SNAPSHOT: The Fossil Industry Goes for Broke

 
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Max Goessler/Pixabay

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

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

The Collapse of Coal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extreme Oil Meets Supply-Side Campaigning

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

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

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

Renewables Win on Price

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

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

Fossils Fight Back

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

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

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

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

Pollution in All Places

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands have shifted decisively into a “mature” phase of development in which job creation and capital spending will continue to lag and new technologies will replace a large share of the work force laid off due to “lower-for-longer” oil prices between 2014 and 2016, according to a new analysis this week by the Edmonton-based Parkland Institute.

Switzerland’s UBS Yanks Funding for New Arctic Offshore Oil, Thermal Coal, Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Switzerland’s UBS Group AG has decided it will no longer finance offshore oil development in the Arctic, thermal coal mines, or tar sands/oil sands projects on undeveloped land, and will scrutinize liquefied natural gas and ultra-deepwater drilling projects more carefully before committing to them.

Prince George School Evacuated after Latest Canadian Train Derailment

In yet another Canadian freight train derailment, 27 cars left the tracks near Prince George, British Columbia last week, forcing the evacuation of a local elementary school and leaving a nearby creek contaminated with petroleum coke.

Baltimore Case against Big Oil to Proceed in State Court

Baltimore citizens seeking to hold Big Oil liable for the devastating consequences of its activities had cause to celebrate last week when an appeals court denied the industry’s bid to have the case moved to a more sympathetic federal court. The suit is one of several under way that target the “elaborate disinformation campaign” intended to suppress public knowledge about the climate-destroying impacts of fossil fuel burning. 

Public Opinion, Limited Finance Drive Vietnam to Curtail Coal Development

Facing a rapidly shrinking pool of willing lenders and growing opposition from a population concerned about air quality, Vietnam may be putting the brakes on further coal plant development. The policy is not certain, however, as the pressures of economic development become daunting roadblocks to an energy shift in the country.

Alberta Turns Abandoned Oil Wells into Solar Farms

New Zealand Savings Funds to Divest Fossil Stocks

Pronghorn, Sage Grouse Won’t Survive Trump Plan for Wyoming Gas Wells

40 Sent to Hospital After Heavy Rain, Erosion Trigger Mississippi Gas Leak

Buffett Fund Backs Out of Quebec LNG Project as Hearings Begin, Community Opposition Mounts

U.S. investment legend Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway industrial conglomerate has decided not to sink C$4 billion into Canada’s next controversial fossil pipeline, the GNL Québec pipeline and liquefied natural gas terminal in the Saguenay region, just as environmental hearings and grassroot opposition to the project begin gearing up.

Buckley: Delayed Shift Out of Fossil Fuels Could Leave $20 Trillion in Stranded Assets

Investors and financiers will find themselves confronted with up to US$20 trillion in stranded fossil energy assets by 2050 unless they embrace the shift to clean energy, warns Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), in a recent summary of a podcast he recorded last month.

Carbon Reductions, ‘Clean Growth’ Remain Top Priorities for Federal Budget: Morneau

While contingency planning for the coronavirus is gaining prominence as a focus for this year’s federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says carbon reductions and energy sector transformation will still be a major priority.

Australia Working Toward Net Zero Despite Federal Stonewalling

Continued attempts by Scott Morrison’s government to downplay the climate crisis and obstruct solutions in Australia are proving to be increasingly out of step with public opinion, as state and local governments—as well as business interests, environmentalists, and ordinary people—fight to decarbonize the country by 2050. 

Equinor Scuttles Offshore Drilling Plan for Great Australian Bight

Norwegian colossal fossil Equinor announced late last month that it is abandoning a US$200-million plan to drill for oil in the deep waters of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park, the third retreat for a parade of oil and gas explorers that also includes BP and Chevron.

Hope for Stability Fades as Guyana Becomes Nascent Petro-State

Hopes that Guyana’s nascent democracy and fragile economy might defy standard petro-state precedents and realize only benefits from the country’s sudden vault into the ranks of the oil-rich have grown dimmer in recent weeks, as the new wealth fuels pre-existing ethnic tensions.

Virginia Legislation Enshrines 100% RE Target, Limits Utility Charges for Early Fossil Closures

The latest session of the Virginia state legislature ended with a flurry of activity on renewable energy, climate change, and grid renewal, including a 100% renewable energy target, one of the most ambitious energy storage targets in the United States, a carbon cap-and-trade program compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and a bill aimed at putting ratepayers first as mammoth utility Dominion Energy moves to shut down high-emitting coal- and gas-fired power plants.

Alberta Increases Carbon Tax to Match Ottawa’s, While Manitoba Proposes Lower Rate

Despite continuing court action seeking to overturn the federal floor price on carbon, Alberta has announced an increase in its industrial carbon tax, while Manitoba looks to introduce a tax regime that still falls short of the federal one.

Shell Plans Massive Deepwater Drilling Program in Mexico

France Cuts Coal-Fired Electricity 72% in 2019

Devon, UK Connects First Subsidy-Free Community Solar to Grid

2018 Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George Revealed “Shocking” Safety Breaches

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has responded to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on an October 2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion near the community’s borders, saying the report contains “shocking” confirmation of serious safety breaches.

CCPA: B.C. Must Plan for Managed Decline Before International Fossil Markets Scale Back

British Columbia may be running out of time to plan for a managed decline of its fossil fuel industry, given the prospect that the Asian governments the province is counting on to buy its products may soon be making their own transition to a green economy, warns a new report issued this week by the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mining_Technician_Coal_Export_Terminal.png

Saskatchewan Announces $10 Million Fund to Help Coal Communities Diversify

Saskatchewan is making good on a Throne Speech promise last fall to direct C$10 million to coal communities to help them diversify into new economic development opportunities.

Time to Cut Fossils’ ‘Corporate Welfare’, Make Economy More Efficient, Author Argues

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is a policy measure that could create some common ground between climate campaigners and libertarian free market advocates, self-styled independent journalist and public historian Taylor Noakes writes in a new opinion piece for CBC that had generated more than 3,700 comments as of Thursday evening.

World’s Biggest Insurance Company Considers Whether to Drop Adani Coal Mine

The world’s biggest insurance company is rethinking its role in underwriting one of the biggest, most controversial carbon bombs anywhere, with Marsh LLC senior executives due to meet in New York yesterday to develop a new company position on coal projects, including the Adani Carmichael mine in Australia.

10-Month Deadline Makes Netherlands a ‘Test Case’ for Rapid Decarbonization

The Netherlands has become a reluctant test case for how quickly a government can cut its carbon emissions when it’s required to, after the supreme court ruled late last year that the country must cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of 2020. 

Biden, Sanders Climate Policies Come Into Focus as Primary Field Narrows

With the race for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination narrowing to two main candidates, the New York Times and Foreign Policy magazine are each taking a look at what former U.S. vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders have been saying about climate and energy.

Scandinavia Looks to Solar in ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’

Northern regions as far as the Arctic Circle are increasingly turning to the power of the midnight sun to keep their communities humming, feeding hopes that carbon neutrality by 2035 may be within reach.

Coastal GasLink Resumes Construction After Wet’suwet’en, Canada, B.C. Reach Draft Agreement

Business Press Sees Investors Jumping Back into Pipelines

Regulations Blamed as New England’s Biggest Coal Plant Set to Stay Open to 2024

Venezuela Gives Control of Oil Back to Colossal Fossils

Tamil Nadu, India Bans New Oil Production to Protect Farming

Himalayan Ice Dates Coal Pollution Back to 1780

Drawdown’s Latest ‘Tools of Possibility’ Show Path to 1.5°C, with 1,570 Billion Tons of Emission Cuts by 2050

Humanity can prevent or draw down 1,570 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 2050 to approach a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming, or 992.77 billion tons to settle around 2.0°C, by adopting a menu of 82 practical solutions ranging from onshore wind to utility-scale solar, from reduced food waste and plant-rich diets to tropical forest restoration and clean cookstoves, according to the 2020 update of the popular Drawdown list.

