SNAPSHOT: Renewables and Efficiency Jobs Surge While Fossil Employment Sags

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Use Community Power, Grassroot Investment to Fuel Green Recovery, Energy Co-ops Urge

A group of seven renewable energy co-ops from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia is calling on the federal government to emphasize community power procurement, deep energy retrofits, and smart grid development in economic stimulus responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nature-Friendly Economy Would Deliver $10 Trillion in Opportunities, 395 Million Jobs by 2030

A “fundamental transformation” in the direction of a nature-friendly global economy could produce US$10 trillion in annual business opportunities and a mind-boggling 395 million jobs by 2030, the International Institute for Sustainable Development reports, in a review of a recent report by the World Economic Forum.

AIMCo Fossil Investment Strategy Cost Alberta Heritage Fund $2B

Saudi Aramco Protects Shareholders After Profits Plummet 73%

BMW Ties Executive Pay to Climate Targets

New Online Tools Trace U.S. Cities’ Drive to Renewables

Australia’s Biggest Wind Farm Begins Sending Power to Grid

Developer in Poland Plans 1.2-GW Wind Farm in Baltic Sea

600-MW Wind Farm in Thailand to Send Power to Vietnam

UK Subsidy Will Get More Riders on E-Bikes

Investors Betting on Solid State Batteries

Carney Advises Ottawa on Pandemic Recovery as Speculation Swirls Around Morneau’s Future

Summer speculation was swirling in Ottawa this week with the news that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is back in the country and advising the federal government on next steps in its economic recovery plan. Carney’s arrival coincided with persistent rumours that Finance Minister Bill Morneau may soon be out of a job, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went out of his way yesterday to express confidence in Morneau.

Action on Climate, $40/Barrel Oil Could Mean Trillions in Stranded Fossil Assets

With colossal fossils Total and Shell downgrading the value of their oil and gas assets, BP pledging to cut oil and gas production 40% by 2030, and even fossil behemoth ExxonMobil ripping up a US$30-billion plan to renew its oil and gas reserves, Bloomberg Green is out with a timely explainer on stranded assets.

Peabody’s Massive $1.42-Billion Write-Off Shows ‘New Reality in U.S. Coal Mining’

The decision by coal giant Peabody Energy to cut the declared value of the United States’ biggest coal mine by US$1.42 billion is an acknowledgement that “thermal coal mines in the U.S. have little value anymore and not much of a future,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) writes in an assessment of the August 5 announcement.

New Mexico’s Off-Coal Transition Plan Includes Community Dialogue, Jobs Outside Energy

New Mexico is emerging as a promising model for governments aiming to phase out coal without leaving behind the households and communities that depend on coal industry jobs, after an Albuquerque-based private utility decided to divest its share of the 925-megawatt San Juan coal plant in 2022 and invest in 650 MW of solar generation and 300 MW of battery storage.

Seven Ukrainian Coal Towns Plot Joint Transformation

New Tariffs Against China Could Threaten India’s 100-GW Solar Target

Hydro-Québec Tests the Waters with Solar

Boston-Area Study Finds Big Racial Disparities in Tailpipe Pollution

Oilfield Services Giant Schlumberger Cuts 21,000 Jobs

Ohio Evangelicals Try to Move Legislators on Clean Energy

U.S., Vietnam Plan $6-Billion Joint Investment in LNG

World Bank Boosts Fossils, Undercuts Climate Goals

Battery-Makers Face Looming Lithium Shortage

What If Consumers Could Just Buy Their Own Plug-In Batteries?

Photo Essay on Global Heat Waves Documents ‘Inequity at the Boiling Point’

Athens. Houston. Nigeria. The Dry Corridor. Lucknow. New York. Just a few of the many places around the world where rising global temperatures are combining with the pre-existing cruelties of social inequity to malevolent effect.

Groundbreaking New Grid Model Would Eliminate up to 80% of U.S. Emissions by 2035

A new energy model is being hailed as the long-awaited technical manual for a Green New Deal in the U.S., a roadmap to the mass electrification that will allow the country to decarbonize its power grid by 2035.

Inukjuak Hydro Project Starts Construction

Quebec Funds Renewable Natural Gas Projects for Export to Vermont

Bankers Second-Guess ‘Over-Optimistic’ Fracking Industry Models

Australian State Sets Up for Quickest Shift from Coal to Renewables

Japanese Business Lobby Hinders National Climate Policy

WRI: New Start-Ups Show Future of Mobility is Micro

China May Finally Bar ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Eligibility

Big Investors Point to Climate as ‘Systemic Threat’ to Economy

Study Links Trade to Global Hunger, Climate Adaptation

Muttitt Paper Sets Principles for Managed Fossil Phaseout

Offshore Wind Could Create 900,000 Jobs, Grow Eightfold by 2030

The offshore wind industry is poised to increase its output eightfold, from 29 to 234 gigawatts, and create 900,000 or more jobs by 2030, according to new analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) that shows China leading the growth in installed capacity.

