SNAPSHOT: Renewables and Efficiency Jobs Surge While Fossil Employment Sags

 
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At the level of raw numbers, job creation in 2018 was one of the simplest, most straightforward pieces of the climate change puzzle: while renewable energy and energy efficiency delivered more than 10 million jobs around the world and promised many more in the near future, oil and gas producers were trying to actively trim their work force, while a crashing coal industry continued to lay off workers by the hundred.

In May, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported that renewables had created 10.3 million jobs worldwide as far back as 2016 and was on track to employ as many as 28 million people by 2050. An early September report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was even more optimistic, projecting that “bold action” on climate could deliver more than 65 million low-carbon jobs and at least US$26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.

Environmental Entrepreneurs identified the cities that had become “America’s top 50 clean energy job engines,” with more than half of the national total of nearly 3.2 million jobs. “Each day, more than three million Americans wake up and get to work building our clean energy economy,” E2 reported. “These workers install solar panels atop our homes and commercial buildings, manufacture wind turbines, and reduce wasted energy by making our homes, schools, and offices more energy efficient. And they now work in every zip code in the country.” Renewables employment was booming in the United States in spite of trade action against the country’s solar industry and assorted uncertainties at the state level, and New York’s new energy efficiency target included training for 19,500 workers.

Canadian fossil lobbyists continued to tout their industry’s commitment to job creation despite continuing efforts to “de-man” the industry, and U.S. fossils tried to court Hispanic and African-American communities by promising employment in a re-emerging offshore drilling industry. Labour-saving efficiencies wiped out thousands of fossil jobs in Alberta, although Canada’s railways went on a bit of a hiring spree as oil-by-rail shipments set new records. A moment of relatively high oil prices produced optimism but not euphoria in the Canadian oilpatch, as analysts conceded that even a full fossil recovery would not bring a huge spike in employment. Suncor introduced driverless trucks and cut 400 tar sands/oil sands jobs, and Parkland Institute political economist Ian Hussey cited declining jobs and tax revenue as evidence that the tar sands/oil sands era is over.

Globe and Mail columnist and self-described climate hawk Denise Balkissoon said a commitment to a just job transition would help bridge the divide over the intensely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. I’m glad the oil sands are a sunset industry: they’re an absolute environmental nightmare,” she wrote. “That doesn’t mean those who work there are bad people, but that everyone in Canada needs to help them move on.”

The Dogwood Initiative shone a light on the coastal jobs in British Columbia that would be put at risk by Trans Mountain. Colorado ski operators and their employees stood to lose billions due to warmer, drier winters; the Trump administration’s attack on tailpipe emission standards was set to undercut the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry; and questions about the future of work in a warming world were being met with deafening silence.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives issued a just transition report calling for a stronger social safety net for workers affected by the post-carbon transition. Ottawa unveiled its 2030 transition plan for coal workers and communities and appointed Hassan Yussuff of the Canadian Labour Congress and Lois Corbett of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick to co-chair its 11-member Just Transition Task Force. In early November, the task force called for a longer time span for retraining grants for coal workers. “It’s easy to say, ‘You’re going to phase out an industry, this is government policy,’” Yussuff said. “The next thing is, what will take its place? Because you can’t just shut down a coal generation facility.”

A study for Efficiency Canada calculated that the pan-Canadian climate plan will generate 118,000 energy efficiency jobs through 2030, Alberta introduced a new training course for solar and wind farm technicians, and a technicians’ course in Texas had students “climbing wind turbines to the middle class.” Coal miners and their work ethic were finding a home in the green economy.

In the United States, meanwhile, government data showed a purported coal industry recovery evaporating. The looming closure of the Navajo coal-fired generating station in Arizona imperiled 800 jobs, a West Virginia coal mine closure cost another 400, and eight coal executives took away US$10.2 million in salary and bonuses when the Westmoreland Coal Company went bankrupt. Oakland cancelled a coal export lease, Kentucky’s coal industry continued to decline despite Trump’s overblown promises to the contrary, Korean banks refused to finance the massive Adani coal mine in Australia, and the global coal industry was on track to shed 100,000 jobs this decade.

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Countries must invest US$1.8 trillion in climate adaptation funding by 2030 to prevent a world of “climate apartheid”, in which the wealthiest pay to protect themselves from sea level rise and mounting food shortages while everyone else suffers.

India’s Coal Sector Faces Stranded Asset Risk as Demand Falls, Water Supplies Run Short

India’s coal sector faces a multitude of serious threats, as customers report they have more supply than they need, water supplies run short, and affordable renewable energy and hydropower increasingly undercut demand for their product, states a report released last week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Applied Economics Clinic at Boston’s Tufts University.

