SNAPSHOT: The Fossil Industry Goes for Broke

 
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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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Influential U.S. banking giant Goldman Sachs announced this week that it is tightening up its fossil fuel investment policies, promising to “decline financing that directly supports new thermal coal mines and upstream Arctic oil exploration and development,” Bloomberg reports.

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Five Colossal Fossils Face 2020 Shareholder Resolutions on Emission Reductions, Paris Compliance

Colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Equinor can expect to see shareholder resolutions in the first half of 2020 urging them to cut their carbon emissions in line with the targets in the Paris Agreement, after Netherlands-based responsible investment advocates Follow This announced a stepped-up campaign.

Europe Threatens Border Adjustment Tariff for Climate Laggards Like U.S.

In what Politico interprets as a lesson learned from Donald Trump’s trade wars, the European Union is threatening a carbon tariff on countries like the United States that refuse to step up and commit to getting their greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.

Fossil ‘Youth-Washing’ Includes Sponsorship Funding, Free Trips to COP

Youth climate activists are crying foul as fossil companies keen to burnish their public images as “makers” of the future woo young people with protestations of concern, and promises of funding, while continuing to push US$1.4 trillion in new oil and gas projects through 2024.

South Korea Temporarily Shuts 10 Coal Plants, Dials 41 Others Back to 80% Output

A sputtering coal industry has taken yet another hit, with South Korea temporarily shuttering 10 of its 60 coal-fired power plants in a bid to curb air pollution, reports Reuters.

Analyst Says Saudi Aramco Shares Could Hit $0 in 2020

While Saudi Aramco is riding high right now with a US$2-trillion valuation after its recent initial public offering, a veteran oil and gas analyst and financial journalist says the stocks could lose all their value in the next year, driven to zero by Donald Trump’s impulsiveness and OPEC’s waning control over global oil markets.

Coal Phaseout, Renewables to Save Indiana Ratepayers $4B

Brazil State Fossil Could Be World’s Biggest Producer by 2030s

COP 25

‘Disgraceful’ COP 25 Shows Big Emitters ‘Betraying People Across the World’

After running 44 hours beyond its scheduled end time, this year’s United Nations climate conference dissolved in failure, frustration, and anger Sunday morning, with a large bloc of countries and an exhausted climate advocacy community blaming the world’s biggest emitters and the fossil fuel interests behind them.

17 of 37 Cabinet Ministers Receive Climate Action Goals in Mandate Letters from Trudeau

Seventeen of 37 federal cabinet ministers received instructions to address some aspect of the climate crisis, and National Observer says Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emerges as “an especially active and influential figure in cabinet,” in the long-awaited mandate letters published Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Radwanski: Scheer’s Exit Could Open Doors for Conservatives Who Want Climate Action

Andrew Scheer’s abrupt exit from the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada is a “step in the right direction” for Tories who want their party to get more serious about the climate crisis, Globe and Mail columnist Adam Radwanski writes in a new opinion piece.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, 15 Other Youth Call Out Canadian, Norwegian Fossils for Violating Children’s Rights

With #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg and 15 other youth campaigners in Madrid calling out Canada and Norway for violating children’s rights and urging them to wind down their oil and gas production, Norway’s top fossil lobbyist is openly fretting about the “intense” nature of the debate around his industry’s climate impact.

Globe and Mail Editorial Rejects International Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

The Globe and Mail editorial board is weighing in against the fossil industry’s increasingly faint hope that Canada can earn international carbon reduction credits for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia.

Climate Crisis Could Drive $20 Trillion in Losses, Trigger Global Financial Meltdown

Climate change is the next economic threat that could trigger a global financial meltdown by destroying up to US$20 trillion in market value, independent journalist Nick Cunningham writes for Oilprice.com.

#CoalKnew About Climate Risk in 1966

Credit Suisse Stops Funding for New Coal Plants

Illinois Coal Closure Plan Emerges as Model for Local Transition

U.S. Loses Thousands of Upstream Oil and Gas Jobs in November

Alberta Fossil Earmarks $935M for New Petrochemical Plant

U.S. Declared ‘Climate Criminal’ as ‘Stalemated’ COP 25 Limps to a Close

Reporters on the ground described two weeks of stalemated United Nations climate negotiations limping to a close, a diplomat branded the United States a “climate criminal” for its stance on the crucial issue of loss and damage, and the hundreds of youth, Indigenous, and other community representatives onsite talked about the grassroot action back home that will continue to spur faster, more ambitious climate action, as COP 25 entered its final hours in Madrid.

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

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Alberta Launches ‘Hopeful, Uplifting’ War Room After Kenney’s Ottawa Visit Fizzles

The Alberta government has officially launched its C$30-million “war room” to counter what it claims is misinformation about the province’s fossil industry.

Swiss Parliament May Instruct Central Bank to Divest Fossil Assets

The newly-constituted parliament in Switzerland, elected in a fall vote in which the climate crisis took centre stage, may soon instruct the country’s central bank to drop all fossil fuel assets from its US$800-billion investment fund, Reuters says in an exclusive report this week.

Ottawa Won’t Confirm Trans Mountain Timeline or Budget as Cost Estimate Balloons to $12 Billion [Petition]

Despite the Trudeau government’s assurance that the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the national interest, and will turn a profit for the taxpayers who became its involuntary owners last year, new disclosures show the project could run out of cash in the next few months and cost more to complete than Ottawa estimated, National Observer reports.

Chevron to Dump 50% Share in Kitimat LNG, Writes Off $10 Billion in Oil and Gas Assets

California-based colossal fossil Chevron Corporation has announced it is writing off US$10 billion of the value attached to its various projects and selling its 50% stake in British Columbia’s Kitimat LNG project, blaming a drop in the long-term price of oil and gas.

Minority Communities Face Greatest Risk as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pushes Into Rural America

Promising jobs and property tax revenue, owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pushing ahead against grassroots resistance and expert testimony, both maintaining that such gains are outweighed by the potential for great harm to be borne mostly by rural, African-American, and Indigenous communities, as well as delicate ecosystems.

Saskatchewan Train Derailment Leaks 1.5 Million Litres of Crude

Massive Expansion Planned for Dakota Access Pipeline

Three States Join Lawsuit Against Line 5 Pipeline

Minnesota Regulator Sees Little Impact on Lake Superior from Line 3

Urgewald Pushes 10 Big Banks to Stop Backing Coal Projects

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

Canada Pledges Net Zero by 2050 as Major Emitters Dig In to Block COP 25 Progress

Canada earned praise for promising to legislate a 2050 deadline for net-zero carbon emissions, but big emitters like Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, and China were called out for blocking progress, as COP 25 moved into a crucial round of high-level negotiations this week in Madrid.

Wilkinson Throws Cold Water on Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is raising major flags about the fossil industry’s hope of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to earn carbon reduction credits under the hotly-contested Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and aiming to meet Canada’s Paris targets without resorting to international carbon trades.

New York State Loses Anti-Fraud Case Against ExxonMobil

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has failed in an attempt to prove that colossal fossil ExxonMobil defrauded its investors out of up to US$1.6 billion by hiding the true costs it would face from climate change regulation.

Rural Municipalities Take the Hit as Alberta Cuts Taxes for Gas Producers

Alberta’s rural municipalities already straining to make up for deadbeat fossils’ unpaid property tax bills, will be expected to shell out C$20 million per year in lost revenue from 2020 on, under a tax rebate for shallow gas well developers introduced by the provincial government.

Crossword Puzzle Tests COP Delegates’ Knowledge on Fossil Fuel Phaseout

Just when you thought there was nothing but despair emanating from UN climate negotiations in Madrid, that there was no creative way to push recalcitrant big emitters toward the end of the fossil fuel era, Climate Action Network-International is out with a crossword puzzle primer (yes! a crossword puzzle!) on the fossil phaseout.

Halliburton Lays Off 800 in Oklahoma City

Florida Nuclear Plant Has Licence Extended to 80 Years

U.S., Canadian Fossils to Lead $1.4 Trillion in New Oil and Gas Development Through 2024

Fossils in the United States and Canada are leading plans to invest another US$1.4 trillion in new oil and gas extraction projects over the next five years, even though the industry already has enough existing fields and mines to blow past a 1.5°C limit on average global warming and nearly exhaust the carbon budget for 2.0°C, according to an analysis released late last week by the Global Gas & Oil Network (GGON).

Need to Get It Right: Article 6 Could Trigger Faster Carbon Cuts or Massive Greenwashing

It could make or break the success of the Paris Agreement. It’s a notably complicated section of an international accord that is already arcane and nuanced by real-world standards. And as negotiations passed their midpoint Friday, many participants at this year’s UN climate conference, COP 25, said they would rather postpone final drafting of Article 6 than settle for a bad decision.