Alberta Announces $100M Loan for Orphan Well Clean-Up

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage have announced a C$100-million loan to help the province’s Orphan Well Association clean up another 1,000 abandoned oil and gas production sites, while creating 500 jobs for unemployed oilfield service workers.

1.5°C Warming Means ‘Breathtaking’ $900-Billion Loss for Colossal Fossils

The world’s oil and gas companies may have to write off a “breathtaking” US$900 billion in stranded assets—about one-third of their total value—if governments get serious about limiting average global warming to 1.5°C, according to the news analysis page that calls itself the “oldest and arguably the most influential business and finance column of its kind in the world”.

Hedge Fund Billionaire Prods Banks to Defund Hundreds of New Coal Plants

A British hedge fund billionaire is on a mission to persuade central banks to withdraw financial support for hundreds of new coal plants now on the drawing boards, in a bid to block the projects and the climate-busting greenhouse gas emissions they would produce.

Michigan Utility Becomes First in U.S. to Declare 2040 Net-Zero Goal

Michigan’s Consumers Energy has become the first United States power utility to set a 2040 deadline for bringing its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero.

New U.S. Energy Legislation Backs Solar, Wind and Storage, Misses Out on Efficiency, Pushes Fracked Gas Exports

A massive, bipartisan energy bill could come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this week, with billions of dollars directed to solar, wind, and storage, but no explicit climate targets, major gaps on energy efficiency, no tax credits for electric vehicles or renewables, and continuing support for fossil fuels.

Japan Speeds Up Coal Construction, Blames Nuclear Shutdown

Why Coal Must Plummet This Decade to Get Below 1.5°C

Australia’s Biggest Independent Coal Miner Sees Profits, Production Slide

Poland ‘Thinking Big’ About Banning Coal Stoves and Burners

U.S. Conservatives’ New Climate Plans Mainly Protect Fossils

U.S. Insurers Should Support People, Not Fossils

Polar Bear Dens at Risk as Fossils Eye Exploration in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

The airborne imaging fossil companies use to help them avoid polar bear dens when they’re exploring in the Arctic actually detects the dens less than half the time, a new study shows. That means producers won’t be able to help killing mothers and cubs of an iconic and threatened Arctic species if they drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Condemnation Rains Down After Online Images Depict Attack on Thunberg, Violence Against Blockaders

Two separate online images from Alberta are earning widespread condemnation, prompting even the Kenney government to insist the province can and must do better. One of the images portrayed a sexually graphic attack on #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg. The other showed a train driving through a crowd of blockaders.

Calgary Pipeliner Left to Wait as U.S. Regulator Delays Decision on Oregon LNG Terminal

The Calgary-based pipeliner behind a proposed US$10-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon is facing what the Financial Post calls a “surprise setback”, after the Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to delay its decision on the plan to send Canadian gas to Asian markets.

Ontario Climate Hawks Join City Council to Oppose Fracked Gas Pipeline Through Hamilton [Sign-On]

The City of Hamilton and Ontario climate organizations are mobilizing against a 10-kilometre pipeline that would carry fracked gas from the United States and increase the province’s reliance on carbon-heavy natural gas power plants.

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

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Cancellation the Least of Teck’s Problems as Analysts Question Mine Cost Overrun

While Teck Resources’ bombshell decision to walk away from its $20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine has received wall-to-wall coverage in the last seven days, the company’s broader financial picture is a bigger concern for investors, the Globe and Mail reports.

EU European Union

EU Considers Border Adjustment Charge to Penalize Carbon-Intensive Imports

The European Union is poised to fast-track some form of border adjustment to protect its domestic industries from international competitors in countries with less stringent carbon reduction policies.

Offshore Wind Could Deliver More Power Than China’s Coastal Regions Currently Use

Offshore wind could supply 5.4 times as much electricity as China’s coastal regions currently require, according to a new study by a student team at Harvard University.

Line 3 Impact Exceeds Minnesota’s GHG Emission Cuts, Climate Groups Warn

U.S. Fossils Seek Protection from Local Climate Lawsuits

Great Bear Rainforest Faces Delays on $25M in Offsets

Arizona Moves to Prevent Municipal Bans on Gas Furnaces

McKinsey Advises Mining Execs on Climate Risk, Decarbonization

Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin

The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.

Alberta Delays Report Showing Warming, Climate Impacts Above Global Average

The Alberta government dragged its feet for six months before releasing a report it previously commissioned from climate scientists Katharine Hayhoe and Anne Stoner that shows the province warming faster than the rest of the planet due to human activity, with “profound impacts on the province’s economy, infrastructure, and public health,” Global News reports.

BP Quits Three Fossil Trade Groups, Remains Member of American Petroleum Institute

Colossal fossil BP is dropping its membership in three U.S. industry organizations, but continuing its association with the American Petroleum Institute, the ubiquitous national lobby group that has pushed for a wide-ranging rollback of climate and environmental regulations under Donald Trump.

World Bank Support to Guyana Megaproject Undercuts Promise to Stop Funding Fossils

The World Bank is undercutting its own carbon reduction commitments and putting entire Caribbean ecosystems at risk by directing US$55 million to support fossil fuel extraction off the coast of Guyana, campaigners at Sassenberg, Germany-based Urgewald charged yesterday, after a Guyanese high court cleared the way for colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNOOC to continue drilling.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coal_hopper_with_barge_Rob_Loftis.jpeg

Restrictions on Japanese Coal Exports Neglect Deeper Problems at Home

Anxious to deflect surging international criticism for its continuing commitment to exporting coal power to developing countries, Japan is vowing to tighten its export policies to align them with the demands of the 2015 Paris Agreement. But details remain under wraps and environmentalists are unimpressed.

Shift Fossil Subsidies Into Orphan Well Reclamation Jobs, Green MPs Urge Morneau

The federal Green Party caucus is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to fund orphan well reclamation that would create jobs in the country’s fossil regions and ease the transition off oil and gas, iPolitics reports.

U.S. Solar Jobs Bounce Back Despite Trump Tariffs

Solar energy jobs in many parts of the United States have been bouncing back over the last year, with falling costs and a rush of new installations before federal tax credits expire offsetting the past impact of Donald Trump’s punishing tariffs on imported panels, according to new data from The Solar Foundation.

Mammoth U.S. Utility Increases Solar Share by 44%

Making good on its pledge to expand into clean energy while shrinking its reliance on coal, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is increasing its share of solar generation by a whopping 44% with new contracts announced earlier this month. 

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

Coal Mines Deliver Debt Slavery and Death in Southwestern Pakistan

Bitterly dangerous working conditions, corrupt and callous authorities, and indentured servitude are the harrowing realities of the orphaned children and desperate men who labour without hope in Pakistan’s coal mines.

Democrats Propose Three-Year Ban on New U.S. Plastics Plants

Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for a three-year moratorium on new plastics plants across the United States, while the National Academy of Sciences studies the health and climate impacts of a massive buildout in the country’s plastic manufacturing capacity.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Puts NWT Oil Well Cleanup at Risk

Portugal Leans on Hydro to Phase Out Coal

Petrosaurus Rex vs. Reality: Teck Mine Defeated by Low Price of Oil

Paleontology tells us the most fearsome Jurassic-era predators had no outer ears, and depended on a narrow range of sub-sonic vibrations to detect other earless, large, lumbering dinosaurs they could rip to shreds and render into raw-meat power lunches. They are now, of course, ancient history. In their place, evolution delivered far smaller, more agile mammals able to receive and process a wider range of warning signals. Enter Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who might aptly be classified as Petrosaurus Rex. An analysis by Paul McKay

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

The Court of Appeal of Alberta has declared the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme unconstitutional, calling it a “constitutional Trojan horse” that intrudes on provincial jurisdiction.

