SNAPSHOT: The Fossil Industry Goes for Broke

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Max Goessler/Pixabay

The top-line fossil sector news in 2018 made it tough to imagine the collapse of one of the world’s most powerful and politically connected industries. But while fossils held onto their considerable financial and political control over energy worldwide, deep cracks started to appear for the first time that will ultimately challenge their long-term dominance.

Coal closures were commonplace in 2018, oil and gas prices fluctuated wildly, and the realization increasingly dawned that proven hydrocarbon reserves can and must stay in the ground. But while the industry began to buckle under the weight of a global transition it could not stop, that shift was not keeping pace with countries’ commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement, much less the urgent 1.5°C target set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in early October.

The Collapse of Coal

The most obvious, pervasive sign of fossil industry distress was the accelerating collapse of what was once a dominant coal industry. But coal plants were still operating in 2018, new ones were still being built, and the industry’s decline fell far short of the Paris targets. While momentum was quickly shifting away from the electricity source that will have to be the first phased out in any reasonable post-carbon pathway, there was still much more to be done as 2018 drew to a close.

The year opened on news that renewable energy in the European Union had outpaced coal in 2017, but the continent was still short of a full phaseout. Germany faced increased pressure to make the phaseout happen. France declared a 2021 phaseout deadline, less than a month after introducing a fossil production ban that would keep five billion barrels in the ground. Finland set a 2029 coal phaseout date and offered subsidies for faster action.

Spain’s new government unveiled a €250-million job transition fund to support its plan to shut down most coal mines by the end of the year. Canada’s coal phaseout was expected to eliminate 16 megatonnes of carbon pollution by 2030 and 100 megatonnes by 2055, and the co-chair of its Just Transition Task Force asked for a longer time span for job retraining funds. Renewable energy installations exceeded fossil capacity for the first time ever in the United Kingdom, where subsidy-free renewables and affordable storage were expected to leave natural gas out in the cold by 2030, and private sector action was speeding coal’s demise in Australia, despite the intentions of its pro-coal Liberal Coalition government.

Coal’s dominance in India was threatened by falling solar costs and mounting air pollution. New research showed 40% of China’s coal plants losing money, though the country quietly restarted construction on 46.7 gigawatts of new capacity. In Japan, other big industrials were expected to follow Tokyo-based conglomerate Marubeni’s lead after it signaled its exit from coal. Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines were on track to lose US$60 billion on stranded coal assets in the next decade, and South Africa laid plans to replace coal and nuclear capacity with renewables and natural gas.

In the United States, power utilities hit an inflexion point, with solar and wind farms coming in less costly to own and operate than coal plants that were already built and paid for. Regional grid manager PJM Interconnection determined that power utility FirstEnergy Solutions could shut down four gigawatts—four billion watts—of existing coal capacity without compromising grid reliability, even as U.S. coal barons’ wish list became Donald Trump’s to-do list. Despite the former reality TV star’s best efforts, U.S. government data showed a promised coal recovery evaporating. Trump’s own appointees to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected his bailout plan for financially stressed coal and nuclear utilities, and the massive, 2,250-megawatt Navajo coal station in Arizona faced the reality of a 2019 closure date after a potential new owner backed out. Separate reports by the World Bank and the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to the futility of trying to rebuild the world’s rapidly failing coal industry.

Delegates to the IPCC meeting on low-carbon pathways in Incheon, South Korea, considered drastic coal cuts as a way to protect the 1.5°C target, and Bloomberg News analyst David Fickling said coal consumption just might achieve the required 60% reduction by 2030. But Carbon Tracker warned that coal plant retirements would have to triple just to match up with the Paris targets, and Oil Change International scorched the International Energy Agency for a set of future scenarios that would take climate change over the cliff.

Extreme Oil Meets Supply-Side Campaigning

After many years of determined, creative effort to reduce demand for fossil energy, campaigners pushed for a wider mix of decarbonization strategies, with a stepped-up focus on keeping known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

Economists Fergus Green of the London School of Economics and Richard Denniss of the Australia Institute earned a thumbs-up from veteran Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts for their “cogent argument that the activists are onto something—that restrictive supply-side (RSS) climate policies have unique economic and political benefits and deserve a place alongside carbon prices and renewable energy supports in the climate policy toolkit.” The Stockholm Environment Institute said new fossil infrastructure imperils domestic and global climate goals. Earth scientist David Hughes showed that Canada will never meet its Paris Agreement targets if it keeps on scaling up oil and gas infrastructure, and Oil Change Senior Advisor Adam Scott pointed to Canadian fossils’ late-fall production cuts as a remarkable example of what a managed decline could look like. Fossil analysts at Wood Mackenzie concluded that a 2035 target for the off-fossil transition to reach the point of no return was too late to meet the IPCC’s 1.5°C target. Securing America’s Future Energy cast the country’s military spending as a minimum US$81-billion subsidy to the fossil industry

New Zealand banned new oil and gas exploration, while Danish Oil and Natural Gas renamed itself for noted Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (over the legal objections of their new namesake’s descendants) and completed its transformation into an offshore wind powerhouse. California was told in no uncertain terms that it must phase out its fossil fuel production or lose its status as a climate change leader. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) looked askance at the business case for the new Teck Resources tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta, and ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil announced a new bitumen project of its own, just as some of the province’s biggest fossils began cutting back production.

Renewables Win on Price

The other memo many fossils seemed to be missing was that the shift to renewable energy was continuing as the cost of renewables and energy storage continued to fall.

Oxford, U.K.-based Aurora Energy Research Ltd concluded that fossil companies stood to lose US$19 trillion in income by 2040, as cumulative electric vehicle sales hit 540 million and oil demand peaked in less than a decade. A Carbon Tracker analysis released at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco showed fossil demand peaking in 2023. The economics of new coal and natural gas plants crumbled, Denver-based Xcel Energy said renewables were already undercutting the cost of existing fossil generation, and a study in the journal Nature Climate Change cautioned that a carbon bubble driven by cheap renewables could trigger a global economic crisis. Investment executives advised oil and gas to “face its future as a declining industry” and leave it to financial professionals to allocate the US$29 trillion that will be needed by 2050 to decarbonize the global energy system

Fossils Fight Back

Several fossil companies faced sustained pressure from their own investors. An annual general meeting resolution asked TransCanada Corporation to assess the business risk it faces in the low-carbon transition, and Kinder Morgan shareholders demanded the company report on its sustainability practices and climate-related investment risk. “As you are probably aware, these proposals are non-binding,” Executive Chair Rich Kinder said in a statement following the vote. IEEFA said ExxonMobil shareholders committed a “failure of epic proportions,” after an earlier push to hold the company’s board to a higher standard of climate risk disclosure fizzled, and New York said it would see Exxon in court.