Chicago Startup Pitches Clean Energy for Affordable Housing

Renewables Investment to Hit $2.6 Trillion from 2010-2019

Global renewable energy investment is on track to hit US$2.6 trillion in this decade, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance study released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Frankfurt School’s UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

Solar+Storage Costs Less than Grid Electricity in Six European Cities

Solar plus storage is already cost-competitive across much of southern and northern Europe, and will hit grid parity across the continent by 2025, according to a new study conducted by a solar photovoltaic researcher with support from industry.

Australian Agency Downgrades Great Barrier Reef Status from ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’

An Australian government agency has downgraded its outlook for the Great Barrier Reef to “very poor” for the first time, shining a light on what the Financial Times describes as a “fierce battle between environmental campaigners and the government over the country’s approach to climate change”.

Alberta Solar Developer Catches International Eye with 600-MW Project, Canada’s Biggest Ever

Southern Alberta is drawing international attention after the province approved Canada’s biggest-ever solar-electric installation, the 600-megawatt, privately-financed Travers Solar project in Vulcan County.

Sticker Campaign Counters Ontario Carbon Tax Propaganda as Ford Government Launches Supreme Court Challenge

A new non-partisan volunteer group in Ontario is handing out free pro-carbon-tax stickers to counter the mandatory propaganda campaign mounted earlier this year by the province, just as the Ford government announced it would appeal a court ruling that the federal carbon tax is permitted under the Canadian Constitution.

Environment and Climate Place High with Voters, But Carbon Tax Carries ‘Political Perils’

Canadian voters are concerned about climate change and see the environment as a top issue in the upcoming federal election campaign, but aren’t keen on climate action that they’ll have to pay for personally, according to new research released last week by the Public Policy Forum’s Digital Democracy Project.

Don’t Let ‘Neanderthals’ Block Climate Action, Kerry Urges, as Australia Faces Winter Heat and Drought

With parts of southern and eastern Australia suffering through a winter of intense heat and drought, and the Australian Medical Association declaring health emergency, former U.S. secretary of State John Kerry called for immediate action on the climate crisis and took what The Guardian called “veiled swipes” at governments that aren’t responding.

Eastern U.S. Gears Up for 19.3-GW Offshore Wind Boom

The east coast of the United States is on the verge of a 19.3-gigawatt boom in new offshore wind capacity by 2035 that would dwarf the 30 MW currently operating offshore across the country, according to analysis released last week by S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts.

PEI Steps Away from Supreme Court Carbon Tax Challenge

Liberals Would Not Raise Carbon Tax During a Second Term, But Might Talk About It: McKenna

A re-elected Liberal government that took office this fall would not raise the federal carbon tax above its current 2022 threshold of C$50 per tonne, but might open consultations on a higher price toward the end of its second term in office, Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna clarified Monday, after a series of conflicting news reports dating back to the weekend.

Ontario Government Lays Groundwork to Abandon Legal Fight Against Federal Carbon Tax

Less than two months after a landmark Ontario Court of Appeals ruling upheld the federal carbon tax, Premier Doug Ford may be preparing the ground to abandon his much-publicized court challenge against the program.

Candidates Push Back After Democratic Party Refuses to Hold Climate Debate

The U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC)’s recent decision to double down against any kind of climate debate that would find the party’s candidates sharing a stage—and airing a wide spectrum of opinions on what climate action should look like—has left a number of 2020 hopefuls angry, youth climate activists disillusioned, and a corruption watchdog crying foul.

Turkey Postpones or Cancels 70 GW of Coal Capacity Since 2009

Turkey has either indefinitely postponed or officially cancelled an estimated 70 gigawatts of new coal capacity since 2009, as a faltering economy and a determined environmental movement all but permanently buried the country’s earlier plans to expand its thermal coal power plant fleet.

Microgrids Can Deliver Decentralized Power, Boost Renewable Energy Use and Improve Public Health

Microgrids come in at #78 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Defined as locally-managed electricity generation systems, microgrids can be powered by renewable resources like micro-wind, solar power, in-stream hydro, and biomass energy—whatever resources are available. Drawdown doesn’t quantify the carbon reduction value of microgrids independently, but includes their positive impact in its calculations for each energy source.

Jaccard: Scheer Climate Plan Would Put Canada 100 Megatonnes Farther Behind Its Paris Target

Equipped with neither a carbon price nor meaningful regulation, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s proposed climate plan would ultimately find Canada’s emissions 100 megatonnes higher by 2030 than they would be under the Liberal Party’s existing strategy, writes climate and sustainability expert Mark Jaccard.

