SNAPSHOT: Renewables and Efficiency Jobs Surge While Fossil Employment Sags

 
0
0
Share:
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share
Skeeze/Pixabay

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.

LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

Use Pandemic Stimulus to Create Clean Energy Jobs, Canadian Associations Urge Ottawa

The federal government’s economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic must signal continuity in climate policy, provide “sufficient, sustained, and sustainable stimulus”, and use existing programs to quickly support clean energy solutions, a dozen leading energy transition associations said last week, in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coordinated by Clean Energy Canada.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oil_Derrick,_near_Ponoka,_Alberta,_Canada.jpg

Alberta Demands Fossil Relief While Neglected Tech Firms Plan Their Exit

While Alberta blasts Ottawa for slow delivery of its fossil industry bailout package, the Jason Kenney government is hearing from high tech entrepreneurs who are preparing to leave the province over its steadfast refusal to build a more diversified economy.

COVID-19 Risks Prompts Calls to Shut Down Fossil and Hydro Man Camps, Pipeline Construction [Sign-ons]

From the Site C hydro megaproject to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, from the tar sands/oil sands in northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, fossil workers with little opportunity for physical distancing are finding themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19—and in most cases, raising anxieties for nearby First Nations and other rural communities with limited resources to deal with an outbreak.

Post-Pandemic Employment Will Hinge on Green Energy as Fossil Jobs Slide

With projected oilfield job losses of 30% by the end of 2020, the fossil sector is likely to remain highly embattled after the threat of COVID-19 has abated, with little ability to create new jobs. But the job-intensive green energy sector could be set to flourish, particularly if policy-makers include some variant of a Green New Deal in their plans for secondary stimulus packages, a new analysis shows.

Ontario Gas Tax Pours $1.89M Into Peterborough Transit

Indianapolis Solar Installer Sees New Demand, Creates Jobs in Midst of Pandemic

BP Pledges to Protect Jobs for Three Months

Green Economy Increases Demand for Science, Analytical Skills

56,000 Demand Retraining for Oil and Gas Workers, Funding for Renewables, as Fossils Push for Bailout

With the Canadian government still tight-lipped at week’s end on the bailout package it’s crafting for the country’s pandemic-ravaged fossil sector, 56,000 online petitioners demanded the government invest in the oil and gas work force, not shareholders, while new analyses showed how the right investments could position the country for a stronger, greener recovery.

COVID-19 Could Slash Emissions 5%, But Permanent Cuts Depend on Structural Change

The COVID-19 pandemic could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 5% this year, producing the deepest reduction since the end of the Second World War. But analysts warn the advantage could be “vanishingly thin” without economic recovery packages that emphasize a shift off carbon.

Child cycling with a mask

Air Pollution, Lack of Clean Water Increase Infection Risk for Poorer Communities

Chronic health problems—often owing to high levels of pollution—and poor access to clean water are putting poor, Indigenous, and non-white communities across the world at greater risk of infection and hospitalization in the face of COVID-19.

Amazon Climate Strikers Now Demand Better Virus Protection

A group of Amazon employees, fresh from last year’s strikes for climate action, are now extending their fight to demand stronger COVID-19 protections for their fellow fulfilment centre and warehouse workers.

COVID Denial Mirrors Climate Attitudes Based on Demographics, Voting Preference

Older, right-leaning Canadian men are far more likely than their fellow citizens to consider the threat of COVID-19 to be exaggerated, and they’re proving more reluctant to practice recommended prevention measures like scrupulous handwashing and social distancing, according to recent research by the Angus Reid Institute.

Week 14, April 6: Renewable Electricity

In 2017, the generation of electricity from fossil fuels produced 74 Mt (10.3%) of Canada’s emissions. Renewable energy has become the cheapest option for new power generation. Onshore wind and solar PV power are now less expensive than any fossil-fuel option, without financial assistance.

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Economy Standard Aimed at Cleansing the Air, Cutting Emissions

With his country in the grips of an out-of-control pandemic of respiratory disease, Donald Trump is pressing ahead with his long-standing plan to gut vehicle fuel efficiency standards designed to cleanse the air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in what InsideClimate News describes as the country’s “largest anti-climate rollback ever”.

Pembina Praises Ottawa for ‘Staying the Course’ on Carbon Price Increase

By sticking to its original plan to increase its floor price on carbon from C$20 to $30 per tonne April 1, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is sending a “positive signal to investors” and delivering the certainty needed to build a more resilient economy, the Pembina Institute said in a release yesterday.

‘Now Is the Time’ for Food Security Planning, Dauncey Urges

With the pandemic posing an increasing threat to food security, policy-makers need to be thinking hard, and quickly, about how to protect the supply chain—from farm to store to table—with timely attention to building greater long-term resilience into the systems that sustain our food supply, Canadian author and climate hawk Guy Dauncey writes in a recent post.