But the company was undeterred, with management doubling down on future oil and gas production even as a former executive urged fossils to get with the program. BP foresaw its emissions rising through 2040, with oil demand peaking at 110 million barrels per day, and CEO Bob Dudley called for trillions in new fossil spending. Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden refused to set a carbon reduction target after his company sustained a shareholder grilling on its greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately pursuing a strategy of extracting all its fossil fuel reserves before they become stranded assets. A lawsuit asserted that #shellknew about the dangers of climate change as far back as 1988. In early December, Shell became the world’s first colossal fossil to tie executive pay to greenhouse gas reductions. OPEC expected oil to draw US$11 trillion in new investment through 2040.

Carbon disclosure and pricing emerged as mainstream practices for investors and big businesses, and fossil-focused Houston, Texas, recognized that it faces Rust Belt status if it fails to embrace a renewable energy future. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada said it would lobby the Canadian government for an energy industry that includes renewables as well as fossils.

But taxpayers were still underwriting the fossil industries their governments needed to rein in in time to deliver on the post-carbon transition. The Trump administration used tax breaks and regulatory fixes to keep U.S. pipeliners and coal operators afloat; OECD countries issued fossil fuel subsidies worth at least US$373 billion as recently as 2015; and the average Canadian tax return included a $234 giveaway to Big Oil, even though two-thirds of those taxpayers opposed fossil subsidies. During midterm elections in November, U.S. citizens in 24 states seized control of the energy agenda with a total of 64 ballot initiatives, though fossils won big in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington State when they chose to throw their overwhelming financial weight around on specific ballot issues. U.S. fossils lost control of the climate denial network they had spawned, but still sought the right PR strategies to fight public opinion and slow down the shift away from fossil fuels.

Pollution in All Places

The fossil industry continued to do severe damage to the atmosphere and the environment, even as its business model became more and more tenuous.

NASA pointed a finger at natural gas as the clear culprit in spiking methane emissions, and Oil Change said G20 countries’ plans for new gas infrastructure would undercut their climate promises. Fracking needed a 329-fold reduction in its environmental impact to match the sustainability of renewables, and fossils geared up for a new wave of liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion. The LNG Canada consortium approved a C$40-billion megaproject in British Columbia, three more Canadian LNG projects inched toward construction in 2019, and the Squamish Nation in British Columbia approved a C$1.1-billion impact and benefit agreement with the Woodfibre LNG project.

As the reality of declining gasoline demand began to set in, fossils launched a US$186-billion investment binge in future plastic pollution, betting big that plastics and petrochemical demand would be enough to offset emission reductions in other sectors. Tar sands/oil sands producers began searching for bitumen products “beyond combustion,” while some U.S. states looked to the petrochemical boom to turn the Rust Belt into the Plastics Belt.

After Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna approved oil and gas drilling off the Nova Scotia coast, it took less than four months for BP’s “safe” offshore drilling program about 330 kilometres east of Halifax to spill 136,000 litres of toxic mud into the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. risk mitigation specialist Dr. Robert Bea, leader of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group and co-founder of the U.S. Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, concluded that BP had underestimated the risk of a “sustained, uncontrolled blowout.”

After the Newfoundland and Labrador government set a 12-year strategy to step up its search for offshore oil, Husky Oil’s SeaRose offshore drilling platform lost 250,000 litres in a major storm, producing the region’s worst oil spill ever and putting seabirds at risk of an agonizing death. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers got special advance access to federal marine protection regulations for the Laurentian Channel, a biologically diverse portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence southwest of Newfoundland, and the 2018 federal budget included major funding for a protected areas strategy but no action on fossil fuel subsidies. European Union parliamentarians noticed a revolving door between public sector regulatory positions and the fossil industry.

A wave of opposition greeted a White House plan to expand offshore oil drilling, with coastal states worried about putting tourism and recreation businesses at risk. “Ain’t gonna happen. Not on my watch!” declared South Carolina state representative Nancy Mace, a newly elected legislator described by the Washington Post as a former Trump campaign worker and fiscal conservative.

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

Trans Mountain Pipeline Protester’s Donor Appeal Hits High Gear on GoFundMe

A donor appeal for British Columbia poet and university professor Rita Wong, sentenced to 28 days in prison for her part in protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, is trending on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page, with 225 people contributing $16,765 in just three days (as of Tuesday evening).

Trump Sanctions Deliver Billion-Dollar Windfall to Russian Oil Exporters

Solar, Wind, EVs Will Be the Death of Petroleum: RenewEconomy Editor

Royal Bank of Scotland Phases Out Funding for Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic and Antarctic Refuge Drilling

The Royal Bank of Scotland is phasing out financing for tar sands/oil sands exploration and extraction, and limiting its funding for fossil projects in the Arctic and Antarctic.

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

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

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

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

Trump Officials Move to Weaken Endangered Species Act, Speed Up Pipeline Approvals Under Clean Water Act

The Trump administration has introduced two new deregulatory efforts over the last 10 days, aimed at weakening protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, making it more difficult to factor climate impacts into endangered species determinations, and fast-tracking pipeline development with amendments to the federal Clean Water Act.

2020 Democrats Target U.S. Fossils as Nomination Campaign Heats Up

Fossil companies are emerging as a target of choice as Democratic candidates scramble to distinguish themselves in a crowded field for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

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

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

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

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

Carbon Capture Unit on Australian LNG Megaproject Starts Up Four Years Late

Four years late and far over budget, Chevron Corporation has finally flipped the switch on a carbon capture and storage (CCS) system for the mammoth, $72-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that has accounted for half of the annual increase in Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Pennsylvania Fossil Workers Paid Overtime to Attend Trump Rally

Australia Considers Massive $77-Billion Fracking Megaproject

Wisconsin Mayor Raises Safety Concerns After Deadly Enbridge Pipeline Explosion

Nuclear Refurbishments Forced Ontario to Buy New Gas Plants

South Korean Industrial Giant Invests in Small Modular Reactors

Koch Brothers Abandon Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate Koch Industries has sold off its substantial position in the Canadian tar sands/oil sands, selling thousands of hectares of land to Cavalier Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Calgary-based Paramount Resources Ltd., the Financial Post revealed Wednesday.