New Quebec Gas Pipeline, LNG Terminal Would Emit 1.8 Billion Tonnes Over 25 Years

A controversial gas pipeline and liquefaction project in Quebec’s Saguenay region that could produce 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over 25 years is just three weeks away from entering hearings before the province’s environmental review agency, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).

Windsor Aims for Deep Energy Retrofits in 80% of Homes by 2041

The City of Windsor is closer to adopting a deep retrofit program to slash energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in 80% of its housing stock by 2041, following a unanimous standing committee vote last week.

Teck Withdrawal a ‘Wake-Up Call’ for a ‘Version of Alberta that No Longer Exists’

Teck Resources’ blockbuster decision to walk away from its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine was a “wake-up call” to abandon “a version of Alberta that no longer exists,” Calgary-based opinion writer and self-described “proud centrist” Max Fawcett writes in an opinion piece for CBC News.

U.S. Fossil Pulls the Plug on 124-Mile Constitution Gas Pipeline

Climate campaigners are chalking up another win in New York State this week, after Tulsa, Oklahoma-based fossil giant Williams Companies pulled the plug on its proposed 124-mile Constitution gas pipeline and wrote off the US$345 million it had already spent on the project.

JPMorgan Chase Policy ‘Tweaks’ Cut Coal Investment, Ban New Arctic Oil and Gas Deals

Facing intense pressure from climate campaigners, the United States’ biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase, is making some tentative moves to scale back its investments in coal and eliminate new financing for Arctic oil and gas projects.

Don’t Use Public Pensions to Prop Up Carbon-Heavy Industries, Alberta Unions Say

Alberta’s public pensions shouldn’t be used to prop up carbon-intensive fossil industries at a time when private investors are abandoning the sector, the Alberta Federation of Labour warned in a statement last week.

Siemens Support for Adani Mine Drives ‘Largest Climate Destruction Project on Planet’

After the storm of protest and mockery that greeted President and CEO Joe Kaeser’s decision to supply essential signalling equipment to the Adani mega-coal mine in Australia, German industrial giant Siemens shouldn’t even assume the project makes economic sense, according to a senior advisor to the Australian government.

Coronavirus Pushes Oil Demand Growth to 10-Year Low

The global coronavirus crisis has already brought the growth of oil demand to a 10-year low, and could drive it lower still, the International Energy Agency reported yesterday.

Week 8, February 24: Cohesive Communities

Every community in Canada needs the capacity and skills to embrace the transition, becoming strong and resourceful. In Britain, the Lambeth Study on participatory culture found that success in building a cohesive community requires regular engagement by 10-15% of the residents, and an investment of $140 per resident.

Horgan, Trudeau Will Look Foolish if LNG Canada Project Crashes

Carbon Capture ‘Fantasy’ for New Mexico Coal Plant Doesn’t Add Up Financially

Teck Gives Up on Frontier Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

In a bombshell announcement yesterday evening, Vancouver-based Teck Resources has withdrawn the application for its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, less than a week before the federal cabinet was due to accept or reject the contentious and carbon-intensive project.

As It Happened: Pressure Was Building Against Teck Mine Proposal as 41 Nobel Laureates Weighed In

With the federal cabinet still on track last week to decide whether to approve the C$20.6-billion Teck Frontier megaproject, 41 Nobel laureates urged the government to reject the project, a columnist argued that any decision was better than postponing the issue, and the company that ultimately pulled the plug on its own proposal was already considering exiting the tar sands/oil sands entirely.

Analysis: Teck Mine Would Have Produced 45 Million Tonnes of Emissions Per Year

If Justin Trudeau’s cabinet had approved the controversial Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine this week, it would have given its blessing to a project that would dump 45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) into the atmosphere, 11 times more than the company acknowledged, according to analysis completed in the days before the company’s dramatic decision to withdraw its project application.

Four Former Climate Negotiators Demanded Trudeau ‘End the Hypocrisy’, Reject Teck

Days before Teck Resources dealt the final death blow to its own tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, four former Canadian climate negotiators called on the Trudeau government to “end the hypocrisy” and reject the project, pointing out that Canadian fossil production is still projected to skyrocket in spite of the country’s promises to cut emissions.

Tyendinaga blockade

Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory

With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.

Highly Toxic ‘Invisible Oil’ Made BP’s Deepwater Horizon Spill Even Worse

“Invisible oil” from BP’s horrific Deepwater Horizon catastrophe carried an even bigger, more damaging environmental footprint across the Gulf of Mexico than originally reported, according to new research published as the tenth anniversary of the epic oil spill approaches this April.

New U.S. Efficiency Bill Would Massively Cut Energy Waste, Save $51 Billion

U.S. households stand to massively cut energy waste and save $51 billion if a bipartisan group of legislators in both the House and the Senate can push through a package of measures to increase energy efficiency in homes and commercial, industrial, and federal government buildings, Utility Dive reports.

Alberta Approves New Suncor Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

African Civil Society Calls for End to Fossil Proliferation

U.S. Fracking Could Add Equivalent of 50 Coal Plants by 2025

#ImperialOilKnew It Was Contributing to Climate Crisis

Japan Experts Want to Dump Fukushima Water into the Ocean

BREAKING: Federal Export Agency Considers ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Loan to Coastal GasLink

The federal Export Development Corporation is weighing what a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief calls a “highly inappropriate” loan to TC Energy, the company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline, to help the company push the 670-kilometre project through unceded Indigenous land.

Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.

Study Shows Governments, Scientists Underestimating Fossils’ Methane Releases by 25-40%

Governments and scientists are underestimating methane leaks from oil and gas operations by 25 to 40%, meaning that tens of millions of tons of a greenhouse gas more than 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide may have gone unaccounted for, according to a contentious new study published Wednesday in the prestigious journal Nature.

Skyrocketing Price Drives Down Public Support for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Public support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tips toward opposition when Canadians learn that the cost of the controversial project has ballooned to C$12.6 billion, the Angus Reid Institute reports this week based on a new opinion survey.

Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

Pembina: Emissions 70% Above Global Average Put Tar Sands/Oil Sands on ‘Collision Course’

Carbon emissions per barrel that are still 70% above the global average, and still on the rise, are putting Alberta tar sands/oil sands producers on a “collision course” with Canada’s climate targets and with changing expectations in global markets, the Pembina Institute reports in a study released Wednesday.

Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For

With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for. 

And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.

Coronavirus Drives China’s CO2 Emissions Down 25%

A huge economic slowdown driven by the coronavirus has reduced China’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 100 million tonnes, or 25%, and the country’ energy demand and industrial demand may not yet have hit bottom, according to a new analysis released this week.

India Reduces Coal-Fired Electricity Production for First Time in 10 Years

Last year saw a decline in the electricity India produces from coal for the first time in a decade, the product of a slower economy plus increased reliance on renewable energy.

Europe Could Cut Emissions 60% by Electrifying Fossil-Intensive Industries

Europe could reduce emissions in its transport, buildings, and electrical sectors 60% by 2050 by converting fossil-intensive industries to run on electricity, according to a report earlier this month by Norwegian utility Statkraft and power management company Eaton Corporation.

Oil Train Derails, Leaks Crude in Northwestern Ontario

Yet another oil train has derailed along the CN Rail line, with 30 cars off the tracks and five of them leaking crude oil near the northwestern Ontario town of Emo, near Fort Frances.

Manitoba Premier Won’t Rule Out Oil Pipeline to Churchill

U.S. Financier Backs out of UK Fracking Company Cuadrilla

Delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Balloons to $8 Billion

Report on Oil Pollution, Birth Defects Receives Scant Attention in South Sudan

UK Considers Gas Heating Ban

Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review

With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.

