could See 10-Fold Wind Energy Growth by 2050

Africa Looks to Benefits of Cross-Border Renewable Energy Trading

September Throne Speech Will Include ‘Ambitious Green Agenda’, Trudeau Says

The federal government’s Speech from the Throne will lay out an “ambitious green agenda” that sets the stage for a “long-term recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, leads the way on Canada’s shift to renewable energy and response to the climate crisis, and looks out for people working in industries affected by the transition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News Wednesday.

Nuclear Industry Survey Shows 86% Public Support for Federal Investment in Clean Energy

More than three-quarters of Canadians see climate change as a serious issue, 57% say it has affected them or their loved ones, and 86% want the federal government to invest in clean energy technology to help address the crisis, according to an Abacus Data report released this week by the Canadian Nuclear Association.

Renewables Post ‘Seismic Shift’, Deliver Two-Thirds of New Power Generation in 2019

Renewable energy delivered more than two-thirds of the 265 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity installed around the world last year, with solar alone accounting for 45% of the total, according to the Power Transition Trends 2020 report issued this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Hoboken, NJ Launches the Latest Climate Liability Suit Against Big Oil

In the latest in a groundswell of climate liability lawsuits, the coastal city of Hoboken, New Jersey is suing six fossil giants as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API) trade group, accusing them of a deliberate, decades-long campaign of deception and demanding compensation for current and future climate impacts.

Mining Association ‘Disheartened’ by Federal Review of Teck Coal Mine Expansion Plan

Guterres Warns India Against Coal Expansion as Industry ‘Goes Up in Smoke’

St. John’s Climate Plan Foresees More Storms, More Rain

Bank of England Bond Buys Undercut Green Recovery

OPEC Prepares for Era of Dwindling Demand

Sydney, Australia Could See Daily Flooding by Century’s End

Sweden’s Northvolt Plans First Battery Gigafactory for 2021

Wind power turbine

Freeland, Carney May Be Canada’s Last, Best Chance for a Green Recovery

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Houston in March 2017 and declared fealty to a fossil fuel industry already entering its sunset, he showed it was bound to be a long, hard climb back to more sober-minded policy-making. Now, the question for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is whether that position still rings true in the context of a global health emergency, an accelerating climate crisis, a mounting wave of fossil fuel divestment and stranded assets, and the meteoric rise of clean energy alternatives.

Carney Joins Brookfield Asset Management as Vice-Chair, Head of ESG and Impact Investing

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England now serving as United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance, signed on last week as vice-chair of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.

Asia Risks $4.7-Trillion Annual GDP Loss by 2050 in Business-as-Usual Climate Scenario

A business-as-usual response to the climate crisis will imperil the well-being of frontier and emerging economies by 2050—particularly in Asia, where the loss of outdoor working hours due to heat stress and humidity alone could remove US$4.7 trillion of the continent’s annual GDP.

Hurricane Laura Delivers Predictable, Preventable Damage to Marginalized Communities

As the residents of Louisiana’s industry-heavy coast begin the long work of recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura—and the highly toxic chemical fire it triggered—citizens are once again facing down one of the hard truths of a fossil economy: when a climate disaster strikes, marginalized communities get pummelled.

Feds Won’t Commit to Renewal as Popular ZEV Rebate Nears Funding Limit

The federal government isn’t saying whether it will top up funding for its C$300-million electric vehicle purchase incentive, even though Transport Canada figures show 75% of the funds used up in the first 15 months of the three-year program.

Biden Win Would Deliver ‘Next Big Push’ to Renewable Energy Stocks

Renewable energy stocks that have “performed superbly” in spite of the Trump presidency are poised to do even better, if a Biden victory in the U.S. election this fall gives the cleantech sector its “next big push,” the Globe and Mail reported last month.

‘Unlikely Allies’ Create Renewable Energy Opportunities in Alberta

What do oil executives and climate activists have in common? Not much, if you listen to popular media narratives pitting environmental protection against economic growth. But at the Energy Futures Lab, diverse innovators and stakeholders in Alberta’s energy sector are finding plenty of room for collaboration.