Extreme Weather Response Holds Answers to COVID-19’s ‘Slow-Motion Hurricane’

The COVID-19 pandemic is a kind of “slow-motion hurricane”, and lessons from past hurricane disasters can help guide us through it, according to a seasoned expert in extreme weather events. What’s needed is calm, non-partisan leadership that takes decisive, expertise-based action, emphasizes collective protection of the vulnerable, and tries to pre-empt both foolish and selfish behaviours. 

‘Epic’ Oil Crash Crowns Coal as the Priciest Fossil

Coal—once the world’s cheapest form of energy—is now the most expensive after oil prices crashed through March. But analysts say the price point will need to stick around for a while if it is to accelerate investors’ moves away from fossil fuels and toward green energy.

Low-Income Communities to Benefit from Ohio Solar Project

Electricity, Clean Water Hold Keys to Human and Climate Health

While the world’s most industrialized countries grapples with health care systems that are strained and fraying in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, large parts of the developing world still lack two simple resources that are the foundations for any kind of health system at all: electricity and clean water.

E-Commerce Giants Produce Lower Emissions, But Fail on Workers’ Respiratory Health

While e-commerce heavyweights like Amazon generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional bricks-and-mortar shops, online shopping is still producing massive amounts of local pollution, according to a recent report. That in turn is driving higher levels of asthma and other lung diseases—a particularly frightening health risk as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Scarce Details, ‘Quid Pro Coal’ Undercut Australian State’s 17.7-GW Renewables Plan

The Australian state of New South Wales has released a new net-zero plan that promises up to 17,700 MW in new wind, solar, and storage capacity, with the potential for up to 2,000 permanent jobs. But the deal carries a quid pro quo with coal, to the dismay of those pushing for rapid climate action.

Kenney Seeks North American Oil Cartel to Counter Saudi Price Cuts

While the collapse of OPEC and the subsequent crash of global oil markets has Alberta Premier Jason Kenney musing about setting up a North American cartel to control prices, it isn’t at all clear that the Canadian government will back the idea.

Renewable Energy

Pandemic Response Should Mobilize Around Low-Carbon Solutions

With the coronavirus pandemic devastating the global economy and pushing world oil prices over a cliff, the federal government has two potential options in dealing with the oil and gas industry. It can give in to the predictable lobbying from fossil fuel interests, or it can use the virtual shutdown of the economy for industry mobilization. A post for Policy Options by Mitchell Beer

Fossil Bailout is ‘Hours or Days Away’, Morneau Pledges

A federal aid package for Canadian fossil companies is just hours or days away, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a Senate committee Wednesday, as the industry’s capital spending cuts hit C$6.5 billion and the price of western Canadian crude oil fell as low as US$9.09 per barrel.

U.S. Economic Stimulus Package Dumps $3-Billion Oil Buy But Rebuffs Renewables

A push to include solar and wind energy tax credits in the United States’ US$2-trillion emergency stimulus package to address the coronavirus pandemic stalled out this week, after Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected to including the relief measures in the bill.

The Interview: Green and Just Pandemic Recovery Would Help People Who Are Hurting, Stewart Says

Keith Stewart is senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada. He’s been focusing his pandemic response on directing government bailout funds to a green and just recovery, at a time when much of what “seemed natural and normal and inevitable about the way the world works” no longer does.

European Oil Major Cuts Costs, Protects Renewables, as Stranded Fossil Assets Begin Looking ‘Inevitable’

Like most of their counterparts around the world, colossal fossils in Europe are slashing spending in response to an oil price crash triggered by the pandemic and a pitched price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. But so far, at least, three of the biggest and one in particular seem to be protecting their renewable energy businesses from the economic carnage, Greentech Media reports.

Solar Workers May Be Declared Essential in Age of Social Distancing

Analysis: Fossil Bailout Not the Prescription for Canada’s Fiscal Health

Shovels or ladders?

That is the stark choice facing Justin Trudeau and Parliament as they consider aiding western Canada’s giant tar sands/oil sands producers, which can now sell their oil for only about US$10 per barrel. One year ago, the sales price was US$55. By Paul McKay.

Invest Bailout Dollars in People, Not Fossil Companies, Climate Campaigners Urge Trudeau

The federal government is under intensifying pressure to invest its widely-anticipated oil and gas bailout wisely, with a group of environmental, labour, and faith groups representing about 1.3 million people urging Ottawa to direct the funds to workers and families, not fossil companies.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

Anxious Workers at Fossil Man Camps Brace for ‘Hellish’ COVID-19 Outbreak

Anxious tar sands/oil sands workers are bracing for a “hellish” outbreak of COVID-19 in the man camps surrounding tar sands/oil sands, coal, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) megaprojects in Alberta and British Columbia, with one major LNG developer cutting its onsite staff but Alberta fossils planning to import thousands of temporary workers for their heaviest maintenance season in five years.

