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, 350.org 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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BP is supporting a shareholder resolution at its annual meeting today that calls for greater transparency about its greenhouse gas emissions, links between emission reductions and executive pay, and an indication of how its future investments will match up with the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Montreal Mayor Promises New Climate Action But Critics Call for More

Montreal’s city administration is vowing to get tougher on fossil-fueled heating and fossil company divestment, but its climate plan has already led to the defection of one borough mayor who plans to advocate for faster, deeper carbon cuts as a private citizen.

Vietnam Aims to Boost Non-Hydro Renewables, Avert Climate Impacts That Would ‘Destroy 30 Million Livelihoods’

With hydroelectric resources maxed out and coal reserves in decline, Vietnam is seeking to mobilize its significant wind and solar potential—and the requisite investment of roughly US$8 billion.

Inslee Calls for $9-Trillion Green Jobs Investment, Transition for Fossil Workers

Provinces Ask Ottawa for $138 Million to Buy Out Flooded Properties

Blockbuster Report Shows Plastics Producing 850 Million Tonnes of Emissions This Year

Producing and incinerating plastic will emit more than 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gases this year, the equivalent of 189 new 500-megawatt coal plants, according to a blockbuster report released this week by the U.S. Center for International Environmental Law and five other organizations.

Bank of Canada Review Declares Climate Risk to Financial System, Wider Economy

The Bank of Canada cites climate change as a risk “to both the economy and the financial system” in its 2019 Financial System Review (FSR), the first in the annual series to examine the climate crisis as a threat to the country’s financial stability.

Albertans Anxious About Future of Solar, Energy Efficiency Rebates

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s plan to cancel his province’s carbon tax has produced anxiety about the future of the solar and energy efficiency rebates introduced by the previous Rachel Notley government.

Low-Carbon Investment Must Grow 250% by 2030 to Hit Paris Targets: IEA

Low-carbon energy investment must increase 250% by 2030 if countries are to meet their targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency warned this week.

European Development Bank Commits $100 Million to Turkish Solar

Nelson Mandela’s ANC Wants to Force Banks to Invest in Coal

Daimler Promises Carbon-Neutral Fleet by 2039, But Analysts Query the Details

German automotive giant Daimler AG has announced plans to phase out “traditional combustion” cars and shift its global sales to a completely carbon-neutral fleet by 2039, prompting one U.S. analyst to acknowledge the company’s “aggressive timeline” but still contrast it with the 2030 carbon phasedown target in last year’s IPCC report on 1.5°C pathways.

China, Japan, South Korea Fund Coal Plants Elsewhere, But Not in Their Own Back Yards

China, Japan, and South Korea are financing dozens of new coal plants in the developing countries of southeast Asia and Africa, while more than 100 of the region’s financial institutions back away from supporting similar projects on their home turf.

Edmonton Prepares Backup Plan if UCP Cuts Energy Efficiency Funds

Report Lays Out $68-Billion Opportunity for U.S. Offshore Wind Suppliers

A flurry of state-level commitments to offshore wind in the United States adds up to US$68.2-billion in contracts to build 18.6 gigawatts of new capacity through 2030—but only if investors can see the opportunities shaping up, according to a University of Delaware report last month that aimed to provide a “first-of-its-kind singularity” into the supply chains that will drive the industry.

U.S. Solar Celebrates Two Millionth Installation, Predicts Market Dominance in 2020s

U.S. solar is laying claim to having “reshaped the energy conversation” and aiming to “dominate in the 2020s”, after the latest data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables showed the industry exceeding two million installations earlier in 2019, a year later than analysts originally predicted.

Tasmania Closes In on 100% RE as Australian Renewables Undercut Coal, Gas on Price

The state of Tasmania is on track to become the first in Australia to be powered 100% by renewable energy, just as an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) declares new wind and solar with battery storage less expensive than coal- and gas-fired generating stations.

September Climate Summit Prompts Goal-Setting on Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance

United Nations agencies and various international coalitions are beginning to gear up for the Climate Action Summit that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is set to convene in New York City September 23, with the heads of 37 UN agencies issuing a joint appeal for an “ambitious” climate response and nine track coalitions unveiling their work plans to deliver on that call.

Green Leasing, PACE Financing Transform 1960s Commercial Building in Cleveland

A non-descript office building in Cleveland is about to complete a big leap in operating efficiency, becoming the community’s first to finance a major energy retrofit through Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE).

Third-Largest U.S. Coal Miner Files for Bankruptcy

The United States’ third-biggest remaining coal miner by volume, Gillette, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy, has filed for bankruptcy.

U.S. Regulator Declares ‘Micromanagement’ After Exxon Shareholders Demand Climate Action

2018 was U.S. Fossils’ Most Profitable Year Since 2013, EIA Reports

Osaka Gas Pullout Threatens $1.2-Billion Japanese Coal Project

IEA Flags ‘Deeply Worrying’ Stagnation in Renewable Energy Growth

The International Energy Agency is raising the alarm over 2018 statistics that show annual growth in renewable energy deployments stagnating for the first time since the turn of the century.

Bosch Plans Major Offsets Purchase to Achieve Carbon-Neutral Operations by 2020

The world’s largest automotive supplier, Germany’s Bosch, has declared its intention to be carbon neutral by 2020, thanks to increased energy efficiency, more green power, and substantial offsets.

Exxon Pitches $100 Million Over 10 Years for Biofuels, CCS Research

Eight Countries Urge EU to Spend 25% of Budget on Climate Change

Butts Resurfaces as Consultant on Global Climate Risk

Deadbeat Fossils Withhold Taxes, Lease Payments from Alberta Municipalities and Landowners

Rural municipalities in Alberta are out more than C$81 million in tax revenue from oil and gas companies, and deadbeat fossils are also asking landowners, mostly farmers, to let them skimp on lease payments on the properties their oil and gas rigs occupy, according to a follow-up news report on Trident Exploration’s decision last week to shut down operations and abandon 4,700 gas wells.