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

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

Environmental, Indigenous Groups Demand Insurers Withdraw Coverage for Trans Mountain Pipeline

In a series of letters issued late last month, a group of 32 environmental, Indigenous, and citizens’ organizations led by Stand.earth is demanding commitments from more than two dozen major insurance companies to stop underwriting tar sands/oil sands projects, beginning with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

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

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

Solar Price Beats Grid Electricity in Every City Across China

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

Time for Australia to ‘Answer to the Pacific’, New Zealand PM Asserts

With 18 Pacific Island nations pressing Australia to agree to a global coal phaseout, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging Scott Morrison’s climate-denying Liberal coalition to “answer to the Pacific” on the climate crisis.

Fracking Sites in Texas, New Mexico Need $9 Billion to Dispose of Salty, Radioactive Wastewater

Oil and gas fracking producers in Texas and New Mexico will be looking for more than US$9 billion over the next decade, just to drill new wells to dispose of their polluted water, according to analysis published late last month.

Fossils Face Crisis Attracting Millennial Work Force

The fossil industry is facing yet another severe challenge as the post-carbon energy transition unfolds: since 2014, there’s been a sharp drop in the number of university graduates willing to consider careers in oil and gas.

India Plans to Cut Coal Imports, Boost Domestic Production

India is planning to cut its coal imports by at least one-third over the next five years, while boosting domestic coal mining and renewable energy generation to take up the slack.

Coastal GasLink Admits Starting Construction Without Archaeological Assessments

Oil and Gas Discoveries Up 35% This Year

BREAKING: Australia Tries to Drop 1.5°C Target from Pacific Declaration as Endangered Countries Demand Real Carbon Reductions

Australia is trying to water down references to the climate “crisis”, the long-term goal of 1.5°C average global warming, a ban on new coal-fired generation, and an end to fossil subsidies in the final declaration from this week’s annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in Tuvalu, according to an annotated draft seen and reported by Climate Home News.

IPCC Land Report Paints Stark Picture for Food Supplies, Charts Course for Immediate Action

Global food supplies, species and ecosystem diversity, and the health and safety of populations are all in peril without immediate, wide-ranging shifts in land use, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark report released in Geneva last week.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Analysts Predict Implausible Growth as Renewables, EVs Crush Fossils on Price

A stunning new international analysis shows increasingly affordable wind and solar power and electric vehicles crushing oil on price and efficiency—even as Canadian fossil analysts continue to predict future growth for tar sands/oil sands production, and industry boosters tout their “marathon” effort to convince investors to take their product seriously.

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

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

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

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

BP Global Data Report Shows Fossil Fuel Use Surging, Renewables Falling Behind

Global fossil fuel use is continuing its rapid increase, and renewable energy development “has not only failed to halt the explosive rise in fossil carbon burning, it’s falling ever-further behind,” National Observer data analyst Barry Saxifrage reported late last month, based on data in the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

European Investment Bank Promises Fossil Funding Phaseout in 2020

In a move that Oil Change International is hailing as a “massive step forward in climate leadership”, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced late last month that it will cut off the billions of euros per year that it invests in fossil fuel projects by the end of next year.

Redirecting 10% of Fossil Subsidies Would Pay for Green Transition

Indigenous Coalition Submits Early Bid to Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

Ottawa Hires Former Enbridge Exec to Advise on TMX-First Nation Partnerships

Ecofiscal Commission Cites Six Places Where Carbon Price is Working

Berkeley Bans New Natural Gas Hook-Ups

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

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

Resource Giant BHP Links Executive Pay to GHG Reductions, Takes Responsibility for Scope 3 Emissions

Natural resource giant BHP Group will link executive pay to reductions in the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, and will include downstream or “Scope 3” emissions in the calculation, in what the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis calls a “landmark commitment” that shows “leadership towards implementation of the Paris Agreement”.

Ex-U.S. Ambassador Gary Doer Says Social Licence is ‘All Social, No Licence’

The need for major resource projects to receive “social licence” before they proceed sustained attacks from two different sides of the political spectrum at the recent Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina, with Manitoba’s former NDP premier Gary Doer and Saskatchewan’s ex-Saskatchewan Party premier Brad Wall agreeing the concept has no place in the project approval process.

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

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

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

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

A First for Germany as Renewable Power Output Exceeds Coal Plus Nuclear

Wildfire Hits Near Idaho Nuclear Lab

Coal Debt Impedes U.S. Energy Co-ops’ Embrace of Renewables

Alberta Village that Shifted from Coal to Oil Now Struggles with Wind

Canadian Fossil Operations Report Lower GHG Intensity in 2018

New Category on London Stock Index Favours Renewables Over Fossils

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

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

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

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

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

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

12,000-Litre Hibernia Oil Spill Produces ‘Russian Roulette’ for Ocean Wildlife

As cleanup efforts continue in the wake of last Wednesday’s 12,000-litre spill in the Hibernia oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, questions are being raised about the wisdom of letting fossils self-report on the cause and extent of such incidents, and the effort they put in in response.

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Sees Energy Storage Competing Against Natural Gas Peaker Plants

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

1.5°C Warming Limit Destroys One-Third of Oil Tanker Demand by 2050

Demand for oil tankers will shrink by one-third by 2050 if countries stay on track to hold average global warming to 1.5°C, meaning that some existing ships may ultimately become stranded assets, according to an analysis released last week by consultants at Maritime Strategies International (MSI) for the European Climate Foundation.

Heat Wave May Shut Down French Nuclear Plant

Indonesia Plans Shift Off Coal

Palm Oil Harvest in Malaysian Forests Drives Orangutan Population Down 30%

Saudi Aramco Builds $44-Billion Refinery in India

Open Letter Backs Heiltsuk Nation Call for Compensation in Nathan E. Stewart Diesel Spill

China’s National Oil Companies Become Big Investors in Africa

Big LNG Project Gets Approval in Mozambique

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

Equinor, South Korean Fossil Plan 200-MW Floating Wind Farm

Climate-Driven Drought, Deforestation Create Devastating Challenges for Honduran Farmers

Though long accustomed to poverty, violence, and political corruption, many Honduran farmers are experiencing an ongoing drought compounded by deforestation as a whole new level of suffering and fear—with little hope of resolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Brunswick’s Higgs Pushes for National Energy Corridor

Robots Taking Over Jobs as Fossils Aim for ‘Productivity and Efficiency’

Early Fossil Plant Shutdowns Will be Needed to Hit 1.5°C Average Warming Target

The world already has enough fossil fuel plants and high-emitting industrial facilities, buildings, and cars to drive average global warming above a 1.5°C threshold, according to an article earlier this month in the journal Nature.

