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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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.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiandevelopmentbank/22186030516

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.

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

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.

Exotic Carbon Capture Techniques Prop Up Fossil Interests, Aren’t Needed to Hit 1.5°C, New Study Asserts

The urgency and scope of the climate crisis are being needlessly exploited to drive fringe ideas like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM) from the margins to the mainstream, according to a hard-hitting report issued last week by the Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law and Berlin’s Heinrich Böell Foundation.

Métis Receive 50% Stake as Alberta Announces Three New Subsidy-Free Solar Farms

Alberta will double its solar capacity and save C$3.9 million per year after commissioning 94 megawatts of new generation under a 20-year contract with Canadian Solar Solutions and Conklin Metis Local 193, which has a 50% equity stake in the project.

IESO Transmission Request Would Boost Ontario Hydro Imports from Quebec

A request last week from the independent agency that runs Ontario’s electricity grid could open the door for the province to import inexpensive, renewable electricity from existing hydroelectric facilities in neighbouring Quebec.

Analysts See Oil Industry’s Twilight, But Not Soon Enough to Hit Climate Targets

Two different analyst reports this week show the oil industry moving into its twilight, but the projected rate of decline is still far too slow to hit a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming and hold off the worst effects of climate change.

Baltimore Utility Cuts Peak Demand by 300 MW, Puts Money in Ratepayers’ Pockets

Six years after it launched its Smart Energy Rewards program, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) is reporting that local energy efficiency measures have reduced peak electricity demand by more than 300 megawatts, cut operating costs by almost US$200 million, and left ratepayers with more money in their wallets.

Renewables Could Head Off EU Natural Gas Boom as Germany Phases Out Coal

Renewable energy may be poised to head off a boom in natural gas demand that European producers expected to see in the wake of Germany’s coal phaseout plan.

Tropical Staple Trees Would Save 20.19 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Tropical staple trees rank #14 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. This option could eliminate 20.19 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide at a cost of $US120.1 billion, producing savings of $627 billion.

Stewart: CAPP is Asking Albertans to ‘Vote for Climate Destruction’

Albertans this spring and Canadians this fall should not be fooled into voting for climate destruction just because Big Oil wants them to, Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.

Green New Deal Comes to Life in Portland Affordable Housing Project

Affordable, green, and employing immigrant Americans, a new housing project in a low-income neighborhood in Portland, Oregon is being cast as an early glimpse of all that a Green New Deal could bring.

Gap in Low-Carbon Construction Skills Costs Ontario $24.3 Billion Per Year: CaGBC

A gap in low-carbon construction skills—from construction trades to designers, architects, and engineers—is costing Ontario C$24.3 billion in annual economic activity and another $3.7 billion per year in lost tax revenue, while impairing the province’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) concluded last month.

Solar Aggregation Deal Opens Wider Door for Corporate Renewables Procurement

A recent deal which will see 42.5 megawatts of solar power from a 100-megawatt solar project in North Carolina divided among five smaller companies is being heralded as a critical step in corporate energy procurement.

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.

Trans Mountain’s Fee Plan for Fossil Customers Represents $2-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy

Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook for another $2-billion fossil fuel subsidy if the National Energy Board accepts the latest request from the federal Crown corporation that now operates the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, economist Robyn Allan reports in a National Observer exposé.

Green New Deal Brings Climate Transition to the Mainstream, Omits Key Issue of Urban Sprawl

With supporters hailing U.S. Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution as a breakthrough and some of its predictable opponents declaring it wildly unrealistic, a handful of analysts are pointing to an important omission in the plan unveiled last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

U.S. Injunction Demands Halt to New Fossil Infrastructure Until Youth Climate Case is Heard

The 21 youth plaintiffs in the landmark Juliana v. United States are asking a judge for a temporary injunction against new fossil fuel leases or development until their case, which has been subject to multiple delays by the Trump administration, can be settled.