New Trade Deal May Help U.S. Ship Coal to Asia Through Canadian, Mexican Ports

The Trump administration is looking for support from Canada and Mexico under the newly-signed U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) to help it circumvent state-level bans on coal shipments to Asia from western U.S. states.

Canadian Pension Board Becomes Lead Shareholder in India’s Biggest Renewables Company

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is about to become the largest shareholder in ReNew Power, India’s biggest renewable energy company, a business with 3.1 gigawatts of wind and 1.9 GW of solar generation currently in operation.

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

Fast-Growing BlackRock Investment Fund to Exclude Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Thermal Coal

Asset management giant BlackRock is promising to exclude tar sands/oil sands and thermal coal projects from of its fastest-growing sustainable investment funds.

Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

Royal Bank of Scotland Vows to Stop Funding Coal by 2030, Set Stricter Rules for Oil and Gas

The Royal Bank of Scotland will stop lending to coal projects by 2030, set stricter rules for oil and gas funding, cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero this year, and make its operations “climate positive” by 2025, under a new strategy it released Friday alongside its annual financial results.

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

Be sure to sit down before you read this: Canada is in good shape to meet one of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, according to a report the federal government recently filed with the United Nations.

Delayed Coal Closures Harm Minority Communities’ Health, Indiana NAACP Warns

The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is urging Indiana legislators to defeat a bill that would harm the health of low-income and minority communities by the extending the operating life of nearby coal plants.

100 Teck Protesters Occupy Guilbeault Constituency Office

About 100 student demonstrators occupied the downtown Montreal constituency office of Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault Friday afternoon, calling on the former Greenpeace activist and the rest of his cabinet colleagues to refuse approval for Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

VW Shuts Two Coal Plants at Main Factory, Refuses to Sell Them Off

Kitimat LNG Project Reports $720-Million Write-Down

10 U.S. Refineries Exceeded EPA Limits for Carcinogenic Benzene in 2019

Toronto Neighbourhood Wants Nearby Nuclear Fuel-Maker Shut Down

Michigan Shuts Down 37-Year-Old J.B. Sims Coal Plant

Florida to Protect 20,000 Acres in Everglades from Oil Drilling

Indonesia to Replace 11 GW of Coal with Renewables

Mexico Plans to Divert TC Energy Gas Pipeline to Skirt Indigenous Lands

Discovery of Buried Uranium Compound Raises Concerns on Nuclear Waste

India Plans to Double U.S. Oil Imports

BREAKING: Cancelled Project Means the ‘End of New Coal’ in Europe

Lawyers at ClientEarth are heralding “the end for new coal” in Europe, after Polish utilities Enea and Energa announced last night that they would suspend work on the controversial new Ostrołęka C plant, citing economic concerns.

Details Scarce, Serious Questions Remain as BP Claims Net-Zero Target

Colossal fossil BP is drawing a healthy dose of scrutiny and skepticism this week, after incoming CEO Bernard Looney announced plans Wednesday to bring the company to net zero by 2050 or sooner and help the world do the same.

Air Pollution Impacts Cost $8 Billion Per Day, Greenpeace Study Shows

The health impacts of air pollution cost countries US$8 billion per day, according to a study released this week by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Would Draw a Lesson from Cold War

A global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, analogous the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty adopted in 1967, is a necessary mechanism to get greenhouse gas emissions under control in time to hold average global warming below 1.5°C, according to a post last week for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Climate, Trans Mountain, and Clean Energy Were Top Three Topics in Canadians’ Letters to Trudeau

The climate crisis, the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the clean energy economy took the top three spots on the list of issues Canadians addressed in their emails and letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019.

Hold the Line on Urban Sprawl, Local Campaigners Urge Ottawa City Council

Holding the line on the City of Ottawa’s urban boundary is an essential first step if the community hopes to do its part to get the climate crisis under control, local green space advocate Daniel Buckles wrote in a recent Ottawa Citizen op ed.

City Data Show Young Talent Leaving Town as Calgary Stagnates

Young people in Calgary are moving on, with census data picking up a demographic shift driven in part by the decline of the city’s dominant industry.

CCS, Hydrogen Won’t Be Ready by 2050, UK Academics Warn

Neither carbon capture and storage (CCS) nor the hydrogen economy can scale up fast enough to play a significant part in decarbonizing the UK economy by mid-century, a consortium of government-funded academics warned last week.

Navajo Nation Seeks Utility Dollars for Transition Off Coal

Central Banks Face $12B Coal Investment Problem

Alberta Fossils Tout Lithium as New Opportunity

Canadian Pipeliners Jump Onboard ESG Trend

Buying Trans Mountain Would End Badly for Brookfield, Analyst Warns

It would be a serious error for Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to invest in the Trudeau government’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a leading energy and finance analyst warned yesterday, after a news report identified Brookfield as a potential “dark horse” buyer for the project.

Oil Change: IEA’s ‘Grand Coalition’ with Fossils Won’t Fix the Climate Crisis

It’ll take more than a “grand coalition” between the International Energy Agency and the world’s biggest fossil producers to get the climate crisis under control, Oil Change International wrote late last month, in an advance rebuke to a planning session the IEA was scheduled to host earlier today.

IEA: Electricity Emissions Hold Steady in 2019 as Developed Countries Dump Coal

Global carbon dioxide emissions from electricity unexpectedly held steady in 2019, at 33 billion tonnes, after increasing over the two previous years, even though economic activity increased by 2.9% over the same period, the International Agency reported yesterday.

‘This is Not Okay’: Protests Across Canada Stand Up for Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protests in support of Wet’suwet’en land defenders in British Columbia have been sweeping across Canada, with rail lines blocked in Quebec and Ontario, the B.C. government’s Speech from the Throne disrupted, and rallies or blockades reported in at least seven provinces.

Norway May Redefine Northern ‘Ice Edge’ to Limit Oil and Gas Drilling

Norway is working on a creative way to limit oil and gas drilling in the offshore areas under its control: it’s considering redefining the “ice edge” that determines how far north fossils can go to pursue exploration activities.

$1.4-Trillion Asset Manager Declares ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Fossil Methane Leaks

One of the world’s biggest asset management firms, the UK’s $1.4-trillion Legal & General Investment Management, is declaring “zero tolerance” for climate-busting methane leaks from oil and gas wells.

Latest Saskatchewan Oil Train Derailment Spilled 1.2 Million Litres

Colossal Fossils Step Up Deepwater Drilling Activity

Democrats Ask Banks to Bar Arctic Drilling

Romanian Utility to Shutter All Coal Plants, Build Gas and Renewables by 2025

Duke Energy Closes 344-MW Coal Plant in North Carolina

Trans Mountain Construction Cost Rises 133% to $12.6 Billion

The projected cost to complete the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has skyrocketed to C$12.6 billion, driving the total price tag above $16 billion when the expense of buying the project on taxpayers’ behalf is taken into account.

Garneau Orders Slower Speeds After Second Oil Train Derailment in Two Months

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has ordered all large trains carrying dangerous goods to slow their speeds along federal rail lines for 30 days, after a second crude oil train in two months derailed near the Saskatchewan hamlet of Guernsey.

Tyendinaga Protesters Block Rail Line Near Belleville in Support of Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protesters from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario have blocked passenger and freight trains through Belleville, Ontario, in a multi-day demonstration of support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia.

Cape Breton’s Donkin Coal Mine Reports 11th Rockfall Since 2017

The Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton is reporting its eleventh rockfall since it opened in February 2017, about 20 metres away from where miners were last working.

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

Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval

With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.