First Nations Challenge Trans Mountain in Court While Conservation Group Questions Project Viability

Six British Columbia First Nations have petitioned the Federal Court of Appeal to review Ottawa’s re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson maintaining last week the Trudeau government was “non-responsive” to concerns communities raised during the last round of court-mandated consultations about the project.

Scheer’s Climate Plan Costs More, Achieves Less Than Current Federal Policies: Clean Prosperity Study

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s recently-announced climate strategy would end up costing more than the current government’s policies and leave Canada farther from achieving its Harper-era carbon reduction targets for 2030, according to a report released last week by Clean Prosperity.

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

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

‘Staggering’ Data Dump Shows CSIS Spying on Northern Gateway Pipeline Protesters

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says a “staggering”, 19-volume trove of previously restricted documents it published last week shows the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) illegally spied on activists and environmentalists opposing the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

FERC Update Shows U.S. Renewables Growing 10 Times Faster Than Fossil Electricity by 2022

A new three-year projection from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), showing renewable energy growing 10 times faster than fossil-generated electricity by 2022, is being taken as official confirmation that the country’s shift to clean power is here to stay.

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

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

Alberta Consults Fossils on Plan to Loosen Regulations, Lower Taxes

France Slaps New Eco-Tax on Most Air Travel

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

‘Déjà Vu’ as Six First Nations Take Trans Mountain Approval Back to Court

Oversupply Pushes Chinese Oil Refiners to Cut Back Production

Scheer Vows to Scrap Federal Clean Fuel Standard

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

Conservation Groups Appeal Trans Mountain Approval on Behalf of Endangered B.C. Orcas

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is headed back to court, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society asking an appeal court to rule that the federal cabinet failed to protect British Columbia’s endangered southern resident orca population when it re-approved the controversial, C$9.3-billion project.

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

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

Documentary Short Declares Plastic Recycling ‘Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene’

“Recycling is Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene” is the title of Memorial University geographer Max Liboiron’s recent documentary short celebrating her research into microplastics that are poisoning the world’s oceans.

B.C.’s Carbon Engineering Lands $25-Million Federal Subsidy

China Pushes UNESCO to Ignore Coal Plant Impacts on Bangladesh Tiger Habitat

Rising Carbon Price Helps Kill Off European Coal Plants

Trump Threatens to Block Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

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

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

Climate Damages Could Hit $69 Trillion by 2100

The impacts of climate change could cost the global economy US$69 trillion through 2100 if average global warming is allowed to hit 2.0°C, according to a new study by consultants at Moody’s Analytics.

Study Shows Huge Carbon Capture in Reforestation, But Scientists Debate the Numbers

Humanity could recapture about two-thirds of the carbon pollution it has poured into the atmosphere by restoring 2.2 billion acres/890 million hectares of forest cover around the world, according to a widely-disputed study of current and potential forestation published last Thursday in the journal Science.

Harrison: Building a Pipeline is Not a Climate Plan

The federal government’s decision to buy out, then re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion means Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “has made a choice on our behalf, but Canadians should not kid ourselves that building a pipeline is a climate plan,” argues University of British Columbia political scientist and chemical engineer Kathryn Harrison, in a blistering retort to National Observer columnist Sandy Garossino’s recent post on Ottawa’s C$70-billion climate plan.

Fossil-Friendly Canadian Export Agency Cited for Poor Disclosure, Environmental and Human Rights Violations

A federal export credit agency with a history of massively supporting fossil industry exports over clean technology is taking fire for failing to consider the environmental, human rights, and ethical implications of its financial support to Canadian businesses.

World Isn’t Spending Enough to Shut Down Fossil Fuels

German State Development Bank Yanks Loans for New Coal Projects

U.S. ‘King of Coal’, Billionaire Trump Backer, Dies in Copter Crash

Project Reconciliation Promises $6.9-Billion Trans Mountain Bid as Early as Next Week

The Indigenous-led Project Reconciliation is expected to announce a C$6.9-billion bid for majority ownership of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline as early as next week, with the group’s leadership promising a proposal that will “work for all sides”.

Some Oil and Gas Resources Will Stay in the Ground, BP Admits

One of the world’s biggest fossil companies is admitting that some of its “more complicated to extract” oil and gas resources will have to either be sold off or left in the ground.

Ottawa Finalizes Carbon Price Plan for Large Industrial Emitters

The Trudeau government closed out the spring legislative season last week with the final version of a regulation that sets a carbon price for large emitters, includes a price break for steel and fertilizer companies, and creates incentives for emitters to invest in cleantech companies and support decarbonization projects overseas.

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

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

Seismic Lines for Fossil Exploration Boost Climate-Busting Methane Releases at Least 7%

Climate-busting methane released when fossil explorers cut seismic lines through natural landscapes are enough to drive up Canada’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions from land use by at least 7%, according to a study released last week by a University of Calgary researcher.

Majority of Americans, 56% of Texans Support Climate Accountability for Fossil Companies

The majority of Americans—and 56% of Texans—believe the fossil industry is significantly responsible for the climate crisis, and should be made to foot at least part of the bill, according to a new public opinion survey by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communications.

Urban Battery in Oakland to Replace Another Gas Peaker Plant

Renewables Provide Alternative to Troubled Coal Plants in Kenya, Bangladesh

$6 Billion in Coal Liabilities Could Put Insurers Out of Business

Struggling Chinese Coal Plant Becomes Second to File for Bankruptcy

Trillion-Dollar UK Investor Group Dumps Exxon, Four Others from Some Funds

Climate-Driven Heat Stress Could Put 80 Million Jobs at Risk by 2030, UN Agency Warns

Heat stress caused by climate change could put the equivalent of 80 million jobs at risk by 2030, with poor countries facing the most serious impacts, according to an International Labour Organization (ILO) report released Monday.

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Federal Carbon Tax

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

New Analysis Reveals ‘Clean’ Natural Gas as ‘the New Coal’

Methane leaks from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other parts of the gas production chain are making the supposedly “clean fuel” a climate pollutant on par with coal, with the vast majority of the new development taking place in Canada and the United States, CBC reports.