Moving Energy Efficiency to the Tax Base Would Raise Ontario Power Costs, Increase Emissions, Efficiency Canada Warns

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is at risk of driving up electricity costs, stifling energy innovation, and driving up the need for peak electricity supplied by carbon-emitting natural gas plants if it follows through on a plan to fund energy efficiency programs through the tax base, rather than consumers’ power bills, Efficiency Canada warns in a new policy brief.

Green New Deal Envisions Net-Zero Emissions in 10 Years Through WWII-Scale Effort

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released an outline of the Democrats’ Green New Deal yesterday, in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution that would bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in 10 years by “dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources”.

Declining Production, Wall Street Skepticism Could Produce Death Spiral for U.S. Shale Oil

Despite headline-grabbing production numbers, the shale oil industry in the United States may be heading into a death spiral, according to a recent analysis on Resilience.org.

Union Pitches Postal Stations as Local Green Hubs

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is trying to sell Canada Post on a plan to connect neighbourhood post offices to a greener, more just future by expanding their services to include community banking and electric vehicle charging stations.

Community Hydro Transforms Rural Economy in Nicaragua

Green New Deal Draft Commits to Net-Zero GHG, Leaves Out Fossil Phaseout Deadline

With Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey set to outline Democrats’ Green New Deal legislation within days, a recent draft includes a commitment to “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” but appears to leave out an explicit deadline for phasing out oil, natural gas, and coal development in the United States.

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

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

Oilfield Services Giant Sees Future in Renewables

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

WTO Chief Denies Trade Impact on Climate Despite His Own Agency’s Findings

When the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) says trade has no impact on the environment or climate, we should all be worried. His own organization’s literature tells a different story.

Fort McMurray Adopts 75-Kilometre Ban on Fly-In/Fly-Out Work Camps

Staring down fierce opposition from tar sands/oil sands companies, councilors from Fort McMurray and the surrounding region have voted to impose a moratorium on fly-in/fly-out work camps that critics increasingly identify as benefiting only the fossils’ bottom-line, while extracting steep costs from surrounding communities.

U.S. Utility Solar Developer Refocuses, Lays Off 20% of Work Force

Yukon Carbon Tax to Deliver First Rebates This Fall

Ireland Searches for ‘Effective, Popular’ Carbon Tax that Works

Calgary Indigenous Youth Summit Spotlights Renewable Energy Careers

Kenya Aims for Universal Electricity Access by 2022

Russia Considers Cap-and-Trade Law

Community Effort Delivers Solar Microgrid for Washington School District

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

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

Germany to Phase Out Coal by 2038, Pay €40 Billion for Regional Transition

Germany will shut down all its coal plants by 2038 and pay out at least €40 billion (US$45.7 billion) to support a just transition in affected regions if the country accepts recommendations finalized Saturday by a government-appointed coal commission.

Deloitte Sees 21 Million EVs in 10 Years, Cost Parity in 2021/2022

Another major consultancy is predicting electric cars’ dominance over conventional vehicles, with Deloitte projecting EVs’ total cost of ownership matching internal combustion as early as 2021 in the UK and 2022 globally, and no later than 2024.

100% Renewables, Land Restoration Can Meet 1.5°C Target Without ‘Unproven’ Geoengineering Techniques

A rapid shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050, combined with land restoration efforts to boost the resilience of natural ecosystems on every continent, would be enough to hold average global warming below 1.5°C without resorting to unproven and potentially dangerous “negative emissions” techniques, according to a two-year modelling effort conducted by 17 leading scientists and funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

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

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

Fossil Threatens to Move Workers Out of Fort McMurray Over Restrictive Work Camp Policy

Tar sands/oil sands producers and elected councillors in Fort McMurray got into a heated debate earlier this week over a proposal to move more of the work force out of the “man camps” surrounding the community.