Sanders Unveils $16.3-Trillion Climate Plan as Inslee Withdraws from Presidential Race

A 2030 deadline to convert the United States electricity and transportation systems to 100% renewable energy is a centrepiece of a US$16.3-trillion Green New Deal platform released last Thursday in Paradise, California, site of last year’s devastating Camp Fire, by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

‘Flight Shame’ Produces Uptick in European Train Travel

The desire to lead “climate-friendlier lives”—an impulse driven by a mixture of shame and anxiety—is one of the reasons more and more young Europeans are choosing trains over planes as their mode of travel around the continent. (The ever-escalating hassle of flying coach is another.)

Mayor of Impoverished French Town Combines Green Strategy with Social Supports

Undaunted by 28% unemployment, and the fact that Marie Le Pen’s xenophobic National Rally party continues to appeal to a majority of his constituents, the Green Party mayor of an impoverished coastal town near Calais is determined to prove that strong environmental policy means a better life for working people.

Ohio Nuclear Bailout Allows Utility to Cancel Union Contracts

Financial Risk of Climate Change Has Economists, Ratings Agencies Worried

The potentially devastating economic and financial impact of unrestrained climate change has been coming into focus in several recent news stories, with global GDP on track to fall as much as 7.2% by 2100, accountants and ratings agencies taking note, and an economic historian warning the United States Federal Reserve to take action against a risk that could trigger the next global economic crash.

Michigan Utility Deal Could Trigger 584 MW of New Solar Capacity

Michigan ratepayers stand to benefit significantly from a proposed settlement that will find the state utility finally paying the true “avoided cost” of buying power from solar developers, which will in turn allow those developers to build 584 MW of new capacity over the next four years.

WoodMac Sees Peril in Trump-China Trade Dispute as Energy Decarbonization Lags

The increasingly bitter trade dispute between the Trump administration and China is shaping up as a new barrier to getting global greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Blockbuster News Investigation Reveals ‘Culture of Silence’ in Fossil Health and Safety Violations

National Observer and Global News are out with a blockbuster investigative report that alleges potentially deadly health and safety problems in the western Canadian oilpatch, driven by a pervasive “culture of silence” in which accident reports are falsified, would-be whistleblowers are at risk of being fired and ostracized, and not a single fossil in Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever been charged or penalized for filing deliberately misleading paperwork.

South Africa Inquiry Drives Calls for Community Power Ownership

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

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

Town Sees Population Rise, Crime Surge After Devastating California Wildfire

Solar Price Beats Grid Electricity in Every City Across China

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

Fossils Face Crisis Attracting Millennial Work Force

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

India Plans to Cut Coal Imports, Boost Domestic Production

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

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

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

https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynenf/3725860708

Greens Unveil Job Transition Plan for Fossil Fuel Work Force

With the federal election campaign about to hit high gear, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Vancouver last week to unveil a plan to extend the federal government’s existing job transition plan for coal workers to oil and gas.

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

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

European Investment Bank Promises Fossil Funding Phaseout in 2020

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

Ecofiscal Commission Cites Six Places Where Carbon Price is Working

Global Water Crisis Requires Local Solutions, Not More Megaprojects

Human-scale water conservation methods, both ancient and modern, not big-budget, Delhi-directed megaprojects, will be critical to helping India survive and gain resilience as monsoon rains fail and temperatures rise, says journalist and environmental activist Meera Subramanian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Sees Energy Storage Competing Against Natural Gas Peaker Plants

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Barrow_Offshore_Wind_Farm

Biggest-Ever Renewables Procurement Makes New York a U.S. ‘Epicentre’ for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind developers Ørsted and Equinor and industrial workers along the eastern United States coast were the biggest winners last week as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced contracts for 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind while signing his state’s Green New Deal into law.

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

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

Decentralized Renewables Create Jobs, Boost Economic Activity in India, Kenya, Nigeria

Off-grid energy systems already employ as many people as centralized utilities in India, Kenya, and Nigeria, and that total is expected to more than double by 2022-23, Power for All reports in its first-ever census of employment in rural electrification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prefab Passive Solar Offers Simpler, Faster Construction, Healthier Homes, Lower Emissions

With prefabricated housing gradually gaining ground in North America, Canada is beginning to see a small surge in the number of companies producing prefab, high-performance wall panels for passive solar homes.

France Slaps New Eco-Tax on Most Air Travel

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

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

Pact for a Green New Deal Holds 150 Town Halls, Reaches 7,000 Canadians in Two Months

wo months after a diverse collection of Indigenous, civil society, environmental, and labour groups launched the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, organizers have issued a report summarizing key recommendations submitted to date by thousands of interested citizens.