Beer: Alberta Should Treat Total’s $9.3-Billion Write-Off as a Wake-Up Call, Not a Cheap Shot

After French petroleum giant Total wrote off C$9.3 billion in stranded assets in the tar sands/oil sands, the Jason Kenney government had the option of treating the announcement as a wake-up call, not a cheap shot. And Albertans were hurt first and worst when their government made the wrong choice, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post for The Narwhal.

Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services. 

Gray: Canada Loses if Trudeau Bets on a Second White House Term for Trump

The Trudeau government appears to be betting on a second White House term for Donald Trump, Environmental Defence Executive Director Tim Gray observes in a blog post this week. And that means Ottawa could be caught offside if Joe Biden wins the presidency, with his plan for a US$2-trillion green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Health Gains Emerge as ‘Side Benefit’ from Northeastern U.S. Climate Program

Fifteen years after the launch of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a climate initiative in 10 northeastern U.S. states, researchers have discovered some critical side benefits to reducing CO2 emissions: fewer preterm births, healthier babies, fewer cases of asthma, and possibly fewer cases of autism.

Second Pandemic Wave Will Drive Oil Farther Down

Indigenous Off-Diesel Efforts Need Better Support: Pembina

Bike-Share Program Addresses Long-Standing Inequities on Chicago’s South Side

South Australia Delivers Cheaper Power as Renewables Dominate

Hydrogen Pilot Project Coming to Alberta Next Year

Clean Energy Canada Reports Big Potential for Geothermal

Canadian Miner Takes Up Musk’s Sustainable Nickel Challenge

FCM Offers Innovative Financing for Community Energy Efficiency

New York City’s Managed Retreat Has Already Begun

15 U.S. States Embrace Zero-Emission Trucks by 2050

California’s Top Oil Driller Files for Bankruptcy

Carbon-Free Europe Will Need Electricity from North Africa

Dealers See Opportunities for Green Deals in Southeast Asia

Landowner Mounts Court Challenge to Adani Power Plant

Japan’s Withdrawal from Coal Could Create Foothold for LNG

UK Nuclear Industry Has Powerful Backers

New South Wales Sees Renewables Zone Powering 3.5 Million Homes

Racial Inequities Must Be Solved in Tandem with Climate, U.S. Campaigner Stresses

While she credits Joe Biden’s effort to address racial inequities in tandem with the climate crisis, climate policy analyst Rhiana Gunn-Wright is urging the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to more fully grasp the depths to which the latter trauma is rooted in the former—lest neither ever be solved.

Expand Natural Gas Energy Efficiency to Boost Economy, Create Jobs, Groups Urge Ontario

The Ontario Energy Board must expand the province’s natural gas energy efficiency programs as a way to meet provincial carbon targets, create jobs, and drive the COVID-19 economic recovery, Efficiency Canada argues in a letter it submitted yesterday to three senior provincial cabinet ministers.

‘Inevitable Policy Response’ Will Drive Climate Action by 2025, UN Agency Says

Arguing that global financial markets will inevitably begin factoring in the near-term policy response to climate change over the next five years, a United Nations program wants to help investors prepare for the portfolio risks they’ll face as a result.

Carbon Capture Failure in Texas Bodes Badly for Similar Projects Elsewhere, IEEFA Warns

NRG Energy’s decision to mothball a coal-fired carbon capture project in Texas, just 3½ years after it went online in January 2017, is a sign of things to come for other, similar plants in the United States, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) concludes in a new research brief.

Pandemic and climate crises unmask inequalities

A chorus of world leaders has declared we’re all in the same COVID-19 boat. In response, U.K. writer Damian Barr tweeted, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.”

Indigenous Communities Pay the Price for Massive Russian Oil Spill

Lenders Get Comfortable with Floating Offshore Wind

Canada Exempts Newfoundland Offshore Drilling from Environmental Assessment

Quebec Manufacturers Nab Contract for Electric Garbage Trucks

Fossils Control Research, Direct Innovation in Alberta Universities

Coal Giant Murray Energy Spent $100,000 in Ohio Racketeering Case

GM Plans to Triple U.S. Fast Charging Network

New Hampshire Utility Cancels Gas Pipeline

China Missing Out on Trillions in Clean Investment

Women See Worst Effects of Climate Displacement, Migration

U.S. Home Electrification Programs Drive Energy Efficiency

Solar Can Meet Demand for Industrial Process Heat

Colossal Fossil Total Declares $9.3B in Stranded Assets in Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands

French colossal fossil Total sent a shockwave through the Alberta oilpatch Wednesday with the announcement that it is writing off C$9.3 billion in assets in the tar sands/oil sands, including $7.3 billion in the Fort Hills mine, which opened just 2½ years ago, and the Surmont thermal oilsands project.