Businesses See Climate Action Emerging as Job Creator, Economic Driver: Pittis

Overheated claims that climate action will cost millions of jobs are quickly giving way to the realization that the transition off carbon will produce an employment boom, CBC business columnist Don Pittis reports in a post-Throne Speech analysis.

Ottawa Approves Alberta Tax on Industrial Carbon Emitters

The federal government has approved Alberta’s new C$30 per tonne tax on industrial carbon emitters, a move that “avoids escalating a fight between Ottawa and the Prairie province but does nothing to end the battle over the consumer-based carbon tax, which the federal Liberals say will still come into effect in Alberta on January 1,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Carbon Pricing ‘Isn’t the Only Tool in the Toolbox’: Wilkinson

Carbon pricing is just one part of a complete climate plan, and it will be at least two years before the Canadian government decides whether to extend the federal floor price beyond C$50 per tonne after 2022, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told The Canadian Press last week.

Former Oilpatch Roughneck Traces Hardships of Fossil Employment, Urges Better Deal in Carbon-Free Transition

The boom and bust nature of a fossil-fuel based economy, together with the callous greed of those at the top, means a “pretty brutal, pretty unforgiving” existence for oilpatch workers, self-described “oilpatch brat,” one-time roughneck, and oil and gas anthropologist Rylan Higgins writes in a recent CBC op ed.

Saudi Aramco IPO Shows Weakening Global Oil Market, Perils for ‘Wexit Albertans’

Saudi Arabia’s long-awaited bid to raise investment dollars through an initial public offering (IPO) for its massive, state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, has produced two equal and opposite results: the deal has taken its place as the biggest IPO in history and pegged the company’s value at about US$1.7 trillion, while simultaneously pointing to the fragility of the global oil and gas industry.

Navajo Coal Plant Closure Opens Door for Solar+Storage, Distributed Power

The recent retirement of Arizona’s massive Navajo coal-fired generating station, one of America’s largest, has opened up considerable space for solar+storage, and a new frontier for Indigenous entrepreneurs seeking to ensure their communities thrive in the green economy—as they never did under the regime of fossil fuels.

Did Kenney Just Link the Moody’s Ratings Agency to His Anti-Alberta Conspiracy Theory?

So, look, just because a major credit rating agency reviewed Alberta’s fossil-dependent economy and issued a downgrade, there’s nothing wrong with the province’s economic strategy. It just means Moody’s Investors Service is “completely factually wrong”, and probably a part of an international conspiracy to persecute the Canadian oilpatch.

Washington State Shifts Ferry Fleet from Diesel to Batteries

The west coast of North America is making initial moves toward decarbonizing marine shipping and aviation, with Washington State Ferries switching its vessels from diesel to batteries and Richmond, British Columbia-based Harbour Air Seaplanes just days away from testing the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

Suncor Announces New 200-MW Wind Farm in Alberta

Pirates Seize Fully-Loaded Supertanker Off Nigeria, Kidnap 19 Crew

BP ‘Greenwashing’ Campaign Draws Legal Challenge

Scottish National Portrait Gallery Ends Fossil Sponsorship

Bulk Storage Facility Collapse Dumps Uranium Into Detroit River

Throne speech Ottawa 2019 climate action emissions Trudeau Payette

Wilkinson Vows Tougher 2030 Emissions Target as Throne Speech Promises Net-Zero by 2050

A 2050 deadline to achieve net-zero emissions, a price on carbon in every part of the country, and new initiatives on energy-efficient buildings, zero-emission vehicles, “clean, affordable power”, and climate change adaptation are major elements of the legislative program the incoming federal government laid out in the Speech from the Throne delivered in Ottawa yesterday by Governor General Julie Payette.

Canadian Food Prices Set to Rise $487 Per Family, with Climate a Major Cause

The average Canadian family will pay $487 more for food next year, and the authors of the country’s annual food price report are pointing to climate change as a major cause of the increase.

Thunberg arrives Madrid COP 25 bossito:Twitter

‘Two Worlds Collide’ as Urgent Street Protests Meet Slow, Deliberate COP Negotiations

With negotiations at this year’s United Nations climate conference in Madrid, COP 25, reaching their midpoint, some delegates and observers are getting a sense of what Climate Home News calls “two worlds about to collide”.

Hamilton Granddad Sees Hope for Alberta Transition in Ontario’s Past Economic Pain

In a heartfelt letter to westerners going through the economic pain he endured in the 1990s, when free trade agreements shut down 200,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario’s industrial heartland, Hamilton resident Robert Fraser is urging his fellow Canadians in the oilpatch to “put aside the climate change thing for a bit and focus on some realities”.

100-MW Power Purchase Shows Unsubsidized Offshore Wind Taking Off in Europe

The world’s biggest-ever contract for unsubsidized offshore wind, a 100-megawatt power purchase deal between Danish wind powerhouse Ørsted and German chemicals company Covestro, is being touted as a sign that the offshore industry is moving from the margins to the mainstream.

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

Alberta Fossils Aim to Push More Oil Through the Same Pipes

With the three new pipelines they’ve been counting on all delayed, Alberta fossils are looking to at least two new strategies to push more bitumen through the pipes and rail lines they’ve already got, even as two major tar sands/oil sands operators cut back their investment plans for 2020.

Editorial: Bangladesh Can Still Avert Exponential Emissions Growth

Carbon Fibre for EVs May Be Next Use for Alberta Bitumen

‘Green’ Cement May Fuel New Markets

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

BREAKING: Moody’s Downgrades Alberta’s Credit While Federal Regulator Predicts Continuing Over-Dependence on Oil

One of the world’s leading credit assessment agencies has downgraded its rating for Alberta, citing the province’s over-dependence on fossil fuels, lack of pipeline access, carbon intensity, and vulnerability to climate disasters.

‘Transformational Ramping Up’ Can Deliver 50% Emissions Reduction by 2030

It will take a “transformational ramping up” with all the world’s biggest emitters fully onboard. But with a 50% improvement in emission reduction targets for 2030, the countries attending this year’s UN climate negotiations in Madrid can get back on track to meet the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement, Berlin-based Climate Analytics concludes in a report released on the eve of the conference.

Fossil of the Day Award Australia Brazil Japan Climate Action Network International COP 25

Australia, Brazil, Japan Share Fossil of the Day (Dis)Honours as COP Negotiations Get Under Way

Australia, Brazil, and Japan found themselves in a three-way tie yesterday for Fossil of the Day, the coveted award from Climate Action Network-International for the country or institution that has done the most to obstruct progress at UN climate negotiations, taking place this year in Madrid.

Investors Scorch Big Four Auditing Firms for Failing to Assess Climate Risk

The world’s four biggest auditing firms are taking fire for their failure to adequately assess the systemic risks posed by climate change, with 29 European investors managing more than £1 trillion (US$1.28 trillion) in assets warning the gap in their analysis could do more harm than the 2008 financial crash.

Trans Mountain Begins Construction Near Edmonton

Pipe for Coastal GasLink Arrives in B.C.

U.S. Utility Suspends Gas Moratorium in New York State

Massachusetts Town’s Gas Heating Ban Could Spur Change Across Region

New EU Pollution Controls Undercut Investments in Coal Refurbishments

Trump Administration Eases Regs on Utility Coal Ash Disposal

‘Green’ Batteries Need Synthetic Graphite from Fossil Refining

COP 25

‘Vanguard vs. Laggards’: Spain Presses COP 25 Delegates for Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts

As this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 25, got under way in Madrid, initial news coverage pointed to a division between the plodding, formal negotiating process and the broader, global urgency of getting 195 countries together to find common ground on a more urgent response to the climate crisis.

IEA Growth Projection for U.S. Fracking Produces Eye-Rolls from Texas Fossils

A hotly-contested report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that projects continuing growth in fossil fuel demand and greenhouse gas emissions is generating eye-rolls from the one community that might have been expected to welcome the overheated projection: the Texas shale industry.

Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick Agree to Develop Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick will work together to research, develop, and build the technology for small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday by Premiers Doug Ford, Scott Moe, and Blaine Higgs.

Nuclear power plant

Lovins: Nuclear Makes Climate Crisis Worse by Blocking Faster Uptake of Cheaper Options

Contrary to industry propaganda, nuclear power plants are not an essential tool in the fight against climate change, but an increasingly dangerous drag on the deployment of more practical renewables and energy efficiency, Rocky Mountain Institute Chair and Chief Scientist Amory Lovins declares in a recent post for Forbes.

Mark Carney

Carney Tapped as UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance

Bank of England and expat Canadian Mark Carney will become the United Nations special envoy on climate action and climate finance when he leaves his current post next year, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced in Madrid yesterday.

‘Unprecedented’ Interest Could Pour $4B into Oil and Gas Drilling Off Newfoundland and Labrador Coast

Oil and gas exploration off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to boom in the next few years, with fossils poised to spend up to C$4 billion on what they hope will be the province’s next big production project, the Financial Post reports.