Coronavirus Drives Sharpest Oil Demand Drop Since 9/11

Oil consumption in China is down 20 to 25% this month and at least one market analyst firm has cut its projection for global oil prices, as the coronavirus drives the biggest demand shock fossils have seen since the 2008 economic crash, and the most sudden one since 9/11.

Week 3, January 20: Canada’s Carbon Tax

Carbon taxation is a net benefit to all Canadians and an essential tool as we navigate a rapid transition to renewable energy. The current tax is $30 per tonne in 2020, rising by $10 a year to $50 by 2022, the revenue from which is being returned to Canadians as tax rebates.

Low Oil Prices Drive Suncor to $2.2-Billion Loss in Three Months

RCMP Arrest Six in Pre-Dawn Raid on Wet’suwet’en Support Camp

More than a dozen heavily-armed RCMP arrested six people Thursday morning in a pre-dawn raid at a camp on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, as the force began acting on a court injunction against protesters blocking construction of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Teck Mine a ‘Pretty Easy No’, Liberal MPs Tell Trudeau in Raucous Caucus Meeting

Liberal Members of Parliament are taking a loud stand against Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receiving an “earful” at a caucus meeting Wednesday, Huffington Post Canada reports.

India Threatens to Shut 15 GW of Coal Capacity Due to Air Quality Concern

India’s Central Pollution Control Board is threatening to shutter 14 coal plants representing about 15 gigawatts of generating capacity and assess penalties against their operators, after they missed two deadlines to reduce particulate and sulphur dioxide emissions.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Sees Most Households Coming Out Ahead from Federal Carbon Price

Most households in provinces subject to the federal government’s backstop price on carbon will get more money back in rebates than they pay out in taxes, though less than Ottawa projected last year, the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded in a new analysis released this week.

56% of Americans Cite Climate as Top Concern as Anxiety Crosses Party Lines

More than half of Americans see climate change as the most important issue facing society today, according to a December, 2019 Harris poll released this week by the American Psychological Association.

Pennsylvania Democrats Say Fracking Ban Won’t Fly with State’s Voters

With months to go before a never-ending presidential primary season produces a candidate to defeat Donald Trump, Democrats in the United States are fretting about whether a strong policy commitment to ban oil and gas fracking will dash their chances of winning in Pennsylvania in the general election November 3.

Guardian Bans Fossil Advertising

Placing its own financial well-being on the line, The Guardian has immediately and permanently severed all marketing links to the fossil industry, another example of the UK media outlet’s determination to lead by example in responding to the climate crisis.

Tillerson Sees ‘Open Question’ in Humanity’s Ability to Control Climate Change

After his company and industry spent decades funding groups that denied the reality of climate change or the role of humanity in driving it, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is now questioning whether there’s anything humanity can do anything about it.

Italian Fossil Fined $5.6M for False Advertising on Climate Action

Ukraine Sets Green Deal to Cut Fossil Imports

Academics Pitch Replacing UK Gas Network with Piped Rainwater

Cyprus Plans €290-Million LNG Terminal

Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge

The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.

Saugeen Nation Sends OPG Back to Square One, Voting 86% Against Nuclear Waste Site

The 4,500-member Saugeen Ojibway Nation has voted by an 86% margin to reject Ontario Power Generation’s plan for a radioactive waste repository at the Bruce nuclear station in Kincardine, about 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron, prompting OPG to launch a search for a new location and Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley to declare a “huge victory”.

Shell Says It Has Less Than Eight Years of Oil and Gas Reserves Left

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell says it now has less than eight years of oil and gas left in its available reserves, after reporting for six years in a row that it is using up those reserves faster than it replaces them.

State and Local Progress Can’t Outweigh White House Hostility to Climate Action

While climate action by U.S. states and cities is paying off, with participating jurisdictions now representing nearly 70% of U.S. GDP and population and accounting for more than 50% of national emissions, even the biggest wins can’t make up for the lack of federal support under Donald Trump. 

But with a U-turn in national policy after next January’s presidential inauguration, there’s still a prospect that the United States could nearly halve its emissions by 2030, InsideClimate News reports.

Wind power turbine

Wanted: 400,000 New Recruits for UK Clean Energy Jobs by 2050

The United Kingdom will have to recruit 400,000 people into clean energy jobs of all kinds to achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, according to a recent study conducted for National Grid, the country’s electricity and gas provider.

Trillion-Tree Initiative Could Distract from Climate Action, Analyst Warns

Constraints of time and space, the likelihood of accounting boondoggles, and the fact that forests are inherently unstable climate sinks, ever more so as the planet warms, could make the World Economic Forum’s newly-announced Trillion Tree Initiative a dangerous distraction from what really needs to be done to rein in the climate crisis, the MIT Technology Review warns.

Week 2, January 13: A Green New Deal

In Week 2 of Guy Dauncey’s 26-week climate emergency transition plan, Canada introduces a Green New Deal in partnership with business, labour unions, First Nations and non-profit societies to manage a 20-year transition off fossil fuels in a planned, coordinated manner.

Pickering Council Unanimously Backs Faster Nuclear Shutdown

Big Oil PR Mimics U.S. Community Groups, NASA

Lawyer Under House Arrest Beat Chevron in Court, but ‘Lost Everything’

Yeb Saño: Tar Sands/Oil Sands Morally Responsible for Death, Destruction

Iowa Steel Plant Plans Carbon-Free Production by 2026

Switzerland Shutters 47-Year-Old Nuclear Plant

Scottish Renewables Edge Out Gas for Grid Power

Wind turbines

‘Rare, Happy News’ from Climatologists: Worst-Case Warming Now ‘Increasingly Implausible’

It doesn’t make the climate crisis any less urgent, but there’s a growing view among scientists that humanity’s decarbonization efforts so far have dodged the worst climate outcomes projected in the last global assessment report in 2014.

BlackRock Considers Gas Pipeline Buy, But Sees Renewables and Storage as Biggest Opportunity

After releasing its splashy, new climate-friendly investment policy last month, asset management giant BlackRock is still considering new investment in a US$15-billion gas pipeline network, but is signalling deep, continuing interest in the energy options that will gradually drive fossil fuels out of the market.

France, UK See New Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Development

New lawsuits against fossil fuel development were introduced in two major European countries last week, with five campaign organizations and 14 local governments filing suit against colossal fossil Total SA and ClientEarth taking action against the UK’s approval of the continent’s biggest gas-fired power plant.

Mad Money Host Jim Cramer Declares ‘Death Knell’ for Fossil Stocks

With ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell all reporting weak fourth-quarter earnings, an influential CNBC analyst and former U.S. hedge fund manager says he’s done with fossil fuels.

ExxonMobil Stock Hits Lowest Point Since 2010

Cenovus Puts Up $50 Million for Indigenous Housing

Dangerous to Move Too Fast on Climate Change, Colossal Fossil Warns

With a bushfire calamity devastating Australia, the world’s “riskiest” and “most dangerous” glacier melting at an accelerating rate, and assorted other climate impacts worsening around the world, the retiring CEO of BP has his priorities just right: He’s cautioning colossal fossils against moving too quickly to counter the climate crisis.

CAPE Documents Health Effects of Fracking, Calls for Immediate Ban

Birth defects, cancer, neurological issues, and psychological effects are among the documented impacts of natural gas fracking, prompting the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) to call for a ban on the practice in a literature review released this week.

Jonathan WIlkinson

Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built

Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.

U.S. Agency Sees Renewables Surging But GHG Emissions Nearly Unchanged Through 2050

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is changing its tune on the rise of renewable energy, projecting for the first time in its Annual Energy Outlook that renewable energy will double its share of total generation and dash past natural gas as the country’s leading electricity source before 2050. But the agency paints a deeply troubling picture for the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon pollution dipping briefly this decade, increasing in the 2030s, and falling only 4% overall by 2050, The Hill reports.