Youth Climate Campaigners Show Empathy, Ingenuity in Face of Pandemic Crisis

As COVID-19 explodes around the world, youth climate activists are responding with empathy and ingenuity, moving en masse from the streets to the web, determined that the necessity of social distancing will not impede the equally urgent fight for carbon reductions.

Coal-Dependent South Korea Adopts 2050 Carbon-Neutral Target, Sets Deadlines for Green New Deal

In a major shift, South Korea’s governing party has pledged to adopt a Green New Deal and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with a recently-introduced plan that includes a carbon tax, a phaseout of financing for domestic and overseas coal projects, and accelerated support for renewable energy.

IEA Chief Sees ‘Historic Opportunity’ for Climate Action Through Economic Stimulus

The coronavirus pandemic presents a momentous opportunity for governments and financial leaders to build climate action into the economic stimulus packages they introduce to stabilize their faltering economies, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said last week.

coronavirus COVID-19

Economic Shock from Coronavirus Points to Over-Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Need for Renewables

A crisis like the coronavirus pandemic points to a global economy that is over-reliant on fossil fuels and dangerously exposed to economic shocks that could be eased by a shift to renewable energy, a leading financial economist from the United Kingdom told Forbes magazine in a recent interview.

Analysts Foresee Record Drop in Oil Demand as COVID-19 Crisis, Fossil Price War Deepen

With the fossil price collapse continuing, oil falling below US$30 per barrel, and Saudi Arabia vowing to continue forcing prices down through May, analysts are predicting a “low and slow” recovery for the industry.

Coronavirus Triggers OPEC+ Breakup, Drives Deepest Oil Price Dive in 29 Years

Driven by cratering economic activity due to the coronavirus pandemic, oil markets crashed 31% in a matter of seconds last week, after cooperation across a loosely-knit group of oil-producing countries collapsed and triggered an all-out price-war between fossil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Oil War and COVID-19 Create Risk, Opportunity for Clean Energy

The end-to-end news coverage of the coronavirus emergency is producing a secondary wave of commentary and analysis on whether the global pandemic will derail the transition to fossil to renewable energy. The verdict so far: It depends.

Trump Considers Fossil Bailout as Coronavirus, OPEC Price War Put Producers in Peril

Federal government assistance for the U.S. shale industry emerged as a strong possibility last week, after falling demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia had some of the Trump administration’s closest allies demanding a bailout.

Morneau Unveils Business Loans, Kenney Seeks ‘Unity’ as Coronavirus Crash Roils Alberta

Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled C$10 billion in new credit for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney called for greater “unity” and less partisanship, and Alberta fossils announced deep cuts in their 2020 spending plans as Canada began grappling with the double-hit of a coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and crashing global oil prices.

Benefits of Telecommuting May Outlast Virus Outbreak

Work-from-home policies being implemented around the world in an urgent effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 could create a significant long-term boost to climate action plans, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building future resilience.

Global Climate Events Postponed to Help #FlattenTheCurve

Critical climate meetings across the globe are being cancelled or postponed in the weeks ahead in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic could also delay the rollout of at least one major emissions reduction program.

Oil Price Crash Could Mean Delays, Uncertainty for New LNG Projects

The oil price crash triggered by the coronavirus crisis will likely have a secondary impact on liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects that were aiming for final investment decisions this year. But analysts see that short-term loss turning into a gain around mid-decade if natural gas demand in Asia continues to grow at the pace they’ve been predicting.

U.S. Federal Judge Gives Thumbs-Up to Quebec-California Cap-and-Trade

Luxembourg Becomes First Country to Make All Transit Free

Climate-Conscious U.S. Cities Are Often the Least Affordable

coronavirus COVID-19

Climate Action Can Deliver Economic Stimulus After Coronavirus Crash: Abreu

With the rapid spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) driving an economic slowdown and triggering a steep drop in global oil prices, national governments are considering their options for economic stimulus—prompting analysts and advocates to wonder whether a new package of government incentives and subsidies will undercut carbon reduction goals or reinforce them.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands See Sharp Decline in Capital Spending, Job Creation

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

Climate Gentrification Threatens Miami Neighbourhood

The impoverished but vibrant neighbourhood of Little Haiti in Miami is falling prey to the forces of climate gentrification, as wealthy Floridians begin fleeing their beachfront homes in response to rising sea levels. Anxious to preserve the Haitian soul of their community and keep property values within reach, locals are fighting back.

Former New Mexico Inmates Form Wildland Firefighting Company

A group of former inmates at Los Lunas prison in New Mexico have formed a wildland firefighting company, using the training and experience they gained while they were incarcerated.

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

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

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

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

Torrie: Mass, Deep Energy Retrofits Put Net-Zero Emissions Within Reach

A program of mass, deep energy retrofits to dramatically increase the efficiency of Ottawa’s existing building stock must be at the centre of the city’s plan to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, veteran energy modeller Ralph Torrie told a packed house at Ottawa’s Impact Hub late last month.