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

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

Chubb Becomes First U.S. Insurer to Withdraw Investment, Risk Coverage for Coal

Chubb Ltd. is becoming the first U.S. insurance company to refuse coverage or investment dollars to companies that draw more than 30% of their revenue from coal mining or coal-fired generation.

Overlapping ‘Downstream Disruptors’ Spell Troubles for Fossil Exploration and Development

Oil and gas exploration companies are facing down a half-dozen simultaneous, overlapping threats to their financial success, according to two recent stories in the Rigzone industry newsletter.

G-20 Adopts Modest Climate Statement as Trump Stumbles, Japan Grapples with Coal

Leaders of the G-20 industrial economies held their ground against Trump administration climate denial at the end of their annual meeting in Osaka, Japan Saturday, adopting a watered down statement on the climate crisis that fell short of what was needed but still committed to continuing action to implement that 2015 Paris Agreement.

U.S. Military Exceeds National Emissions of Portugal, Sweden

While steadily recognizing climate change as a top threat to national security, the Pentagon continues to produce more carbon emissions than some mid-sized European economies, thanks largely to troop deployments intended to protect its access to oil in the Persian Gulf.

Protesters Blockade Coal Mine to Highlight Germany’s Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Hundreds of climate protesters broke through police lines and blockaded a 48-square-kilometre open-cast lignite (soft coal) mine in western Germany late last month, drawing attention to the country’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels and the dire risk it poses to a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest.

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

‘Net-Zero’ UK Sends £2 Billion in Annual Subsidies to Overseas Fossil Projects

B.C.’s Shxwowhamel First Nation Changes Position, Now Opposes Trans Mountain

Haisla First Nation Places Economic Hopes in LNG Development

Kuwait Buys In to Canadian Shale Gas Production

Saudis Lead Fossil States to Block 1.5°C Report, Declare Island States a ‘Disposable Global Zone’

A landmark report on 1.5°C pathways was forever dropped from formal consideration in United Nations climate negotiations, and Climate Action Network-International scorched countries for their “weak political positions on responding to the climate crisis,” as mid-year negotiations to implement and push beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement wrapped up yesterday in Bonn.

Investors Representing $34 Trillion in Assets Urge Rapid Climate Action by G20

A group of 477 retirement funds and investors representing US$34 trillion in assets is calling on world leaders to adopt carbon pricing and phase out coal plants in a bid to hold average global warming to 1.5°C, in a statement released ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

U.S. Fossils Fret as Leading Democrats Call for Mandatory Climate Risk Disclosure

Virtually all the leading candidates for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination are calling for mandatory disclosure of the climate risk fossil companies face. And fossils are beginning to feel the heat.

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

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

Kenya Environmental Tribunal Cancels Licence for 1,050-MW Coal Plant

Citing an “outright disregard” for public consultation and a cavalier attitude to environmental protection, Kenya’s National Environment Tribunal has withdrawn the environment licence granted in 2016 to an East African investment firm that, together with General Electric, was looking to build the 1,050-megawatt, US$2-billion Lamu coal-fired power plant on the coast.

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

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

Alberta Offers Fossils 10-Year Guarantee of Low Royalty Rates

Biggest Eastern U.S. Oil Refinery to Close After Epic Fire, Extensive Damage

Canada Infrastructure Bank to Support VIA Rail Modernization

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

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

Canada, UK, France, Ireland Declared Climate Emergency While Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

A new analysis this week identifies Canada as one of four countries that have declared climate emergencies after collectively spending US$27.5 billion per year on fossil fuel subsidies earlier this decade.

Oregon state capitol ZehnKatzen/Wikipedia

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

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

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

Zurich Insurance Drops Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Pipelines and Rail, Commits to 100% RE by 2022

The world’s 23rd-largest insurance company, Zurich Insurance Group, has become the world’s first to withdraw insurance and investment from companies significantly involved with the tar sands/oil sands, including pipelines and railways, as well as coal developers, utilities, and oil shale developers.

Webinar: 1.5°C Still Doable Without ‘Unproven, Dangerous’ Geoengineering

It isn’t too late to limit average global warming to 1.5°C without resorting to geoengineering, and deploying geoengineering technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and solar radiation management (SRM) would be counterproductive and dangerously irresponsible, according to panelists at an April 25 webinar.

Saudi Arabia Obstructs UN Adoption of IPCC’s 1.5°C Pathway Report

Countries participating in mid-year climate negotiations in Bonn this month are at risk of excluding the IPCC’s landmark report on 1.5°C pathways from their consideration of climate science, with alarmed health professionals calling out Saudi Arabia for its continuing refusal to accept the conclusions in the October, 2018 special report.

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

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

U.S. Health Professionals Call for Fracking Moratorium

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

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

Norway Plans 3.5 GW of New Offshore Wind, 50% Cut in Marine Diesel by 2030

A proposal to build up to 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, coupled with a pledge to cut marine diesel use 50% by 2030, have Norway pushing for a lead in subsidy-free renewable energy while driving down its demand for the energy source that has long driven its economy.

Ottawa Directs $60 Million in Carbon Tax Revenue to Energy-Efficient Schools

Energy Transfer Partners Wants to Double Dakota Access Capacity

Calgary Landlords Turn Vacant Fossil Offices Into Apartments

Decommissioning North Sea Oil Sites Could Cost UK Up to £77 Billion

Greenpeace Stalls 30-Million-Barrel Drilling Plan by Blockading BP Oil Rig

Three U.S. Senators Target Billion-Dollar Refined Coal Subsidy

BREAKING: Canadian Senate Passes Impact Assessment Act, B.C. Tanker Ban, Arctic Drilling Moratorium

The Canadian Senate adopted Bills C-69 and C-48 last night, along with a lower-profile measure enshrining a moratorium on Arctic oil drilling, clearing the way for the country’s new Impact Assessment Act and a federal ban on large tanker traffic off British Columbia’s environmentally sensitive north coast to become law.

Scheer Climate Plan ‘Like Building a House Without a Hammer’, Mirrors Fossil Industry Campaign Demands

More than a year after he promised it, and after weeks of mounting hype, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer released his party’s climate plan Wednesday, a glossy, 60-page document with no fixed carbon reduction target that he cast as Canada’s best shot at meeting its 2030 goal under the Paris Agreement.