Feds Pledge $18.3M for Six South Baffin Renewables Projects

Cree Community Opens First Utility-Scale Solar Plant in Manitoba

Algeria Expects Oil Revenue to Fall by $10B This Year

Better Knowledge, Aging Infrastructure Drive Rising Environmental Insurance Claims

Green Hydrogen Creates New Opportunities for Aluminum Manufacturing

Canadian Pension Board Invests $141M in Chinese Coal Projects, Undercutting Federal Phaseout Policy

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is jeopardizing Canadians’ retirement savings, undercutting federal government policy, and making a mockery of one of the country’s few points of climate leadership on the world stage by investing C$141 million in Chinese coal companies, a leading pensions and climate advocate said in late July.

UPDATED: Turnover at Finance Opens Door for a ‘Fundamental Retooling of the Canadian Economy’

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s dramatic resignation last night opens up an opportunity for his successor to embrace a green and just recovery as a cornerstone of the federal government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, leading climate and energy strategists have told The Energy Mix.

Harris Brings Record on Climate Action, Environmental Justice to Biden Presidential Ticket

Less than 24 hours after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate in this fall’s election, the climate news wires were buzzing with recaps of her position on climate action, her record on environmental justice, and the likely outcome after the Biden-Harris campaign pushes the Trump administration out of office in November.

O’Regan Touts Bright Future for Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Industry Investment Plunges 30%

Canada’s tar sands/oil sands have a continuing and growing role to play, with their output increasing over the shorter and longer term as the country strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan told the Financial Times in an interview published this week.

$70 Billion in Fossil Investment Makes BP’s Transition Promise a ‘Suicide Note to Humanity’, Analyst Warns

The fine print in BP’s bold, new carbon reduction pledge shows the UK-based colossal fossil still plans to invest billions in environmental catastrophe over the next decade, writes self-described eco-auditor, columnist, and Stop Killing Cyclists founder Donnachadh McCarthy, in a blistering opinion piece for The Independent.

Op-ed: Metrolinx Betrayal of Toronto Neighbourhood Another ‘Ugly Form’ of Systemic Racism

After agreeing long ago to donate land so that Toronto’s impoverished but determined-to-flourish Jane-Finch neighbourhood could build a cultural and community hub, transit agency Metrolinx is being excoriated for betraying its promise—a decision that seems to reflect the persistent appearance that, in the minds of policy-makers, Black lives don’t matter all that much, after all.

Use Community Power, Grassroot Investment to Fuel Green Recovery, Energy Co-ops Urge

A group of seven renewable energy co-ops from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia is calling on the federal government to emphasize community power procurement, deep energy retrofits, and smart grid development in economic stimulus responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nature-Friendly Economy Would Deliver $10 Trillion in Opportunities, 395 Million Jobs by 2030

A “fundamental transformation” in the direction of a nature-friendly global economy could produce US$10 trillion in annual business opportunities and a mind-boggling 395 million jobs by 2030, the International Institute for Sustainable Development reports, in a review of a recent report by the World Economic Forum.

4,000-MW Coal Plan ‘Won’t Provide Much Space’ for Pakistan’s Ambitious Renewables Target

Pakistan may be jeopardizing its own hopes of bringing renewable energy to 30% of its electricity mix by 2030, from 4% today, by pursuing a parallel plan to build new coal plants.

Carbon Border Taxes Mustn’t Penalize Developing Countries for Emissions Driven by Developed-World Policies

While a carbon border adjustment looks reasonable at face value as a way to encourage faster, deeper carbon cuts, the approach will fail the equity test in the 2015 Paris Agreement if it puts the onus on developing countries to curtail fossil fuel use the developed world has worked hard to promote.

AIMCo Fossil Investment Strategy Cost Alberta Heritage Fund $2B

Saudi Aramco Protects Shareholders After Profits Plummet 73%

No One Takes Responsibility for Massive Florida Methane Cloud

BMW Ties Executive Pay to Climate Targets

Spring Flooding Caused $522M in Damage in Fort McMurray

Manitoba First Nation Pans Nuclear Commission’s ‘Colonial, Inexcusable’ Behaviour

Sea Level Rise Threatens Hundreds of Toxic U.S. Superfund Sites

New Online Tools Trace U.S. Cities’ Drive to Renewables

Developer in Poland Plans 1.2-GW Wind Farm in Baltic Sea

600-MW Wind Farm in Thailand to Send Power to Vietnam

UK Subsidy Will Get More Riders on E-Bikes

Monster Storms in Argentina Hold Lessons for Future Severe Weather

Climate Drives Failing Dam at Zambia-Zimbabwe Border to ‘Brink of Calamity’

BlackRock Pushes Investors on Water Scarcity

Investors Betting on Solid State Batteries

Carney Advises Ottawa on Pandemic Recovery as Speculation Swirls Around Morneau’s Future

Summer speculation was swirling in Ottawa this week with the news that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is back in the country and advising the federal government on next steps in its economic recovery plan. Carney’s arrival coincided with persistent rumours that Finance Minister Bill Morneau may soon be out of a job, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went out of his way yesterday to express confidence in Morneau.