Radioactive Fossil Wastewater Still Flows, 40 Years After Damning Insider Report

Nearly 40 years after the American Petroleum Institute (API) warned industry officials that oil and gas wastewater is “significantly” radioactive, regulation remains non-existent, callously leaving largely unaware industry workers and the broader public exposed to life-threatening toxins.

India Would Need Massive New Solar Capacity to Replace 500,000 Coal Jobs

India would need to install 1,000 gigawatts of new solar capacity if it set out to replace the country’s 500,000 coal mining jobs solely with new employment in renewable energy generation, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

HSBC Steps Away from 1,980-MW Coal Plant in Vietnam

Multinational investment bank HSBC is withdrawing its support from a US$2-billion, 1,980-megawatt coal plant in southeastern Vietnam.

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Fracking Industry Driving Massive Boom in Plastic Production

Ignoring a shocking carbon footprint, a broken global recycling system, and ever-growing public outcry, the fossil and petrochemical industries are banking big on plastics, pouring billions into new production facilities as a hedge against the coming crash of the internal combustion engine.

Methane Undercuts Role of Gas in Shift Off Carbon

Equatorial Guinea Looks for $1.4B in Fossil Investment in 2020

Decommissioning Fukushima Will Take 48 Years, Tepco says

Freeland Pushes for Quick Vote on Trade Deal with Big Concessions to Fossils

The Trudeau government is making it a top legislative priority to ratify a trade agreement with the United States and Mexico that is under fire in the U.S. for its concessions to oil and gas companies.

LNG for Marine Shipping Produces Even Higher Emissions Than Fuel Oil

The methane routinely released by container and cruise ships operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) makes them a bigger climate threat than the heavy fuel oil vessels they’re increasingly replacing, according to a bombshell working paper released yesterday by the International Council on Clean Transportation and STAND.earth.

Three-Year Federal EV Incentive Burns Through Half Its Budget in Eight Months

It’s only taken the Canadian government eight months to burn through nearly half of its three-year budget for electric and zero-emission vehicle rebates, leaving the funds at risk of running out by year-end and Transport Minister Marc Garneau considering whether to extend the program to meet the demand.

JP Morgan Chase tower divest

Shunning Big Banks Could Change the Game for Climate Action

As the window for addressing the climate crisis narrows, Americans must stop parking their money in banks that prop up fossil fuels, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben and Hip Hop Caucus President Lennox Yearwood argue in a recent opinion piece for the New York Times.

BlackRock Still Leads the World in Coal Plant Finance, Despite Divestment Promise

There’s a strong whiff of greenwashing in BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s widely-acclaimed promise to dump his company’s coal investments, with the details in the announcement sidestepping the segments of the global coal industry that produce the most carbon dioxide emissions, Germany’s Urgewald coal phaseout campaign warned this week.

UK Accused of ‘Breathtaking Hypocrisy’ for Massive Funding of Overseas Fossil Projects

The Boris Johnson government is facing charges of hypocrisy, after a report by the BBC and the investigative news arm of Greenpeace UK, Unearthed, revealed billions of dollars in public financing for overseas oil and gas projects, enough to trigger 69 megatonnes of carbon pollution per year.

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Climate Campaigners Raise Flags Over Press Freedom Award for Chevron Lawyer

Anti-fossil campaigners are crying foul after the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) chose to honour Chevron lead attorney Ted Boutrous for his work to protect First Amendment freedoms.

Ecuador Communities Push Back on Palm Oil

Support for Trans Mountain Narrows 11 Points, But Majority Still Backs Construction

Arizona Utility’s 100% Clean Energy Target Allows CCS for Gas Plants

Alaska Faces Climate Catastrophe But Can’t Quit Big Oil

BREAKING: Fossils’ ‘Snake Oil’ Will Accelerate Arctic Warming

While fossils joke about taking “snake oil” mainstream to keep ship engines running, the Clean Arctic Alliance is warning that a new low-sulphur fuel formula meant to meet new international standards will accelerate Arctic warming and ice loss by releasing new stores of black carbon, or soot, into the atmosphere.

Reject Teck Wilkinson petition

41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine

Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.

Fossil Industry Sees Financial Value Collapse as Prices Stay Low, Renewables Surge

Despite record production and rapidly-rising greenhouse gas emissions, North American oil and gas companies are coming off a notably bad financial year in 2019, and analysts are predicting they won’t be any happier about their financial results in 2020.

Bellingham Washington

Bellingham, Washington Considers Natural Gas Heating Ban

The town of Bellingham, Washington has become the latest U.S. city to consider banning natural gas for home heating as a way to combat the climate crisis.

New Decade Opens with Cascade of U.S. Coal Plant Closures

The new decade is opening with a mounting cascade of plant closures in the United States coal industry, with investors abandoning ship, revenue being driven down by record-low gas and renewable energy prices, and communities asking increasingly tough questions about the economic, environmental, and health impacts of the coal-fired generating stations in their midst.

Michael Chong, MP

Demands for Climate Action Put Pressure on Conservatives in Canada, Australia

From Canada to Australia, the resistance to climate action generally associated with conservative governments may be showing early signs of burning to the ground—though CBC isn’t minimizing the challenges the next Conservative Party of Canada leader will face reconciling the urgency of the climate crisis with a largely westernized political base.

Fracking Tied to Two Central Alberta Earthquakes in 12 Months

Two earthquakes in central Alberta in 2018 and 2019 were caused by nearby shale oil fracturing operations, a research team from the province’s geological society and energy regulator has concluded.

Farmland Restoration Would Save 14.08 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Farmland Restoration places #23 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Restoring 424 million acres of abandoned farmland to rich agricultural life by 2050 would, after a total investment of $72 billion, sequester 14.08 gigatons of carbon dioxide while providing a financial return of $1.3 trillion—and an additional 9.5 billion tonnes of food.

Climate, Fake News, Threat of Nuclear War Push Doomsday Clock Back to 100 Seconds

Trump Took Hacksaw to Environmental Protection Act After BP Told Him To

Analysts See Pitfalls in ‘Blue Carbon’ Offsets

Ex-Alberta Liberal Leader Declares Tax Revolt Over Deadbeat Fossils’ $173M Debt to Rural Municipalities

A former opposition politician in Alberta is calling for a tax revolt after Premier Jason Kenney sided with deadbeat fossils against the rural municipalities they’re depriving of C$173 million in local tax revenue.

Wet’suwet’en Supporters Blockade Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal

A group of protesters produced decidedly mixed reactions Monday, after blocking the busy Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Vancouver Island in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs fighting the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline.

power pylons sunrise grid

57% of Australians See Direct Effects of Bushfires as Power Grid Faces Peak Cooling Demand

With more than half the population directly affected by raging bushfires, a record-hot summer is producing frequent power outages on an electricity grid powered largely by the coal industry that Australia’s climate-denying government is still striving to defend.

Utah State Capitol

Conservative U.S. States Take Tentative Steps, But Won’t Call it Climate Action

Across major swaths of the United States, legislators in some of the country’s most conservative enclaves are making tentative moves to take action on the climate crisis—though many of them are still unwilling to call that crisis by its proper name.

Surging Quebec SUV Sales to Drive Oil Consumption 30% Higher This Decade

Surging sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are on track to drive Quebec’s oil consumption up by 30% over the next decade, according to a study released by HEC Montréal.

Oil and Gas Air Pollution is Visible from Space

Fossils Devote 0.8% of Investment to Climate Solutions, New IEA Figures Show

The oil and gas industry only devoted 0.8% of its capital investment in 2019 to clean energy, a category that combined renewable energy with dollars thrown at more fanciful attempts at carbon capture and storage, according to figures in an International Energy Agency (IEA) report that largely amplifies the industry’s contention that it’s committed to climate solutions.