Percent of Actuaries Citing Climate as Top Insurance Risk Grows 200% in One Year

The percentage of actuaries who view climate change as the top insurance risk, ahead of cyberthreats, terrorist attacks, and financial meltdowns, has rocketed upwards more than 200% in the last year, a recent industry survey concludes.

U.S. Solar Tax Credit Extension Would Help Communities Facing Coal Phaseout

There’s an unexpected good reason for the U.S. government to extend its solar energy tax credit through 2024, according to a new briefing note by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis: It’s an essential support for coal communities making the transition to cleaner, less expensive, low-carbon energy.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiandevelopmentbank/22186030516

Mini-Grids+Solar Promise Reliable Power, Community Income for World’s Poorest Countries

With mini-grid technology that allows peer-to-peer solar energy trading well in hand, the next step for poor countries like Bangladesh is to allow individual solar home systems (SHS) to connect to the public grid, a move that would boost energy equity and overall grid stability while enabling joint public-private energy planning, inclusive business consultancy Enleva states in a recent blog post.

Two Profs Quit McGill University Board to Protest ‘End-Run’ Around Fossil Divestment Resolution

Two professors have resigned from the McGill University Board of Governors, in anticipation that the institution will reject its own Senate’s resolution to divest its holdings in fossil fuels.

Coastal Wetland Protection Would Save 3.3 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Protection of Coastal Wetlands ranks #52 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. The strategy could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 3.3 gigatons by 2050, as long as 75 million acres of these vital ecosystems (out of a total of 121 million world-wide) can be secured within the next 30 years.

Renewables Investors Breathe Easier After Spanish Election Result

Buffett-Owned Utility Proposes to Replace Coal with Renewables+Storage

Bankrupt Alberta Fossil Abandons 4,700 Wells, $329 Million in Clean-Up Costs

A bankrupt Canadian fossil is walking away from 4,700 abandoned natural gas wells and an estimated C$329 million in clean-up costs, according to a report last week by the industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

National Bank Looks Outside Canada for Renewable Energy Investments

Canada’s sixth-biggest bank has to look abroad for projects to meet its renewable energy investment targets, its CEO revealed during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting late last month.

Canada Falls Behind on Climate Risk Reporting, Sustainable Finance

With Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance due to report this spring, and a recent national climate assessment showing the country warming at twice the global rate, two community investment strategists say it’s time to catch up with other jurisdictions in requiring companies to disclose their climate-related investment risk.

The ‘What Were They Thinking’ Moment: How Was St-Marthe Built on a Lake Bed?

In the aftermath of last month’s catastrophic flooding in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le Lac, on the shore of Lake of Two Mountains outside Montreal, some local planners are having a ‘what were they thinking’ moment: How is it that much of the town, which more than doubled in population between 1995 and 2016, was built on a lake bed?

Beyond Meat Value More Than Doubles in First Day on Stock Market

Germany’s RWE, France’s ENGIE Pivot from Coal to Renewables and Gas

Two big European utilities, RWE in Germany and ENGIE in France, are both stepping away from coal-fired electricity production in favour of renewables and natural gas.

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Fight for Reparations Against Indian Coal Plant’s Funder

In a precedent-setting case that corporate polluters will be watching closely, fishers in India’s westernmost state of Gujarat have taken their plea for reparations against the financier of a massive coal plant to the U.S. Supreme Court—which recently ruled in their favour.

Cenovus Shareholders Reject Move to Align Emissions with Paris Targets

Shareholders at Cenovus Energy’s annual meeting in Calgary last week roundly defeated a shareholder resolution that would have required the Alberta tar sands/oil sands producer to align its greenhouse gas emission targets with the Paris Agreement.

PBO Places Canada’s Carbon Price Revenue at $2.6 Billion

Hannover RE Sets Tougher Limits on Coal Reinsurance

Enerkem Raises $76.3 M in New Financing, Draws Suncor as New Investor

Second Singapore Bank Steps Away from New Coal Lending

Thunberg Addresses UK Parliament as Extinction Rebellion Caps Nine Days of Street Protests

#FridaysforFuture leader Greta Thunberg addressed the UK parliament last week, attended a roundtable with national party leaders that included an empty seat for absent Prime Minister Theresa May, and backed a general strike as the next step in mobilizing public response to the “existential crisis” of climate change.

Trudeau Warns of More Climate-Driven Floods, as Researcher Suggests Rethinking Quebec’s Relationship with Water

In the wake of massive spring flooding in Quebec, New Brunswick, and parts of Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning of more of the same in an era of climate disruption, while a researcher in Quebec says it’s time for the province to rethink its relationship with water.

Péloffy: ‘Epic Clash of World Views’ Pits Public Mobilization Against Fossil Lobby

Quebec’s “climate spring” is a cascading grassroot trend that the province’s “powers that be” ignore at their peril, argues Karine Péloffy, legal counsel for the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), in a recent post for iPolitics.

Nevada, Washington State Declare 100% Clean Energy Targets

Nevada and Washington State have been the latest in a string of U.S. jurisdictions to adopt rapid steps to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

China Relaxes Limits on New Coal Plants, But Analysts See Renewables Boom Continuing

The last few days have seen conflicting analysis of China’s recent decision to allow new coal plant construction in 11 of its provinces, with an initial report on Bloomberg asserting that the country is “far from finished with the most-polluting fossil fuel”, but a follow-up suggesting relatively few developers will take the national government up on its offer.

Out-of-State Interests Fund Pro-Coal Campaign in Indiana

Gyms, Pools, Amenities Drive Up Energy Use in New Condo Buildings

News Analyst Hopes for ‘Less Bellicose’ Kenney as Climate Groups Prepare for the Worst [GoFundMe Campaign]

News commentary in the wake of the United Conservative Party’s decisive election win in Alberta last week is skewing in two equal and opposite directions, with some stories pointing toward a more moderate, somewhat middle ground for UCP leader Jason Kenney, while the climate groups he spent much of the campaign vilifying prepare for the worst.