Action on Climate, $40/Barrel Oil Could Mean Trillions in Stranded Fossil Assets

With colossal fossils Total and Shell downgrading the value of their oil and gas assets, BP pledging to cut oil and gas production 40% by 2030, and even fossil behemoth ExxonMobil ripping up a US$30-billion plan to renew its oil and gas reserves, Bloomberg Green is out with a timely explainer on stranded assets.

India Coal Mining Plan Endangers Ecologically Sensitive Forests, Indigenous Way of Life

India’s plan to boost an economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce its dependence on expensive coal imports is producing a moment of deep peril for the Hasdeo Arand, a biodiverse, ecologically sensitive forest in the state of Chhattisgarh, as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sets its sights on the five billion tonnes of coal beneath the surface.

Peabody’s Massive $1.42-Billion Write-Off Shows ‘New Reality in U.S. Coal Mining’

The decision by coal giant Peabody Energy to cut the declared value of the United States’ biggest coal mine by US$1.42 billion is an acknowledgement that “thermal coal mines in the U.S. have little value anymore and not much of a future,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) writes in an assessment of the August 5 announcement.

New Mexico’s Off-Coal Transition Plan Includes Community Dialogue, Jobs Outside Energy

New Mexico is emerging as a promising model for governments aiming to phase out coal without leaving behind the households and communities that depend on coal industry jobs, after an Albuquerque-based private utility decided to divest its share of the 925-megawatt San Juan coal plant in 2022 and invest in 650 MW of solar generation and 300 MW of battery storage.

Wind turbines

PetroChina’s ‘Green, Low-Carbon Model’ Shows Renewables Reshaping the Future

China’s most colossal fossil is investing some of its winnings in renewable energy after selling off US$38 billion worth of pipelines, after concluding it can make more money by switching technologies.

‘Agrivoltaics’ Pairs Grazing Sheep with Solar Arrays for Mutual Baaa-nefit

Solar developers and sheep farmers are being increasingly found in harmonious co-existence across the United States—and reduced fire risk, heightened community acceptance, and a shot at spectacular cost savings are three key reasons why.

New Bike Route Barrier Design Repurposes Scrapped Tires

A Milwaukee design team has produced an award-winning bike lane barrier made from discarded car tires. Reproducible at scale and easy to build with a few tools, the WeCLAIM barrier promises to repurpose a share of the 300 million car tires that are scrapped each year in the United States alone.

New Tariffs Against China Could Threaten India’s 100-GW Solar Target

Oilfield Services Giant Schlumberger Cuts 21,000 Jobs

Musk Opposes New Stimulus After Winning Big in Earlier Round

U.S., Vietnam Plan $6-Billion Joint Investment in LNG

World Bank Boosts Fossils, Undercuts Climate Goals

Extreme Rainfall in Korea Likely Triggered by Climate Change

More Climate Deniers Enter British House of Lords

What If Consumers Could Just Buy Their Own Plug-In Batteries?

In Conversation: Canadians Must Keep Up the Pressure for Green Recovery, Sen. Rosa Galvez Says

Sen. Rosa Galvez chaired the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Laval University, where she led a research project on the consequences of the explosion and spill of an oil-carrying freight train in Lac Mégantic before she was appointed to the Canadian Senate on November 2, 2016. As a member of the Senate National Finance Committee, she played a leading role in a review of Canada’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, she assesses the federal government’s record so far in building a green recovery that focuses on people first.

Alberta Mismanages Heritage Fund, Misses Out on $575B in Revenue Over 44 Years

Successive Alberta governments over the last 44 years have mismanaged their way out of C$575 billion in revenue that should have been available to help cushion the province from a brutal oil price crash and chart a course to a more diverse, less fossil-dependent economy, according to a University of Calgary economics professor.

