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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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.

Study Shows ‘Sizable Disconnect’, Big Opportunity, in Corporate Clean Energy Strategies

Despite tech giants like Google setting 100% renewable energy targets, and corporate buyers signing up for five gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity in 2017 alone, there’s still lots of scope for the rest of the private sector to shift its energy behaviour, according to a new study by Centrica Business Solutions.

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Edmonton Company’s New Technology Turns Windows Into Transparent Solar Panels

A company in Edmonton is working on technology to turn windows into transparent solar panels, with a boost from Alberta carbon tax revenues.

BC Hydro Awarded $90M in No-Bid Contracts for Site C

Trans Mountain Expansion to Drive Up Revelstoke Gas Prices

Opponents Jubilant as Port of Vancouver Cancels 2015 Coal Transfer Permit

The Port of Vancouver has cut off a potential gateway for thermal coal from the United States with a decision to cancel its permit for a coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks, following adamant opposition from residents of Surrey and New Westminster.

Supreme Court Holds Bankrupt Fossils Responsible for Cleaning Abandoned Sites

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling that holds bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up their abandoned oil and gas wells will produce lasting impacts across western Canada, but may not completely address the massive environmental liabilities the companies leave behind, according to initial reporting and analysis of the decision.

Ottawa May Have Paid $1 Billion Too Much in Trans Mountain Buyout, Parliamentary Budget Officer Concludes

The federal government may have paid up to C$1 billion more than it should have when it bought the Trans Mountain pipeline last year, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux concludes in a report released late last week.

Oilfield Services Giant Sees Future in Renewables

The world’s third-biggest oilfield services provider is looking to expand its offerings for wind and solar energy suppliers, as it begins to contemplate a future world without hydrocarbons.

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EDC Withdraws Backing for Coal Projects, Continues Propping Up Oil and Gas

Export Development Canada will no longer fund new thermal coal projects, but will still support oil and gas companies looking to take on new projects in other countries.

TransCanada Tries to Offload Majority Share of Coastal GasLink Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is trying to sell off a majority share of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the controversial, C$6.2-billion project that has faced sustained opposition from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in northwestern British Columbia.

First Green Bond Issue Brings Citigroup €1 Billion

New Climate Policy Puts Barclays Bank on ‘Wrong Side of History’

Solar, Wind, Storage Set for Breakout Year Thanks to ‘Remorseless’ Cost Reductions

World-wide renewable generation capacity could grow by more than 200 gigawatts this year, thanks to “remorseless reductions in the costs of solar and wind electricity and of lithium-ion batteries,” according to a commentary published earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

France Plans 300 MW of New Solar Capacity to Replace 40-Year-Old Nuclear Plant

France has received European Commission approval for a €250-million plan to replace the 40-year-old Fessenheim nuclear generating station by contracting for 300 megawatts of new photovoltaic solar capacity.

‘Dirt-Cheap’ Power Deals May Drive U.S. Utility Solar into Financial Bubble

Liebreich Traces Story of Renewable Microgrid in Sierra Leone

Alberta Wants $1.6B to Upgrade High-Load Road Corridor

Six Pipelines, Assorted Tax Breaks Lead Fossil Wish List as Alberta Election Approaches

Government support for six new tar sands/oil sands pipelines and four major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, along with assorted tax cuts and regulatory breaks, led the wish list the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released Tuesday in advance of the provincial election coming up in Alberta this spring.

Florida Utility Plans to Install 30 Million New Solar Panels by 2030

Florida Power & Light unveiled a bold “30 by 30” plan last week to install 30 million solar panels over the next dozen years, a feat that would stand as “the largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world.”

McQuaig: GM Canada Closure Should Prompt Federal Buyout, Shift to EV Production

The impending closure of the General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario creates an opportunity for the federal government to step in, buy the facility, and shift its production to electric vehicles, columnist Linda McQuaig argues in a recent post for the Toronto Star.

JPMorgan, Bank of Montreal Lead List of 21 Banks Backing Coastal GasLink Pipeline

JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of Montreal, Deutsche Bank, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are the four most important banks backing TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.) in its effort to build the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline, according to research released this week by the Rainforest Action Network.