Central Bank Execs Stress Financial Sector’s Role in Addressing Climate Change

It’s time for central banks and the wider financial community to set clear, measurable goals for building a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy, 34 of the world’s biggest central banks declared last week, in the first comprehensive report by the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

India Can Save by Shifting Kerosene Subsidies to Solar

SE Asia’s Second-Biggest Lender Says No to Future Coal Projects

Malaysian Fossil Petronas Jumps Into Solar PV Market

Delay in Federal Subsidy Creates Lull in Canadian EV Sales

Auto Insurers Can Help Community Solar Spot EV Users

Cities Scramble to Keep in Touch as Rockefeller Shutters 100 Resilient Cities Network

The Rockefeller Foundation is shutting down its 100 Resilient Cities network, a major initiative that has helped communities around the world prepare for the impacts of climate change and respond to local challenges as diverse as transportation, poor sanitation, flooding, fire control, and cholera outbreaks.

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

Commercial Buildings Drive 75% Growth in Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

American commercial builders and retrofitters determined to deliver a lower-carbon product are signing up in droves for long-term financing using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) mechanism and hammering home cumulative savings of 6.3 billion kWh, the amount of electricity used annually by around 25,000 commercial office buildings.

Fossils ‘Surprised and Disappointed’ as Norway Turns Against Lofoten Islands Oil Drilling

Norwegian fossils declared themselves “surprised and disappointed” last week after the opposition Labour Party, the biggest voting bloc in the national parliament, withdrew its support for offshore oil and gas exploration in the environmentally sensitive Lofoten Islands.

Climate-Vulnerable Countries Plan New Tools to Fund Green Development

With at least a billion people in developing countries facing serious risk as the climate warms, the 48 members of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance (V20) is introducing a new set of tools to free up more funds at less cost for green development.

Investment Houses See Climate Targets Undercutting Fossils, Warming Above 2.0°C Boosting Financial Risk

Continued fossil industry development came under increased pressure from investors over the last week, with a major fund manager concluding that climate targets could undercut global oil demand by the mid-2020s and one of the world’s biggest investment advisors warning of trouble ahead if global climate goals are missed.

Analysis: Alberta Misses Out on Grown-Up Conversation About Fossil Transition

With Albertans voting tomorrow in the province’s 30th general election, most of the punditry and virtually every opinion poll reinforce the popular wisdom that rage at a failing fossil economy has made Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party pretty much bulletproof and headed for a massive electoral win.

Ontario Cuts Energy Efficiency, Talks Generalities on Climate in ‘Most Anti-Environment Budget Since Walkerton’

The Doug Ford government in Ontario released a budget last week that allocates job creation incentive funds for clean energy investments but cuts program funding for electricity conservation, even though the province could face electricity shortages as early as 2023.

Apple Pushes Suppliers to Adopt 100% RE Targets

Tech giant Apple has nearly doubled the number of suppliers it has convinced to adopt 100% renewable energy targets, bringing the total to date to 44, the company announced in a release last week.

Bloomberg Columnist Echoes Calls for 1.5°C Scenarios from IEA

A Bloomberg News opinion columnist is turning to Google Maps as an analogy for an annual energy futures roadmap from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that has policy-makers presuming continuing high demand for fossil fuels, rather than giving serious consideration to off-fossil strategies that will help get climate change under control.

Bankrupt PG&E Tries to Duck $42 Billion in Power Purchase Contracts

Colossal Fossils Push Back Against Shareholder Climate Action

EPA Scientists Calculate Costs of Climate Change Through 2100

New Coal Plants in India Collapse from 20 GW in 2015 to 1.2 Last Year

Chevron Becomes Third-Biggest Fossil with $33-Billion Acquisition

‘Built on Quicksand, Clear as Mud’: Trans Mountain Costs Are Impossible to Track, IEEFA Warns

The financial arrangements behind Canadian taxpayers’ involuntary acquisition of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline are “built on quicksand and clear as mud”, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports this week, in an assessment that urges the Trudeau government to be more transparent about what the project is costing now and how it’ll be paid for in the future.

Energy Storage to Become ‘Key Grid Asset’ with 13-Fold Growth Through 2024

The capacity of energy storage systems around the world is set to increase thirteenfold over six years, from 12 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in 2018 to an astonishing 158 GWh in 2024, according to a new market assessment by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

Global Wind Capacity Set to Surge 50% in Five Years As GE Installs 12-Megawatt Test Turbine

Falling technology costs and expanding markets will send global wind capacity soaring by 50% over the next five years, according to an annual report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Canada Takes Aim at Range Anxiety with Expanded EV Charging Network

Alert to the allure of the long-distance road trip—and corresponding anxieties around electric vehicle range—Canadian governments, utilities, and automakers are working to support potential EV buyers by installing more public fast-charger stations along busy big-city connectors and more lightly-travelled routes in northern Ontario and on the Prairies.

$21 Billion in Fossil Investment ‘Completely Undermines’ World Bank Support for Paris Goals

The World Bank is contributing US$21 billion to finance fossil fuel projects, compared to only $7 billion for renewable energy, notwithstanding then-president Jim Yong Kim 2015 promise that the institution would “do its utmost” to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, German NGO Urgewald reports in a scathing study released yesterday in Washington.

15 Groups Receive Federal Dollars to Form Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration

A new Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration on climate change will receive up to C$20 million over five years to “generate, communicate, and mobilize trusted information, policy advice, and best practices for Canadians, governments, and stakeholders,” Environment and Climate Change Canada announced this week.