Hundreds Dead, Millions Affected as Extended Bangladesh Monsoon Combines with Cyclone Recovery, Pandemic

Hundreds of people are dead and millions have been affected as Bangladesh faces its longest period of monsoon flooding in decades, while South Asia simultaneously scrambles to recover from a cyclone that itself arrived on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shell Sees UK Banning New Petrol Car Sales by 2030

EU Green Plan Leaves Details, Responsibility to Member States

Latina Mothers at Greatest Risk as U.S. Study Links Gas Flares to Premature Birth

Keystone Backer TC Energy Touts Pumped Storage Project in Ontario

U.S. Sierra Club Looks Back to Founder John Muir to Confront Its Racist Past

Women Shut Out of UK’s ‘Incredibly Blokey’ Cabinet Climate Committee

Renault Had Top-Selling European EV for First Half of 2020

Barclay’s Sent £1.5 Billion to Coal Companies in 2019

Heat Waves, COVID Mean Higher Power Bills

Wood Burning Leaves Poor Chilean Town with World’s Worst Air

Israel Approves New Undersea Gas Line to Europe

New $1.7B Danish Green Fund Shows Investors Still Interested

Norwegian Fossil Billionaire Shifts to Greener Industries

Scottish Utility SSE Aims to Become Green ‘Supermajor’

Siemens Energy Plans to Boost Renewables Investment

RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank to Sign Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement

The Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest chartered bank and one of its biggest boosters for new fossil infrastructure, is dipping its toe in the world of renewable energy finance by buying into two new solar farms producing a combined 39 megawatts of electricity in southeast Alberta.

Overheated U.S. Cities Face Misery as Pandemic Closes Summer Cooling Centres

Pandemic closures and fears are causing acute suffering for the millions of impoverished American households who, lacking air conditioning, typically escape summer heat in public buildings like libraries or cooling centres. Now, public health professionals and climate resilience experts are speaking up.

Transit in a Pandemic: Now Is the Time to Undo Neglect, Systemic Racism

As pandemic-weary Americans flee mass transit in droves and commuter-driven emissions begin to spike back up, a Black transit policy expert is urging city leaders to recognize the critical role that public transit plays in creating a world where Black lives do matter. 

Plummeting Wind Costs Could Make ‘Green’ Hydrogen Cost-Competitive by 2023

Less than two weeks after a report that renewably-produced “green” hydrogen could be cost competitive with fossil-dependent “grey” by 2030, a new analysis by banking giant Morgan Stanley says plummeting wind energy prices could push green hydrogen into the lead by 2023.

IEA Risks Credibility with Projections that Enable New Fossil Megaprojects

The International Energy Agency is giving political cover to new fossil megaprojects, and risks undermining its own influence over the next few years, by failing to put a 1.5°C limit on average global warming at the centre of its modelling and analysis, according to several analysts and campaigners cited in a review this week by Climate Home News.

Afghan Opium Farms Embrace Solar in Rapid Transformation with Consequences

The BBC is focusing its attention in an unlikely direction—the opium fields of Afghanistan’s Helmand province—for proof of how quickly solar can scale up and become profitable, for better and for worse.

Montreal Reports 14 Heat Wave Deaths

Medicine Hat Tries to Sell Off its Gas Assets

Virginia’s Solar Push Opens Opportunities for Rural Counties

States Push Back on Trump Bid to Boost Coal Sales

Swedish Utility Vattenfall Loses $1B on Coal’s Decline

UK’s First Local Green Bond to Raise £1 Million for Solar Projects

Renewables Offer Quick Job Turnaround for Australia

OPEC Expects Oil Demand to Surge in 2021

Fracking Crash Produces $2B Loss for Halliburton

Place Indigenous Youth at Centre of Clean Energy Partnerships, McCarthy and Morrison Urge

Ottawa and the provinces must work harder to support Canada’s Indigenous peoples in becoming full partners in the clean energy transition—and Indigenous youth need to be encouraged, mentored, and supported to lead those partnerships, according to a recent opinion piece in iPolitics.

73% in B.C. Support Just, Sustainable Transition

The majority of British Columbians support a more just, sustainable transition into a post-pandemic economy, according to online poll results released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Task Force Urges $50B for ‘Bold’, Resilient Recovery, Including $27B for Building Retrofits

An independent task force of Canadian finance and policy experts is calling on the federal government to invest C$50 billion over the next five years in five “bold moves for a resilient recovery”, with a $27-billion building energy retrofit program leading a list of 22 specific policy measures.

In Conversation: Decisions on Canada’s Green Recovery Could Still Go Either Way, Petrevan Says

Sarah Petrevan is Policy Director at Clean Energy Canada, and one of the key climate advocates monitoring Ottawa’s progress toward a just, green recovery. With Canadians waiting and watching to see what form that recovery will take, she shares her latest assessment of where the discussion stands.

Details Scarce as Canada Pledges to Triple Annual Energy Efficiency Improvements

The federal government is promising to triple the pace of Canada’s energy efficiency improvements to 3% per year, and the country’s energy efficiency advocacy network, Efficiency Canada, is out with a three-point plan to get started down that path.

Africa’s Inclusive Recovery Depends on Renewables

EU European Union

EU Treats Climate as ‘Pawn in Bigger Negotiation’, Adopts World’s Greenest Stimulus with Too Little Enforcement

Just a day after declaring it a “mission impossible”, leaders of 27 European countries finalized a COVID-19 recovery plan and seven-year budget worth €1.8 trillion, with nearly one-third of the total set aside for climate measures but reduced funding to key climate initiatives and only limited “green strings” to prevent investments in polluting industries.