EV Surge Won’t Cut Into Global Oil Demand: IEA

Electric car use may be growing exponentially, but they are doing little to curb rising carbon emissions and oil demand, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

TBT: What If Canada Had Spent $200 Billion on Wind Instead of Fossils?

In June 2018, international environmental journalist Stephen Leahy asked a provocative question: What if Canada had invested $200 billion in wind energy over the last two decades, rather than pouring it into the tar sands/oil sands?

IRENA Pegs Renewables as Most Affordable Power for Gulf States

Canadian EV Strategy Stalls Out Amid Federal-Provincial Wrangling

Ottawa’s plans for an ambitious electric vehicle strategy appear to be stalling out, months after it was supposed to be released, due to difficulties reaching agreement with provincial and territorial governments on the scope of the strategy.

Fact Check: No Support from Economists for Ford’s Claim that Federal Carbon Price Will Trigger a Recession

Economists are steering clear of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s wild, apparently unsubstantiated assertion earlier this week that the federal government’s floor price on carbon will trigger a recession. And it appears that the report his office cited to back up the statement draws the opposite conclusion.

Low Uptake in Black, Hispanic Communities Shows Diversity Challenge for U.S. Rooftop Solar Firms

Majority African-American and Hispanic-American census tracts in the United States are far less likely then majority-white areas to have solar panels on their roofs, according to a new study in the journal Nature Sustainability.

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

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

Tesla Cuts Work Force by Another 7%

Massive U.S. Oil and Gas Expansion Imperils Global Climate Goals, Oil Change Warns

The United States is “gearing up to unleash the largest burst of new carbon emissions in the world between now and 2050,” with an oil and gas expansion equivalent to nearly 1,000 coal-fired power plants, according to an explosive new analysis released last week by Oil Change International and 17 other organizations.

10 Arguments for Carbon Pricing: ‘Don’t Throw Any Tool Out of the Toolbox’

After a multi-year fight for political acceptance, carbon pricing is suddenly under attack from all sides of the political spectrum. Lyn Adamson, co-chair of Toronto-based Climate Fast and member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, has 10 reasons not to abandon a key tool in the climate action toolbox.

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

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

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

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

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

Falling Fossil Employment Drives Down Calgary Office Values

Internal Combustion Growth is ‘Over’ in China, Spelling Trouble for Global Oil Markets

The rise of electric cars in China spells trouble for anyone planning to sell fossil fuels into an increasingly volatile global market, U.S.-based author and journalist Gregor Macdonald told CBC last week.

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

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

Geopolitical Power Shifts to Produce ‘Winners and Losers’ as Off-Fossil Transition Takes Hold

The shift off fossil fuels will produce geopolitical “winners and losers”, and international cooperation will be needed to manage the disruption, according to a commission report released last week during the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) annual general assembly in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton Non-Profit Turns Renovations Into Jobs for Youth At Risk

2017 B.C. Wildfires Were Seven to 11 Times Worse Due to Human Climate Influence

Climate change was a factor in the wildfires that swept through 12 million hectares of southern British Columbia in 2017, and will likely make future outbreaks more common, according to a study published late last year in the American Geophysical Union’s Earth’s Future journal.

TransCanada Plans June Construction Start for Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is hoping to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline in June, with the aim of bringing it online in early 2021.

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

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

Negotiations Seek ‘Peaceful Solution’ at Unist’ot’en After RCMP Arrest 14 Blocking Coastal GasLink Pipeline

Negotiations were under way between RCMP and hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Tuesday night, aimed at finding a “peaceful solution” to a standoff that led to 14 arrests when police dismantled the first of two checkpoints set up to stop TransCanada Corporation’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

Climate ‘Tipping Point’ in Africa Dictates Urgent Action to Mitigate Risks, Safeguard Progress

Atmospheric warming due to climate change has brought Africa to a tipping point that requires urgent action to “mitigate risks and safeguard a decade of social and economic gains,” the UN News Centre reported last month, citing a UN Development Programme (UNDP) assessment released during COP 24 in Katowice, Poland.