Shifting Every Texas Home from Gas to Electricity Would Save Money, Cut Carbon

Converting every single-family home in Texas from natural gas to electric heating would reduce homeowner utility bills by as much as US$450 per year, slash emissions, and be nothing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system couldn’t handle, says a recent paper from an Austin-based energy research non-profit.

Line 3 Pipeline Begins Operations Between Alberta and Manitoba

Carbon Capture Too Expensive, New Mexico Utility Backs Coal Closure

McKenna Pledges Fast Action on Infrastructure Through a ‘Climate Lens’

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna donned a hard hat for her first major speech in her new portfolio this week, telling the Federation of Canadian Municipalities she plans to get money out the door and shovels in the ground on projects that are all undertaken through a “climate lens”.

Ecofiscal Commission Urges $210/Tonne Carbon Tax as Canada Falls Behind on 2030 Target

Canada will need to quadruple its carbon tax to C$210 per tonne by 2030, enough to raise gasoline prices by about 40¢ per litre, if the government relies solely on pricing to hit its 2030 emissions reduction target, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission concludes in its final report issued this week.

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University Promises 45% Fossil Fuel Divestment by 2025

British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University has adopted a plan to reduce its fossil fuel investments by 45% from 2015 levels by 2025.

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Trump Administration Plans Massive Expansion for Alaska Oil Drilling

Continuing its assault on Obama-era environmental protections in the Arctic, the Trump administration released a draft proposal earlier this month to open as much as 81% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve—critical habitat for endangered caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and migratory birds—to exploratory drilling for oil.

Analysts’ Dim View of Exxon Stock Could Be Prelude to Credit Downgrade

U.S. credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has shifted its assessment of colossal fossil ExxonMobil’s shares from “stable” to “negative”, after noticing that the company’s increased spending on oil and gas drilling wasn’t boosting its revenue or putting more money in investors’ pockets.

U.S. Polls Show Wide Support for Climate Action, Fossil Phaseout

The majority of Americans believe their government must do more to protect clean water, air quality, and biodiversity and reduce the effects of climate change, and voters in early primary states are largely supportive of phasing out oil production, according to two recent polls published in the second half of this month.

Federally-Owned Trans Mountain Takes Criticism for Surveillance on Indigenous Opponents

In a move that legal experts are condemning as a disquieting disregard for the democratic rights of assembly and free expression, federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation has been conducting surveillance on its opponents, trolling their social media posts, and exchanging intelligence with the RCMP.

U.S. Agency Voluntarily Suspends Oil and Gas Leases Over Climate Impacts

Qatar to Boost LNG Capacity 64% by 2027

More North Sea Oil Companies See Need to Diversify

Oil and gas investment Canada Pension Board

Corporate Connections Drive $4 Billion in Fossil Investment by Canadian Pension Board

With more than C$4 billion invested in the world’s top 200 publicly-traded fossils, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is placing bets that those companies will exceed the 1.5°C carbon emission targets in the Paris Agreement, according to a report released last week by the Corporate Mapping Project and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

BC LNG LNG Canada

B.C. Directs $830 Million in Subsidies to Climate-Busting LNG Industry

British Columbia paid out C$830 million in subsidies to help build its liquefied natural gas industry in 2017-18, according to a report released this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

California Sets Moratorium on Fracking Technique, Demands Scientific Evidence for New Permits

California will make new oil and gas fracking permits subject to scientific review, slap a moratorium on a production technique responsible for a recent major spill, and set new public safety rules for siting oil and gas wells under new regulations announced last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Air quality Lahore Pakistan

‘Hazardous’ Air Quality in Lahore, Pakistan Prompts Amnesty International Action Alert

Amnesty International has issued what it describes as an unprecedented Urgent Action alert for an entire city, calling on its global network to defend the health of Lahore, Pakistan.

Ski lift in winter

Gravity Machines Hold Promise for Long-Term Electricity Storage

As more and more jurisdictions set 100% clean energy targets, machines that harness the constant force of gravity to store the intermittent energy of the sun and wind may soon join lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro as essential tools in the carbon-free toolbox.

CO2 Storage in Basalt Rock Could Cut Atmospheric Carbon by 30 to 300 PPM by 2100

Injecting carbon dioxide into underground rock deposits could some day permanently sequester vast quantities of the greenhouse gas, Drawdown reports. The summary lists the technique, known as enhanced weathering of minerals, among its Coming Attractions—climate solutions that were not ready for wide-scale use at the time of publication, but could have an impact by mid-century.

Fossil fuel production planned and projected by countries

Fossil Production Plans, Subsidies Put Countries Far Beyond 1.5°C Paris Target

The world’s governments are on track to produce more than twice as much oil, gas, and coal as the amounts that would enable them to hold average global warming to 1.5°C, according to a first-ever production gap report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme and five senior environmental research NGOs.

Alberta_oil_energy

Secession Would Make Alberta the World’s Biggest Per Capita Carbon Polluter

If Alberta ever pursued some of its louder residents’ “Wexit” dreams and separated from the rest of Canada, it would instantly become the world’s biggest carbon polluter, with per capita emissions three times higher than Saudi Arabia, currently the worst colossal fossil among the world’s nations.

Ecojustice Challenges ‘Partisan Political Purposes’ Behind Alberta’s Foreign Funding Inquiry

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has filed a legal challenge against the Kenney government’s C$2.5-million commission on supposed “foreign-funded radicals” opposing the Alberta fossil industry, asserting the probe was set up for “partisan political purposes” and has been tainted by bias in its operations.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work

Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.

Nova Scotia wind power

Scenario Shows Nova Scotia Phasing Out Coal, Hitting 90% Renewable Power by 2030

Nova Scotia can phase out all coal-fired electricity production and generate 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 under an ambitious but achievable new modelling scenario released today by the Ecology Action Centre.

China coal mine

China Brings On New Coal Capacity, Sees Oil and Gas Emissions Rise

Two somewhat contradictory recent reports are pointing to alarming increases in China’s fossil fuel use and resulting greenhouse gas emissions, with the most recent warning the country’s renewed embrace of coal could be enough to undo progress around the world and defeat the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Alberta Coal Phaseout Shows Need for ‘Deliberate, Coordinated’ Transition

Supported by Rachel Notley’s provincial government, and at least partially imperiled by Jason Kenney’s, Alberta’s plan to phase out coal by 2030 offers critical lessons on how best to support the transition to the green economy, according to a new report from the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute.

Energy poverty

Online Tool Connects Energy Poverty to Climate, Housing Crises

A group of sustainability specialists is out with a new online mapping tool to help policy-makers navigate the challenging nexus between the climate crisis, the housing crisis, and poverty, to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition out of a fossil economy.

Pete Buttigieg

Spat Over Buttigieg Campaign Advisor Spotlights Splits in Climate Action Community

Concern about the fossil fuel connections of a climate advisor to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is pointing toward a public spat within the U.S. climate and energy community.

Repsol Looks to Alberta to Replace Venezuelan Heavy Oil

7 Dead, 25 Injured in Bangladesh Gas Pipeline Explosion

Three U.S. States Join Michigan Case Against Line 5 Pipeline

Colossal Fossil Total Complains About EIB Decision to Quit Funding Gas

March to Stop Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline

Trans Mountain Subsidies Hit $320 Million in First Six Months of 2019

The Trans Mountain pipeline took home C$320 million in direct and indirect subsidies in the first six months of the years that were not clearly disclosed to the taxpayers who now involuntarily own the project, the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report released this week.

Kalamazoo River tar sands oil spill

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Federal Figures Show Alberta Carbon Emissions Continuing to Rise

Carbon pollution from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is continuing to rise, notwithstanding Premier Jason Kenney’s insistence that his province’s product is the cleanest, most ethically-produced in the world.

Wind power turbine

Companies, Scientists Press IEA for More Ambitious Carbon Reduction Scenarios

A list of 65 pension fund, insurance, science, and large corporate representatives are adding their voices to the chorus of criticism calling on the International Energy Agency (IEA) to shift the way it projects future fossil fuel demand to account for the climate crisis.

Solar Panels

Study Shows One in Three Americans in Communities with 100% RE Targets

With renewable energy generation nearly doubling in the United States since 2008, a new report from UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation lists 11 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, as well as more than 200 cities and counties. that have either committed to or already met 100% clean electricity targets.

Renewable Energy

U.S. Solar, Wind Costs Continue Their Decline, But More Gradually

While the cost of the more established renewable electricity sources is still falling, the decline is slowing down, and regional factors can still determine the most affordable mix of supply options in different parts of the United States, according to the latest in a series of annual cost analyses released by financial advisory firm Lazard.