British Airlines to Retire Its 31 Gas-Guzzling 747s

Citing the pandemic-induced global collapse of air travel, British Airways has announced the immediate retirement of its legendary Boeing 747s. Elegant, but a gas-guzzler—and therefore incompatible with BA’s declared target of reaching net-zero by 2050—the world’s first jumbo jet was originally set to be retired from the airline’s fleet in 2024.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Global Cash-for-Clunkers Program Would Speed Up Lagging Coal Plant Retirements

The slow pace of coal plant retirements around the world has a veteran climate advocate calling for a “cash for clunkers” program to speed up the process of getting the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel out of circulation.

EU Carbon Market to Include Shipping Emissions

U.S. Weatherization Programs Mostly Leave Low-Income Households Out

$2.7-Trillion in Ecosystem Investments Would Generate 400 Million Jobs: WEF

A yearly investment of US$2.7 trillion in ecosystem health would reap an annual 400 million jobs and $10 trillion in returns through 2030, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, prompting the study authors to urge policy-makers to make restoration of the devastated natural world a cornerstone of all pandemic recovery efforts.

Working from Home, E-Commerce Produce Permanent 10% Drop in U.S. Traffic Volumes

Changes in work and shopping habits brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will produce a permanent 10% drop in traffic volumes in the United States, reducing vehicle miles travelled (VMT) by 270 billion miles per year and taking 14 million cars off the road, consultants at KPMG International reported this week.

Mayors Urge Recovery Based on Green Jobs, ‘15-Minute’ Cities

Green job creation, support for essential workers, investment in green industries, and funding for building retrofits, transit, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and “resilient public services” are cornerstones of a green and just recovery program released Wednesday by C40 Cities.

Building Back Better Could Prevent 112,000 Premature Deaths, Canadian Doctors Say

Meeting Canada’s climate targets could prevent 112,000 premature deaths between 2030 and 2050 due to air quality improvements alone, but achieving those gains will depend on the investments governments make today, according to new modelling released by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

Record Offshore Wind Spending Keeps Renewables Investment ‘Resilient’ through Pandemic

Global investment in offshore wind development quadrupled over the first half of this year, with US$35 billion pouring into 28 new projects, despite the deep economic shock triggered by the pandemic, Bloomberg NEF reported this week.

Adow: UK’s Mozambique Pipeline Plan Is Morally, Financially Negligent

As the Boris Johnson government debates greenlighting a billion-pound loan guarantee for a gas pipeline project in Mozambique, Mohamed Adow of Power Shift Africa urges UK leaders to reject the proposal—so utterly out of touch with the climate crisis—as financially idiotic, politically myopic, and morally bankrupt.

Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland Goes Car-Free for COVID-19

Pandemic-weary residents and business owners in St. John’s, Newfoundland are getting used to a newly-refashioned pedestrian-only downtown, and many of them hoping the changes will be permanent, though accessibility advocates warn the current street closure plan is unfriendly to people with mobility issues.

Gutted Market for Recycled Plastics Hits Waste-Picker Communities Hard

Businesses that commit to incorporating more (and more) recycled plastic into their supply chains will be rewarded for putting the health of the oceans and the well-being of millions of informal waste workers around the world ahead of short-term profit, according to Plastics for Change CEO Andrew Almack.

Biden’s $2-Trillion Plan Points to Climate as Key Draw for Younger, First-Time Voters

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unveiled a four-year, US$2-trillion climate strategy yesterday that represented a major acceleration from his previous plan. It was interpreted as a sign that his party sees climate change as an issue that will drive voters to the polls this fall, drawing crucial support from younger and first-time voters.

Radwanski: Canada Cautious on Green Recovery Despite Pledging Climate Leadership

With governments elsewhere unveiling ambitious green stimulus plans in response to the economic crash brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has been unaccountably cautious to join the club, Globe and Mail columnist Adam Radwanski writes in a post published earlier this week.

IRENA Places UN Energy Access Goal at Heart of COVID Response

Alberta Trades Can Build Zero-Carbon Future: CaGBC

Brazil’s Amazon Destruction Puts World’s Biggest Trade Deal at Risk

A year after it was finalized, a massive free trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, a South American trade bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, is in peril, as stakeholders recoil from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s transparent willingness to lay waste to the Amazon.

‘Californication’ of B.C. Grid Cuts Off Indigenous, Other Local Suppliers, Dogwood Warns [Sign-On]

Dogwood BC has launched a petition campaign against what it calls the “Californication” of British Columbia’s power grid, decrying a provincial plan to buy surplus electricity from private utilities in the Golden State while preventing B.C. First Nations and residents from producing their own power at home.