Pandemic Doesn’t Blunt Financial Sector Interest in Lower-Carbon Investments

Although the financial sector’s commitments to climate accountability and greater transparency only began to pick up major momentum in the months before the coronavirus made its appearance, the pandemic has not slowed down the drive for lower-carbon investments, as many campaigners feared it might.

Heavy Rains Could Bring La Ronge, Saskatchewan Dam to Point of Failure

Quebec Funds Renewable Natural Gas Projects for Export to Vermont

Bankers Second-Guess ‘Over-Optimistic’ Fracking Industry Models

Oklahoma Indian Land Decision Could Affect Massive Cushing Oil Terminal

Japanese Business Lobby Hinders National Climate Policy

UK Turns Attention to Natural Flood Prevention

WRI: New Start-Ups Show Future of Mobility is Micro

China May Finally Bar ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Eligibility

Big Investors Point to Climate as ‘Systemic Threat’ to Economy

Exxon Rips Up $30-Billion Rebuilding Plan, Could Declare Stranded Assets at Kearl Lake

ExxonMobil’s massive Kearl Lake mine north of Fort McMurray may be the latest tar sands/oil sands to be devalued as one of the world’s most determined colossal fossils considers designating up to one-fifth of its global oil and gas reserves as stranded assets, part of a company-wide scramble to respond to crashing oil prices and weak markets for its product.

New Framework Gives Pension Funds a Blueprint for Net-Zero Investing

A group backed by 70 major investors with more than US$16 trillion under management has launched the Net Zero Investment Framework, the world’s first blueprint to help pension funds and other big investing institutions match the composition of their investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Offshore Wind Could Create 900,000 Jobs, Grow Eightfold by 2030

The offshore wind industry is poised to increase its output eightfold, from 29 to 234 gigawatts, and create 900,000 or more jobs by 2030, according to new analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that shows China leading the growth in installed capacity.

BC Hydro, NDP Blame COVID-19 for Site C Overruns, Despite Pre-Existing Problems

Two years after an international expert wrote a lengthy report on the myriad factors likely to lead to major construction cost overruns on the Site C hydroelectric dam, BC Hydro is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the multiple woes that now beset the megaproject. Not so fast, say those who have long and fiercely opposed it.

Beer: Alberta Should Treat Total’s $9.3-Billion Write-Off as a Wake-Up Call, Not a Cheap Shot

After French petroleum giant Total wrote off C$9.3 billion in stranded assets in the tar sands/oil sands, the Jason Kenney government had the option of treating the announcement as a wake-up call, not a cheap shot. And Albertans were hurt first and worst when their government made the wrong choice, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post for The Narwhal.

Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services. 

Gray: Canada Loses if Trudeau Bets on a Second White House Term for Trump

The Trudeau government appears to be betting on a second White House term for Donald Trump, Environmental Defence Executive Director Tim Gray observes in a blog post this week. And that means Ottawa could be caught offside if Joe Biden wins the presidency, with his plan for a US$2-trillion green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indigenous Off-Diesel Efforts Need Better Support: Pembina

Bike-Share Program Addresses Long-Standing Inequities on Chicago’s South Side

Clean Energy Canada Reports Big Potential for Geothermal

Canadian Miner Takes Up Musk’s Sustainable Nickel Challenge

New York City’s Managed Retreat Has Already Begun

China Boosts Renewable Energy Subsidies

Dealers See Opportunities for Green Deals in Southeast Asia

Landowner Mounts Court Challenge to Adani Power Plant

Japan’s Withdrawal from Coal Could Create Foothold for LNG

UK Nuclear Industry Has Powerful Backers

New South Wales Sees Renewables Zone Powering 3.5 Million Homes

New Siemens Spin-Off Will Shut Out Coal

BP Declares 40% Production Cut by 2030, Boosts Renewables, After Pandemic Delivers Big Quarterly Loss

London, UK-based BP says it will reduce its fossil fuel output 40% by 2030 and scale back its dividend to shareholders for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010, as the world’s fourth most colossal fossil responds to mounting calls for climate action, the economic chaos wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, and a US$6.7-billion quarterly loss.