EU Excludes Nuclear from Green Investment Label

Investors Back High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Start-Up

Renewables Make Decarbonization $15 Trillion Cheaper, Promise $160 Trillion in Savings by 2050

The plummeting cost of solar and wind farms, coupled with government policies driving faster electrification, has cut the cost of reaching global climate goals by US$15 trillion in the last year, concludes a report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline

A group of 20 elected First Nations councils was expected to present a bid this week for a 22.5% share in TransCanada Corporation’s contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would connect fracked gas fields in Dawson Creek, British Columbia to the massive LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.

Bank of America Announces $300 Billion for Low-Carbon Business, But Still Hasn’t Dropped Fossil Investments

Bank of America has announced plans to invest an additional US$300 billion in low-carbon and sustainable business activities by 2030, increasing its total funding to $445 billion since 2007.

Midwestern Floods Cut Ethanol Supplies, Drive Up Gas Prices

U.S. Senators Push for ‘Highest Possible’ Funding for CCS

Norway Shifts Sovereign Wealth Fund from Coal to Renewables

Norway’s Conservative-led government is expanding its ban on coal investments from its massive US$1-trillion sovereign wealth fund and doubling the dollars it directs to “unlisted” renewable energy projects to $14 billion, following a three-year review that it stressed was driven primarily by business considerations, not a focus on climate protection.

Chevron Asks to Double Proposed LNG Project as B.C. Completes ‘Fiscal Framework’ for LNG Canada

Chevron Canada has asked the National Energy Board to nearly double the size of its proposed Kitimat LNG facility, seeking a 40-year licence to export up to 28.23 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, just days before B.C. Premier John Horgan affirmed that the fiscal framework for another LNG megaproject has fallen into place.

New Brunswick Touts Small Nuclear Reactor Potential, Though Decisions Are Years Away

Although any decision is years down the road, New Brunswick is considering building a second nuclear reactor at its Point Lepreau power station and turning it into a manufacturing hub for a new generation of small modular reactors.

U.S. House May Consider 30% Tax Credit for Energy Storage

U.S. politicians are making another attempt to introduce a tax credit for investments in batteries and other energy storage systems, and may extend the life of existing solar and wind credits, thanks in part to new momentum created by the Green New Deal resolution introduced earlier this year by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

U.S. Heartland Faces $12.5 Billion in Flood Damage, Economic Losses

Shell Urges CAPP to Support Carbon Tax

Investors Back Out of Australian Solar Tower Project

Global Coal Plant Construction ‘Collapses’, But China Considers Massive New Buildout

The introduction of new coal-fired power plants around the world has entered a “collapse” over the last three years, although the China Electricity Council is considering a proposal for a massive new buildout.

Business, Investment Leaders Demand IEA Scenarios that Drive Toward 1.5°C

It’s high time for the International Energy Agency to develop future scenarios that show a reasonable prospect of keeping average global warming to 1.5°C, while taking a precautionary approach to so-called negative emission technologies, a group of more than 40 business leaders, investors, and energy specialists asserts in a letter released this week by Oil Change International.

Silicon Valley Start-Up Brings Off-Grid Solar Lighting to 100 Million People

A pair of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs has raised just over US$100 million on a mission to make renewable electricity available to 2.3 billion people.

44-Megawatt Nanticoke Solar Farm Goes Online, Marking One-Year Anniversary of the Day the Coal Towers Fell

The solar farm on the former site of the Nanticoke coal-fired generation station has gone into service with precisely 192,431 solar panels across 460 acres sending 44 megawatts to the Ontario grid, marking the one-year anniversary of the demolition of the plant’s 650-foot smokestacks.

New York Backs Congestion Pricing

Nova Scotia LNG Developer Set to Sign Major Engineering Contract

Romania Looks to Hydro-Québec for New Investment

Sustainable Investments Grow 34% Over Two Years, with Climate as Prime Motivator

Sustainable investments around the world grew 34% over the last two years to US$30.7 trillion, with financial professionals pointing to climate change as a leading motivator for investors, according to the latest in a series of biennial analyses by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

Canadian Organizer Calls for Bank Strike Against Fossil Fuel Investments

Scarcely two weeks after an international study placed five Canadian banks at the centre of financing fossil fuel development, in defiance of the targets in the Paris Agreement, Engagement Organizing author Matt Price says young people opening their first bank accounts might have the power to make them think twice.

Florida Utility to Replace Two Natural Gas Plants with World’s Biggest Battery

Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build the world’s biggest battery and charge it from an existing solar power plant to replace two of its existing natural gas generating stations, a deal it says will save its ratepayers US$100 million.

Idaho Signs Solar Contract at Record-Low 2.175¢/kWh, Sets 2045 Target for 100% Clean Power

A new, 120-megawatt solar farm in southern Idaho is on track to deliver electricity at prices started at 2.175 cents per kilowatt-hour, believed to be the lowest ever for a U.S. project.

Australia Yanks Support from UN’s Green Climate Fund as National Elections Loom

Australia will stop contributions to the United Nations’ major fund for battling climate change this year, according to government budget papers released on Tuesday.
With a federal election looming, the government followed up on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s threat not to “tip money into that big climate fund”.

‘Surprised’ Bush-Era Official Says Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback Costs Drivers Money

Egypt, Liberia Train More Women for Solar Jobs

African Development Bank Invests $20 Million in Congo Mini-Grids

738 Dead, 1.8 Million in Urgent Need, Cholera Cases Hit 271 as Cyclone Impacts Wrack Mozambique

Half a month after Cyclone Idai ripped through parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, destroying 90% of the port city of Beira, the numbers that trace the devastation are continuing to mount: At least 738 dead with many more missing, an estimated three million people affected and 1.8 million in urgent need, 136,000 displaced and 50,000 homes destroyed in Mozambique alone, and deadly disease spreading quickly to people with no choice but to drink contaminated water.

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

UBS Bans Project-Level Finance for New Coal Plants

Swiss banking giant UBS has adopted new lending guidelines that ban project-level finance for new coal-fired generating stations around the world.

Analysts Raise Eyebrows After Exxon ‘Re-Books’ 3.2 Billion Barrels of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Reserves

ExxonMobil is running into some second-guessing from analysts after bringing 3.2 billion barrels of tar sands/oil sands crude back into its active reserves.