Lack of Climate Disclosure Puts Canadian Pensioners, Investment Funds at Risk

Canada needs a three-year plan to mandate better disclosure of climate-related risks in corporations’ annual reports, Ottawa-based cleantech analyst Céline Bak concludes in a study released last week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Wind Giant Ørsted Diversifies into Batteries

Storage Set to Hit the Big Time in 2019: S&P

Hitachi Stop-Work Order Stalls UK Nuclear Program, Japan Exports

Beer: If Fossils ‘Don’t Need Handouts’, Let’s Do Something About Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Federal Opposition leader Andrew Scheer’s mid-December claim on behalf of Canadian fossils that “we don’t need handouts” was a great invitation to rescind the billions of dollars in subsidies the industry happily takes from federal and provincial coffers, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

World’s Biggest Roofing Manufacturer Launches U.S. Rooftop Solar Venture

The world’s biggest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer is launching a rooftop solar business in the United States with the declared goal of “revolutionizing” adoption of the technology by “everyday consumers”.

CN, Alberta First Nation Plan Pilot Plant to Produce ‘Bitumen Pucks’

CN Rail and the Heart Lake First Nation northeast of Edmonton are planning to build a pilot plant this year to produce “bitumen pucks”, a solid tar sands/oil sands bitumen product that would float on water, could be delivered without pipelines or oil tankers, wouldn’t require diluent, and could increase fossil producers’ profits by C$15 per barrel.

Former U.S. Regulator Lays Out His Case Against Nuclear Generation

Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko is still implacably opposed to development of traditional nuclear power plants, despite technological fixes intended to make them safer, the Las Vegas Sun reports in an editorial based on Jaczko’s new book.

Tesla Cuts Work Force by Another 7%

550-MW Topaz Solar Park Sees Ratings Downgrades Due to PG&E Bankruptcy

NEB Sees ‘Hidden Potential’ in Canadian Electric Truck Market

Argentina Loses Ground in Bid to Kick-Start Economy with Fossil Projects

Ottawa Unlikely to Unload Trans Mountain Before Federal Election, Despite Some First Nations’ Interest

The federal government will almost certainly retain ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline beyond this year’s federal election, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in separate media interviews earlier this week, even with a group of First Nations expressing strong interest in bidding for the troubled project.

Kinder Morgan Distributes Taxpayer Windfall to Shareholders

Brazil Fossil CEO Predicts 400,000 Jobs, $258B in New Investment

U.S. Shale Oil Producers Won’t Make Money at $50 Per Barrel

Fossil producers in the United States will be in for a rough ride this year if oil prices remain in the range of US$50 per barrel, an analyst told CNBC in an interview last week.

Quebec’s Support for Failing Cement Plant Shows Risk for Notley in New Refinery Plan

Before Alberta Premier Rachel Notley sinks public funds into a new, multi-billion-dollar private oil refinery, she’d best read up on a cement megaproject on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula that went 40% over budget and has now become the province’s single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, veteran public affairs specialist Alan Freeman writes for iPolitics.

Falling Fossil Employment Drives Down Calgary Office Values

Pipeline Investment ‘Goes Palliative’ in Wake of Unist’ot’en Blockade

Two separate news outlets are declaring the end of pipeline investment in Canada, while several focus in on the differences in jurisdiction between elected and hereditary First Nations chiefs, in the wake of last week’s RCMP raid and subsequent “peaceful resolution” of the Unist’ot’en blockade along TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline in British Columbia.

Solar+Storage in Hawaii to Offset 3.7 Million Gallons of Diesel as Costs Fall 42% in Three Years

Hawaii has produced a small surge of solar+storage news to start the year, with the world’s largest installation of its kind going into service on the island of Kauai and the Hawaiian Electric Company submitting seven new projects—six of them offering record low prices for the state.

Uxbridge Farmer Replaces Noisy, ‘Noxious’ Diesel Tractor with Electric Prototype

A farmer in Uxbridge, Ontario has traded in his old, noisy diesel tractor for one of 10 electric prototypes developed in 2018. On top of a healthier, more pleasant ride while he works, he makes money when his new 10-kilowatt solar array sells surplus power back to the provincial grid.

Patagonia Donates $10-Million Trump Tax Cut to Fight Climate Change

German Coal State Wants €10 Billion in Transition Funds

Louisiana LNG Terminal Nabs ‘Largest Single’ Local Tax Subsidy in U.S. History

Canada Finally Joins International Renewable Energy Agency

Canada has finally joined the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), bringing an end to discussions that have been under way at least since early 2017.

Fossils Plan More Than 100 New Offshore Projects Worth $123 Billion in 2019

Energy research and business intelligence firm Rystad Energy foresees more than 100 new offshore fossil projects worth US$123 billion receiving approval in 2019, compared to more than 90 in 2018, if companies continue cutting costs and the price of benchmark Brent crude oil hits $60 per barrel.