Rising Carbon Price Helps Kill Off European Coal Plants

Climate Damages Could Hit $69 Trillion by 2100

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

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

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

Finland Puts Climate at Top of EU Policy Agenda

Climate change is set to surge to the top of the European Union agenda, at least temporarily, with Finland beginning its six-month term in the European Council presidency this month.

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

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

Ottawa Finalizes Carbon Price Plan for Large Industrial Emitters

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Federal Carbon Tax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oregon state capitol ZehnKatzen/Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shell Brings Gulf of Mexico Expertise to Massachusetts Offshore Wind Boom

Queensland Coal Workers Switch to Renewables

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

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

Tories Propose Carbon Tax Repeal After House Passes Climate Emergency Motion

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario NDP Promises Net-Zero Carbon Economy by 2050

Ontario would move toward a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 under an as-yet uncosted plan released by New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath during her party’s annual convention last Saturday in Hamilton.

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Committee Urges Federal Support for Northern Climate Resilience

The climate resilience of Canada’s Northern communities—many of them Indigenous—is an urgent priority that calls for better financial and technical support from the Trudeau government, the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic concludes in a recent report.

Autonomous Vehicle Use Could Hit 75% by 2040

Autonomous vehicles are included in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” as an up-and-coming climate solution that hasn’t yet become the norm.

Renewables Employed 11 Million in 2018, IRENA Reports

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

Maine’s Green New Deal Stresses Work Force Development

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

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

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

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

Opposition Pans New Brunswick Carbon Tax ‘Propaganda’ Stickers

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

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

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

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

Cogeneration Would Save 3.97 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Carbon Tax Mustn’t Shield Fossils from Climate Liability

Trump’s Saviour for Ohio Auto Plant is a ‘Corporate Cipher’

Solar Transforms Remote Togo Village

Ontario Climate Plan Costs Taxpayers More Than Federal Carbon Tax

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

Recycled Paper Would Save 900 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Recycled paper ranks #70 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, recycled paper could eliminate 900,000 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions at an initial cost of US$573.5 billion, with eventual savings that are too indefinite to calculate.

UK Renewables Investment Falls by Half, Jobs by One-Third

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coal-Powered South Africa Adopts Minimal Carbon Tax

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

Tesla On Track to Meet New York State Jobs Target

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency Alberta May Survive UCP Cuts, But Homeowners, Installers Still Face Uncertainty

Alberta’s new United Conservative Party (UCP) government may be stepping away from one of its more rash campaign promises, opting to review each of the 20 programs run by Energy Efficiency Alberta rather than scrapping the entire effort.
But uncertainty over the agency’s future is still leaving homeowners in limbo and could cost the province thousands of jobs.

High Gas Prices, Government Rebates Drive Hot B.C. Market for Electric Vehicles

Sky-high gas prices, together with up to C$10,000 in government rebates, are forecast to give a serious boost to an already healthy electric vehicle market in British Columbia.

Global Solar Set to Surge, But Still Falls Short of Paris Targets

The solar industry is expecting a continuing surge in the years ahead, according to two reports released earlier this month, though the rapid growth still falls short of what will be needed to keep average global warming below the minimum international target of 2.0°C.

Energy Revolution Must Give Low-Income Communities Better Access to Affordable Technologies

It isn’t an energy revolution if it doesn’t “provide low-income communities with better access to affordable clean energy technologies”, Yale Environment 360 reports, in a post that points to the nearly one-third of U.S. households that struggle to cover their energy bills.

Community Solar in Minnesota Helps Veterans, Families in Need

GAF Energy Claims Faster Installation Rate by Merging Roofing, Home Solar

With “hundreds” of installations in the last year, solar roofer GAF Energy and its parent company, global roofing manufacturer Standard Industries, claim they’re getting their product to market faster than Tesla Energy, just months after they announced their entry into the U.S. market.

Failed Tesla Microgrid Leaves Puerto Rico’s ‘Forgotten Island’ in the Dark

Clean Energy Jobs Growing 60% Faster than National Average, Study Shows

Clean energy employs nearly 300,000 Canadians from coast to coast, and the sector’s job count was growing 60% faster than the Canadian average in 2017, according to a 10-province survey conducted by Navius Research and released today by Clean Energy Canada.

Pre-Election Messaging Rolls Out as Ottawa Confirms Federal Carbon Tax for Alberta

With Ottawa confirming last week that it will impose its backstop price on carbon after the Jason Kenney government moved to eliminate Alberta’s carbon levy, fossil-friendly pundits are working to frame climate and carbon as a winning issue for Conservatives in this fall’s federal election.

Ford’s Anti-Carbon Tax TV Ad Backfires, But Indigenous Budget Cut Hits Home

The Doug Ford government in Ontario faced widespread ridicule last week for an inept anti-carbon tax video that delivered the opposite of its intended message when played on mute.