‘Incremental’ Gains in Budget 2019 Fall Short of a Path to Climate Stabilization

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s pre-election budget March 19 would have been “an historic milestone of massive proportions” had a government of any political stripe introduced it five, 10, or 20 years ago, but falls short of the climate challenges that every government today must confront, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer writes in a guest post for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.

U.S. Coal Exports Hit Five-Year High in 2018

Bank of Canada to Study Climate-Related Risk

Buyers in Asia Reject ‘Infected’ U.S. Shale Oil

Five Indigenous Groups Vie for Ownership of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Five groups of Indigenous communities are vying for ownership shares of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with CBC reporting that one of the groups has been in meetings with Finance Minister Bill Morneau and the Globe and Mail describing a separate effort to buy a 51% stake in the project in a debt deal with major Canadian banks.

UK Fossils Should Pay £44 Billion Per Year in Climate Damages, Campaigners Calculate

The United Kingdom should apply the “polluters pay” principle by assessing the country’s coal, oil, and natural gas companies at least £44 billion per year for the climate damage their products cause, according to a new estimate by campaigners at Friends of the Earth UK.

Climate Disaster Losses Could Undermine Financial System Stability, U.S. Federal Bank Exec Warns

Economic losses from natural disasters and other climate impacts could produce enough risk to undermine the security of the financial system, according to a research letter released Monday by Glenn D. Rudebusch, a senior policy advisor and executive vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

B.C. Enables Billions in Tax Subsidies for LNG Development

British Columbia has introduced tax changes that confirm billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.

74% of U.S. Coal Plants Are ‘Walking Dead’ Thanks to Cheaper Renewables

New wind and solar projects can deliver cheaper electricity than 74% of the remaining coal plants in the United States, putting 211 gigawatts (that’s 211 billion watts) at risk from cleaner, less expensive competitors.

Shell Shifts 700,000 UK Homes to 100% Renewable Electricity

Royal Dutch Shell is switching more than 700,000 homes in the United Kingdom to 100% renewable electricity and rebranding its power and broadband provider First Utility to Shell Energy, just over a year after completing a deal to acquire the company.

BP Says It Has ‘Dramatically’ Cut Exploration, Will Leave Some Oil and Gas in the Ground

A senior official at colossal fossil BP says his company has “dramatically” reduced oil and gas exploration and might ultimately leave a sizeable share of its fossil resources in the ground, in a post originally published on Business Green.

Pine Ridge Reservation in Crisis, 13 Million People at Risk, as Experts Say Midwestern U.S. Flooding Could Continue for Months

The record-breaking floods that hit parts of the midwestern United States last week are shaping up as a long-term, slow-moving disaster, with residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation stranded for nearly two weeks with limited food and water, at least 50 levees across the region breached or overtopped, experts predicting months of flooding, and nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states facing elevated risk through May.

Rising Premiums Due to Severe Weather Could ‘Threaten Social Order’, Insurers Warn

The world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, is warning that climate change may soon turn rising insurance costs into a pressing social issue, as more frequent, severe weather puts rates beyond the reach of most households.

Carbon Engineering Raises $68 Million for Commercial Direct Air Capture Plant

Squamish, B.C.-based Carbon Engineering has received billionaire backing from Silicon Valley investors, netting US$68 million to build its first commercial-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Miami Beach Fights Expensive, Losing Battle Against Rising Seas

Fossil Analysts Blame Global Transition, Not Federal Policies, for Canadian Industry’s Woes

A strange, new tone is emerging in the day-to-day news chatter about Canada’s oil and gas sector: after years of blaming regulatory rules and a lack of pipeline capacity for the industry’s financial woes, a couple of analysts close to the Alberta oilpatch are acknowledging some of the bigger issues at play.

Gas Industry Plans Multiple Projects to Boost Demand, Combat Record-Low Prices

Canadian natural gas producers are scrambling to avoid the price disadvantage hobbling the country’s tar sands/oil sands industry, working on “a flurry of export and chemicals projects to avoid the same fate,” Bloomberg reports, in a post republished by JWN Energy.

Advocates Declare ‘Historic Moment’ as Navajo Nation Abandons Bid for Arizona Coal Plant

The Navajo Nation in Arizona is walking away from nearly 50 years of economic dependence on coal after dropping its bid to take over the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station, one of the largest remaining coal plants in the southwestern United States, and the Kayenta mine operated by the now-bankrupt Peabody Energy.

Dubitsky: ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ Budget Incentives Leave Canada Behind in EV Deployment

The electric vehicle incentives in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2019 budget are a “smoke and mirrors disappointment” that help demonstrate why North America is falling behind China and the European Union in the race to bring EVs to market, retired public servant Will Dubitsky argues in an analysis for National Observer.

Rive Brothers Join Solar+Storage Firm to Help Africa ‘Leapfrog the Electric Grid’

SolarCity co-founders Lyndon and Peter Rive, cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, are signing on with ZOLA Electric, a Silicon Valley effort to bring off-grid, pay-as-you-go solar+storage systems to Africa.

China to Drop ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Eligibility List

China may be about to drop so-called “clean” coal from the list of eligible projects for a green bond designed to boost the country’s environmental standards.

Insulation Would Save 8.27 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Insulation places #31 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 8.27 gigatons by 2050. The option carries an upfront cost of US$3.66 trillion, $2.5 trillion of which would be recouped within 30 years.

SEC Allows U.S. Banks to Block Shareholder Climate Proposals

Top Global Fossils Spent $1 Billion Since Paris to Lobby Against Climate Action: Report

The world’s five biggest publicly-traded fossil companies have spent more than US$1 billion in shareholders’ money to lobby against climate action in the years since the Paris Agreement was signed, even as they continue to tout their environmental credentials, according to a report released this week by UK-based InfluenceMap.