Global Meat Industry Facing Emissions Reckoning

Currently reeling from the radical readjustment of global eating habits that has accompanied the pandemic, the international meat industry is facing another near-future reckoning with those determined to hold it to account for its high greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fossils Use Resource Adequacy Concerns to Delay Grid Decarbonization

Now that renewable energy has established its cost advantage over fossil fuels, the industry’s next challenge is to show grid planners they can decarbonize without jeopardizing the reliability of their systems, climate consultant Eric Gimon writes in an analysis for Greentech Media.

Corona Crash Prompts Irving Oil to Lay Off 6% of Global Work Force

Poverty, Then Pandemic Threaten Electricity Access: IEA

Edmonton Airport Announces Plans for 120-MW Solar Farm

The Edmonton International Airport is close to signing a deal with Germany-based Alpin Sun to create a showcase renewable energy project that will see a canola field west of its runways transformed into the world’s biggest airport-based solar farm.

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Up to $6.7 Billion in U.S. Pandemic Relief Handed to 5,600 Fossil Companies

Environmentalists and accountability watchdogs are crying foul over revelations that more than 5,600 fossil companies have taken billions in federal coronavirus aid earmarked for small businesses.

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Canadian Climate Groups Urge ‘Green Strings’ on COVID Recovery Funding

As Finance Minister Bill Morneau prepares to release a fiscal update today, Canada’s leading environmental organizations are calling for “green strings” on Ottawa’s COVID-19 recovery funding package.

Global ‘Gas Bubble’ Has Nearly Half of New LNG Projects Facing Pandemic Delays, Nervous Investors

Investment legend Warren Buffett’s decision last March to pull out of a controversial liquefied natural gas project in Quebec’s Saguenay region is just one example of a bigger trend that has nearly half of the world’s LNG export projects faltering in recent months, according to the latest Global Energy Monitor report published earlier this week.

Exxon Reports Second Straight Quarterly Loss, Plans U.S. Job Cuts

Colossal fossil Exxon-Mobil is reporting a second straight quarterly loss and preparing to fire up to 10% of its white collar work force in the United States, as the impact of crashing oil demand makes itself felt by the company that has most steadfastly denied that a shifting global economy could have any impact on its business.

Global Development Banks’ Recovery Plans Must Omit Fossil Funding, Advocates Say

When 450 global development banks with their hands on US$2 trillion in public funds meet in November to chart their contribution to the pandemic recovery, they must declare an end to international financing for fossil fuels, three leading finance and development advocates argue in a post this week for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

Universal Basic Income Could Boost ‘Climate-Safe’ Practices, But Only with Careful Design

A universal basic income (UBI) could be a cornerstone of the shift to a “climate-safe economy”, and it’s time for the environmental community to embrace the concept, its advocates say.

New Jersey’s Biggest Community Solar Project Will Use Industrial Rooftops

As Morneau Walks ‘Tightrope’, Analysis Shows Canada’s COVID Recovery Favouring Fossils

A weekend analysis piece on CBC News lays out the “tightrope” Finance Minister Bill Morneau is walking as he tries to manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis—and indirectly points toward the just, green recovery that is still the most realistic cornerstone for the post-pandemic economy.

Study Shows Energy Costing More for Black American Households

Black American households continue to pay substantially more for energy than whites, pointing to yet another injustice radiating outwards from generations of racial segregation and discriminatory housing policies and lending practices.

Global Oil Demand, CO2 Emissions Likely Peaked in 2019 as Fossil Analysts Predict More Stranded Assets

A small parade of analysts stepped out last week with projections that global oil demand and carbon dioxide emissions likely peaked last year, with consumers’ need for refined oil products hitting a turning point and more big fossil companies expected to declare “impairments” in their production assets in the not-too-distant future.

B.C. Coastal First Nations Begin Shift from Diesel to Local Hydro

Two of the 11 off-grid and largely diesel-dependent First Nations communities along the British Columbia coast are investing C$25 million in hydro power in an effort to reduce their dependence on a fuel that is both expensive and an environmental hazard.

Carbon Price Won’t Suffice to Drive Green Transition, Smart Prosperity Argues

A research associate with Ottawa’s Smart Prosperity Institute is taking aim at the curious notion that a carbon price will be enough to push Canada’s economy onto a low-carbon path, without a boost from green stimulus spending.

Illinois Equity Program Delivers Free Solar to Chicago’s South Side

New Jersey Looks to Solar for Low-Income Benefits

Fossils Hit ‘Turning Point’ as Shell Follows BP in Declaring Stranded Assets

The coronavirus pandemic may have produced a tipping point in the transition off fossil fuels, with two colossal fossils declaring in the last two weeks that they will downgrade the value of their own assets by as much as US$39.5 billion.

House Democrats’ Blueprint Aims for Net-Zero by 2050, Connects Racial Inequity with Rising Temperatures

A climate plan released this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives is receiving wide acknowledgement as a sweeping proposal that would bring the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, promote renewable energy, address environmental harms that fall disproportionately on poor and racialized communities, and implement much of the Green New Deal.