New York State Rejects $1-Billion Natural Gas Pipeline

Presenting their decision as rooted in a responsibility to protect state waters from pollution, New York State regulators have rejected a contentious US$1-billion dollar natural gas pipeline that would have linked their state to the gas fields of Pennsylvania.

Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chair Calls for Nuclear Reactor Ban

The former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the country’s nuclear industry should be banned, after concluding that the dangers of climate change no longer outweigh the risk of catastrophic reactor accidents.

Women in U.S. Solar Earn Only 74¢ on the Dollar

Spurred by new annual statistics that show women in the U.S. solar industry earning 74¢ on the dollar compared to men, and the sector’s executive teams clocking in at 88% white and 80% male, the Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have released a best practices manual and launched a social media challenge.

Stop New Coal Plants by 2020, Cut Fossil Subsidies, UN Secretary General Urges

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is calling on countries to stop new coal plant construction by 2020, accelerate the shutdown of existing facilities, and “tax carbon, not people” in order to avert the “total disaster” that will occur if climate change is not brought under control.

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

Two Emergency Resolutions, One New Climate Platform as Parties Position for Fall Vote

Three federal political parties in Canada are talking about the climate crisis this week, with the Liberals and New Democrats tabling duelling emergency resolutions in the House of Commons and the Green Party releasing a five-page plan that includes a call to double the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 60%.

Canadian Recycling Industry Scrambles After China Begins Refusing Plastic Waste

A year after China declined to continue serving as the world’s recycling bin/rubbish heap, Canadian municipalities are scrambling to figure out what to do with their blue box waste, a task made tougher by consumer habits, ill-judged petrochemical subsidies, and a tenaciously linear economy.

IEA Places Canada’s Gas-Guzzling Vehicles Dead Last in Fuel Efficiency

Canada comes in dead last in the International Energy Agency’s latest ranking of average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre travelled, University of Calgary economist Blake Shaffer reports in a commentary for Global News.

Albertans Anxious About Future of Solar, Energy Efficiency Rebates

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

GM May Sell Lordstown Plant to EV Pickup Maker

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

Provinces Shouldn’t Opt Out of Federal Climate Effort, 64% of Canadians Say

By nearly a two-thirds majority, Canadians believe it’s unacceptable for provinces to opt out of national efforts to fight climate change, and oppose governments like Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives spending taxpayers’ dollars to propagandize against measures like the federal carbon tax, according to a new Nanos Research poll conducted for the Globe and Mail.

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Appalachians See Fraud, Condescension in ‘Coal to Coding’ Retraining Promise

Two years after buying into a shiny new non-profit’s promise to train them in stable and lucrative computer jobs that would turn “coal country into coding country,” residents of Appalachia are suing for fraud—but also seething at the arrogant condescension with which outsiders all too often treat them.

Steelmaking Giant Tata Wants Netherlands to Share Cost of Emission Controls

Carbon Farming Could Sequester Billions of Tonnes of CO2, with U.S. Pilot Project as One First Step

A concerted, well-supported effort by the world’s farmers to restore and protect soil health could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by as much as 65 parts per million (ppm) from the current, alarming level of more than 413 ppm, participants heard during an April 10 carbon farming webinar hosted by Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fossil Subsidies Hit a ‘Staggering’ $5.7 Trillion in 2017

Global fossil fuel subsidies were expected to total US$5.7 trillion in 2017, and U.S. subsidies in 2015 exceeded the country’s profligate military spending, according to analysis released earlier this month by the International Monetary Fund.

New Zealand Promises Net Zero by 2050 for All Greenhouse Gases Except Methane

New Zealand will cut net emissions to zero for all greenhouse gases except methane by 2050, under a draft law sent to parliament on Wednesday.

Canadian Coalitions’ Election Platforms Call for Faster Action on Climate

With national elections in Canada just 5½ months away, three different coalitions are out with non-partisan campaign platforms aimed at propelling all the federal parties toward faster, more ambitious action on climate change.

Solar, Wind Displace 35 Times as Much CO2 Per Year as CCS Has Ever Sequestered

Solar and wind energy displace roughly 35 times as much carbon dioxide each year as carbon capture and storage (CCS) has sequestered in its entire history, DeSmog Blog reports, citing a new analysis by CleanTechnica.

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

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

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

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

Climate Change is the Real Job Killer, Makes Flying Less Safe, Flight Attendants Warn

Climate change—not climate solutions like the ones envisioned in the U.S. Green New Deal—is the real job killer, the union representing the world’s airline flight attendants argues in a recent post for Vox.