Expand Natural Gas Energy Efficiency to Boost Economy, Create Jobs, Groups Urge Ontario

The Ontario Energy Board must expand the province’s natural gas energy efficiency programs as a way to meet provincial carbon targets, create jobs, and drive the COVID-19 economic recovery, Efficiency Canada argues in a letter it submitted yesterday to three senior provincial cabinet ministers.

116-Year-Old VW Factory Produces Last Internal Combustion Car as Shift to EVs Looms

One hundred and sixteen years after the Volkswagen factory in Zwickau, Germany (also known as the City of Cars) first began producing internal combustion vehicles, the very last one has rolled off its assembly line, with a shift to full EV production planned for year’s end.

‘Inevitable Policy Response’ Will Drive Climate Action by 2025, UN Agency Says

Arguing that global financial markets will inevitably begin factoring in the near-term policy response to climate change over the next five years, a United Nations program wants to help investors prepare for the portfolio risks they’ll face as a result.

Carbon Capture Failure in Texas Bodes Badly for Similar Projects Elsewhere, IEEFA Warns

NRG Energy’s decision to mothball a coal-fired carbon capture project in Texas, just 3½ years after it went online in January 2017, is a sign of things to come for other, similar plants in the United States, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) concludes in a new research brief.

Buffett-Owned Utility Plans 3.4-GW Renewables/Storage Procurement

Lenders Get Comfortable with Floating Offshore Wind

Canada Exempts Newfoundland Offshore Drilling from Environmental Assessment

Gates Hunts for Cobalt in Northern Quebec

Coal Giant Murray Energy Spent $100,000 in Ohio Racketeering Case

Virginia Utility CEO Steps Down After Big Losses on Pipeline Cancellation

New Hampshire Utility Cancels Gas Pipeline

China Missing Out on Trillions in Clean Investment

Adani Coal Project Loses Another Big Backer in South Korea

Mississippi River Farmers Look to Nature-Based Flood Mitigation

U.S. Home Electrification Programs Drive Energy Efficiency

Solar Can Meet Demand for Industrial Process Heat

Colossal Fossil Total Declares $9.3B in Stranded Assets in Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands

French colossal fossil Total sent a shockwave through the Alberta oilpatch Wednesday with the announcement that it is writing off C$9.3 billion in assets in the tar sands/oil sands, including $7.3 billion in the Fort Hills mine, which opened just 2½ years ago, and the Surmont thermal oilsands project.

Robinson: Canada’s Climate Inaction Could Undermine ‘Historic Reputation for Environmental Leadership’

Canada is at risk of undermining its “historic reputation for environmental leadership” if it fails to match its words on climate change and an ambitious green recovery with action, former Irish president and United Nations human rights commissioner Mary Robinson writes in a post this week for the Globe and Mail.

Houston Flood Protection Funding Prioritizes Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods, Generates Status Quo Pushback

After years of being left without flood protection—with all support earmarked for the coastal properties of the wealthy—Houston’s low-lying neighbourhoods have found champions in policy-makers determined to prioritize the protection of those who would face a more difficult recovery. But not everyone appreciates this application of environmental justice.

UK’s Biggest Pension Fund Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Drilling, Coal

The United Kingdom’s biggest pension fund is banning investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic drilling, and coal projects—against the wishes of the country’s current pensions minister.

Landmark Economic Analysis Shows 5:1 Return on Protected Area Investments

The most comprehensive cost-benefit analysis ever on nature protections has found that the economic, ecological, and spiritual benefits of protecting 30% of the world’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems will outweigh the costs by a factor of at least five to one.

McKinsey Predicts Florida Losing $30B in Home Values in 10 Years

EU Green Plan Leaves Details, Responsibility to Member States

U.S. Hedge Fund Gets Interested in Algonquin Power’s Renewables Expansion

Big U.S. Retailers Seek Alternatives to Plastic Bags

Barclay’s Sent £1.5 Billion to Coal Companies in 2019

Israel Approves New Undersea Gas Line to Europe

New $1.7B Danish Green Fund Shows Investors Still Interested

Canadian Pension Board Invests $141M in Chinese Coal Projects, Undercutting Federal Phaseout Policy

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is jeopardizing Canadians’ retirement savings, undercutting federal government policy, and making a mockery of one of the country’s few points of climate leadership on the world stage by investing C$141 million in Chinese coal companies, a leading pensions and climate advocate said this week.