Amazon Employees Assert Shareholder Rights to Urge Climate Action

More than a dozen employees at Amazon.com are exercising their rights as shareholders to petition the company to release a comprehensive climate action plan.

India Plans Another 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Capacity by 2028

India has unveiled bold plans to procure an additional 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2028, including 350 GW from solar and 140 from wind, with the objective of producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

Kim’s Abrupt Departure from World Bank Could Put Climate Fund Promise in Doubt

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim shocked the international aid community Monday with the sudden announcement that he will step down February 1, 3½ years before his term was due to end, in what sources cast as a “personal decision” to accept a position with a private investment firm.

Ontario Climate Plan Undercuts Cities’ GHG Reduction Efforts, Fails on Green Jobs

The Ontario government’s new climate change plan undercuts cities’ ability to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while failing to set the stage for a green jobs strategy for Canada’s biggest province and industrial heartland, according to separate posts last month by Julia Langer of The Atmospheric Fund and Liliana Camacho of Toronto-based Horizon Advisors.

Fossil Sector Places Last in Major U.S. Stock Index

The fossil energy sector was “solidly in last place” in a comparison of 2018 stock performance on the influential Standard & Poors 500 stock index, despite industry spin that had potential investors looking for a comeback.

InsideClimate News Nets $1 Million from Hollywood Foreign Press Association

New York Offers Free Community Solar to 10,000 Low-Income Households

New York State is supplying free access to community solar to 7,000 low-income households across the state, and plans to extend the program to a total of 10,000 homes by the end of this year.

2019 Shapes Up as ExxonMobil’s Worst Stock Market Year Since 1981

The world’s biggest private fossil company, ExxonMobil, is preparing for its worst stock performance since 1981 and facing pressure from shareholders to send dividends their way sooner rather than later, Bloomberg reports.

UK Credit Agency Faces Scrutiny Over Fossil Investments

India’s Oil and Gas Subsidies Down 70%, But Coal Bailouts Continue

India cut its oil and gas subsidies 70% between 2014 and 2017 and increased renewables subsidies six-fold over the same period, according to an analysis issued late last year by the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Delhi-based Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Cut Red Tape, Make Rooftop Panels the Cheapest Power Source, Solar Industry Urges Ontario

The Canadian solar industry is urging the Ontario government to trim or eliminate red tape that is driving up the cost of connecting rooftop panels to the electricity grid.

‘Clean’ Coal Subsidies Deliver Big Wins for Wall Street

Google Invests $700 Million in Green Energy for Danish Data Centre

Insurers See Impacts of Weather-Related Catastrophes

Alberta Pans New $1.65-Billion Fossil Lifeline from Ottawa

Provincial politicians and fossil lobbyists are panning the federal government’s latest concession to Alberta oil and gas producers, after Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced C$1.6 billion in industry support at an event in Edmonton yesterday.

Alberta Procures 760 MW of Wind in Five New Projects, Three with First Nations

Alberta is procuring 760 megawatts of wind-generated electricity, enough to power 300,000 homes, and creating an estimated 1,000 jobs by investing C$1.2 billion in five new green energy partnerships, three of them involving First Nations.

Don’t Make Carbon Tax a ‘Political Bargaining Chip’, Chamber of Commerce Urges

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has endorsed revenue-neutral carbon pricing as a way for the business community to “play its part in the fight against climate change,” and is expressing concern about the policy being used as a “political bargaining chip,” CBC reports.

Investors Foresee Massive Financial Crash Without Rapid Response to Climate Change

The global economy is on track for a financial crash several times the scale of the 2008 financial crisis if governments don’t drastically scale back greenhouse gas emissions and phase out all coal burning, a group of 415 institutional investors with a collective US$32 trillion in assets warned last week, during the United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

Recognition of Loss and Damage Emerges as COP 24 Success Story

Recognition of the loss and damage vulnerable countries face due to the inevitable impacts of climate change is emerging as a major success story in the aftermath of this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

New Ultra-Fast EV Charger Can Deliver 100 Kilometres of Range in Three Minutes

BMW and Porsche have pulled ahead of Tesla in the race to field ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations, with a new model that delivers enough electricity in three minutes to carry a car 100 kilometres and charges a battery to 80% of full capacity in just 15.

EU Gas Pipelines Could Become Stranded Assets by Mid-Century, Cañete Warns

Natural gas pipelines are at risk of becoming stranded assets by mid-century as the European Commission pursues its 2050 decarbonization strategy, EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete warned late last month.