Australia Working Toward Net Zero Despite Federal Stonewalling

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

Bahamas Fights to Rebuild after Devastating Hurricanes

Six months after Hurricane Dorian came roaring ashore in the Bahamas, locals are still struggling to repair their own shattered lives, depending on each other and the ongoing commitment of international charities. Meanwhile, government efforts are focused on rebuilding the island nation’s tourist economy.

Hope for Stability Fades as Guyana Becomes Nascent Petro-State

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

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

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

Cleveland Retirees Spread Solar to Churches, Other Non-Profits

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

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

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

Saskatchewan Announces $10 Million Fund to Help Coal Communities Diversify

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

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

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

Coastal Cities Must Fight or Flee as Global Waters Rise

With global sea levels expected to rise an average of one to four feet by 2100, cities like San Francisco, Manila, and Boston are set to become case studies in how urban planning decisions will create varying impacts across economic classes in an increasingly watery world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU European Union

EU Considers Border Adjustment Charge to Penalize Carbon-Intensive Imports

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

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

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

Great Bear Rainforest Faces Delays on $25M in Offsets

Canadian Climate Outrage Should Translate Into EV Job Training

Alberta Delays Report Showing Warming, Climate Impacts Above Global Average

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Solar Jobs Bounce Back Despite Trump Tariffs

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

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

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

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

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

Alberta Appeal Court Rejects Federal Carbon Price

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

French Ski Resort Brings In Snow By Helicopter, Draws Fire from Local Green Groups

The Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in France’s Pyrenées Mountains brought in about 50 tonnes of snow by helicopter earlier this month, after 10°C temperatures threatened a premature end to the annual ski season.

Coronavirus Pushes Oil Demand Growth to 10-Year Low

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

Week 8, February 24: Cohesive Communities

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

Colorado Utility Plans Seven Community Microgrids

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

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

Federal Budget Must Scale Up Energy Efficiency, Signal Long-Term Commitment, Analysts Urge

After Canadians voted for strong climate action in last fall’s federal election, and all the political parties represented in Parliament included energy efficiency in their platforms, the upcoming federal budget is an essential opportunity to slash pollution, create jobs, and make everyone’s lives more comfortable, Efficiency Canada argues in a recent opinion piece.

New Research Institute Supports ‘Burgeoning’ Canadian Electric Bus Sector

Powered by C$4.7 million in federal and industry funding, seven mostly post-secondary institutions in Ontario are forming North America’s first research cluster providing research support to zero-emission buses (ZEBs) powered by batteries or fuel cells.

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

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

Rural Solar Evolves from ‘Panel Monocrops’ to Multiple Uses

Coronavirus Drives China’s CO2 Emissions Down 25%

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

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

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

Week 6, February 10: Prairie Solutions

To the frontline workers in the coal, oil, and gas industries: we understand your concerns. We need to bring the age of fossil fuels to a smooth but rapid ending, while protecting you and your families and communities.

New UK Tariff Supports Community Wind, Solar

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

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

Canada On Track to Hit Carbon Reduction Target for Grid Electricity

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

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

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

GM Announces New Electric, Autonomous Vehicle Plant in Detroit

General Motors has announced plans to invest US$2.2 billion in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to produce all-electric trucks and sport utility vehicles, as well as a new-model self-driving taxi.

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

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

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

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

City Data Show Young Talent Leaving Town as Calgary Stagnates

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

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

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

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

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

Halifax Takes Top Honours in National Climate League 2019 Standings

Halifax took top honours in four categories and eight Canadian municipalities were singled out for recognition last week as the National Climate League released its coveted Season 2 standings.

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus Drives Sharpest Oil Demand Drop Since 9/11

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

Week 3, January 20: Canada’s Carbon Tax

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

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

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

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

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

Oakland Co-op Turns Community Ownership Into Community Solar

Alberta Solar Farm, Canada’s Biggest, Nets $500 Million from Danish Infrastructure Fund

Canada’s biggest solar farm, the 400-MW, 1,900-hectare Travers Solar Energy Project in Alberta, has received a C$500-million cash infusion from Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that will allow Calgary-based Greengate Power to start construction at the site near the village of Lomond in Vulcan County.

House Democrats Put Climate, Environment at Centre of $760-Billion Infrastructure Plan

Grid modernization, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, public transit, and incentives for sustainable aviation fuels are key components of a five-year, US$760-billion infrastructure framework introduced last week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, with The Hill concluding the plan puts environment at centre stage.

Wind power turbine

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

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

Agroforestry Can Reduce Wildfire Risk for Mediterranean, Australia

Bringing together crops, trees, livestock, and local farmers in a land management system based on agroforestry can significantly reduce wildfire risk in the Mediterranean, as well as places like Australia, according to research recently published in the journal Agroforestry Systems.

Week 2, January 13: A Green New Deal

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

Developing Countries at Greatest Risk as Biodiversity Loss Threatens 50% of World GDP

Biodiversity loss is now one of the top five risks to the global economy, with more than 50% of worldwide GDP significantly dependent upon natural ecosystems that are being rapidly destroyed by climate change, deforestation, and disease, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that stresses the threat to developing countries.