Details on Diversification Scarce as Alberta Cuts Corporate Taxes, Reannounces Keystone Subsidy

A faster corporate tax cut, a C$600-million infrastructure investment, and reannounced funding that was already allocated in the province’s spring budget are key elements of a highly-touted, $10-billion recovery plan for Alberta that is already taking fire for being far more tame and fuzzy than its architects claim.

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Australian Lobby Group Points to One Million Jobs in Green Recovery Plan

Countering Canberra’s fossil-backed call for a gas-powered pandemic recovery plan, the Australian lobby group Beyond Zero Emissions has mapped a solar- and wind-powered path to the swift creation of one million green jobs across the energy, manufacturing, and building sectors.

200 Farmers in Netherlands Sign On for $560M Onshore Wind Farm

In an important win for community-based wind energy, more than 200 farmers in a rural area east of Amsterdam have banded together to secure US$560 million from a multinational Dutch bank to build the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe.

U.S. Dominican Nuns Raise $130 Million for ‘Holistic’ Climate Solutions Fund

Five years after Pope Francis delivered his acclaimed encyclical calling for environmental and climate justice, 16 congregations of Dominican nuns in the United States are collaborating with Morgan Stanley to create their own US$130-million climate solutions fund.

States Shouldn’t Expect ‘Job Boom’ from Chemical Plant Buildout

Michigan Clean Energy Job Losses Hit 31,000 Since Pandemic Began

California Community Choice Groups Pan Tighter Control by Utilities

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Line 5 Pipeline Faces Tuesday Court Date After Judge Orders Temporary Closure

A county judge in Michigan has ordered Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to shut down its troubled Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron until a hearing tomorrow can review the state’s request for a temporary injunction against the 67-year-old line.

Heglar: Climate Crisis ‘Hurts Black People First and Worst’

Calls to “press pause” on climate action in order to fight racism more effectively simply further the whitewashing of a crisis that is systemically and inextricably linked to Black oppression, says writer and climate justice campaigner Mary Annaïse Heglar.

Heat, Pollution Put Black Mothers at Greater Risk of Poor Birth Outcomes

A sweeping review of birth outcomes in the U.S. since the early 2000s has found that exposure to extreme heat and air pollution during pregnancy brings increased risk of delivering pre-term, low weight, or stillborn babies. And Black mothers are suffering more from these effects than white mothers.

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Indigenous Leaders Warn They May Be Left Out of Abandoned Well Cleanup Fund

Indigenous leaders are concerned their communities may be left out as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia begin spending C$1.5 billion in federal funds to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by deadbeat fossils.

U.S. Analysis Busts Myths, Shows No Need for New Gas Plants

It’s time to bust some myths about gas-fired electricity, renewable energy, and the United States grid, writes David Wooley, executive director of the Center for Environmental Public Policy at UC Berkeley, after a study earlier this month showed clean electricity could supply 90% of the country’s power by 2035, at less cost than non-renewable sources.

Indonesian Anti-Poverty Program Reduces Tree Loss by 30%

Thirteen years into an Indonesian anti-poverty program that delivers cash payments to poor citizen living in forested areas, experts are cautiously celebrating strong evidence that alleviating poverty—even without qualifications that require conservation work—helps arrest deforestation.

UK Gas Company Centrica Cuts 5,000 Jobs

30% of U.S. Shale Drillers ‘Technically Insolvent’ as Analyst Places Economic Recovery Three to Five Years Away

Nearly one-third of shale oil and gas drillers in the United States are “technically insolvent” at today’s oil prices, as crashing demand drives the industry into a period of “great compression” that could last for years, according to an analysis released this week by management consulting firm Deloitte.

Chevron Anti-Racism Tweet Sparks Accusations of Hypocrisy

Colossal fossil Chevron’s recent “Black Lives Matter” tweet has sparked a fierce debate among Black Americans about what it means to have Big Oil speaking out against racism, even as its emissions and shareholder-beholden profit model lay waste to Black communities at home and around the world.

U.S. Democrats Debate Climate Policy, Introduce Green Infrastructure Measures as Fall Election Approaches

With the U.S. federal election just 131 days away, climate and clean energy are poised to take centre stage in the campaign, with Democrats debating climate policy and calling for US$70 billion in green infrastructure investment, renewables and storage industries pushing for a “majority renewables” electricity system by 2030, and even some Republicans trying to connect their fall campaign to green jobs.

U.S. Policy-Makers Are ‘Easy Prey’ for Anti-Solar Lobbyists, Study Finds

Inoculating policy-makers against utility lobbying by helping them understand the benefits of community solar will be critical to realizing the promise of energy equity that lies in the technology. 

Modern Monetary Theory Would Hasten the Shift Off Carbon

A new economic theory now gaining traction could open the door for the trillions of dollars that will be needed to drive a rapid transition off carbon—in spite of the baked-in reflex to ask where the money will come from without driving governments deep into debt.

Price Collapse Costs U.S. More than 100,000 Fossil Jobs: Rystad

Goldman Sachs See Renewable Investment Surging While Fossils Pay Huge Risk Premium

With global fossils paying the equivalent of a US$40 to $80 per ton carbon price to compensate for the heightened risk investors see in their projects, private dollars flowing to solar, wind, battery storage, and electric vehicles are on track to exceed oil and gas for the first time next year, kicking off a US$16-trillion surge in the course of this decade, investment bank Goldman Sachs concluded in a report issued last week.