Lamu Coal Plant Protest Kenya

African Development Bank Pulls Plug on Kenya Coal Plant

In a major blow to fossil interests in Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has declined to fund a coal-fired power plant in Kenya, and otherwise signalled a strong turn away from future coal projects and towards renewables.

Coastal GasLink Opens 700-Unit Man Camp Near Chetwynd, B.C.

New Map Shows 19 Years of Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Spills

Batteries Keep Lights On in Queensland After Coal Unit Fails

‘Artificial Leaf’ Converts CO2 to Methanol

Fossils Claim They Receive No Subsidies as Fossil Subsidy Review Bogs Down

Canada’s fossil lobby is setting out to redefine the lavish government handouts it receives as anything but a subsidy, even as the federal finance department drags its feet on a binational peer review intended to quantify that funding as a first step to phasing it out.

Zero-Emission Vehicles Hit 10% of New Car Sales in British Columbia

British Columbia has surged into a Canada-wide lead in its buying habits for zero-emission vehicles, with electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell cars accounting for 10% of all new purchases, far ahead of a national average of 3.5%.

‘No Excuse for Inaction’ as Global Energy Efficiency Improvements Lag

The rate at which global energy efficiency is improving has declined for the third year in a row and has hit a low point for the decade, with serious implications for consumers, businesses, and the environment, the International Energy Agency reported in an annual review released earlier this month.

Charity Slams ‘Undemocratic, Unfounded’ Foreign-Funded Radicals Panel

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government is taking fire from one of the province’s most established philanthropic institutions, with the Edmonton-based Muttart Foundation declaring that Alberta’s inquiry into supposed foreign funding of anti-fossil advocacy is polarizing, undemocratic, and unfounded.

Canadian Fossils Log 11,452 Federal Lobbying Contacts in Eight Years

An astronomical 11,452 lobbying contacts from 46 fossil companies between 2011 and 2018—an average of more than six per regular work day over an eight-year span—amounted to “strategic, organized, and sustained lobbying” that helped to explain “the past and continuing close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry,” according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.

Expedition Cruise Lines Ban Heavy Fuel Oil

LNG Transforms Kitimat into Canada’s Next Boomtown

B.C. Fossils Tout Floating LNG Project

Michigan’s Biggest Utility Aims for Net Zero Methane Emissions

Big California Utility Rejects Electrification, Embraces Biogas

European Investment Bank divests oil gas coal

World’s Biggest Public Lender Announces End to Fossil Project Funding

In a blockbuster announcement yesterday, the European Investment Bank pledged to end most or all of its financing for fossil energy projects by the end of 2021 and devote future financing to “accelerate clean energy innovation, energy efficiency, and renewables,” a move it says will “unlock €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainable investment in the decade to 2030.”

IEA Drives Fossil Growth, Climate Breakdown with Latest World Energy Outlook

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is undercutting its own, essential role in confronting the climate crisis by downplaying renewable energy options and driving future investment to more expensive, higher-carbon fossil fuels, according to analysts responding to the release of its annual World Energy Outlook report earlier this week.

Party Leaders Lay Out Climate, Energy Priorities in Private Meetings with Trudeau

The divisions and potential points of agreement in a minority parliament are beginning to emerge as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way through a series of private meetings with federal party leaders before the House of Commons reconvenes December 5.

Swedish Central Bank Sells Off Carbon-Intensive Alberta Bonds

Sweden’s central bank has sold its Alberta Government bonds and declared it will no longer invest in assets with high carbon footprints, even if they offer solid financial yields.

Surging Market for Carbon Offsets Raises Spectre of Greenwashing

Increasingly concerned about the climate crisis and inspired by mounting youth protests, more and more consumers and businesses of all sizes are trying to reduce their climate footprints by purchasing carbon offsets—an approach that ideally directs more money to carbon reduction projects around the world, but can be fraught with controversy, complications, and greenwashing.

Iran Discovers New Oil Field Containing 53 Billion Barrels of Crude

Iran says it has discovered a new oil field containing 53 billion barrels of crude oil, enough to increase its proven reserves by one-third.

TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled

TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

Climate Change Makes the Most Destructive U.S. Hurricanes 330% More Frequent

The United States faces the most destructive hurricanes more than three times as often as it did a century ago, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that blames the shift “unequivocally” on climate change.

Fossil Production, Inefficient Buildings Make Canada a Global Climate Laggard

Canada shows up as one of the world’s biggest climate laggards in the Climate Transparency consortium’s annual Brown to Green report, with energy-inefficient buildings and fossil-intensive Alberta and Saskatchewan accounting for much of the country’s failure to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, National Observer reports.

Failing to Dump Fossil Investments Costs California Pension Funds $17 Billion Over 10 Years

The two biggest pension funds in California missed out on US$17 billion in income by holding onto their fossil fuel investments for a decade too long, Fossil Free California reports in a study released last week.

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Shipping Magnate Says 2050 Carbon Targets Make It Impractical to Build New LNG Carriers

Even the half-hearted emissions reduction target recently adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will be enough to make the most modern liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers obsolete, prompting Greek shipping magnate Peter Livanos to recommend the industry use older vessels rather than investing in new ones.

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Chevron Scrambles to Motivate Employees with ‘Moral Case’ for Fossil Fuels

Chevron Corporation’s attempt to build a “moral case” for fossil fuels in a recent pamphlet for employees suggests the California-based colossal fossil is under ever-increasing pressure to justify its raison d’etre in the face of an escalating climate crisis, climate journalist Emily Atkin suggests in her daily climate newsletter, HEATED.

Solar Farms Would Save 36.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Solar farms rank #8 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to eliminate 36.9 gigatons of carbon dioxide and produce net savings of US$5 trillion by 2050. On top of that the implementation costs of solar farms could deliver $81 billion in additional savings compared to fossil plants.

Climate Costs to Taxpayers Will Spiral Unless Australia Introduces New Policies

Shell Buys Floating Wind Farm Developer

Financial Crisis Delays Argentine Gas Pipeline Megaproject

Analysts Confirm Mauritania Offshore Gas Find as Year’s Biggest

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada

Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Federal Action on Climate Crisis

Two-thirds of Canadians want the country’s response to the climate crisis to continue or accelerate under Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government, and nearly 60% were dissatisfied with the Conservative Party’s climate platform in the recent federal election, according to polling results released last week by Clean Energy Canada.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Could Add 1,400 Orphan Wells, Pipelines to Alberta Cleanup Backlog

Alberta is on the hook for as many as 1,400 more abandoned oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure after the officers and directors of Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd. laid off their staff and contractors, shut down the company, and walked away from their responsibility to clean up after themselves.

New Studies Show Global Emissions Rising, G20 Climate Investments Falling in 2018

Countries are still increasing their greenhouse gas emissions and scaling back their investments in GHG reductions, making 2020 a crucial year to turn the tide on the climate crisis.

Green Budget Coalition Urges Ottawa to Acknowledge Cost of Climate Impacts

Next year’s federal budget must acknowledge the hundreds of millions of dollars Canadians are already paying due to climate change and its impacts, the 22-member Green Budget Coalition says in a set of recommendations released last week.

Study of Fracking-Related Earthquake Shows B.C. Rock Formations in ‘Hair-Trigger State’

Fracking operations should proceed with caution in gas-rich northeastern British Columbia, with recent research into last November’s fracking-induced 4.5 magnitude earthquake near the Site C dam site revealing underground rock seams in a hair-trigger state—needing only a small injection of fracking fluid to induce “seismicity”.

U.S. Fracking Giant Chesapeake Energy Sees Share Value Crash as it ‘Drowns’ in Debt

The accelerating decline of the U.S. fracking industry looked likely to claim its highest-profile victim to date as Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, once the country’s second-largest gas producer, warned last week that a crippling, US$9.7-billion debt might prevent it from continuing as a viable business.

Nova Scotia Declines Cities’ Request for Offshore Oil and Gas Moratorium

Two First Nations Abandon Trans Mountain Appeals

Shareholders Push BHP to Quit Australia Mineral Council

France Dumps Coal Funding, Restricts Investment in Fracking, Flaring

Green Economy, Climate Change Emerge as Key Priorities for Trudeau Government

The green economy and climate change are shaping up as a key focal point for the re-elected Trudeau government, with seven cabinet portfolios set to play “key roles in helping Canada adapt to the rapidly expanding global green economy and create jobs in clean energy,” the Globe and Mail reports, citing sources familiar with the government’s emerging priorities.

Climate Crisis Will Bring ‘Untold Suffering’ Without Major Societal Shifts, 11,000 Scientists Warn

Major shifts in global society will be needed to avoid “untold suffering due to the climate crisis,” according to a statement endorsed by more than 11,000 scientists from 153 nations and published this week in the journal BioScience.