Saskatchewan’s Moe Vows Supreme Court Appeal After Judges Uphold Federal Carbon Tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is vowing a Supreme Court appeal after his province’s Court of Appeal ruled Friday that a federal carbon tax imposed on the province is constitutional and falls within Ottawa’s authority.

Kenney’s Big Promises Face Economic Realities, Grassroot Expectations

On his first visit to Ottawa last week as Alberta premier, Jason Kenney rattled sabres about national unity and fossil regulation, briefly stepped back from a campaign promise to abandon his province’s cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and mostly managed to avoid the economic and political realities and grassroot expectations already confronting his new government.

California Restaurants Add Optional 1% Climate Fee

Spanish Socialists Coast to Election Win with ‘Sweeping’ Ecological Transition Program

Spaniards threw their weight behind a Green New Deal program Sunday, after re-electing the pro-climate Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE).

Energy Efficiency Employs 436,000 Canadians, More Than Twice the Total in Oil and Gas

Canada’s energy efficiency sector accounted for more than twice as many jobs as oil and gas in 2018, with 436,000 permanent positions, and is on track to create about three times as many new positions as fossils are at risk of losing in 2019, according to data released this week by Calgary-based ECO Canada.

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

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

Solar+Storage Dominates Natural Gas Across Most U.S. Grid Areas

Solar+storage is beginning to undercut natural gas “peaker” plants in Arizona on price, and is now in a position to supply more affordable peak-hours electricity in every part of the United States, 8minuteenergy Renewables CEO Tom Buttgenbach asserted in a recent post by PV Magazine.

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

Saudi Oil Imports Rise 66% Since 2014, with Irving Oil Refinery Calling the Shots

Canada’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia have been increasing steadily since 2014, producing serious concerns for human rights campaigners and political talking points for the fossil lobby—but the problem traces back to business decisions at the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick, not to pipeline delays in Alberta or political machinations in Ottawa, according to a CBC News report.

Canada On Track to Hit Paris Target 200 Years Late as NEB Endorses Carbon Tax

Carbon taxes are an efficient way to reduce energy use and related carbon pollution in homes and businesses, fostering greater innovation and adoption of clean energy technologies, Canada’s non-partisan National Energy Board (NEB) concludes in a report issued last week.

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Climate Change Boosts International Inequality, Cuts India’s GDP by 30%

Fifty years of rising global temperatures have significantly impoverished equatorial countries like India and Nigeria, producing economic losses on the scale of that North America faced during the Great Depression, while wealthy northern nations like Canada and Norway have thrived in the early stages of the climate crisis, says a study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ontario Chamber Opposes Mandatory Gas Pump Stickers

Nevada, Washington State Declare 100% Clean Energy Targets

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

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

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

New York Passes Landmark Bill to Cut Buildings’ Carbon Emissions, Energy Use

New York City has adopted a plan to reduce carbon pollution from large buildings by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030—roughly a 26% cut from present-day emissions—with an approach that limits the cost to low-income residents and creates local jobs.

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

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

Booming Community Solar Sector Promises Access for Low-Income Households

Determined to make good on the promise of equity contained in the phrase “community solar,” more than a dozen U.S. states and non-profit developers are working hard to ensure that low-income Americans have fair access to the power of the sun.

Micro Wind Would Save 200 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Micro wind places #76 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. If its share of global electricity generation increases to 1%, it could eliminate 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a cost of $US36.1 billion, against savings of $19.9 billion.

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

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

Climate Change Devastates Honduran Coffee Farms, Drives ‘Desperate’ Northbound Migration

Small-hold coffee farmers from Honduras number increasingly in the caravans of desperate people streaming north out of Central America, as the devastation wrought by climate change makes what was once at least a tenable agricultural endeavour a near impossible one.

‘Timid’ Transit Operators Have Canada Missing Out on Electric Bus Conversions

With electric buses on track to replace 270,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel this year, Canada is at risk of “missing the bus” due to transit operators’ timid response to a quickly-growing trend, Clean Energy Canada warned last month, in a release republished by Below2C.

Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for Low-Income Multi-Family Households

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

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

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

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

Analysis: If Kenney Takes Alberta, Trudeau Finally Gets to Make a Decision

With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) looking virtually certain to win the Alberta provincial election next week, news analysts are beginning to weigh in on the implications for Canadian pipeline politics and climate strategy.

Canadian Utilities Need 20,500 New Workers by 2022 to Replace Departing Boomers

Canada’s utilities will need at least 20,500 new workers by 2022 to keep power plants and transmission systems in operation, the Electricity Human Resources Council warns in a report issued yesterday.

B.C. Seaplane Company Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Harbour Air is setting out to become the world’s first all-electric airline—not by developing a new fleet for delivery in the mid-2020s, but by taking the 40, mostly single-engine piston and turbine aircraft it already operates and equipping them with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.