U.S. Academics #ShutDownSTEM to Fight Ivory Tower Racism

It took George Floyd eight minutes and 46 seconds to asphyxiate at the hands of a violent police officer. Now Black environmental justice groups, along with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scientists of all races, are banding together to fight the slower but no less murderous suffocations being delivered by systemic racism.

Declaration for Resilience Urges ‘New Normal’ for Canadian Cities

Canada’s urban planning experts, along with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, have signed on to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, urging policy-makers at all levels to create a “new normal” that makes affordability, sustainability, climate-friendliness, and equity the four cornerstones of any pandemic recovery plans.

Ovintiv Gears for ‘Lower Production Growth’ by Cutting Work Force 25%

Ovintiv Inc. laid off 640 staff, or about 25% of its work force last week, just 7½ months after triggering a wave of overwrought grief in Canada by changing its name from Encana Corporation and moving its head office out of Calgary.

New Jersey Unveils Plan to Become ‘Wind Turbine Capital’

Determined to be for wind energy what Texas is to fossil fuels, New Jersey has announced plans to become the go-to state for the production of offshore wind turbines, beginning with the construction of a giant port along the Delaware River.

Carbon Pollution from World’s Top 13 Dairy Companies Equals UK’s

Emissions from the world’s top 13 dairy companies now equal that of the entire United Kingdom, while overproduction is driving small farmers into bankruptcy. That has experts calling for production caps, for the good of humans and of the climate.

Pittis: COVID May Drive ‘Painful but Useful’ Economic Transformation

Low-Carbon Income Trusts Could Supercharge, Transform Alberta Fossil Sector

Fossil Industry Survey Shows Preference for Remote Work

Lower Emissions Could Drive Down California’s Cap-and-Trade Revenue

Analysts See No More Need for New Pipelines as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Production Slides

After years of complaints that Canada lacked space in its crowded export pipelines to serve tar sands/oil sands producers in the Alberta oilpatch, analysts are beginning to point to a different problem: a surplus of pipeline capacity, even as governments and industry boosters try to push, pull, and drag the Keystone XL and Line 3 pipelines and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion toward completion.

Next Six Months Will Determine Success of Green Recovery, IEA Warns

The world’s governments can either spend the next three years and US$3 trillion entrenching the greenhouse gas emission cuts that accompanied the pandemic lockdown and creating a new narrative on climate change, or allow a record increase in oil demand next year that will push consumption back toward historic levels, the International Energy Agency warned this week.

Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030

The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.

Ottawa Mulls Hydrogen and EV Strategies as Economic Recovery Plan Takes Shape

The federal government is simultaneously developing a new hydrogen strategy and working through some of the details and complexities of stepped-up electric vehicle deployment as the country’s green recovery plans continue to take shape, according to two recent reports in the Globe and Mail.

McCarthy: Merging Climate, Racial Justice Concerns Would Deliver Just, Green Recovery

Reducing carbon pollution and averting the worst impacts of climate change is an essential part of the fight for racial justice, Ottawa-based policy advisor and former Globe and Mail energy reporter Shawn McCarthy writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.

BP Downgrades Asset Value by $17.5 Billion, Sends ‘Shock Waves’ Through Fossil Industry

Colossal fossil BP is moving to downgrade the value of its assets by up to US$17.5 billion, after scaling back its estimate of future oil and gas prices and projecting that the coronavirus pandemic will produce a permanent drop in fossil demand, while accelerating the shift to carbon-free energy.

Government Stimulus Packages Lock In Fossil Growth, Squander Opportunity for Green Recovery, Global Assessment Warns

Too many governments are squandering the opportunity to build a green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, directing dollars to technologies that will lock in their dependence on fossil fuels, the Paris-based REN21 Secretariat warned yesterday with the release of its Renewables 2020 Global Status Report.

Shift to Electric Buses Emerges as ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’ for Canada

With more than 425,000 electric buses on the roads world-wide, four Canadian manufacturers with customers across the continent, and transit agencies in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Laval adding the vehicles to their fleets, there’s still time for the country to hop onboard a growing international trend, Clean Energy Canada concludes in a report issued this week.

Transit Agencies, Advocates Sort Out Safety in the Age of COVID

Despite serious concerns that fears of coronavirus infection will drive commuters out of mass transit vehicles and into their cars, there’s an emerging body of knowledge on how cities can deliver a safe commute—and evidence that some communities are keeping their transit systems free of COVID clusters.

Racial Injustice Casts Shadow Over Clean Energy Boom

America’s clean energy sector could have a bright future, pushing down electricity costs, cleaning up emissions, and potentially supporting hundreds of thousands of new jobs for years to come—but if all Americans are to benefit, much work needs to be done to address injustice in the sector, say industry observers.