Trump Withdrawal from Paris Fails to Derail U.S. Climate Action

Donald Trump filed formal notice this week that the United States will withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement. But the decision doesn’t take effect until the day after next year’s presidential election, Trump’s successor will be able to rejoin the agreement on 30 days’ notice—and analysis shows the former reality TV star has failed to completely derail his country’s progress on greenhouse gas reductions.

Pipeline Politics: Who Buried the Lede?

Award-winning investigative reporter Paul McKay looks into how mainstream media tilts coverage by assigning climate science missing-in-action status.

S&P Reports Booming U.S. Market for Solar+Storage

A booming solar+storage sector is catching the attention of a major U.S. investment news service, with 85 projects totalling 8,921 megawatts of storage and 4,175 MW of storage either under construction or set to begin.

U.S. Utility Plans 30 More Years of Gas Plants, Despite Risk of Early Phaseouts

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is insisting that natural gas plants built today are critical lynchpins in its strategy to become 100% carbon-free by 2050, dismissing some stakeholders’ predictions that they will be stranded assets long before that date, with future generations left to pick up the tab.

Twitter Political Advertising Ban Allows Fossil Messaging, Could Block Critics

While Twitter is earning some praise for its decision to ban political advertising as of November 22, sharp-eyed analysts are pointing to an aspect of the social platform’s new policy that gives fossil industry propaganda a new advantage.

Royal Bank Signs On to Support Saudi Aramco Share Offering

Green Groups Want Wall Street to Stop Enabling Saudi Aramco IPO

U.S. Wind Wants Same Tax Incentives as Solar

Nigeria Demands $62 Billion in Fossil Compensation

UK Sets Nation-Wide Fracking Moratorium

The United Kingdom has issued a temporary moratorium on shale gas fracking, citing the industry’s inability to “reliably predict and control tremors”.

Low Oil Prices, Renewed Climate Concern Drive Awful Week for Alberta Oilpatch

Calgary-based Pengrowth Energy closed out a worrying week for the Alberta oilpatch Friday with the announcement that it was being acquired at a bargain basement price of 5¢ per share, down from the $13 per share its stock commanded in 2011.
“Essentially, a piece of leftover Halloween candy is worth more than a share in Pengrowth,” CBC reports.

World’s Biggest Fossils Must Cut Output 35% by 2040 to Hit 1.5°C Warming Target

The world’s seven biggest fossil companies, including ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell, must cut their oil and gas production 35% by 2040 to avoid driving average global warming above 1.5°C, according to a new analysis published last week by UK-based Carbon Tracker.

Years of Fossil Investments Deliver ‘No Value’ to Investors

Years of lavish funding for new offshore fossil developments are on track to deliver little or no return to their investors due to low oil prices, although a more recent generation of projects may fare better, industry analysts Rystad Energy reported last week.

Alberta Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs That Delivered 3-to-1 Return on Government Dollars

Alberta has reclaimed the dubious distinction of being the only North American jurisdiction with virtually no government support for energy efficiency programs, after mostly cancelling the rebate and incentive programs that had delivered C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions in their first two years of operation.

Canadian CEOs’ Lobby Calls for Climate Risk Assessment, Still Wants More Pipelines

The lobby group representing CEOs of Canada’s biggest corporations is calling on businesses to disclose the long-term risks they face as a result of the climate crisis.

Social Licence Begins to Evaporate as Fossils Keep Funding High-Carbon Gas Projects

As the tide begins to turn against natural gas, with insurers thinking twice about underwriting projects and the industry’s social licence starting to evaporate, the industry is scrambling to salvage its reputation as a relatively low-carbon alternative to coal.

New Device Captures Plastic Waste Before It Reaches the Oceans

A 25-year-old inventor in The Netherlands is out with a new solar-powered device, The Interceptor, designed to capture plastic waste in rivers before it makes its way to the oceans.

Duke Speeds Up Retirement for Five North Carolina Coal Plants

Smaller Tankers Shift Economics of Global LNG Industry

Analysis: Encana Departure Puts Canada, Alberta at Crossroads to a Carbon-Free Future

The overwrought grief that greeted Encana Corporation’s decision to move its Calgary head office to the United States shows Canada and Alberta at a crossroads, facing an increasingly obvious choice between yesterday’s energy options and tomorrow’s.

Keystone Pipeline Spills 1.4 Million Litres in North Dakota

Repairs and clean-up could take anywhere from 10 days to two or three months after the Keystone pipeline spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,119 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota Tuesday.

Young Insurance Professionals Launch Petition to End Coverage for Fossil Projects

With insurance required at every stage in oil and gas industry projects, the companies that do the insuring have the power to stop the fossil business in its tracks. And some future insurance brokers say the industry has an ethical responsibility to do just that.

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Two-Year Lag in New Solar Rebate Leaves Manitoba Falling Behind

Manitobans will have to wait another two years for the return of rooftop solar rebates the province’s public utility withdrew in 2018. At least one installer says that’s too long a lag.

Qatar Spends LNG Fortune on Outdoor Cooling to Host 2022 World Cup

Gearing up to host the World Cup of soccer in 2022, fabulously wealthy Qatar is using its revenues from liquefied natural gas (LNG) extraction to air condition city streets, markets, and stadiums that would otherwise be death traps as temperatures soar to levels that are lethal to life.

Front-Line Protests, Solid Research Drive Indonesia to Quit Coal, Protect Biodiversity

From the transition off coal, to protecting the biodiverse islands that helped inspire the theory of evolution, a combination of front-line protests and solid research is pulling Indonesia toward a more aggressive response to the climate crisis.

Trans Mountain Dreams Might Die in Coldwater

Kinder Morgan Faces City Lawsuits Over Texas Aquifer

South Dakota Backs Off ‘Riot-Boosting’ Pipeline Protest Penalties

Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatens Breeding Ground for Endangered Ganges Dolphin

‘Step Backwards’ on Carbon Rules Saves Alberta’s Big Emitters $330 Million Per Year

Alberta has introduced a new C$30-per-tonne carbon cap-and-trade system that covers most of its biggest industrial greenhouse gas emitters, but will cost them $330 million less next year because of looser compliance requirements.

Colossal Fossils ‘Will Have Some Explaining to Do’ as Quarterly Profits Plunge 42%

Financial media are predicting a devastating run of corporate reports from some of the world’s biggest fossil companies, with low oil prices, weak customer demand, and shrinking profit margins on chemical production hitting an industry whose investors are looking for higher payouts on their shares.

Fossil Lobbyists Aim for Wider Influence with Minority Parliament Set to Take Office

With a new minority government about to take office in Ottawa, the fossil lobby is getting to work, aiming to extend its influence to smaller parties in the House of Commons that may have received less of its attention when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held a parliamentary majority.

Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy After Losing Bid for Trump Coal Bailout

Murray Energy, the U.S. coal mining company whose CEO was an early Donald Trump supporter and later begged his successful candidate for an industry bailout, has become the latest in a series of nearly four dozen mining firms to declare bankruptcy over the last decade.

Burnaby Mountain Drilling to Start ‘as Early as October’

‘Oil and Gas Filter’ Shapes School Curriculum in Saskatchewan

Russian Industry Guts Draft Climate Law

Massive Northern Australia Shale Deposit Would Make Emissions Even Worse

Ohio Firefighters Get No Information on Drilling, Fracking Chemicals

Wind Power Could Meet Global Electricity Needs 18 Times Over

With production costs falling and green power policies on the rise, wind energy could soon be positioned to meet the world’s demand for electricity 18 times over, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded in an analysis released last week.

India Plans 55 Gigawatts of New Solar, Wind Development Along Border with Pakistan

India is planning 55 gigawatts of new solar and wind development along its often contentious border with Pakistan, according to a dispatch last week by Agence France-Presse.

15,000 Rally with Thunberg in Vancouver as Youth Lawsuit Lists Climate-Related Injuries

An estimated 15,000 supporters crowded through downtown Vancouver for the city’s first weekly climate strike since the federal election, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg on hand to lend her support to a youth lawsuit against federal climate inaction that was launched the same day.

Minority Government Could Deliver Climate Action, But Time to Change the Front-Line Conversation

A week after the climate crisis emerged as the big winner in Canada’s federal election, politicians and opinion writers are beginning to probe the prospects for climate action in a period of minority government—and the extent to which the Liberals’ choices over the next several months will determine Justin Trudeau’s legacy as prime minister.

Election Post-Mortems Point to Conservatives’ Climate Problem, Urge Massive Federal Investment in Carbon Reductions

In the wake of last week’s federal election results, two different clean transition organizations are pointing to the climate policy problem now facing Conservative politicians in Canada, and the opportunity for governments to invest in the shift off carbon.

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

Fossils Lobby for Subsidies as Decommissioning Orphan Wells Becomes Oilpatch’s Only Growth Industry

With more oil and gas wells abandoned than drilled in Alberta this year, decommissioning dead rigs is the only business showing any kind of growth in Western Canada’s struggling oilpatch.