Line 3 Pipeline Faces Six-Month Delay in Minnesota While Line 5 Loses Traction in Michigan

With this week’s federal re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion triggering outrage and likely legal action across the country, two other pending pipelines—Line 3 through Minnesota, and Line 5 through Michigan—were running into new regulatory and political roadblocks south of the Canada-U.S. border.

RCMP Has ‘Army’ of Officers to Protect B.C. Pipeline, No Time to Investigate Murdered Indigenous Woman

Though suddenly possessed of an “army” of officers to thwart peaceful protests against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, the region’s RCMP couldn’t muster a single constable last summer to help desperate family members search for 18-year old Jessica Patrick of Lake Babine Nation—and have since demonstrated little inclination to investigate her murder.

Oil Demand Shrinks by the Month While U.S. Solar Surges

Two nearly simultaneous market reports this week from the two sides of the energy sector—the old and the new—point to a promising trend, with demand for oil declining while solar installations surge faster than an annual statistical update can keep up.

Global Plastics Boom Drives Annual CO2 Increase to Seven-Year High

The global boom in plastics was a key factor driving the sharp rise in carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, Greenpeace UK’s award-winning Unearthed news site reports, based on analysis of the latest world energy review released by colossal fossil BP.

Morneau Acknowledges Alberta’s Anxiety, While Whittingham Endorses TMX Approval

Finance Minister Bill Morneau acknowledged Alberta’s anxieties over the post-carbon transition in a breakfast speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Trudeau government confirmed its re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

EPA Tosses Lifeline to U.S. Coal with Rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-anticipated plans to complete its rollback of President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, the latest in Donald Trump’s failing campaign to resuscitate his country’s dying coal industry.

Northeastern B.C. Drought Forces Fossils to Cut Fracking Water Use

Shell Brings Gulf of Mexico Expertise to Massachusetts Offshore Wind Boom

World’s Biggest Financial Co-op to Phase Out EU, OECD Coal Funding by 2030

Queensland Coal Workers Switch to Renewables

Coal-Fired Insulation Plant Drives Divisions in West Virginia

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied

In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Tories Propose Carbon Tax Repeal After House Passes Climate Emergency Motion

With the votes barely counted on the climate emergency motion adopted by Canada’s House of Commons Monday evening, Conservative MP Ed Fast was scheduled to put forward a measure calling on the Trudeau government to repeal its carbon tax and “replace it with a real environmental plan.”

CAN-Rac: Canada’s Next Climate Plan Must Cut Carbon Faster, End Fossil Subsidies

Faster carbon reductions, an end to fossil subsidies, more support for international emission reductions, and a commitment to “leave no community, group, or worker behind” are the cornerstones of the comprehensive, accountable climate plan Canada will need after this year’s federal election, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) asserts in a policy paper released earlier this week.

Slow Uptake Has Countries Missing Benefits of Renewable Energy Transition, REN21 Warns

While the industry’s growth in 2018 showed that “renewable power is here to stay”, countries around the world are falling short of the full benefits they could gain from the post-carbon transition and needlessly dragging out their dependence on fossil fuels, concludes the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report, released this week by the Paris-based REN21 Secretariat.

Resource Development, Climate Impacts, Federal Negligence Bring Wood Buffalo Park Close to Heritage in Danger List

A UN agency is on the verge of placing Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest, on the World Heritage in Danger List, and urging the country to take far more strenuous measures to protect the territory and its extraordinary biodiversity.

New Fossil Investment in China Hits 14-Year Low

China’s investment in building new coal and other thermal power plants hit a 14-year low last year, down to ¥78.6 billion (US$11.35 billion) across the fossil sector and ¥6.44 billion ($930 million) for the most polluting fuel of all.

Oregon Poised to Adopt ‘Progressive’ Cap-and-Trade Plan

Judge in Exxon Fraud Case Tosses Fossil’s Attack on NY Prosecutor

Six Companies Enter the Race for Canada’s First Small Modular Reactor Buy

Alberta Touts Market Access for Natural Gas Industry

New Coal Plant in Kenya Would Boost Emissions by 700%

No Business Case for Trans Mountain, Ex-Cabinet Minister Warns, as Decision Day Nears

With the Trudeau government widely expected to announce re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tomorrow, news reports have excitement building in Calgary, and a former Liberal cabinet minister warning there’s no business case for the project.

McKenna Promises $50 Carbon Tax Cap After Parliamentary Budget Officer Suggests Higher Charge

A carbon pricing report by Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux set off a small flurry of pre-election posturing last week, with the Conservative opposition claiming the release was a stalking horse for future tax increases and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna promising to limit the levy to C$50 per tonne after it hits that scheduled threshold in 2022.

Pembina Applauds, Fossils Claim ‘Disrespect’ as House Passes Amended Impact Assessment Act

The Pembina Institute applauded a step forward and the fossil lobby accused a senior federal cabinet minister of being “disrespectful” as the amended Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act, passed the House of Commons in a party-line vote Thursday evening with its essential features largely intact.

Austria Speeds Up Coal Phaseout to 2020

Austria’s electricity system will be free of coal next year, after power utility EVN announced late last month that it will shut down its 405-megawatt Dürnrohr plant in the Zwentendorf district five years ahead of schedule.

Critics Scorch UK’s Net-Zero Announcement for Slow Transition, Misuse of International Carbon Credits

Soon-to-depart Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled legislation to make the UK the first G7 country to enshrine a 2050 net-zero carbon deadline in law, with a plan that has taken fire from analysts and activists for its reliance on international carbon credits and yet-to-be-proven “negative emissions” technologies.

Subsidies Would Help Deliver Mini-Grids as Cheapest Rural Electrification for Sub-Saharan Africa

While subsidies have helped ensure the expansion of national power grid systems around the world, using public money to finance solar mini-grids is less established—a situation that needs to change in sub-Saharan Africa, investors urge, where 573 million people still live without electric power.

Canada Earns Praise for Global Coal Phaseout, Falls Behind on Renewables Deployment

Canada earned its share of international praise last month in a report that highlighted the country’s leadership in the global coal phaseout, shone a light on its slow uptake of renewable energy, and said nothing about the domestic pipeline battles that will likely dominate the news over the coming week.

Toxic Tailings Don’t Belong in Athabasca River

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps Billions in Coal Investments

Renewables Employed 11 Million in 2018, IRENA Reports

Renewable energy employed 11 million people around the world last year despite slower annual growth in key markets like China, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes in the latest edition of its annual jobs report.