Municipal Opposition, Earthquake Restrictions Could Put an End to UK Fracking

A wave of municipal opposition, on the heels of falling natural gas prices, is raising serious questions about the future of hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom, just days after the company with the most extensive exploration rights in the country warned that it won’t proceed unless regulations to protect communities from fracking-related earthquakes are eased.

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

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

Energy Efficiency Still Costs Less Than U.S. Renewables, Delivering $790 Billion in Savings Since 1990

Even with renewable energy costs plummeting, energy efficiency is still the least expensive source of energy services in the United States.

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

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

Detroit’s Democratic Design is About Realizing Community Power

Renewables Mean Jobs for Rural Midwestern U.S.

Policy Moves, Front-Line Action Could Make 2019 a ‘Breakthrough Year’ for Climate Solutions

After a bruising year of climate change news, including alarming reports of far worse in the future and an incomplete result at the United Nations climate conference in Katowice, Poland, 2019 is dawning as something improbable: A year of hope for effective climate action.

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

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

Departing Ohio Governor Asks Musk to Save Doomed GM Assembly Plant

UK Labour Party Promises ‘Economic Revolution’ to Tackle Climate, Create Green Jobs

An “economic revolution to tackle the climate crisis, using the full power of the state to decarbonize the economy and create hundreds of thousands of green jobs in struggling towns and cities” would be in the offing for the United Kingdom if the opposition Labour party formed a government, The Guardian reports, citing an interview with the party’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.

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

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

Pelosi Unveils Climate Crisis Panel, But Details Leave Progressives Fuming

With the new United States Congress due to be sworn in today, the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is already at odds over the composition and mandate of the reconstituted House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, which had been seen as a possible pathway for the Green New Deal advocated by the progressive wing of the caucus.

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

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

Accountability Letter a ‘Fair’ Way to Share Cost of Climate Impacts, Victoria Mayor Asserts

Victoria, British Columbia is stepping into the spotlight as one of the 16 municipalities across the province asking fossil producers to cover their share of the cost of the climate impacts communities can expect to encounter in this century.

Alberta Pans New $1.65-Billion Fossil Lifeline from Ottawa

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

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

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

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

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

Jaccard: Carbon Taxes are ‘Good Policy, Bad Politics’ When Regulations Do Most of the Work

One of Canada’s leading climate economists and modelers is out with a Globe and Mail opinion piece that questions the decades-old narrative that positions carbon pricing as the cornerstone for effective climate policy.

Investors Foresee Massive Financial Crash Without Rapid Response to Climate Change

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

International Climate Action Must Include Limits on Fossil Fuel Supply

Constraints on fossil fuel supplies are needed alongside effort to reduce demand if the countries that participated in COP 24 earlier this month hope to gain control of the climate crisis, geographers Philippe Le Billon of the University of British Columbia and Berit Kristoffersen of Arctic University of Norway write for Policy Options.

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

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

Luxembourg Becomes World’s First City to Make All Transit Free

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

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

CNRL Aims to Cut Costs with Driverless Truck Field Test

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

Analyst Points to Common Cause Between Yellow Vests, Climate Campaigners

The massive gillets jaunes (Yellow Vest) protests in France may have been triggered by fuel taxes, but that doesn’t mean the participants in those marches are opposed to climate action. What they’re looking for is climate solutions and a just transition that flow from the bottom up, writes Samantha Harvey, a fellow with the San Francisco-based EDGE Funders Alliance.

Solar Jobs Grow Around Chicago’s ‘Toxic Doughnut’

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

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

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

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

Canada Sets Coal Phaseout Rules with Relaxed Emissions Target for Coal-to-Gas Conversions

Canada has published a set of regulations that largely eliminate coal-fired power generation by 2030 and have received praise from the Pembina Institute as “a historic step in protecting public health and sending a signal for clean energy investments”.