Massachusetts Sues Exxon for Allegedly Defrauding Consumers, Investors on Climate Risks

Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, in what Climate Liability News says is the first case to accuse the colossal fossil of fraud against both consumers and investors over climate risks.

Gas Station Owner Becomes First in U.S. to Switch to 100% EV Charging

Fed up with the aggressive self-interest of oil and gas companies, alert to a growing bottleneck at local EV charging stations, and encouraged by his teenaged daughter to make the switch, a Maryland gas station owner has converted his business to 100% EV charging, a first for the United States.

Banff Communicators’ Conference Dumps Krause as Keynote Speaker

An international communicators’ conference opening in Banff today has dropped pro-fossil provocateur Vivian Krause as one of its keynote speakers.

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power Announces Fossil Divestment

Texas LNG Project Gets Investor from UAE

Brazil Can’t Track Source of 1,500-Kilometre Oil Spill on Northeast Coast

Climate Community Declares the Win as Polling Shows Climate Concern Driving Vote

The Canadian climate community is taking a victory lap and getting ready for the hard work ahead, after this week’s federal election largely delivered on the hope that the climate crisis would emerge as a key issue setting the composition of the country’s new government.

World Renewable Capacity Set to Grow 50% in Five Years as Prices Keep Falling

The world’s renewable energy capacity is on track to grow 50% over the next five years, the traditionally-cautious International Energy Agency reported earlier this week, with solar installations, onshore wind, and hydropower leading the charge.

10-Year Increase in Fort McMurray Food Bank Visits Hits 300%

Visits to the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in Fort McMurray are up 300% from 10 years ago, as the area’s fossil fuel workers and their families suffer the bitter consequences of trusting in the boom-and-bust economics of international oil and gas production.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Baltimore Climate Suit Against 26 Fossils

Husky Energy Lays Off Alberta Staff as Curtailment Cuts Oil Refining

Greece, Hungary Move Toward Coal Phaseouts

Australia’s Mining Giants Are An Accessory to Climate Change

Liberal Minority: Trudeau Fights Campaign with Climate at the Centre, and Wins

Canada’s Climate Change Election delivered a Liberal minority government last night, returning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to power with 157 seats in a 338-seat parliament and fractionally more than 33% of the popular vote as of early Tuesday morning.

With Climate on the Agenda, Advocates Call for Legislated Targets, Fossil Industry Phasedown

As election results rolled in last night in downtown Ottawa, climate hawks assessed the results of the first campaign in Canadian history where climate change was at the top of the political agenda. Now, they say the next step is to hold a reconfigured parliament accountable for the domestic action and international commitments that will make the country a world leader in responding to the climate crisis.

Months of Open Advocacy, Direct Intervention Bring Fossils the Election Outcome They Feared

After months of open advocacy, thousands if not millions of dollars in campaign spending, and direct collaboration with the federal Conservative Party that prompted a complaint to Elections Canada, the fossil industry is confronting the election outcome it feared most: a Liberal minority government.

Alberta Pundits Pitch Separation While Foundation Director Calls for Unity

As the rhetoric began to fly in the dying days of #elxn43, with some voices hinting at a new push toward western Canadian separation, one of Canada’s leading environmental thinkers warned that “Albertans can kiss their economic future goodbye” if extreme oil development became national policy.

Canada’s Climate Change Election Failed to Tackle Fossil Industry Dominance, Energy System Transformation

While Canada has just concluded the first election in its history that focused in large part on climate change, the campaign still failed to produce a conversation about a future free of fossil fuels, reflecting the extent to which “oil is part and parcel of our political, economic, and cultural framework,” Corporate Mapping Project researcher Angela Carter told National Observer in a recent interview.

Thousands Join Thunberg for #FridaysforFuture Rally at Alberta Legislature

Thousands of Albertans swarmed the grounds of the provincial legislature in Edmonton Friday morning to attend a climate strike rally headlined by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish #FridaysforFuture founder who’s become a catalyst for millions of youth—and climate protesters of all ages—around the world.

Alberta Looks to Renewables Boom as Corporate Procurement Gains Momentum

Canadian corporations are just beginning to catch on to a wider global trend and speed up their renewable energy purchases, and Alberta has the right mix of solar and wind resources and skilled work force to meet its share of the demand, CBC reports.

Canadian Fossils Stall Out in Bid to ‘Scrub’ the Record on Carbon Emissions

However hard they may be trying, Canada’s tar sands/oil sands aren’t moving far enough, fast enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Maclean’s magazine writes, in a painstaking analysis that separates the industry’s genuine efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and carbon intensity from its spin about delivering a low-carbon energy source.

Fitch Research Sees Massive New Solar Potential in Midwestern U.S.

Market analysts at Fitch Solutions Macro Research are looking to the Midwestern United States to supply a large share of the 100 gigawatts of new solar capacity it sees the country adding over the next decade.

B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

Kentucky Coal Miners Slag McConnell’s Failure to Support Health Benefits

Scheer Would Repeal Federal Carbon Tax as First Act in Government

Repealing the national floor price on carbon would the first order of business if a Conservative government formed after the October 21 federal election, party leader Andrew Scheer said yesterday.

Federal Regulator Second-Guesses Auditor After Fire Safety Review Finds Gaps at Trans Mountain Tank Farms

Fire protection systems at three oil storage facilities attached to the Trans Mountain pipeline fell short of industry best practices in some ways, even though they met “applicable regulations, codes, and standards,” according to an independent audit conducted three years ago and only released this week under access to information laws.

Climate Remains a Top Issue, Minority Government a Near-Certainty as Election Day Looms

After six weeks of campaigning, months of preparations, and years of advance political positioning, Canada is just three days away from a national vote in which climate change and climate action will be one of the top issues on many electors’ minds.

Alberta Loses 7,000 Fossil Jobs in Nine Months, En Route to 12,500 for 2019

The first nine months of 2019 saw 7,000 fewer workers on Alberta’s oil and gas drilling rigs thanks to low commodity prices, full pipelines, and investors increasingly skittish to bankroll further expansion of the infrastructure necessary to get fossil fuels to market.

Ex-Fossil Workers Call for Fast Transition to Clean Energy Jobs

The climate crisis can unite Canadians rather than dividing us as long as the country can “move forward in a way that leaves no one behind,” former tar sands/oil sands workers Bruce Wilson and Lliam Hildebrand write in an op ed this week for the Edmonton Journal. And “our nation’s energy sector workers are ideally positioned to help build a vibrant and globally competitive clean energy sector.”

Renewables Poised to Overtake Fossils Decades Faster Than Forecast

The world’s renewable energy industries may be poised to overtake fossil fuels decades faster than forecast, as production prices plummet and renewables’ investment returns begin to dramatically outpace oil and gas.

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg to Attend Edmonton #ClimateStrike Today as Kenney’s ‘Bonesaw Argument’ Falls Flat

#FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg is scheduled to join a climate strike at the Alberta legislature today at 11:00 AM local time, in an event organized by Climate Justice Edmonton, Indigenous Climate Action, Edmonton Youth for Climate, Beaver Hills Warriors, and other grassroot groups.

New Lawsuit Accuses Exxon of Masking Tens of Billions in Climate-Related Costs

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil will stand accused of misleading investors by masking tens of billions of dollars in climate-related costs when proceedings get under way next week in a civil case brought by New York State attorney general Letitia James.

Taiwan Plans Fast Solar Buildup While Cambodia Records Lowest-Ever Price for Southeast Asia

Anticipating some US$7.5 billion in investment to accrue from the decision, Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang announced plans in late September to ramp up his country’s solar deployment to 6.5 gigawatts by 2020.

Denmark May Abandon New Oil and Gas Exploration

Total Installed Wind Set to Blow Past Coal in Texas

Palm Oil Causes 39% of Borneo Forest Loss Since 2000

‘Game-Changing’ Analysis: Unsubsidized Renewables, Efficiency Cost Less than New Alberta Gas Plants

Solar, wind, battery storage, energy efficiency, and demand flexibility can reliably replace coal in Alberta at less cost than new gas plants, according to “game-changing” new analysis released last week by the Calgary-based Pembina Institute.

U.S. Green Economy Produced 10 Times More Jobs Than Fossils in 2016

The U.S. green economy produced 9.5 million jobs in 2015-2016, more than 10 times as many as a lavishly-subsidized fossil fuel sector, and its US$1.3 trillion in output accounted for 7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to analysis released this week by two researchers at University College London.

Majority of Canadians, 65% of Northerners Support Extending Arctic Oil and Gas Drilling Ban

More than half of Canadians support a permanent ban on Arctic oil and gas drilling, and nearly two-thirds of northerners want the current ban extended to 2026, according to an Environics Research poll released last week by WWF-Canada.