JP Morgan Exec Calls for Faster Climate Action After Company Cited as ‘World’s Worst Climate Banker’

A senior executive at J.P. Morgan Asset Management is telling clients that global carbon reductions aren’t moving nearly fast enough—just as a coalition of climate organizations identifies his employer’s parent company, JPMorgan Chase, as “the world’s worst banker of climate change”.

Humanitarian Disaster in Mozambique Points to ‘Fundamental Injustice of Climate Change’

With thousands of people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi still in need of rescue in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and nearly three million affected, meteorologist and Grist climate writer Eric Holthaus is pointing to the massive natural and humanitarian disaster as an example of the “fundamental injustice of climate change”.

Federal Budget Creates New Revolving Fund for Municipal Climate Action

The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and its local partners are taking a victory lap after the federal budget included C$183 million for Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), a permanent revolving fund that will support local climate action plans in cities across the country.

Change Now or Pay Later, Australian Central Bank Warns

Morneau’s Pre-Election Budget Boosts ZEVs and Energy Retrofits, Extends New Fossil Subsidy

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a pre-election budget yesterday that included a 2040 deadline to phase out new internal combustion vehicle sales, major new funds for building energy retrofits, and a budget boost for municipal infrastructure, but introduced a new fossil fuel subsidy while doggedly claiming a fossil subsidy phaseout is still on the government’s agenda.

‘Alarming’ Report Shows $1.9 Trillion in New Fossil Investment Since Paris Accord

Leading global banks have invested nearly US$2 trillion in fossil projects since the Paris Agreement was signed, according to an annual report card released today by the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, Oil Change International, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Honor the Earth.

Australia Faces Economic Disruption as Japanese Investors Abandon Coal

With Japanese banks and trading houses dumping investments and dropping plans for new power stations, analysts in Asia are pointing to a “monumental” shift in energy markets that spells “the start of the end for thermal coal,” and disruptions for Australia as a major coal supplier.

NB Power Invests in Hydrogen Research for Carbon Reduction, Grid Resilience

New Brunswick Power is trying to position itself as the world’s first hydrogen-powered distributed electricity grid after investing C$13 million in what Greentech Media describes as a “mysterious hydrogen production technology” under development by Florida-based Joi Scientific.

Asian Development Bank Sees Pacific Region Moving to Renewables

Resource Extraction Drives 53% of Carbon Emissions, 80% of Biodiversity Loss, UN Reports

Resource extraction, from fossil fuels and mining to food and biofuels, is responsible for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss, according to a Global Resource Outlook released last week at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

Doig: International Equity is the Key to Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts

Hitting the Paris Agreement goal of keeping average global warming well below 1.5°C will depend on a “frank and open discussion on equity” that drives negotiators toward faster, deeper emission cuts and away from “conventional development paths,” argues Dr. Alison Doig, Head of Policy at Christian Aid, in a blog post published late last week.

Shell Aims to Become World’s Biggest Electricity Company, But Devotes Just 5% of Investment to New Energy

Royal Dutch Shell is setting out to remake itself as the world’s leading electric power company by the early 2030s, earmarking US$2 billion per year for a new energy division it says will ease its transition into a sector that generally confounds its financial backers with the relatively low returns on investment it offers.

Canadian Fossil Nets Another $90M ‘Clean’Tech Subsidy

Gates, Bezos Invest in Geothermal Project Developer

Ottawa Decides Against Linking Officials’ Pay to Green Performance

Big Austrian Insurer is Latest to Unfriend Coal

Philippines Consumers Shouldn’t Pay for Risky Coal Deals

Restaurants Can Boost ROI by Cutting Food Waste

Hot Garbage Grifters: SNC-Lavalin’s Plan to Turn Nuclear Waste into Long-Term Gold

If it is true that one person’s garbage can be another’s gold, then Montreal-based multinational SNC-Lavalin and its new U.S. partner, Holtec International, plan to be big global players in what promises to be a very lucrative, long-term business: handling highly radioactive nuclear wastes until permanent disposal methods and sites might be found, approved, and built…A special report by Paul McKay.

Surging Canadian, U.S. Fossil Production Puts Paris Targets at Risk

Growing production in Canada and the United States has added the equivalent of another Russia or Saudi Arabia to global oil and gas markets in the last decade, pointing to a “growing disconnect” between fossil production and the urgency of the climate crisis, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told an audience in Ottawa late last month.

Fossils ‘Dodge a Bullet’ as Norway Opts for Limited Divestment

Norway is receiving decidedly mixed reviews for its decision to dump some oil and gas stocks from its US$1-trillion sovereign wealth fund, but hold onto its shares in colossal fossils like Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

Risks of Higher Emissions, Community Impacts Add Complexity to Green New Deal

With Congressional Democrats planning to “go on offence” on climate change in hopes of mobilizing younger voters, the Green New Deal unveiled last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is coming in for some thoughtful criticism from analysts who support its direction but worry about its unintended consequences.

Campaigners Celebrate as Turkish High Court Blocks 1,320-MW Coal Plant

Turkey’s highest administrative court has blocked a major coal power plant on the Black Sea coast, in a victory for campaigners.
The Council of State ruled February 21 that Hema Elektrik’s environmental impact assessment for the 1,320-megawatt project in Amasra district, Bartin province, was inadequate.

Enerkem, Shell Launch Waste-to-Chemicals Plant in Rotterdam

Montreal-based Enerkem and Royal Dutch Shell are joining two other companies and the Port of Rotterdam in a commercial-scale project to convert non-recyclable waste materials into chemicals and biofuels.

MEG Energy Cancels Tar Sands/Oil Sands Expansion, Cites Line 3 Delay

Calgary-based MEG Energy Corporation is blaming a one-year delay in completing the controversial Line 3 pipeline for its decision to shut down expansion of its Christina Lake tar sands/oil sands project in northern Alberta.