Thunberg Demands Action, Fossils Tout Carbon Capture as Greenpeace Calls Out Fossil Investors at Davos Forum

The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was a study in contrasts yesterday, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg slamming the world’s governments and business elites for climate inaction while the fossil industry touted carbon capture and storage as the path to climate stability.

March to Stop Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline

Ottawa Won’t Offload Trans Mountain to First Nations While Legal, Political Risk Remains

The federal government won’t try to sell off the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the new Indigenous owners it hopes to attract as long as the project is beset by legal and political risk, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week.

Scott and DeRochie: Coastal GasLink Buy Undercuts Pension Fund’s Duty to Alberta Retirees

Buying a 65% stake in the C$6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeastern British Columbia was the wrong way to invest Alberta’s public pension fund, Adam Scott and Patrick DeRochie of Shift: Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health argue in an op ed last week for the Edmonton Journal.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Former Coal Commissioners Slam Germany’s Phaseout Plan

Former members of Germany’s coal commission are accusing the national government of breaking the compromise behind its much-acclaimed agreement to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038, producing a final plan that must now be updated to achieve quicker emissions reductions in line with the country’s climate targets.

Angola Taps Colossal Fossil Total to Drill World’s Deepest Offshore Oil Well

North Macedonia Dumps Coal for Solar

UK’s Sizewell Plant to Become ‘Nuclear Island’ as Sea Levels Rise

Analysts Downgrade Stock as Husky Energy Spirals Downward

Mixed Results for 2019 Show Slight Rise in Renewable Energy Investment

World renewable energy investment hit US$282.2 billion last year, slightly higher than 2018’s total of $280.2 billion, with investment declining in China but hitting a record high in the United States, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports.

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Microsoft Pledges $1 Billion to Become Carbon-Negative by 2030

Software giant Microsoft is embarking on a four-year, US$1-billion effort to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, aiming to remove more CO2 than it emits by 2030 and offset all its historic emissions by 2050.

Chetwynd, B.C. ‘Renewable Hydrogen’ Plant Gets $200M Cash Injection from Macquarie

A new C$200-million “renewable hydrogen plant” is about to get off the ground in Chetwynd, British Columbia with a boost from the green energy arm of Australian infrastructure investment giant Macquarie Capital.

€40-Billion Compensation Plan to Drive Germany’s Coal Phaseout by 2038

National and regional governments in Germany have sealed the deal on a €40-billion (US$45-billion) plan to phase out coal by 2038 and fund a realistic transition for workers and communities that still depend on the industry.

Thunberg Calls for Immediate End to Fossil Extraction, Subsidies as WEF Convenes in Davos

Global warming may be set to dominate this year’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort town of Davos, with FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg scheduled to open a debate on how to avert “climate apocalypse” and everyone assuming the session will start on time despite an earlier, no doubt long-winded appearance by Donald Trump.

Construction on Cross-Border Segment of Keystone XL to Begin in April

Construction on the 1.9-kilometre segment of the contested Keystone XL pipeline that crosses the Canada-U.S. border is set to begin in April, according to a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Montana.

Fossils Acknowledge Climate Litigation Hitting Their Bottom Line

Forbes: Fossil Subsidies Are Real, Do Damage

Stricken Fukushima Plans Renewable Energy Hub

Alaska pipeline winter

Supreme Court Rejects B.C.’s Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, concluding that the province’s bid to regulate the flow of heavy oil through its territory would defeat the federal government’s constitutional authority to approve and regulate interprovincial pipelines.

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

Teck Mega-Mine Shows ‘Misguided and Reckless’ Disregard for Low Oil Prices

Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mega-mine in Alberta reflects a “misguided and reckless” disregard for economics, given a review panel’s approval that assumed an unrealistically high world oil price “for years to come”, according to an analysis released this week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Emails Show Trump Justice Department Teaming Up with Fossils in Climate Liability Lawsuit

Donald Trump’s Department of Justice coordinated efforts with fossil companies trying to fight off a climate liability lawsuit from the cities of Oakland and San Francisco in early 2018, with one DOJ lawyer talking about working with industry lawyers as a “team”, according to 178 pages of emails obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and shared with InsideClimate News.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Greek Court Strikes Down Environmental Permits for Two Coal Plants

Greece’s top administrative court, the Greek Council of State, has struck down the environmental permit for a proposed new coal plant, Meliti II, and cancelled the permit for a station that is already in operation, Meliti I, following a lawsuit launched by ClientEarth, WWF Greece, and Greenpeace Greece.

LED lighting energy efficiency

LED Retrofit Cuts Lighting Costs 94%, Points to Fast ROI for Commercial Buildings

An LED lighting replacement project at a manufacturing plant in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata cut lighting costs 94% while providing better illumination, delivering the equivalent of a one-day return on investment after factoring in federal and provincial incentives.

Fracking Undercuts Colorado Coal Community’s Shift to Organic Farming, Renewables, Tourism

A rural Colorado community that turned to organic farming, renewable energy, and tourism to help it break its dependence on coal mining is now looking over its shoulder at oil and gas fracking projects that could undercut its hard-earned gains.

Swedish Fossil Sees Dimming Prospects for Offshore Oilfield in Norwegian Arctic

Norway’s hope of opening up a major, new cluster of Arctic oil and gas developments may be slipping farther from reality, after Stockholm-based Lundin Petroleum reduced its resource estimate for its Alta discovery in the Barents Sea and announced it wouldn’t be developing the site on its own.

Pieridae Plans Decision This Year on Nova Scotia LNG

Appeals Court Deals Further Setback to Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Wyoming Coal Nears Its End

Pickering nuclear

False Alarm Draws Attention to Delayed Pickering Nuclear Shutdown, Triggers Surging Demand for Emergency Iodide Pills

Millions of people across Ontario woke up in a panic early Sunday morning, after an emergency alert falsely announced an incident at the Pickering nuclear station east of Toronto.

UK Pension Funds Press Barclays Bank to Stop Lending Money to Fossils

In the United Kingdom’s first-ever shareholder climate resolution aimed at a bank, a group of 11 pension and investment funds is urging Barclays to stop lending money to fossil fuel companies.

2019 Stock Index Results Show Fossil Companies as Worst-Performing Segment

The fossil energy sector was the worst-performing segment of the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index last year, despite a healthy increase in world oil prices, with the value of energy stocks increasing 7.9% compared to 29% for the index as a whole.

Roger Federer tennis Credit Suisse

Thunberg Outclasses Tennis Pro Federer Over Credit Suisse Sponsorship

#FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg opened her 2020 advocacy season last week by going after tennis great Roger Federer. So far, writes Globe and Mail sports columnist Cathal Kelly, the Swedish teenager is crushing the 20-time grand slam champion 6-0, 6-0.

Rooftop Solar Would Save 24.6 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Rooftop Solar places #10 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with 7% global usage by 2050 projected to cut 24.6 gigatons of emissions by 2050 at a net cost of $453.1 billion, but net savings of $3.46 trillion.

Telus Pension Plan Faces Losses in Calgary’s Slumping Fossil Economy

U.S. Coal Plant Shutdowns Save More Than 26,000 Lives

EPA Ignores Health Benefits of Coal Rule It’s Working to Undercut

U.S. Grid Regulator Boosts Coal Over Renewables

South Portland Needs Emergency Plan for 100 Coastal Oil Tanks

Oilfield Services Giant McDermott Heads for Bankruptcy

Siemens headquarters Joe Kaeser Adani Australia

Australia in Photos: Siemens Backs Massive Adani Coal Mine as 30,000 Protest Climate Inaction

German industrial giant Siemens decided earlier today to back Australia’s intensely controversial Adani/Carmichael coal mine. The announcement came days after 30,000 people braved driving rain in Melbourne protesting their country’s refusal to recognize devastating wildfires as a climate disaster or take action on the broader climate crisis.