Oil Prices Fall, Alberta Fossil Stocks Plummet After Short-Lived ‘Kenney Bump’

Less than two months after fossil analysts celebrated a “Kenney bump” with the arrival of a new government in Alberta, the industry is still beset by the same host of economic, political, and regulatory programs it has faced for years—notwithstanding the new premier’s loud promises to make his province’s oilpatch great again.

Norway Plans €5-Billion Coal Divestment

U.S. Renewable Energy Capacity Exceeds Coal for First Time

Liberals to Reject Most Senate Amendments to Impact Assessment Act

The federal government is poised to reject most of the amendments to the proposed new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, put forward last month by unelected Conservative Senators following a relentless lobbying and public relations effort by the fossil industry.

Mothers, Grandmothers in Siberian Coal Region Beg Trudeau for Environmental Refugee Status

Mothers and grandmothers desperate to get their loved ones away from the physically and psychologically toxic effects of trying to live at the epicentre of Siberia’s dismally-regulated coal mining and processing industry have made a heartfelt appeal, direct to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via YouTube, to be admitted to Canada as environmental refugees.

Industry Sees No Impact on Demand, Still Urges Feds to Go Slow on Single-Use Plastics Ban

Within hours of the official announcement that Canada would ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, the plastics industry was simultaneously claiming the initiative would have no impact on demand for petrochemical feedstocks and suggesting there are more effective ways to address plastic pollution than by banning products outright.

‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’? Calgary-Based Enbridge Underwrites Pro-Line 3 Advocacy Group in Minnesota

A pro-pipeline group in Minnesota that presents itself as the voice of public support for the Line 3 pipeline is little more than a mouthpiece for North American pipeliner Enbridge Inc., the company that funds and directs its operations, according to an investigation by DeSmog Blog.

String of Cancellations Could Spell the End of New Gas Plants in California

The latest in a string of project cancellations is opening up the possibility that California will never have to build another new natural gas plant.

Stiglitz: Green New Deal Would Deliver the Second World War-Scale Investment to Confront the Climate Crisis

Describing the climate crisis as the “third world war,” Nobel laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph E Stiglitz is urging critics of the Green New Deal to take a second look at an agenda that could avert catastrophe and usher in a new golden age for America.

Opposition Pans New Brunswick Carbon Tax ‘Propaganda’ Stickers

Another Foreign Fossil Departs Canada’s Tar Sands/Oil Sands

11 EU Countries Will Burn Coal Past 2030

Post-Oil Future Begins with Wider Conversation

BREAKING: Ottawa to Ban Single-Use Plastics as Soon as 2021

The Trudeau government is planning to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, as part of a wider plastic pollution strategy set to be released today in coordinated announcements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, CBC revealed in an exclusive report late Sunday afternoon.

https://pixabay.com/en/plastic-bottles-fishing-net-netting-388679/

Fossils See Circular Economy, Backlash Against Plastics Cutting Demand for Oil and Gas

The mounting global backlash against plastic pollution has fossil companies worried, as public opinion coalesces into a threat to businesses they’ve been counting on as a reliable source of demand for their own raw product.

Bloomberg Funds $500-Million Campaign to Shut All U.S. Coal Plants by 2030

Billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating US$500 million over three years to Beyond Carbon, a new push to phase out all remaining coal plants in the United States by 2030 and begin the process of shutting down the country’s natural gas plants.

Kenney Unveils Fossil ‘War Room’, Faces Criticism on Carbon Tax Repeal, Wildfire Impacts

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Environment Groups Declare Fossils’ Election Platform a Recipe for ‘Climate Chaos’

National environmental groups declared the fossil industry’s election campaign demands a recipe for “climate chaos” last week, after the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a call for the country’s next government to displace imported oil with Canadian supplies and ramp up fossil production and pipelines.

Quirky Ontario Electricity Pricing Creates Opportunity for Battery Storage

Battery developers have become the unintended beneficiaries of a strange quirk in Ontario energy policies that has a growing number of commercial and industrial power consumers turning to energy storage to help avoid costly peak power supplies.

Cracked, Leaking Storage Tanks Point to Alarming Safety Risks for Leading U.S. LNG Exporter

A series of leaks and cracks in the massive liquefied natural gas storage tanks operated by Cheniere Energy, the Houston company that until recently had a virtual monopoly on U.S. LNG exports, is raising alarming questions about a company that has seen a decade of rapid growth and enjoyed steady support from Trump Republicans and Obama Democrats alike.

Biden Promises Pushback on China’s Funding for New Coal Plants, Fossil Subsidy Ban

Joe Biden has promised to crack down on China’s coal power spree in other countries if elected U.S. president in 2020.

Cogeneration Would Save 3.97 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Cogeneration ranks #50 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 3.97 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a net cost of US$279.3 billion, while producing savings of $567 billion.

Cracks in Scottish Nuclear Reactor Could Mean Massive Evacuations

Calgary Loses $300 Million in Tax Revenue on Unused Fossil Office Space

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

Canadian Senate Passes Tanker Ban Bill, Massively Amends Impact Assessment Act

With the clock ticking toward the end of the Parliamentary session in Ottawa, the Senate voted yesterday to pass the Trudeau government’s proposed ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s sensitive northern coast, while sending its proposed Impact Assessment Act back to the House of Commons with more than 180 amendments.

Beer: Climate Intensity Has Arrived, and Politicians Ignore It At Their Peril

The age of “climate intensity” is upon us, and politicians who fail to take notice are at risk of being swept aside, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

Lobbying Against 2009 Waxman-Markey Bill Cost the U.S. $60 Billion in Climate Action Benefits

The fossil and transportation lobby groups that successfully defeated the American Clean Energy and Security Act, put forward in 2009 by then-U.S. senator Henry Waxman (D, CA) and then-Rep. Ed Markey (D, MA), cost their country US$60 billion in net benefits, a new analysis in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes.

Big Companies Foresee $970 Billion in Climate Risk, $2.1 Trillion in Gains from Climate Action

More than 200 of the world’s biggest companies anticipate nearly US$1 trillion in business risk—more than half of it in the next five years—due to climate change, but $2.1 trillion in benefits from climate-friendly products and services, according to an analysis of thousands of corporate disclosures by CDP, the UK non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Chile Shuts Eight Coal Plants, Sets 2040 Deadline for 100% RE

Chile is planning to close eight coal plants with combined capacity of 23,000 megawatts, or 20% of its electricity, as part of a new commitment to hit a 100% renewable energy target by 2040.