Western Canadian Oil Price Rally Unlikely to Last

Norwegian Fund Continues Long-Term Sustainable Investment Push

Croatia Plans Big New Investments in Renewable Electricity

The Hard Work Starts Now as COP Delivers Incomplete Rule Book, Low Ambition

After two weeks of marathon negotiations ended with a deeply equivocal, incremental response to the global climate crisis, COP 24 in Katowice, Poland ended where it began: with a wide spectrum of delegates and other climate specialists declaring that the hard work begins now.

India Plans New Solar, Wind Tenders to Hit 175-Gigawatt Target by 2022

India is planning to issue tenders for 60 gigawatts of new solar and 20 GW of new wind capacity over the next two years, in a bid to hit its target of installing 175 GW of new renewable energy generation by 2022.

China Dumps ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Criteria, Still Exports Outdated Coal Technology

China is dumping so-called “clean coal” from the guidelines for its green bond programs, a decision that will match up the country’s green finance definitions more closely with the standard set by the global Climate Bonds Initiative.

Global Wind Industry on Track to Grow 680 Gigawatts Over 10 Years

The global wind industry is on track to deliver more than 680 gigawatts (680 billion watts) of new capacity over the next decade, according to two recent reports by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

Alberta Fossils Boycott Whistler Conference After City Flags Climate Costs of Fossil Extraction

Several Alberta fossils are boycotting a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, British Columbia, and the bank is considering moving its annual event elsewhere, after Mayor Jack Crompton asked Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to commit to pay for its “fair share of the costs of climate change being experienced” by the weather-dependent ski resort town.

CNRL Aims to Cut Costs with Driverless Truck Field Test

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) will spend C$75 million by late 2020 to field test driverless haulers at its Jackpine tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, Chief Operating Officer, Oilsands Scott Stauth told investors earlier this month.

Fossils Say No Thanks as Trump Administration Offers Arctic Lands for Oil and Gas Drilling

The Trump administration’s plan to lease parts of the western Arctic for oil and gas drilling has attracted bids on only 16 of 254 tracts made available in a recent Bureau of Land Management auction, turning the offer into a “major flop that shortchanged taxpayers,” according to the Center for American Progress (CAP).

Texas Hits 2.1¢/kWh in Lowest-Ever Solar Bid

High Ambition Coalition Drives Up Paris Commitments While Poland Earns Public Rebuke

The High Ambition Coalition that drove the Paris Agreement to a better conclusion put in a repeat performance, and the Polish Presidency responsible for driving the success of this year’s negotiations earned a strong public rebuke, as this year’s United Nations climate conference moved into its final hours in Katowice.

Gender Equality Puts Climate Objectives Alongside Development Goals

Tuesday, December 11 was Gender Day at COP 24, a chance to underscore what gender equality means for effective climate action, and to identify what more can be done to unleash the power of half the world’s population.

Falling Cost of Renewables, Batteries Allows Countries to Boost Their Paris Commitments

The falling cost of renewable electricity and lithium-ion batteries will make it “substantially cheaper” for countries to fulfill their carbon reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement, according to a discussion paper released last month by Umwelt Bundesamt, the German environment agency.

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

Health Benefits of Climate Action Make Mitigation ‘An Opportunity, Not a Cost’

Even though the targets in the Paris Agreement fall far short of what’s needed to limit average global warming to 1.5°C, they would still reduce air pollution enough to save about a million lives per year by 2050, according to new analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) that positions climate change mitigation as an opportunity, not a cost.

Ørsted, Enel Plan Big Renewable Energy Investments

COP Refuses to ‘Welcome’ 1.5°C Report as Major Negotiation Points Bog Down

As the first week of this year’s United Nations climate change conference (COP 24) drew to a close, debate ground down Saturday night on a decision that should have been easy—whether the world’s governments should actually “welcome” the landmark 1.5°C pathways report they commissioned from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2015. With petro-states Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, and the United States obstructing the decision, delegates were left to simply “note” the report’s arrival after chewing up valuable negotiating time on a matter of semantics.

Finance Emerges (Again) as Sticking Point in COP 24 Negotiations

Financial aid for poor countries—and how it is counted, publicly reported, and locked in for the future—is one of the biggest sticking points in global climate change negotiations. Again.

B.C. Climate Plan Lays Out Rapid Shift from Fossil Energy to Electricity

Higher carbon prices and measures to shift individuals and industry off fossil fuels are key pillars of CleanBC, the new climate action plan unveiled last week by the provincial government in British Columbia.