China’s Aviation Emissions Set to Quadruple by 2050

Despite the spread of the “flight shame” phenomenon and industry pledges to address the carbon footprint of aviation, greenhouse gas emissions from commercial flights are expected to increase 300% by 2050, with emissions from China’s aviation sector projected to nearly quadruple.

‘Politics of Hope’ on Climate Could Also Turn the Tide Against Ultra-Right

A foreign policy specialist is arguing that progressive forces can drive down greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, revive public faith in the possibility of a better world, and halt the rise of the ultra-right, all by zeroing in on self-styled populists’ utter failure to respond credibly to the climate crisis and contrasting that gap with the potential for a global Green New Deal.

Jonathan WIlkinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fracking Industry Driving Massive Boom in Plastic Production

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

Climate Crisis Means Shrinking Populations for Caribbean Countries

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

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

Ocean Heat Wave Drove ‘Unprecedented’ Whale Entanglements Off California Coast

An ocean heat wave in the mid-2010s drove whales closer to the California coast, where an “unprecedented” number of them became entangled in fishing gear, according to a new study in the journal Nature Communications.

357 Amazon Employees Break Company Policy, Speak Out Online for Faster Climate Action

Cloud computing and online commerce behemoth Amazon is facing an unprecedented revolt by 357 employees participating in a public display of support for colleagues who were warned they could be dismissed for speaking out against the company’s climate practices.

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

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

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

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

Michael Chong, MP

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

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

Free Transit Fights Inequality, But May Not Cut Emissions

Experiments with free public transit in cities across the U.S. are returning a mix of responses, including support from riders, cost concerns from managers, and questions about whether they actually result in fewer cars on the road.

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.

Analysts See Pitfalls in ‘Blue Carbon’ Offsets

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

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

power pylons sunrise grid

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

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

Trump Policies Hand Poor, Non-White Areas the ‘Brunt’ of Climate Impacts

Critics are warning that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the environmental review process for pipeline and highway megaprojects will hit poor and minority Americans hardest.

‘Words Make Worlds’: Holthaus Issues Call to Imagine, Create a Radically Positive Future

As the climate crisis deepens, we must be “radically imaginative,” telling ourselves and each other stories of fiercely visionary, loving, and productive collective actions that will help end the climate emergency, veteran meteorologist and climate hawk Eric Holthaus writes in The Correspondent.

Harvard Students Protest After Exxon’s Law Firm Tries to Recruit Them

An elite U.S. corporate law firm flopped badly in its recent bid to recruit Harvard law students, when nearly a third of the invitees delivered a sharp rebuke for the firm’s ongoing role in defending colossal fossil ExxonMobil, making it clear they saw no kind of professional future with an organization that traffics in fossils.

Australian Indigenous Knowledge Holds Potential for Climate Mitigation, Economic Growth

Australia’s Indigenous peoples have been living peaceably, and sustainably, with their fire-prone environment for 65,000 years, and so the nation at large—particularly the urban areas and the south, where fewer Indigenous people live—has much to learn from them about how to survive the bushfires of the 21st century.

Mixed Results for 2019 Show Slight Rise in Renewable Energy Investment

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

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microsoft_CES_2009.jpg

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

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

Summerside

High-Fives in PEI After Officials Announce $68-Million Solar+Storage Project

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey shared a “small victorious high-five” in Summerside, PEI last week after announcing construction of a C$68-million, 21-megawatt solar farm with 10 MW of battery storage.

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

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

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

LED lighting energy efficiency

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

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

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

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

Swedish Fossil Sees Dimming Prospects for Offshore Oilfield in Norwegian Arctic

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

Rooftop Solar Would Save 24.6 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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

IRENA Reports on Sustainable Energy for Refugee Settlements

All-Female, All-Indigenous Fire Brigade Defends Remote Settlement in Southeast Australia

With their community tinder-dry, and most of their menfolk disinclined to pitch in, it is the women of the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust in southeast Victoria, Australia who are rallying to protect 5,000 hectares of forest, 200 permanent residents, and a wealth of sacred artifacts from the region’s terrifying bushfires.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green-Themed Christmas Pageant Triggers Outrage in Saskatchewan Oil Town

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

75% Say Carbon-Free Transition Helps Canada Over Long Term

Three-quarters of Canadians see the shift to less carbon-intensive energy as a necessary transition that will help the country over the long term, even if it raises the cost of living, according to a new Abacus Data survey conducted for Vancouver-based Clean Energy Canada.

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

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

Amazon Staff Face ‘Formal Corrective Action’ for Challenging Company’s Climate Performance

While pledging aggressive action to reduce a carbon footprint that approaches that of Denmark, Amazon is policing climate activists on its payroll, recently threatening to dismiss several employees who’ve publicly called on the sprawling tech giant to do more, including severing its ties with Big Oil.