Push Japan Toward Coal Subsidy Phaseout, Abreu Urges Trudeau Government

With Japan chairing this year’s G20 meetings and its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, trying to position himself as a climate leader, Canada has an opportunity to encourage the country to “power past coal”, Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu writes in a National Observer opinion piece.

Carbon Tax Mustn’t Shield Fossils from Climate Liability

Arizona Considers High-Cost Coal-to-Biomass Conversion

Minnesota Appeals Court Rejects Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Fossils were disappointed and Enbridge saw its share price fall 4.7% Monday, after a Minnesota appeals court ruled a state regulator had failed to properly consider the impacts of a Lake Superior oil spill in its approval of the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement.

Quebec LNG Megaproject Would Boost Emissions by 37 Million Tonnes Per Year

The GNL Quebec liquefied natural gas megaproject would increase life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 37 million tonnes per year, a group of more than 150 Quebec scientists is warning in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault.

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

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

MMIWG Inquiry Highlights Connection Between Megaproject Work Camps, Sexual Violence

Natural resource companies and their regulators must factor in the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls at every step in planning and developing a project, Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concluded this week, in a final report in which five out of 231 recommendations were devoted to the connection between megaproject work camps and sexual violence.

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

The Ford government’s new climate plan for Ontario will cost taxpayers half again as much as the federal carbon tax, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

Ohio House Bill Bails Out Coal and Nuclear, Cuts Renewables and Efficiency Programs

Ohio businesses and homeowners are a big step closer to picking up the tab for their utilities’ uneconomical power plants, after the state House passed a bill last week to subsidize existing coal and nuclear capacity while cutting back on renewable energy and energy efficiency programming.

Burnaby Mayor Seeks Trudeau’s Assurance on Tank Farm Safety

Alberta Wildfires Shut In 65,000 Barrels Per Day

Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows

Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.

Oregon Senate Adopts Five-Year Fracking Moratorium

The Oregon State Senate adopted a five-year moratorium on oil and gas fracking last week, after amending a House resolution calling for a 10-year ban.

NDP Outlines ‘Canadian New Deal’ While Trudeau Promises to Support Cities’ Climate Action

Pre-election commitments on climate action were in the air last week, with New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh releasing early snapshots if his party’s plan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau making new promises to cities and small businesses.

World’s Dirtiest Air, Cheapest Solar Produce Challenge and Opportunity for Modi’s Second Term

The world’s dirtiest air and its lowest prices for installed solar will be two of the influences shaping Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term of office in India, according to news reports circulating around the time of his swearing-in last week.

Roberts: Oil Change International Report Confirms No Space for New Natural Gas Development

That there is vanishingly little space for natural gas in a world that wishes to stay below 2.0°C average global warming is a fact that policy-makers—and Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination—must urgently heed, Vox climate specialist David Roberts argues in a recent column.

‘Winning’ the Climate Conversation Means Changing the Subject, Pivoting to Solutions

The best way to “win” the public conversation about climate change might be to change the subject, suggest two recent posts in the New York Times and The Conversation.

UK Coal Giant Drax Claims ‘Carbon-Negative’ Power by 2025

Denver Company Plans to Swap Out Coal Plants for Renewables

B.C. Liberal ‘Climate Candidate’ Downplayed Oil and Gas Health Risks

Indigenous Group Pitches to Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

Texas Investor Sees New Potential in Canadian Oilpatch

Coal Transport, Climate Change Justify Lawbreaking in ‘Self-Defence’

80 Countries to Announce Tougher Climate Targets at UN Summit in September

About 80 countries are on track to announce tougher greenhouse gas reduction targets during United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ climate summit this September, a UN official said Tuesday, the same day that Guterres warned that fossil fuel subsidies are helping “to destroy the world”.

Renewables Investment in Asia Set to Exceed Fossil Exploration by 2020

Renewable energy investment in Asia is set to edge ahead of oil and gas exploration by next year, according to international fossil analysts at Rystad Energy.

Coastal First Nations Demand Senate Passage of B.C. Tanker Ban

A coalition of nine First Nations from coastal British Columbia is demanding that unelected senators endorse the Trudeau government’s bill to ban tanker traffic on the province’s northern coast, after the Senate Energy Committee defeated the measure on a tie vote May 15.

Quebec’s Legault Promises 40% Cut in Oil Consumption by 2030

Quebec will invest massively to cut its oil consumption 40% by 2030 and shift transportation, buildings, and businesses to electricity, Premier François Legault announced Sunday, during his party’s general council meeting in Montreal.

Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies

The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.

Coal-Powered South Africa Adopts Minimal Carbon Tax

South African industry will be subject to a carbon tax from June 1, after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the policy into law on Sunday.

Trump Administration Touts ‘Molecules of U.S. Freedom’ as LNG Exports Rise

Memo to Trump administration spinmeisters: it’s time to stop inhaling greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), and start working to prevent them.

UK on the Verge of Subsidy-Free Wind

Utility Advocate Challenges NJ’s $300-Million Nuclear Bailout in Court

U.S.-China Trade War Could Jeopardize New LNG Project Approvals

Shuttered California Oil Rigs Could Find New Life as Artificial Reefs

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

Canada Touts Cleantech Venture with Gates as Clean Energy Ministerial Gets Under Way

Ottawa will invest up to C$30 million in a public-private venture with mega-entrepreneurs Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others to help launch new, low-carbon energy technologies, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced Monday, at the opening of the annual Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver.

Greens Want to End Oil Imports by 2030, Break Canada’s ‘Oil Habit’, but Keep Producing Plastics from Bitumen Past 2050

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May appears to be borrowing a page from Conservative Andrew Scheer’s playbook, with a campaign promise to free the country from oil imports and rely on domestic crude while it still needs to.

Local Fracking Suspended After Earthquake Near Alberta’s Brazeau Reservoir

An earthquake last March near the Brazeau Reservoir, a large dam in east central Alberta, has prompted the province’s energy regulator to restrict oilfield fracking in the surrounding area.

Spill Response Only Recovers 15% of the Oil Lost in an Average Marine Spill

News reports of a recent oil spill recovery drill off the coasts of British Columbia and Washington State are shining a light on an alarming reality: that only about 15% of the oil is recovered after the average marine spill.

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.