Rising Oil Use, GHG Emissions Will Mean ‘Faster, More Furious’ Climate Change

A pair of new studies coinciding with the opening of this year’s UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland shows oil consumption increasing, greenhouse gas emission accelerating like a “speeding freight train”, and average global warming on track to exceed 1.5°C as early as 2030—10 years ahead of the 2040 turnover year recently projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Ottawa Set to Lose Money on Trans Mountain Purchase as Morneau Accused of Obscuring Costs

Canada’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Ltd. may be costing taxpayers more in interest charges than the high-touted revenue it receives from existing pipeline operations, according to an exposé last week by National Observer.

Canadian Governments Introduce Four New Fossil Subsidies on Eve of UN Climate Conference

Just a week before delegates gathered in Katowice, Poland for this year’s United Nations climate change conference, Canadian governments introduced four generous new subsidies for the country’s oil and gas industry, writes Patrick DeRochie, program manager, climate and energy at Toronto-based Environmental Defence.

Ontario Receives Failing Grades for Climate Plan, Misses Business Case for Environmental Commissioner’s Office

The Doug Ford government is receiving failing grades for the scantly-detailed climate plan released late last month by Environment Minister Rod Phillips, while a former senior official argues a strong business case for the Office of the Environmental Commissioner (OCE) after Team Ford decided to shut the office down.

Schumer to Trump: No Infrastructure Bill in 2019 Without Action on Climate

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is demanding a novel quid pro quo from Donald Trump as the 2019 legislative session looms—if the former reality TV star wants a deal to rebuild America’s crumbling physical infrastructure, it’ll have to include measures that respond to climate change.

World Bank Doubles Climate Fund to $200 Billion for 2021-25

The World Bank has committed US$200 billion to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation between 2021 and 2025, a doubling of its previous budget, and is funding the two aspects of the crisis equally for the first time.

Pressed by Investors, Shell Becomes First Colossal Fossil to Link Executive Pay to GHG Reductions

Royal Dutch Shell is becoming the first colossal fossil to link executive pay with greenhouse gas emission reductions, after major shareholders including the Church of England and Robeco demanded the Anglo-Dutch company do more to address the climate crisis.

More Than Half of World’s Coal Plants Will Be Money-Losing Ventures by 2030

About 42% of the world’s coal-fired generating stations are losing money today, and 56% will be by 2030, according to a new analysis by Carbon Tracker.

Reguly: Trudeau Wins ‘Hypocrisy Sweepstakes’ for Supporting Fossils After Signing Paris

Globe and Mail European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly is branding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a winner in the climate hypocrisy sweepstakes, in a blistering opinion piece that puts the PM’s climate advocacy side by side with his government’s full-scale support for bitumen pipelines and liquefied natural gas megaprojects.

IEEFA Sees Failure in Four North American CCS Projects

There’s no sign that the North American fossil industries’ attempts to develop viable carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology are paying off, and less justification than ever to keep up the effort, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report released last month.

Shell Sees ‘Passionate’ EV Owners Driving Growth

U.S. Firm Wants Microgrids as Easy to Finance as Rooftop Solar

Big Norwegian Insurer Storebrand Plans Coal Exit by 2026

African Development Bank Approves $216-Million Renewables Loan to South Africa

Climate Emergency, Community Devastation ‘Redefine the Politics’ as COP 24 Begins

The annual United Nations climate change conference (COP 24) got under way yesterday in Katowice, Poland, amid urgent calls for action in response to a year of back-to-back climate emergencies and repeat warnings that the window of opportunity for pathways to 1.5°C average global warming is just a dozen years from closing.

Squamish Nation, Woodfibre LNG Sign $1.1-Billion Impact Benefit Agreement

The Squamish Nation in British Columbia is signing a C$1.1-billion impact benefit agreement with the Woodfibre LNG liquefied natural project, following what the Squamish Chief describes as a “tight 8-6 decision” in favour of the deal.

Greenpeace Energy Co-op Offers to Buy Germany’s Lignite Mines, Shut Them Down by 2025

A utility co-op set up in 1999 by Greenpeace Germany is proposing to take over the open cast lignite (brown coal) mines now operated by German electricity giant RWE, shut them down by 2025, and replace them with 8.2 gigawatts of wind and solar projects.