Deutsche Bank Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Oil and Gas, Falls Short on Coal Divestment

Frankfurt-based banking giant Deutsche Bank is immediately cutting off financing for new tar sands/oil sands and Arctic oil and gas projects and will end its involvement with coal mining by 2025, in a move that at least one Canadian climate analyst praised but a European campaign organization cast as just a first step in a longer transformation.

RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank to Sign Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement

The Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest chartered bank and one of its biggest boosters for new fossil infrastructure, is dipping its toe in the world of renewable energy finance by buying into two new solar farms producing a combined 39 megawatts of electricity in southeast Alberta.

Transit in a Pandemic: Now Is the Time to Undo Neglect, Systemic Racism

As pandemic-weary Americans flee mass transit in droves and commuter-driven emissions begin to spike back up, a Black transit policy expert is urging city leaders to recognize the critical role that public transit plays in creating a world where Black lives do matter. 

Plummeting Wind Costs Could Make ‘Green’ Hydrogen Cost-Competitive by 2023

Less than two weeks after a report that renewably-produced “green” hydrogen could be cost competitive with fossil-dependent “grey” by 2030, a new analysis by banking giant Morgan Stanley says plummeting wind energy prices could push green hydrogen into the lead by 2023.

Abu Dhabi Project Sets New Low Price Record with 1.35¢/kWh for Utility-Scale Solar

Utility-scale solar has hit another absurdly low price threshold, with a consortium of four companies offering a tariff price of US1.35¢ per kilowatt hour for the two-gigawatt Al Dhafra solar farm in Abu Dhabi.

IEA Risks Credibility with Projections that Enable New Fossil Megaprojects

The International Energy Agency is giving political cover to new fossil megaprojects, and risks undermining its own influence over the next few years, by failing to put a 1.5°C limit on average global warming at the centre of its modelling and analysis, according to several analysts and campaigners cited in a review this week by Climate Home News.

Musk Could Be in Line for ‘Unacceptable’ $55B Performance Bonus

OPEC Expects Oil Demand to Surge in 2021

Taxpayer Funds Could Trigger Pandemic Recovery Loans Above $100 Million Per Fossil Company, EDC Says

Loan guarantees and other forms of financial risk management from Export Development Canada (EDC) could clear the way for bank loans well in excess of C$100 million to help individual fossil fuel companies weather the financial storm produced by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving taxpayers to help cover the banks’ losses if the companies can’t make good on their borrowing, The Energy Mix has learned.

Ohio Plans Repeal of Coal, Nuclear Bailout After Bribery Scandal Snares House Speaker

The outsized political power of U.S. utilities has come into sharp focus over the last 10 days, with bribery scandals in Ohio and Illinois reaching senior politicians in both states, including the speakers of both state houses.

Place Indigenous Youth at Centre of Clean Energy Partnerships, McCarthy and Morrison Urge

Ottawa and the provinces must work harder to support Canada’s Indigenous peoples in becoming full partners in the clean energy transition—and Indigenous youth need to be encouraged, mentored, and supported to lead those partnerships, according to a recent opinion piece in iPolitics.

Federal Procurement Could Boost Cleantech Innovation, Bains Says

The federal government’s successful use of its purchasing power to get medical equipment produced during the COVID-19 pandemic might help shift a years-long debate over the role of government procurement in supporting start-up cleantech companies.

Morgan Stanley Will Disclose Climate Impacts of Lending, Investments

Trans Mountain Pipeline Loses Lead Insurer as Zurich Steps Away

Mammoth global insurance company Zurich has decided to abandon its role as principal insurer for the Trans Mountain pipeline when its coverage expires August 31.

Task Force Urges $50B for ‘Bold’, Resilient Recovery, Including $27B for Building Retrofits

An independent task force of Canadian finance and policy experts is calling on the federal government to invest C$50 billion over the next five years in five “bold moves for a resilient recovery”, with a $27-billion building energy retrofit program leading a list of 22 specific policy measures.

In Conversation: Decisions on Canada’s Green Recovery Could Still Go Either Way, Petrevan Says

Sarah Petrevan is Policy Director at Clean Energy Canada, and one of the key climate advocates monitoring Ottawa’s progress toward a just, green recovery. With Canadians waiting and watching to see what form that recovery will take, she shares her latest assessment of where the discussion stands.