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

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

California Cap and Trade Isn’t Bringing Emissions Down

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.

Coal Miners’ Kids Become Solar Installers in Rural Colorado

Moroccan Town is Africa’s First All-Solar Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Community Solar Comes of Age, Becomes ‘Something I’d Sign My Mom Up For’

With a proven product, a more flexible approach to contracts, and a different notion of customer service and communications, community solar in the United States is getting closer to offering a broadly accessible, scaled-up product for the 50 to 75% of households that don’t have the option of installing their own rooftop systems.

Analyst Says Saudi Aramco Shares Could Hit $0 in 2020

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

COP 25

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

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

House of Commons Motion Backs a Green New Deal for Canada

The first motion filed in the reconstituted House of Commons calls for MPs to endorse a Green New Deal for Canada.

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

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

Greta Thunberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

District Energy Systems Gain Ground Despite High Up-Front Cost, Low Gas Prices

Community-based district energy systems are spreading across Canada despite steep up-front costs and tough competition from cheap natural gas, with innovative examples popping up in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, and more than 2,600 other places in between.

Thunberg Named Time Magazine Person of the Year

For speaking truth to power, and inspiring millions of people of all ages around the world to do the same, 16 year-old #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

Sacramento Electrification Plan Keeps Low-Income Homes in Focus

Major Ohio County Helps Homeowners Embrace Solar

Jonathan Wilkinson COP 25 climate Canada

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

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

Wilkinson Throws Cold Water on Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

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

Canadian Sustainable Beef Standard is ‘Marbled with Loopholes’

Lacking real substance, marbled with loopholes, and in need of a crash course in regenerative agriculture is Corporate Knights’ assessment of the green burger promise being served up by the Calgary-based Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

Halliburton Lays Off 800 in Oklahoma City

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

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

Ottawa Approves Alberta Tax on Industrial Carbon Emitters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington State Shifts Ferry Fleet from Diesel to Batteries

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

Labour Shortage Hits U.S. Solar Market

Local Content Demands Confront Europe Offshore Wind Industry

Throne speech Ottawa 2019 climate action emissions Trudeau Payette

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

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

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

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

Thunberg arrives Madrid COP 25 bossito:Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ann Arbor Plans for Mixed Income Solar Development

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

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

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

António Guterres

COP 25: Guterres Conveys ‘Hope, Not Despair’ as Vulnerable Countries Demand Action

UN Secretary General António Guterres showed up with a mix of urgency and hope, the Climate Vulnerable Forum called for a commitment from countries to adopt more ambitious climate targets by next year, and delegates heard from youth leaders and businesses, movie stars and retired politicians pushing for faster, deeper carbon cuts as COP 25 negotiations in Madrid got under way Monday and Tuesday.

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

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

Throne Speech in Ottawa, COP Negotiations in Madrid Raise Pressure on Canada for Climate Action

With a much-anticipated Speech from the Throne taking place tomorrow in Ottawa, and United Nations climate negotiations under way in Madrid, the Trudeau government is under sustained pressure to make climate action a priority at home and do its fair share internationally to limit average global warming to 1.5°C.

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

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

U.S. Solar+Storage Rivals Utility-Scale Installations as California Power Shutoffs Hit Home

The U.S. residential solar market is on a fast track, with rooftop deployment numbers rivaling utility-scale plants and wildfire-induced power shutdowns turning more ratepayers in the direction of solar+storage installations.

Mental Health Expertise Meets Sandbags in Helping Communities Build Climate Resilience

It was judicious use of mental health expertise, along with many, many sandbags, that enabled Fargo, North Dakota to weather the challenges of the epic 2009 Red River flood. That was one of the experiences that pointed to a basic precondition for building communities’ ability to face the climate emergency: Recognizing climate change as a profound threat to mental health, responding with messages of “hopeful realism” and ongoing compassion, particularly for older adults and children, and helping communities acquire the psychological and social resilience to cope.

COP 25

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

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

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

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

Nuclear power plant

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

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

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

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

AOC, Sanders Push Green New Deal for Public Housing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sumatra elephant

Fires Driven by Drought, Forest Clearing Ravage Sumatran Elephant and Tiger Habitat

Fires across Indonesia this summer and fall, driven by a wet season cut short by drought, drained peatlands turned to tinder, and farmers conducting slash-and-burn forest clearing, have ravaged habitat for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers.

Fossil fuel production planned and projected by countries

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

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

Alberta_oil_energy

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

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

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

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

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

Energy poverty

Online Tool Connects Energy Poverty to Climate, Housing Crises

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

Guilbeault to Heritage, McKenna to Infrastructure, Wilkinson to Environment as Climate Rises to Top of Federal Agenda

Veteran climate hawk and newly-minted Montreal MP Steven Guilbeault is expected to be named heritage minister, former environment minister Catherine McKenna takes over the infrastructure and communities portfolio, and climate action is set to emerge as a government-wide priority, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduces his second-term cabinet this morning in a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Provincial Energy Efficiency Rankings Map of Canada

Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows B.C. Leading, But All Provinces with Room to Improve

British Columbia leads, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador lag, and no province receives a score above 58 points on a 100-point scale in the first annual provincial energy efficiency scorecard released yesterday by Efficiency Canada.