Brooks: Canada Must Plan for Oil and Gas Exit Rather Than ‘Urging Companies Onward’

Canada urgently needs an exit strategy from oil and gas, rather than allowing the industry and its massive environmental liabilities to continue growing, Environmental Defence Programs Director Keith Brooks argues in a Globe and Mail opinion piece.

Government Policy, Public Investment Drove 99% Drop in Solar Photovoltaic Costs

Government policy and public investment were the key driver of an astonishing 99% drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels over four decades, according to a new paper in the journal Energy Policy. “It didn’t just happen,” writes Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts. “It was driven, at every stage, by smart public policy.” In the paper, associate professor Jessika Trancik, post-doctoral candidate Goksin Kavlak, and research scientist James McNerney of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology set out to develop an overall theory of technological innovation, using the precipitous drop in photovoltaic costs as an example. Their research appears […]

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Developing Nations ‘Lead the Charge’, Outpace Wealthier Countries in New Clean Energy Capacity

Developing countries are “charging ahead of wealthier nations in the global green energy push,” adding more clean electricity than fossil fuel capacity in 2017 for the first time ever, according to a Bloomberg News report citing the annual Climatescope survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Billionnaire Medical Entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong Buys Into Energy Storage

GM Plant Closure Shows Industry Transition Catching Canada, Ontario Flat-Footed

The more than 2,500 workers at General Motors’ 65-year-old auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario were among the casualties earlier this week when the company announced it was cutting 15% of its salaried work force and closing five plants across Canada and the United States, plus two more overseas to be named later. But the broader coverage pointed to a growing industry transformation that seems to have caught both Canada and Ontario flat-footed.

Dubitsky: Lost Opportunities Show Cost of Canada’s Moribund Cleantech Manufacturing Strategy

While General Motors is tying its decision to close its Oshawa, Ontario manufacturing facility to the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles, GM is not the only casualty of Canada’s inaction on clean transportation policy.

New York Plans 200 Fast Chargers Along $250-Million EV Corridor

National Securities Regulator Would Improve Canada’s Climate Risk Disclosure

A Supreme Court decision earlier this month could open the door for a more unified approach to sustainable finance and low-carbon growth, by allowing Canada to set up a single, national regulator for publicly-traded securities.

U.S. Utilities Add Transmission and Renewables, Cut Coal as Grid Transition Continues

American Electrical Power (AEP), one of the larger investor-owned utilities in the United States, has unveiled a five-year, US$33-billion capital investment plan that focuses mostly on upgrading its transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Appeal of New York City Climate Case Draws Widespread Support

Diesel Price Hike Produces Road Blockades, Violence in France

Cleantech Pioneer Bak Receives Knight of the Order of Merit Insignia from France

EXCLUSIVE: Federal Climate Panel to Seek Practical Steps to Meet, Possibly Exceed Canada’s 2030 Target

Proven, practical measures to reach or even push beyond Canada’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets will be the focus for the federal government’s new climate change advisory panel, co-chair Steven Guilbeault told The Energy Mix in an exclusive interview Sunday.

Germany Earmarks €1 Billion to Support Battery Cell Production

B.C. Introduces 2040 Deadline for 100% ZEVs, but National Mandate Still Lacking

British Columbia has announced a 2040 deadline for all new cars and trucks sold in the province to be zero-emission, but the overall impact of the province’s move may be limited by the lack of a national electric vehicle mandate.

Unsubsidized Wind, Solar, and Batteries Beat Fossils on Price, BNEF Concludes

Unsubsidized wind and solar are new the cheapest source of new grid-scale power in all the world’s major economies except Japan, according to the latest electricity cost competitiveness report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

‘Carbon-Free’ Virtual Forum Demands 1.5°C Action for World’s Most Vulnerable Nations

The Climate Vulnerable Forum completed the world’s first-ever zero-emissions climate summit this week, a day-long virtual meeting that challenged the inevitably more carbon-intensive COP 24 in Katowice, Poland to usher in tougher national climate targets and make climate financing more available to vulnerable countries.

Opinion: Canadian Fossil Swings at C-69, Misses the Point on Crashing Global Markets

In a hyperbolic opinion piece this week for the Financial Post, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers pivots from the curious notion that a new pipeline project would somehow insulate Canadian fossils from crashing world oil prices, to a demand that the federal government place its new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, on hold.

Morneau Extends Tax Credits to Wind, Solar and Efficiency, Keeps Fossil Subsidies Alive and Well

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau included tax incentives for wind, solar, and energy efficiency equipment and a favourable tax regime for fossil producers in his fall fiscal update released earlier this week.