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

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

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

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

Indonesia Sees Path to Prosperity in ‘Mainstreaming’ Low-Carbon Development

Indonesia’s planning minister has said the country will choose a low-carbon development pathway after a government report found it could significantly boost the economy.
By 2045, the centenary of Indonesia’s independence, citizens could be as wealthy as those of the Netherlands or Germany today, the report found. But it will need to make careful choices across all sectors of the economy.

Montana Conservationists Push Coal Ash Cleanup as Job Creator

Pennsylvania Energy Efficiency Bill Would Create 30,000 Jobs

B.C. to Log Old Growth Forest ‘to Oblivion’, Release Thousands of Tonnes of CO2

A British Columbia agency is proposing to log the province’s last ancient stands of old-growth forest “to oblivion”, Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) and Sierra Club BC warned in a release last week.

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

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

Poor Community Bears the Brunt as ‘Racial-Ethnic Disparities’ Hit Bronx’s Asthma Alley

The low-income Bronx neighbourhood of Mott Haven, also known as “Asthma Alley”, is receiving some profile as an example of the “racial-ethnic disparities” in exposure to pollution captured in a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Meili: Saskatchewan Wants Climate Action, Not ‘All-or-Nothing Political Games’

Saskatchewan will be asking the wrong question on climate change until it looks beyond the carbon price debate and considers how to build a strong, diversified economy and shift to clean energy, provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili writes in an opinion piece for the Regina Leader-Post.

Midwestern U.S. Loses Hundreds of Miles of Levees After ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Flooding

Severe flooding across midwestern U.S. states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri has taken out hundreds of miles of levees, leaving officials to compare the failed system to Swiss cheese, on the heels of mid-March “bomb cyclone” storm conditions that inundated more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) of farmland.

Australian Farmers Face Suicide Risk as Multi-Year Drought Turns from ‘Crisis’ to ‘Marathon’

A brutal, multi-year drought brought on by climate change is taking its toll on the mental health of Australia’s farmers, just as it has in India, leading to higher suicide rates as farm incomes and the communities that depend on them suffer.

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

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

Chu: Renewables at 1.5¢/kWh Could Lead to a ‘Partial Hydrogen Economy’

Scientists should start thinking about what they’ll be able to do with renewable electricity in the near future when its cost falls to 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour—and that future might include hydrogen less expensive than the equivalent produced from natural gas, former U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu said earlier this week.

WEBINAR SUMMARY: Connect Climate Crisis to Peoples’ Daily Lives, Pike Urges

At a time when public opinion on climate change is shifting in some “pretty positive ways”, climate communicators’ goal should be to make the reality of the climate crisis “understandable and relatable” in peoples’ daily lives, engagement specialist Cara Pike told a February 21 webinar hosted by Antioch University.

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

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

Canada Warming at Twice the Global Average, Deep Emission Cuts and Adaptation ‘Imperative’, Ottawa Concludes

Climate change is warming Canada twice as fast as the global average, Northern Canada is heating up nearly three times as fast, and three of the last five years were the country’s warmest on record, Environment and Climate Change Canada revealed this week, in the first of a series of Canada’s Changing Climate Reports (CCCR) the department plans to roll out between 2019 and 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orwellian Doublespeak Aside, Pricing Carbon was a Conservative Idea, Globe and Mail Notes

In a post that evokes the doublespeak of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the Globe and Mail editorial board calls out Ontario and federal Conservatives’ all-out battle against the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, noting that the climate measure championed by the Liberals was originally a conservative idea.

Lookback from 2050: NPR Essay Shows How We Got Climate Change Under Control

It’s 2050. We’ve got climate change under control. And we got the job done through mass electrification, reimagining cities, protecting forests, and changing the way cows are fed.

Egypt, Liberia Train More Women for Solar Jobs

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

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

High Winds, Warm Spring Bring Power Prices Below Zero on U.S. Great Plains

Affordable Batteries with Renewables Undercut Coal, Natural Gas for Reliable Grid Power

Lithium-ion storage battery costs have fallen 35% since the first half of 2018, making unsubsidized renewable energy with storage cost-competitive coal and gas to deliver reliable, “dispatchable” grid power, according to an analysis of more than 7,000 projects released earlier this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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

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

GM to Hire 300 for New EV Plant in Michigan

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

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

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

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

Korean Company Breaks Ground on Job-Creating Battery Plant in Georgia

Ontario Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs, Delays Promise to Cut Hydro Rates

Ontario is eliminating seven key energy efficiency programs and bringing eight others under direct provincial government control, earning scorn from industry experts who see efficiency as the best tool to reduce electricity costs for consumers.