Details Scarce as Canada Pledges to Triple Annual Energy Efficiency Improvements

The federal government is promising to triple the pace of Canada’s energy efficiency improvements to 3% per year, and the country’s energy efficiency advocacy network, Efficiency Canada, is out with a three-point plan to get started down that path.

Landmark Australian Lawsuit Ties Investor Risk to Climate Change

In what observers are describing as a “world-first” legal case, a 23-year-old law student from Melbourne is taking the Australian government to court, charging it with failing in its legal duty to inform investors in its sovereign bonds about climate-related financial risks.

Smart City Technologies Support Post-COVID Push for Energy Efficiency, Emission Reductions

Smart city technologies are poised to increase energy efficiency and encourage sustainable living in municipalities focused on building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and curbing their greenhouse gas emissions, reports.

Connecticut Green Bonds Offer Path for Investors to Fund Climate Solutions

BREAKING: EDC Backing Will Add to Canada’s Fossil Industry Bailout, Watchdog Groups Warn

Routing public financing through an “opaque Crown corporation with minimal government oversight” is not the way to be accountable for the way pandemic recovery funds are spent—or for the proportion of that money going to fossil fuel bailouts, three leading advocacy groups argue in a backgrounder published this morning.

Canada Flunks Climate Test with ‘Policy Full of Loopholes’ for Assessing New Projects

Canada’s new impact assessment rules for power plants, pipelines, and other major infrastructure fall far short of the climate test environmental organizations have been calling for, and only require a path to net-zero emissions for projects that will still be in operation in 2050, under a new federal framework unveiled last week.

EU European Union

EU Treats Climate as ‘Pawn in Bigger Negotiation’, Adopts World’s Greenest Stimulus with Too Little Enforcement

Just a day after declaring it a “mission impossible”, leaders of 27 European countries finalized a COVID-19 recovery plan and seven-year budget worth €1.8 trillion, with nearly one-third of the total set aside for climate measures but reduced funding to key climate initiatives and only limited “green strings” to prevent investments in polluting industries.

TTC Hangs On for Financial Relief from Ottawa’s Emergency Funding Package

The long-suffering Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is hoping to emerge as a major beneficiary of the C$19-billion emergency relief package for provinces and municipalities unveiled last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

South Korea Fails to Adopt Net-Zero Deadline with New Green Investment Plan

South Korea stepped back from setting a deadline for phasing out its greenhouse gas emissions last week is it unveiled a ₩42.7-trillion/US$35-billion plan to invest in renewable energy and environmental infrastructure.

British Airlines to Retire Its 31 Gas-Guzzling 747s

Citing the pandemic-induced global collapse of air travel, British Airways has announced the immediate retirement of its legendary Boeing 747s. Elegant, but a gas-guzzler—and therefore incompatible with BA’s declared target of reaching net-zero by 2050—the world’s first jumbo jet was originally set to be retired from the airline’s fleet in 2024.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Global Cash-for-Clunkers Program Would Speed Up Lagging Coal Plant Retirements

The slow pace of coal plant retirements around the world has a veteran climate advocate calling for a “cash for clunkers” program to speed up the process of getting the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel out of circulation.

U.S. Paycheque Protection Plan Hands Tens of Millions to Ohio Valley Coal Companies

Private Land Buys Speed Up Tropical Deforestation

All-Polymer Battery Could Be 90% Cheaper than Lithium-Ion

Carney Pushes Stock Exchanges to Improve Climate Data-Sharing

Australia’s Second-Biggest Pension Fund Unfriends Coal

Investors See Agroforestry as Climate-Friendly Money-Maker

Canada’s Pandemic Response Sends $16 Billion to Fossils, Just $300 Million to Clean Energy, Global Energy Policy Tracker Shows

Canada’s pandemic response to date has sent just C$300 million to clean energy, compared to more than $16 billion to fossil fuels, according to new data released this week by Energy Policy Tracker, a joint effort by multiple civil society organizations including the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

$2.7-Trillion in Ecosystem Investments Would Generate 400 Million Jobs: WEF

A yearly investment of US$2.7 trillion in ecosystem health would reap an annual 400 million jobs and $10 trillion in returns through 2030, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, prompting the study authors to urge policy-makers to make restoration of the devastated natural world a cornerstone of all pandemic recovery efforts.