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

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

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

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

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

‘Ridiculously Effective’ Transit Discount Boosts Low-Income Access

Eighteen months after the City of Toronto dropped transit prices for low-income riders, the numbers are in, and they prove that cheaper transit enables people to transform their lives.

Microgrid Saves Four Lives During PG&E Power Shutoff

A microgrid in northwestern California provided life-saving emergency power when Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), desperate to manage wildfire threats, conducted its first planned Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in October.

Climate Crisis Reinforces Global Inequities

European Investment Bank divests oil gas coal

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

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

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

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

Surging Market for Carbon Offsets Raises Spectre of Greenwashing

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

IEA Sees Solar Supporting ‘Energy-Hungry Industrial Revolution’ in Africa

Though sunny Africa is currently home to far fewer solar power installations than are found in the soggy UK, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report says a solar boom, intersecting with a surging and increasingly urban population, “will ignite an energy-hungry industrial revolution” powered almost entirely by renewables.

Iran Discovers New Oil Field Containing 53 Billion Barrels of Crude

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

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

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

Fossil Production, Inefficient Buildings Make Canada a Global Climate Laggard

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

Solar Farms Would Save 36.9 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

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

Climate Costs to Taxpayers Will Spiral Unless Australia Introduces New Policies

Two-Thirds of Canadians Want Federal Action on Climate Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

Scotland Restores Degraded Peatlands to Boost Carbon Capture

As part of its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, Scotland has begun an ambitious program to restore its degraded peatlands, stating that the boggy ecosystems, which at present cover 3% of the planet’s surface, store twice as much carbon as all of its forests combined.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Years of Fossil Investments Deliver ‘No Value’ to Investors

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

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

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

Get Started Now on Deeper Emissions Cuts, Climate Organizations Urge Federal Parties

The four federal parties that went out to voters this fall with strong climate policies had better get started on implementing those policies right now, a coalition of Canadian climate organizations asserted Friday.

New Device Captures Plastic Waste Before It Reaches the Oceans

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

Multi-Strata Agroforestry Would Save 9.28 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Multistrata Agroforestry places #28 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 9.28 gigatons by 2050, with an up-front cost of $26.8 billion but net savings of $709.8 billion.

Corbyn Touts 67,000 Jobs in ‘Green Industrial Revolution’

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

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

Keystone Pipeline Spills 1.4 Million Litres in North Dakota

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

Climate Groups Urge Canadian Green New Deal, Demand Fast Action on Climate Accountability Law [sign-on]

Pressure is mounting on Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to deliver on its promise of climate action, with 27 youth protesters briefly occupying the lobby of the House of Commons earlier this week and a public interest law firm campaigning for a new climate accountability law.

https://pixabay.com/en/solar-energy-photovoltaic-panels-868663/

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy After Losing Bid for Trump Coal Bailout

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

New Brunswick to More Than Double Protected Areas by End of 2020

New Brunswick is earning praise from conservation groups after promising to more than double its protected lands and freshwater, from 4.6 to 10% of the province, by the end of next year.

Trans Mountain Says It’s Hired 2,200 Workers

Major Wind Turbine Maker Vestas Lays Off 600

Wind Power Could Meet Global Electricity Needs 18 Times Over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dauncey Analysis Highlights Strengths, Gaps in 10 Green New Deal Plans

Greater community engagement, the imperative for national carbon budgets, and the need to recognize and harness the power of central and public banks are takeaways identified by British Columbia sustainability specialist Guy Dauncey in a recent analysis of 10 Green New Deals published in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada.

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

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

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

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

Solar Farm to Deliver Better Electricity Access, Annual Revenue to B.C. First Nation

The six communities of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia are looking ahead to better electricity access and C$175,000 in annual revenue after completing construction of a solar farm west of Williams Lake that is expected to generate 1.5 gigawatt-hours per year for the BC Hydro grid.

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

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

Husky Energy Lays Off Alberta Staff as Curtailment Cuts Oil Refining

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miller: World’s Leading Cities Show How Canada Can Take Action on Climate

Both veteran legislators and newly-elected Members of Parliament would have stood to learn a great deal from the recent C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, where participants shared best practices for fighting global warming while ensuring that workers whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuels aren’t left out in the cold, former Toronto mayor David Miller writes for the Globe and Mail.

Thousands Join Thunberg for #FridaysforFuture Rally at Alberta Legislature

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

Alberta Looks to Renewables Boom as Corporate Procurement Gains Momentum

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

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

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

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

Scheer Would Repeal Federal Carbon Tax as First Act in Government

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

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

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

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

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

Indigenous Wind Farm Finishes Construction in Ontario as Buffett Invests in New Alberta Project

Two new wind farm developments are making headlines this week, with the Henvey Inlet First Nation announcing completion of the country’s biggest wind installation on Indigenous land and a company linked to U.S. mega-investor Warren Buffett putting C$200 million into a 117.6-megawatt project in Alberta.