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

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

Volvo Sees EV Margins On Par with Internal Combustion by 2025

Volvo expects to be able to make as much money on electric vehicles as it does on internal combustion cars by 2025, Reuters reports.

Great Lakes Face Severe Impacts from Rapid Warming

Rapid warming in the Great Lakes is likely to bring more extreme storms, degraded water quality, increased erosion, and challenges for farmers, the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center warns in a report issued last week.

Two Alberta Projects Aim for Wider Dialogue on Energy Futures

With the Alberta election campaign taking on the look and feel of a brutally divisive, month-long political brawl, a couple of recent news reports have focused on new strategies seeking common ground on the province’s shift to a post-carbon future.

Advanced Energy Creates 3.5 Million U.S. Jobs in 2018

Advanced energy employed 3.5 million Americans in 2018, and just over two-thirds of the jobs were in energy efficiency, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) reported last week.

Equity, Fairness Connect Climate Community with France’s Yellow Vests

In Paris on Saturday, March 16, more than 100,000 people according to organizers—36,000 according to local authorities—poured into the streets to demand climate action.

How Carbon Pricing Deals with Climate as an ‘Externality’

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

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

Australia Faces Economic Disruption as Japanese Investors Abandon Coal

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

SF City Utility Pivots to 100% RE, Job Creation

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

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

VW Announces EV Push, Staff Cuts as SEC Files Blockbuster Dieselgate Suit

Volkswagen announced plans last week to build 22 million new electric vehicles in the next decade, boost the number of new EV models it introduces from 50 to 70 by 2028, and cut 5,000 to 7,000 jobs by attrition by 2023, just a day before the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against the company for allegedly defrauding investors in the Dieselgate scandal.

New LNG Man Camp Opens in Kitimat

Ottawa Decides Against Linking Officials’ Pay to Green Performance

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Transition Task Force Urges Financial, Training Support for Workers Caught in Coal Phaseout

A “pension bridging program” for workers who retire early, special provisions for employment insurance and wage top-ups, and funding for private health coverage, education, skills-building, and relocation for new employment are among the recommendations from the task force the Canadian government commissioned last year to map out a just transition for workers in the country’s coal industry.

Germans Strongly Support Energy Transition, Want Costs More Fairly Shared

The Economist Slams ‘Ludicrous’ Tax Breaks for Polluting Private Jets

Fossils Threaten Job Losses After Colorado Moves to Regulate Oil and Gas Health and Safety

U.S. fossils are rumbling about a threat to hundreds of thousands of jobs after the transport and energy committee of the Colorado state senate voted 4-3 to refocus the state’s oil and gas regulations on health and safety.

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Park Service Scientist Loses Job for Resisting Climate Censorship

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merkel Declares Support for Student Strikers as #FridaysForFuture Extends to Dozens of Communities

With #FridaysForFuture reporting school strikes breaking out in dozens of communities around the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking heat from her own political party for declaring that she “strongly welcomes” the rise of student protests for climate action.

Ocean Warming Leads to Declining Fish Stocks, with Developing Regions Hardest Hit

Ocean warming has delivered a significant decline in sustainable fish catches over the last century, but holding average global warming to 1.5°C would help protect future catches worth billions of dollars per year, according to two new studies.

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

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

Future of Canadian Auto Manufacturing Hinges on Electric, Autonomous Vehicles

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

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

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

Five New Energy Policies Would Add 135,000 Jobs in Florida

Energy Efficiency Delivers 25% of UK’s Economic Growth from 1971 to 2013

Energy efficiency delivered one-quarter of the economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1971 and 2013, far more than conventional wisdom usually assumes, according to a new study in the journal Energies.

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

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

Trump Tariffs Cost U.S. 18,000 Solar Jobs, But Industry Survey Shows Rebound Ahead

Though Donald Trump’s tariffs on solar panels has produced rough weather for solar jobs in the U.S. since their imposition in late January 2018, capping a two-year period that saw 18,000 jobs lost, the Solar Foundation’s latest report offers a cautious forecast for clearer skies and a rebounding industry in 2019.

Arizona in Line for Crashing Property Values as Climate Impacts Mount

With property values plummeting across south Florida as prospective buyers prepare for the reality of rising sea levels, Arizona real estate will be next to feel the savage bite of climate change as researchers forecast that rising temperatures will leave the Grand Canyon State feeling like Kuwait at its most humid.

Norway to Compensate Indonesia for Cutting Deforestation Emissions

UK Institute Sees Climate Change Bringing Economic Collapse

Renewables Transition Could Create 162,000 Wisconsin Jobs

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

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

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

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

South Africa Carbon Tax to Take Effect June 1 After Long Delay

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

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

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

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

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

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