Mexico Plans $3.6B Cash Infusion for State-Owned Fossil

Energy Service Agreements Hold Big Potential for Efficiency

Quebec Cap-and-Trade Revenues Exceed $3 Billion as Carbon Market Withstands Ontario Withdrawal

A new infusion of C$215 million has pushed Quebec’s cumulative carbon cap-and-trade revenues above the $3 billion mark, at just the moment when Ontario has cancelled its carbon pricing program and Alberta’s Jason Kenney is vowing to do the same if he wins the provincial election later this year.

Kenney Would ‘Roll Back the Clock’, Cost Albertans More by Cancelling Solar, Wind Subsidies

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s pledge to phase out subsidies for solar- and wind-powered electricity would “roll back the clock” and could cost Alberta more in the long run, according to Warren Mabee, director of the Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.

NEB Sees Oil Decline in 2019 as Allan Warns of Stranded Assets in Alberta’s Future

The National Energy Board says Canada’s oil production is set to drop this year for the first time in a decade, and economist Robyn Allan warns that’s just the start of the transition challenge facing the Alberta economy.

Consultant Touts ‘Virtual Pipelines’ to Build Customer Base for LNG

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers are beginning to depend on “virtual pipelines” to move their product to customers located beyond their countries’ regular pipeline grid, consultant Nicholas Newman writes in industry newsletter Rigzone.

German Automakers Plan €60B over Three Years for Electric, Autonomous Cars

Aramco CEO Bemoans ‘Crisis of Perception’ as Extinction Rebellion Protests Big Fossil Conference

The fossil industry’s challenges amount to a massive image problem that has analysts predicting its decline and fall in the absence of facts, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told a major fossil industry event last week.

UK Official Calls for ‘Grown-Up Conversation’ on Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground

A senior government official from the United Kingdom, one of Canada’s staunchest allies on international climate action, is calling for a grown-up conversation on the need to keep fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

Future of Canadian Auto Manufacturing Hinges on Electric, Autonomous Vehicles

Governments will have to pivot their industrial development support to electric and autonomous vehicles if they want Canada to have a future as an auto manufacturer, according to an analysis released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

New U.S. Accelerator Aims for 2.8 GW of City Renewables Purchases by 2021

U.S. cities are setting out to procure an additional 2.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2021, as part of a wider, US$70-million initiative by Bloomberg Philanthropies to promote municipal climate action.

Rising Carbon Prices Could Drive EU Coal Demand Close to Zero in Three Years

Coal demand in Europe will fall close to zero in the next three years if mounting concerns about climate change drive carbon prices as high as €50 per tonne, a UK hedge fund manager told the Financial Times late last month.

Tesla Delivers $35,000 Sedan, Shuts Stores in Favour of Online Sales

Exxon Seeks Regulator’s Permission to Dodge Shareholders’ Climate Resolution

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil is turning to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to dodge its own shareholders’ resolution calling on management to set and disclose targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Ban Ki-moon Urges UK to ‘Recalibrate’ Export Financing to Exclude Fossils

The United Kingdom must prove that it’s serious about phasing out fossil fuel use world-wide, not just on its own territory, by cutting off financing for fossil imports by developing countries, former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon asserts in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

Coal Emerges as Epic Loser as India’s Energy Future Shifts to Renewables

Coal is shaping up as an epic loser in India’s energy future, even with the country on track to double its electricity demand over the next two decades.

UK Institute Sees Climate Change Bringing Economic Collapse

Another Big Investor Abandons Coal in Japan

NEB Sidesteps ‘Significant’ Impacts, Recommends Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval

Canada’s National Energy Board is recommending federal cabinet re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite its likely “significant” environmental and climate impacts, prompting multiple Indigenous and environmental opponents to vow the project will never be completed.

Tech Titans Google, Microsoft, Amazon Help Fossils Extract More Oil and Gas at Less Cost

They happily save money and earn public profile by decarbonizing the electricity that drives their own operations. But that hasn’t stopped tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon from helping oil and gas companies automate their operations to extract more climate-busting carbon at less cost.

EU Chair Commits Billions to Climate Mitigation, Endorses Thunberg’s #SchoolStrike

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised an EU budget with billions of euros per year for climate change mitigation, in a speech he delivered in Brussels last week alongside Swedish school strike leader Greta Thunberg.

Runaway Uptake of Community Solar Has St. Louis Utility Planning Big

A stellar community response to a St. Louis-based utility’s launch of a community solar program has renewable energy advocates in Missouri celebrating and the utility planning to expand its renewable energy.

Mining Giant Glencore Announces Coal Extraction Cap…at 145 Million Tonnes Per Year

Multinational mining giant Glencore is bowing to investor pressure and putting a cap on the amount of coal it extracts—but will still produce about 145 million tonnes of the climate-busting fuel per year.

Navajo Nation Faces ‘Serious Financial Risk’ Acquiring Arizona Coal Mine, Power Plant

B.C. Budgets $902 Million to Fully Fund CleanBC Climate Plan

The British Columbia government is getting strong positive reviews for a provincial budget that allocates $902 million over three years to fully fund its CleanBC climate program.

Petro-Canada Announces Canada-Wide EV Charging Network

Petro-Canada has unveiled plans to install more than 50 electric vehicle fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway between British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

Alberta Spends $3.7 Billion for Three-Year Tanker Car Lease

Alberta will spend C$3.7 billion over three years to lease 4,400 tanker cars from CN and CP Rail, in order to ship up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by rail, Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday.

Canada’s $180-Billion in Infrastructure Investment Must Emphasize Low-Carbon Opportunities

The C$180 billion Canada is set to invest in infrastructure over the next decade represents a massive opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions, two senior policy advisors from Clean Energy Canada argue in a post last week for Policy Options.

Rivian Plans Electric Truck in 2020 with New Investment from Amazon

Upstart electric SUV and pickup truck manufacturer Rivian Automotive LLC has attracted Amazon.com as the lead investor in a recent effort to raise US$700 million in new capital.