Democracy Watch Complaint Alleges Possible ‘Collusion’ Between Conservative Campaign, Fossil PR

An Ottawa-based ethics watchdog is calling on Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté to investigate whether possible “collusion” between the Conservative Party and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) violated the Canada Elections Act.

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Job Transition for Coal Workers Faces Uncertainty as Alberta Government Prepares First Budget

The 70 unionized workers and dozen administrative staff who are about to lose their jobs at Alberta’s Highvale coal mine face “a lot of uncertainty” as the province’s latest budget approaches, with a change in government throwing their job transition plans into doubt.

Saskatchewan Issues Proposal Call for 300 MW of New Wind Capacity

Saskatchewan is out with a new call for proposals for 300 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

Shell Has ‘No Choice’ About Investing in New Fossil Projects, CEO Claims

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell has “no choice” but to invest in new, long-lasting fossil projects, a defiant CEO Ben van Beurden told Reuters this week, in an interview in which he decried the “demonization” of oil and gas and “unjustified” worries that the company’s business model is unsustainable.

IMF Calls for $75/Ton Carbon Tax to Hold Average Warming to 2.0°C

A global carbon tax of US$75 per ton by 2030 would limit average global warming to 2.0°C, and any economic disruption that resulted could be offset by returning the proceeds to citizens, the International Monetary Fund concludes in a study released last week.

African Development Bank Swears Off Coal

Alberta Exempts Fossil ‘War Room’ from Information Access Laws

Dakota Access Protesters Face 110 Years in Prison

Flamanville Nuclear Costs Hit Four Times Original Estimate

Debt Forgiveness Would Pull U.S. Energy Co-ops Away from Coal

UK National Theatre to Cut Off Shell Membership Next Year

Colossal Fossils Plot 35% Oil Production Increase Through 2030

With climate scientists, the United Nations, and millions of #ClimateStrike protesters around the world demanding faster, deeper carbon cuts, the world’s colossal fossils are poised to increase their oil production by seven million barrels per day over the next 12 years, in a strategy to generate one last, big surge of profits and emissions before demand for their product collapses.

Blame Polluters, Not Individuals, for Climate Crisis, Monbiot Urges

The fossil industry’s public relations master stroke has been to convince citizens that we share equal blame for the climate crisis, when the majority of the world’s population has a tiny carbon footprint and 20 colossal fossils have produced 35% of global emissions since 1965, author and activist George Monbiot argues in a blistering opinion piece for The Guardian.

Voters Peg Climate Change as Second-Highest Concern as Polls Point to Likely Minority Government

With the party leaders sprinting toward their last televised debate last night, the climate crisis continued to place among voters’ top ballot box concerns, opinion polls pointed to the likelihood of a minority government, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was fending off criticism that his campaign manager was in a conflict of interest, after helping the fossil lobby place election-related advertising on social media.

U.S. Renewables+Storage to Wipe Out Coal in 10 Years, Mega-Utility CEO Tells Analysts

Unsubsidized renewable energy and battery storage are so much less expensive than conventional electricity generation that they will likely replace all coal generation in the United States within a decade, the head of the country’s biggest power utility told a conference last week.

Warren Releases Environmental Justice Platform

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released a new environmental justice plan this week as she continued her quest for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Carbon Engineering Doubles Direct Air Capture in Texas’ Permian Basin

Oil Lobby Wish List Would Drive Up Canada’s Fossil Emissions 60% by 2030, Analysis Shows

The overheated wish list that Canada’s oil industry is putting forward in this month’s federal election would use up 60% of the entire country’s 2030 carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, Toronto-based Environmental Defence concludes in a scathing analysis released Monday.

Analysts Pan ‘False Equivalencies’ Between Liberal, Conservative Climate Plans, Cite Massive Public Support for Off-Carbon Transition

The false equivalencies being drawn between the Liberal and Conservative parties’ climate plans, the importance of this month’s election result to Canada’s clean energy future, and the massive majority of Canadians who want the country to succeed at its carbon-free transition are all on the agenda as Vancouver-based Clean Energy Canada rolls out a series of election op eds, reports, and opinion surveys.

Business Coalition Urges All Federal Parties to ‘Renew Canada’s Climate Leadership’

A group of nearly four dozen Canadian business leaders has sent the parties running in the federal election an eight-point plan that calls on them to “renew Canada’s climate leadership” if they are a part of the country’s next government.

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

Norway’s Biggest Pension Fund Dumps All Tar Sands/Oil Sands Investment

Norway’s biggest pension fund, Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP), has sold off US$58 million in stocks and bonds in Canadian tar sands/oil sands companies and declared it won’t back companies that draw more than 5% of their revenue from bitumen production.

Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Considers Investing in Coastal GasLink Pipeline

The hotly-contested Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia may be in line for investment dollars from a multi-billion-dollar sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

UK Needs Distance-Based Fees as EVs Drive Down Gas Tax Revenues

The United Kingdom stands to lose billions of pounds per year in gas tax revenues as drivers increasingly shift from internal combustion to electric vehicles.

New York Grid Looks to Carbon Pricing to Support Zero-Emission Target

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is looking to carbon pricing as an option to reduce the otherwise “astounding” cost of bringing the state’s electricity system to zero emissions by 2040, though it says it won’t take action without a go-ahead from Governor Andrew Cuomo and state stakeholders.

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

Colorado Utility Inks Landmark Deal to Shift Major Steel Plant from Coal to Solar

U.S. utility Xcel Energy has announced a landmark, US$250-million deal to replace coal-fired electricity with a 240-megawatt solar power plant to power a steel mill in Colorado.

Farm Subsidies Worth $1 Million Per Minute Are ‘Destroying the World’

Oil Glut, Low Prices Drive OPEC Toward Collapse

Election Wrap: #VoteScience Week Kicks Off, Carbon Tax Fades as Election Issue, and Fossil Ad Works Around Election Advertising Rules

With just two weeks to go in Canada’s federal election, a week of national leader’s debates gets under way tonight, Evidence for Democracy kicked off its #VoteScience week of action, the federal carbon tax appeared to be fading as a campaign issue, and a viral video supporting the fossil industry appeared to have worked its way around Elections Canada rules on third party advertising.

Canada Risks Missing the Cleantech Revolution as Politicians, Fossils Haggle Over Climate Policy

While Canadian politicians and fossil executives haggle over national climate and energy policy, a global wave of technological disruption is emerging as a “real threat to Canadian economic health,” analysts Tom Rand and Mike Andrade argue in the Globe and Mail.

Nuclear power plant

Ontario Power Supply to Get ‘Dirtier’ as Nuclear Refits Trigger New Demand for Gas

Ontario’s electricity supply is about to get dirtier and more carbon-intensive, as the province begins burning more natural gas to replace electricity from nuclear power plants going offline for expensive overhauls.

U.S. Utility Aims to Save $600 Million Over 20 Years by Replacing Coal with Cheaper Renewables

Big U.S. utility PacifiCorp is laying out a strategy that relies heavily on solar, energy storage, and wind and speeds up the phaseout of its economically fragile coal plants in a new integrated resource plan (IRP) covering investments through 2038.

Pennsylvania Moves to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Pennsylvania is moving to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), making it the biggest carbon emitter in what would now become a nine-state market aimed at reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation across much of the northeastern United States.

U.S. Coal Giant Murray Energy Slides Closer to Default

The U.S. coal baron and avid Donald Trump donor who begged his influential friend for an industry bailout, after suing TV comedian John Oliver for calling him a “geriatric Dr. Evil”, has been given until October 14 to cover his company’s outstanding debt to its creditors.

Climate Hawks See No Gain in German Utility RWE’s Plan for 2040 Coal Phaseout

German coal and power plant giant RWE, Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, is promising to make its operations carbon neutral by 2040, prompting climate organizations to accuse the company of spinning an inevitable business transition as climate protection.

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Tech Companies Decarbonize Their Operations, But Still Sign Lucrative Deals with Big Oil

Big tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft may be taking promising steps to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions. But they’re a lot farther from severing ties with the fossil companies that take advantage of their products and services, The Associated Press reports.

Road Tests Show LNG Trucks Producing Higher NOx Than Diesel, with Little or No GHG Benefit

Trucks fuelled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) produce twice to five times the oxides of nitrogen as the equivalent running on diesel, and only cut tailpipe greenhouse gas emission by 3.0 to 14%, Brussels-based Transport & Environment reports, citing road tests commissioned by the government of The Netherlands.

Royal Shakespeare Company Cancels Partnership with Colossal Fossil BP

The iconic Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has asked colossal fossil BP to exit stage right, after sponsoring the theatre since 2011.