Stop Indigenous Evictions at Coastal GasLink Site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Urges

Canada must stop the eviction of Wet’suwet’en and Secwepemc protesters blockading the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, guarantee that no force will be used against them, and prohibit the use of lethal weapons on the site, B.C. Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said Friday.

Gwich’in Urge Major U.S. Banks to Refuse Future Arctic Oil and Gas Investment

The Gwich’in Steering Committee in Alaska is setting its sights on a small number of major U.S. banks that could ultimately determine whether fossil companies drill for oil in the exquisitely sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

World’s Biggest Fund Manager BlackRock Joins Climate Accountability Campaign

The world’s biggest investment fund manager, BlackRock Inc., announced last week that it is joining Climate Action 100+, a two-year-old campaign pressing the world’s biggest corporations to take action on the climate crisis.

Cenovus Sets ‘Aspirational’ Net-Zero Target, Pledges 30% Carbon Intensity Cut by 2030

Alberta tar sands/oil sands fossil Cenovus Energy is promising to cut its carbon emissions per barrel produced 30% by 2030, reclaim 1,500 decommissioned oil wells by the same year, hit “net zero” emissions by 2050, and expand its work with Indigenous businesses by C$1.5 billion.

‘Good News-Bad News’ Report Shows U.S. Emissions Down 2% in 2019

The United States saw its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decline last year, according to new analysis last week by the New York-based Rhodium Group, with reductions in the electricity sector coming on strong and fast enough to offset increases in other parts of the economy.

BC Hydro Dismisses Concerns About Fracking-Related Earthquakes Near Hydro Dam Sites

BC Hydro is dismissing concerns raised by a dam safety specialist who repeatedly warned about the risk of fracking-induced earthquakes in a region that is home to some of the province’s biggest hydroelectric dams, according to internal documents obtained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Trump Middle East Strategy: Trade Blood for Oil

Long before an early January geopolitical crisis led to an errant missile attack on a civilian airliner, with 176 lives lost, Donald Trump was making it clear that his Middle East strategy amounted to trading blood for oil.

Wave and Tidal Power Would Save 9.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Wave and tidal power ranks #29 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, this alternative energy source could eliminate 9.2 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide at a cost of US$412 billion. Drawdown calculates that the installations would produce a net financial loss of $1 trillion over three decades, but the investment would result in substantial emission reductions over that time.

Ex-U.S. Energy Secretary Perry Rejoins Energy Transfer Partners Board

Canada’s Second-Largest Pension Fund Steps Away from Coal, Oil

Cleanup Among the Highest Costs in Fossil Bankruptcies

U.S. Coal Market Cap Down 59% Last Year

Equinor Promises to Cut Production Emissions 40% by 2030

Don’t Let Fossils Manipulate You, NAACP Urges Local Chapters

Fossils Brace for Scrutiny as Carney Warns Half of World Oil Reserves Could Become Worthless

Canadian fossils ended the year bracing themselves for closer scrutiny after departing Bank of England Governor Mark Carney declared that half of the world’s oil and gas reserves could become stranded assets, leaving millions of peoples’ investments “worthless”.

London Eye UK England

London, New York Mayors Urge Major Cities to Dump Fossil Investments

London, UK Mayor Sadiq Kahn and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are urging every major municipality in the world to dump their fossil fuel investments, after C40 Cities released a toolkit to help them do just that.

U.S. Fossils Launch PR Campaign to Protect Fracking, Continue Drilling on Public Lands

The American Petroleum Institute is launching a multi-million-dollar advertising blitz to counter plans by some Democrats to end new oil and gas drilling on public lands and introduce a national ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Reuters reports.

New Trump Regulation Would Take Climate Out of the Discussion on New Infrastructure Projects

The Trump administration is planning revisions to the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to remove the requirement for federal agencies to take the climate crisis into account in their assessments of new pipelines, highways, and other infrastructure projects.

Tesla Boosts Annual Deliveries by 50%, Exceeds Combined Market Value of GM and Ford

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla Inc. entered the new decade on a roll, with its deliveries up 50% in just a year and its market value suddenly higher than General Motors’ and Ford’s combined.

Campaigners Press Scotland to Ban Fossil Lobbying at COP 26

The next United Nations climate conference, COP 26, is still 10 months away from convening in Glasgow. But campaigners are already calling for the Scottish government to help pressure the United Kingdom to keep fossil lobbyists away from the negotiations.

Wind Farm, Gas Plant to Pay Compensation for UK Blackout

UK’s Hinkley C Reactor Faces More Delays, Higher Debt

U.S. Utilities Snub Peabody’s ‘Clean’ Coal Award

UN Human Rights Panel Calls for Pause on Trans Mountain, Site C, Coastal GasLink

The committee that monitors a United Nations convention to end racial discrimination is calling on Canada to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Site C hydro megaproject, and the Coastal GasLink pipeline until they receive approval from all affected First Nations.

Green-Themed Christmas Pageant Triggers Outrage in Saskatchewan Oil Town

The angry backlash against a green-themed Christmas pageant at a small-town Saskatchewan public school revealed the fear-filled defensiveness produced by a precarious western Canadian fossil economy—while offering unsettling proof of the “social power” Big Oil holds over vulnerable people still dependent on the industry for a paycheque.

Shell On Track to Miss Targets for Green Energy Investment

Royal Dutch Shell is falling far short on its green energy investment plans, with an estimated US$2 billion allocated so far and just a year to go to meet its $4- to $6-billion goal for the period from 2016 through 2020.

Government-Backed Report Urges China to Stop Building Coal Plants, Use Existing Ones Less

A new report co-authored by China’s government-backed National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) says phasing out construction of all new coal-fired generating stations is the most economically achievable way to hit the country’s long-term climate targets.

Climate-Driven Temperatures Will Kill More in 2100 than Infectious Diseases Today

Climate-driven temperature shifts will kill more people in 2100 that infectious diseases do today, making health and safety impacts an important factor in calculating the social cost of carbon, says University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone, co-director of the university’s Climate Impact Lab.

Chevron Paid No Taxes in 2018 on $4.5 Billion in Profit

Minnesota Court Forces New Wisconsin Gas Plant to Probe Climate Impacts

U.S. Renewables Set to Surpass Coal in 2021

Saskatchewan Sets 600,000 Barrel/Day Target for 2030

California Cap and Trade Isn’t Bringing Emissions Down

Hula Hoops Were Small Part of Global Petro-Plastics Boom

Australia bushfires volunteer firefighter

24 Dead, Coal Seam Ignites as Terrified Evacuees Flee Australian Bushfires

Terrified Australians fled to the water from a beach where they had taken refuge from raging bushfires, authorities reported at least 24 people dead and several times as many missing, ecologists estimated that 480 million animals had been affected, and the 15 million acres burned so far exceeded the size of Switzerland, as the ravaged states of New South Wales and Victoria moved into the heart of annual wildfire season. Two new coal seam fires were travelling underground and expected to burn for months, and coal-friendly Prime Minister Scott Morrison was driven away by hecklers when he tried to visit a front-line community described by one evacuee as “hell on Earth”.

Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Contractors, Expect RCMP Push After Judge Extends Injunction Against Blockade

Wet’suwet’en land defenders issued an eviction notice to a Coastal GasLink pipeline work site near Houston, British Columbia but were expecting a stepped-up RCMP presence in their territory, after a provincial supreme court judge extended an existing interim injunction against their blockade of the controversial, C$6.6-billion project.

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

Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.

Review of Colossal Fossils’ Climate Promises Separates Spin from Substance

Though Big Oil increasingly acknowledges the threat of climate change, and the corresponding need to do its part to reduce emissions, trillion-dollar business-as-usual production plans, a low-bar emphasis on emissions intensity, and buck-passing to consumers and society at large remain the industry’s primary order of the day.