Renewables Poised to Overtake Fossils Decades Faster Than Forecast

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

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

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

Demographers Urge Contraceptive Access, Lower Birth Rates to Counter Climate Threat

With 44% of the world’s annual pregnancies unwanted, the global population projected to hit 10.8 billion by 2100, and the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions growing ever more urgent, the New York-based Population Council is urging especially sub-Saharan leaders to expand access to contraception.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saskatchewan Issues Proposal Call for 300 MW of New Wind Capacity

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

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

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

Warren Releases Environmental Justice Platform

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

Community Partners Drive Chicago Energy Efficiency Funds to Low-Income Households

In Nunavut, Jobs Come as a Region Thaws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nearly 1,200 Out of Work as Siemens, Vestas Cut Jobs in Denmark, Germany

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

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

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

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

Pennsylvania Moves to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency Day Generates Praise for State and Local Leaders, Promises to Do More

Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York took top billing, while Maryland won honours as the most-improved U.S. state, when the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released its 2019 50-state scorecard to coincide with Energy Efficiency Day October 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Bank Says Pricing Pollution Won’t Kill Economic Growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trip to Block Island Test Site Shows U.S. Offshore Wind Has Arrived

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is out with a detailed, exquisitely-designed and -illustrated look at the offshore wind boom now getting under way off the east coast of the United States.

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

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

Climate Crisis Wreaks Havoc on Zambia’s Fragile Economy

‘Watershed Moment’ Begins as Millions Pour Into Streets to Demand Emergency Climate Action

High school and post-secondary students, employees, businesses, scientists, and city governments are all stepping up to take part in a global strike for climate action that could mark a turning point in the mounting campaign for faster, deeper reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that are feeding the climate crisis.

Election Wrap: Climate Hawks Set Expectations While Scheer Promises Streamlined Fossil Development

Though the climate crisis has been pushed off the campaign agenda over the last 36 hours, climate and energy organizations have been laying out expectations for Canada’s next federal government, while Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer talked about various ways of streamlining fossil fuel development.

Energy Transition Plan Shows Nova Scotia Cutting Emissions 50%, Creating 15,000 Green Jobs by 2030

Supplying 90% of Nova Scotia’s electricity from renewable sources, cutting energy consumption in social housing 60%, tripling energy efficiency in the electricity sector, electrifying personal and public transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, and creating 15,000 green jobs are the key 2030 targets in a plan for the renewal of the province’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, released this week by the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.

Greens Promise 60% Carbon Cut by 2030, Fossil Subsidy Phaseout in One Year

A 65% greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030, job transition programs for fossil workers, a ban on new pipelines, coal mining, and oil and gas drilling or mining, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies within a year are at the centre of the election platform released this week by the federal Green Party.

Alberta Looks for Advantage, But Oil Prices Recede Within Days of Saudi Drone Attack

Canada’s biggest oil refinery came in for some unwanted scrutiny and Alberta put itself forward as a more stable source of supply in the wake of the devastating drone strike on a Saudi oil production facility over the weekend. But within days of the attack, analysts were already talking down the impact the attack by Houthi rebels would have on global oil supplies or prices.

Trump Threatens Military Action After Drone Strikes Cut Saudi Oil Production by Half

Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output has been cut by half after Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone strike on what CNN describes as “among the world’s largest and most important energy production centres”.

Ottawa Looks at Economy-Wide Electrification to ‘Reduce or Eliminate’ Fossil Fuel Use

The federal government has issued a call for consulting proposals to study how widespread electrification can “reduce or eliminate” fossil fuel use across the economy.

Carbon Tax May Fail as Election Controversy with Gasoline Prices Holding Steady

While federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer may have hopes of turning the Liberal government’s carbon tax into an election issue, it’ll be hard to make the argument stick if actual gasoline prices aren’t cooperating, columnist Kelly McParland argues in the National Post.

Mexican Families Turn to Solar for Reliable Electricity

Global Oil Investment Set to Tumble as Demand Peaks in 2022, Renewable Energy Surges

A new study is predicting that global oil demand will peak in 2022, hit a plateau until 2030, then decline sharply, in what the Reuters news agency is calling “one of the most aggressive forecasts yet for peak oil”.

New Study Shows Solar Meeting 40% of Global Power Demand, Wind 30% by 2050

Solar is on track to become the world’s biggest source of electricity by 2035 as renewable energy costs continue to fall, making it easier to electrify previously stubborn sectors like transportation and construction, according to the fourth in a series of annual analyses published by renewable energy company Statkraft.

Adaptation Efforts Need $1.8 Trillion by 2030 to Avert ‘Climate Apartheid’

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