Shell Buys Energy Storage Start-Up But Faces Legal Jeopardy for Past Fossil Activities

Royal Dutch Shell moved last week to shore up its position in the transition off carbon by buying German energy storage start-up Sonnen GmbH, while simultaneously facing legal jeopardy for its past and present behaviour as one of the world’s biggest fossils.

U.S. Utilities’ Push for Solar+Storage Holds ‘Major Implications’ for Fossil Electricity

Despite their “checkered history” on renewable energy development, U.S. utilities have begun to drive the transition to solar-plus-storage projects, in particular—with “major implications for baseload power providers,” analyst Dennis Warmsted writes for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

One in 10 New Publicly-Traded Companies Cite Climate as Risk

Métis Receive 50% Stake as Alberta Announces Three New Subsidy-Free Solar Farms

Alberta will double its solar capacity and save C$3.9 million per year after commissioning 94 megawatts of new generation under a 20-year contract with Canadian Solar Solutions and Conklin Metis Local 193, which has a 50% equity stake in the project.

IESO Transmission Request Would Boost Ontario Hydro Imports from Quebec

A request last week from the independent agency that runs Ontario’s electricity grid could open the door for the province to import inexpensive, renewable electricity from existing hydroelectric facilities in neighbouring Quebec.

Canada Drags on Promise to Phase Out Fossil Subsidies

Ottawa is being accused of dragging its feet on its 2016 promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil subsidies by 2025, two years after then-auditor general Michael Ferguson concluded the Trudeau government had failed to identify the non-tax subsidies it actually pays out to the oil and gas industry.

Ottawa Pays Out $600M for Suncor’s Mideast Adventures

$7.5-Billion Atlantic LNG Project Poised for Final Decision

Milwaukee Invests in Solar, Slams Utility for Stifling Market

Analysts See Oil Industry’s Twilight, But Not Soon Enough to Hit Climate Targets

Two different analyst reports this week show the oil industry moving into its twilight, but the projected rate of decline is still far too slow to hit a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming and hold off the worst effects of climate change.

Baltimore Utility Cuts Peak Demand by 300 MW, Puts Money in Ratepayers’ Pockets

Six years after it launched its Smart Energy Rewards program, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) is reporting that local energy efficiency measures have reduced peak electricity demand by more than 300 megawatts, cut operating costs by almost US$200 million, and left ratepayers with more money in their wallets.

Supreme Court’s Redwater Decision Could Make Credit More Costly, Less Available for Canadian Fossils

Lenders are paying attention to the recent Supreme Court decision holding bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up the production sites they abandon. The result may be tougher loan terms for new oil and gas projects.

Wind Farm Saves Kansas University Campus $500,000 Per Year

Exxon, Qatari Partner Confirm $10B LNG Project in Texas

Los Angeles Shifts Billions of Dollars from Gas Plants to Storage, Efficiency, and Solar

Los Angeles is walking away from a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, in what Mayor Eric Garcetti cast as a boost for the city’s 100% renewable energy goal and its plan to improve air quality in polluted neighbourhoods.

Solar Aggregation Deal Opens Wider Door for Corporate Renewables Procurement

A recent deal which will see 42.5 megawatts of solar power from a 100-megawatt solar project in North Carolina divided among five smaller companies is being heralded as a critical step in corporate energy procurement.

Chevron Tries to Avert Shareholder Showdown with Half-Hearted Paris Pledge

Colossal fossil Chevron Corporation may have headed off a shareholder showdown by committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to match up with the Paris Agreement. But that doesn’t mean it plans to cap its oil output or take responsibility for the emissions that result when customers use its products as directed.

Hydro-Québec Floats $40 Million for Maine Transmission Line

Trans Mountain’s Fee Plan for Fossil Customers Represents $2-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy

Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook for another $2-billion fossil fuel subsidy if the National Energy Board accepts the latest request from the federal Crown corporation that now operates the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, economist Robyn Allan reports in a National Observer exposé.

Fossils’ Poor Stock Performance Makes Case for Divestment: IEEFA

Pouring more dollars into the fossil sector no longer makes sense for investors paying attention to a decade of poor stock performance, the gradual departure of institutional investors, depressed profits, a shaky future outlook, and the fact that fossils placed dead last in the 2018 Standard & Poors 500 stock market index, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis argues in a new briefing note.

China Becomes Last-Ditch Financier for Coal

BC Hydro Racks Up $5.5 Billion in Future Ratepayer Costs

Green New Deal Envisions Net-Zero Emissions in 10 Years Through WWII-Scale Effort

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released an outline of the Democrats’ Green New Deal yesterday, in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution that would bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in 10 years by “dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources”.

Developers Announce New Solar Farms in Fort Chipewyan and Calgary

Alberta has two new solar farms in its immediate future, following an announcement by First Nations and Métis in Fort Chipewyan and a planning decision this week by the City of Calgary.

Declining Production, Wall Street Skepticism Could Produce Death Spiral for U.S. Shale Oil

Despite headline-grabbing production numbers, the shale oil industry in the United States may be heading into a death spiral, according to a recent analysis on Resilience.org.

Fossils, Utilities Buy In as Electric Cars Begin to Surge

Fossil companies and traditional utilities are beginning to take an interest in the transition to renewable energy. They’re showing it by buying into the new companies that have formed to deliver charging stations for an expected surge in electric vehicles.

Union Pitches Postal Stations as Local Green Hubs

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is trying to sell Canada Post on a plan to connect neighbourhood post offices to a greener, more just future by expanding their services to include community banking and electric vehicle charging stations.

Oil Prices Double Shell Profits to $238 Billion

Insurance Giant Aon Places Extreme Weather Costs at $653 Billion Over 2017-2018

A US$653-billion global price tag made 2017-2018 the most expensive two-year period ever for extreme weather, according to a report issued last month by UK-based Aon, the world’s biggest insurance broker based on revenue.