Alberta On Track to Phase Out Coal by 2023, Prompting More Demand for Gas

Australia Grid Does Fine with Coal Plants Offline

Clean Energy to Create 160,000 Jobs by 2030 While Fossils Lose 50,000

Canada will create 160,000 new clean energy jobs by 2030 while fossil employment declines by 50,000, and the clean energy sector will employ a total of 559,400 people in areas like home insulation, electric vehicle manufacturing, and wind farm maintenance—as long as government policies continue to drive toward reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

More Than 10,000 Attend Environment Debates in 95 Ridings Across Canada

More than 10,000 voters attended nearly 100 all-party environment debates last night in federal ridings across the country. Ottawa Centre took early honours as the best-attended event, with more than 800 in the audience.

Donner: No Federal Party Has a Plan to Hit a 1.5 or 2.0°C Climate Target

At the midpoint in Canada’s climate change election, analysis by a University of British Columbia climatologist shows that none of the federal parties have put forward platforms that support holding average global warming to 1.5 or 2.0°C.

First Nations, Landowners, Local Governments File Objections to Trans Mountain Pipeline Route

Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could be held up by objections from dozens of First Nations, landowners, and local governments along the route, the Globe and Mail reports.

Suzuki and Yano: Climate Action Must Counter ‘Unequal Privilege’, Rebuild Democratic Systems

At a time when 70 to 75% of Canadians are largely disengaged from a political arena often dominated by “unproductive partisan pot shots and misplaced accountability,” getting serious about climate solutions is one way for politicians to earn trust, two of the country’s leading environmentalists argue in a post for the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF).

Alberta Fossil Wants to Bury CO2, Declare Carbon-Neutral Operations

Hibernia Restarts Offshore Drilling After Oil Spills Shut Down Production

BP CEO Dudley Plans to Step Down

Oil Drilling in Greece Could Cut Imports, Imperil Oceans

Warming Will Produce Rapid Sea Level Rise, Annual ‘100-Year’ Storms, Declining Fish Stocks, Shrinking Glaciers Without Fast Climate Action: IPCC

The world’s oceans will rise nearly one metre (three feet) by 2100, 100-year coastal storms and flooding will happen annually, fish stocks will see serious declines, snow and ice cover will diminish, and killer storms will get wetter and more powerful without fast action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, concludes the latest science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued last week after a contentious negotiating session in Monaco.

Beer: Emissions Are Set to Rise Through 2050. And Fossils Think Climate Protesters Are the Naïve Ones?

With the latest trend report for fossil fuel consumption projecting higher carbon dioxide emissions through 2050, Canadian fossils are expressing the odd view that the million or more people who took to the streets for #ClimateStrike Friday are naïve to expect a rapid phasedown of fossil production.

Trudeau Promises to Plant Two Billion Trees Over 10 Years, with Funding ‘Offset’ by Trans Mountain Pipeline Revenue

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised last week that a second-term government under his leadership would invest C$3 billion over 10 years to plant two billion trees across the country. But a Liberal Party backgrounder says the cost of the program would be “offset” by revenue from the controversial and financially fragile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Election Roundup: Parties’ Promises, Fossils Collect Campaign Data, and Climate Protesters Tread Carefully

Week three of Canada’s federal election saw a flurry of climate, energy, and environment promises from the four national party leaders, coinciding with a major United Nations climate summit in New York, dozens of successful #ClimateStrike marches across the country, and the latest IPCC report laying out the devastating impacts the climate crisis is wreaking on the world’s oceans and ice cover.

All Eyes on 2020 After UN Climate (Action) Summit Fails to Deliver

The tepid results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit pointed to the need for political will to match the urgency of the climate crisis, the opportunities in climate solutions, and rising public demand that governments take action, E3G co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey writes for Climate Home News.

Teck, Suncor, CNRL Take Top Spots in Annual Ranking of Mining Company Revenues

Mining and tar sands/oil sands producers Teck Resources, Suncor Energy, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. took three of the four top spots in an annual listing of Canadian mining companies by gross revenues, raking in a combined C$36.1 billion in 2018—a year when fossils complained bitterly about how hard they were finding it to operate in Canada.

Calgary Company Ships 130 Barrels of Bitumen to China in Semi-Solid Form

A Calgary-based company says it has shipped 130 barrels of tar sands/oil sands bitumen from Edmonton to Prince Rupert, British Columbia in semi-solid form, in a first test of a new technology it says would provide a safe alternative to shipping by pipeline or rail.

World Bank Says Pricing Pollution Won’t Kill Economic Growth

B.C. Wins Injunction Against Alberta Bill to Cut Oil Supplies

Coal Plants in Asia, India Gulp Limited Water Supplies

Haisla Aim for 2025 Start for Floating LNG Project in Kitimat

University of Calgary Team Touts Nanotech for Greener, Cheaper LNG

UN Climate Summit Falls Short as Major Emitters Fail to Commit

With 77 smaller countries pledging to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the world’s biggest emitters largely failing to step up, UN Secretary General António Guterres’ much-anticipated Climate Action Summit is being cast as a missed opportunity to gain ground in the fight to get the climate crisis under control.

Youth Protesters’ Secret Recordings Catch Guterres’ Welcome (and Challenge) to Fossil Lobbyists

The night before #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg lashed Climate Action Summit delegates with her generation’s searing sense of betrayal over the climate crisis, a private dinner of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative received a warm welcome from UN Secretary General António Guterres—who’d spent months urging governments to show up in New York with tangible carbon reduction commitments, and worked to assure a prominent spot for Thunberg during the summit.

New Alberta-New Brunswick Pipeline Proposal Aims to ‘Succeed Where Energy East Failed’

A Montreal-based company is proposing to build a C$23-billion pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick that it says can succeed where the controversial Energy East megaproject failed.

Liberals Tout Legally Binding Targets, Tax Incentives to Hit Net Zero by 2050

Legally binding, five-year milestones for greenhouse gas reductions, tax incentives for cleantech businesses, and a Just Transition Act to support workers caught in a transforming economy are elements of a plan unveiled yesterday by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to bring Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.

530 Organizations in 76 Countries Sign Lofoten Declaration, Demand Oil and Gas Phaseout

With the fossil industry gearing up to spend US$1.4 trillion to increase production over the next five years, climate hawks were at the Climate Action Summit in New York this week with the news that 530 organizations in 76 countries had signed the Lofoten Declaration, calling for an oil and gas phaseout to deliver climate security and a strong economy.

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

Calgary Chamber of Commerce President Pitches Fossils at UN Climate Action Summit

With delegates and protesters from around the world gathered to push toward faster, deeper greenhouse gas reductions, the president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce was at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York earlier this week to lobby for the Canadian fossil sector.

Global Backlash Against Plastics Emerges as Latest Threat to Fossil Industry

Just when they thought they were ready for the decline of gasoline- and diesel-fuelled cars, driven by surging electric vehicle sales, a mounting aversion to plastics is undercutting fossil producers’ latest plan to save their industry, according to market analysts at New York-based MSCI.

New Hampshire Governor Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Uncovered Coal Barges Pollute North Sumatra Waters

UK Fossils, Utility Aim for Country’s First Carbon-Neutral Industrial Cluster

36 Countries Expected to Announce New Climate Plans as UN Climate Summit Convenes

After months of preparations and arm-twisting, the United Nations is signalling that as many as 36 countries could announce more ambitious climate targets at today’s global climate action summit in New York City. 
But as delegates gather, the New York Times is pointing to a fundamental disconnect: the diplomats at UN headquarters and the four million protesters who thronged the world’s cities at last Friday’s #ClimateStrike live in separate worlds.

Election Wrap: International Poll Flags Climate as Canadians’ Top Concern

As Canada’s federal election campaign entered its third week, a new international opinion poll identified climate change as Canadians’ leading concern, Green Party leader Elizabeth May promised to replace East Coast oil imports with domestic crude, and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer pledged to fast-track new pipeline proposals directly to the Supreme Court.

Five Dead in Southeast Texas as Tropical Depression Imelda Dumps Up to 43 Inches of Rain

At least five people are dead in southeast Texas after Tropical Depression Imelda dropped up to 43 inches (1.1 metres) of rain on the region, becoming the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.

Google Announces 1.6 GW in New Renewables Projects as U.S. Solar Procurement Hits 37.9 GW

Global tech giant Google announced a cluster of renewable energy deals totalling 1.6 gigawatts last week, just days after an analyst report placed the “contracted pipeline” for new solar capacity in the United States at 37.9 GW, driven largely by corporate purchases.

China Plans 226 GW of New Coal Plants

China is planning 226 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants, according to a report by 30 environmental groups released just days before the country takes the podium at the much-anticipated United Nations climate summit in New York.

Falling Prices Force Medicine Hat to Shut 2,000 Gas Wells

Low global gas prices have prompted Medicine Hat, the southern Albertan community known as “The Gas City”, to permanently shut down 2,000 active gas wells and 100 jobs.