Climate Impacts of Hurricane Harvey Pegged at $67 Billion

In a finding that could radically alter future calculations of the social cost of carbon, researchers say new methods of event attribution have now pegged the share of damages from Hurricane Harvey that were caused by global warming at 74.4% of the US$90-billion-plus total—much higher than previous estimates of 22%.

UK Could Net 700,000 Low-Carbon, Renewable Jobs by 2030

New Plan Offers Pathway for Rebuilding British Columbia

Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.

Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030

Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.

‘Tesla Wouldn’t Be Tesla’ if Not for 2010 Economic Stimulus Loan

As governments craft post-pandemic economic stimulus plans that will either drive a green recovery or reinforce the polluting industries that need to be hastened into retirement, Bloomberg Green is out with a timely reminder that “Tesla wouldn’t be Tesla” if not for the boost it received from the 2010 economic stimulus in the United States.

Yeampierre: No Climate Justice Without Racial Justice

The exploitative calculus that drives climate change is a mirror to the rapaciousness of slavery—and climate activists who still can’t see the connection between climate justice and racial justice need to wake up, says long-time climate justice activist Elizabeth Yeampierre.

Two-Thirds Working from Home Expect to Continue, but ‘Luxury’ Option is ‘Skewed Toward the Privileged’

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians now working from home because of COVID-19 restrictions expect to carry on doing so after the pandemic is over, the Angus Reid Institute reports.

Chevron LNG Megaproject Faces $100M Carbon Charge in Australia

New Study Shows Clean Power Supplying 90% of U.S. Electricity by 2035

Clean electricity could power 90% of the United States grid by 2035, at lower cost than non-renewable sources, according to a new study released this week by the University of California Berkeley and Berkeley-based GridLab that projects more than a 10% reduction in electricity costs if utilities can make the transition.

Record Renewable Energy Adoption in 2019 Still Falls Short of Climate Targets

Global clean energy investment grew 1% last year, to US$282.2 billion, and countries installed a record 184 gigawatts of new renewables capacity. But the momentum is still far short of what’s needed this decade to drive the transition off carbon, according to the latest Global Trends In Renewable Energy Investment report, published as a collaboration between BloombergNEF, the Frankfurt School, and the United Nations Environment Program.

Cleantech Sector Still Falls Short on Diversity, Equity

Clean energy organizations across the U.S. are doing some soul-searching as protests roll across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. And many are coming out of their self-analysis vowing to make good on long-standing promises to increase diversity, both in their ranks and within their reach.

More Than 350 Pennsylvania Companies Could Pivot into Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

The electric vehicle supply chain in Pennsylvania could easily grow by more than 350 companies, many of them in counties and industries that have seen tough economic times in recent years, according to an analysis published late last month by the national business association Advanced Energy Economy.

Pandemic Produces New Efforts, Wider Paralysis on International Climate Action

The economic and logistical paralysis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a mixed picture for global action on the climate crisis, with countries, cities, businesses, and others scrambling to accelerate action under the Paris Agreement but some of the key commitments under the 2015 accord facing serious obstacles.

Nobel Economist Nordhaus Proposes Import Tariffs to Enforce National Climate Action

The U.S. economist who shared a Nobel Prize for his work as a carbon pricing pioneer is now advocating import tariffs to penalize countries that don’t participate in international climate agreements.

In Conversation: On Climate Mobilization, Canadian Public is ‘Ahead of Our Politics’, Klein Says

Seth Klein is a research associate with the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. His book on the Second World War and the lessons it holds for today’s battle to get climate change under control is due to be published in September by Toronto-based ECW Press.

Minneapolis Climate Plan Fails to Serve Black, Low-Income Neighbourhoods

What was greeted seven years ago as a groundbreaking local climate action plan in Minneapolis is now being flagged as a source of racial division in the city where the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer, sparked massive protests and renewed attention to police brutality across the United States.

Colossal Fossil BP Cuts Nearly 10,000 Jobs

Greening Steel, Cement Can Deliver Huge Carbon Savings

Big Canadian Banks Try to Rein in Fossil Borrowing as Vulnerability, Loan Losses Rise

Canadian banks’ vulnerability to oil and gas loans has hit a record high, as fossils struggling with collapsing oil and gas prices draw heavily on their lines of credit.

Venice Glimpses a Different Life as Port Cities Mark World Oceans Day [Global Virtual Rally Today]

As Venice slowly emerges from lockdown—and braces for the return of millions of tourists—locals are daring to imagine another future for their beloved City of Water, after seeing a glimpse of what life could be like without colossal cruise ships and inflated rents.

Resist Fossil Lobbying, End Oil and Gas Subsidies, International Agencies Urge Canada

Two leading international agencies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency, are urging the federal and provincial governments to do away with fossil subsidies worth US$3.7 billion last year, just as the fossil lobby accelerates its demands for exactly that kind of largesse from taxpayers.

Major U.S. Television Media Silent on Race-Based Risks of Extreme Weather

Major broadcast news outlets in the United States are consistently failing to tell a crucially important story about a wide range of epic disasters, from hurricanes to the pandemic—that people living in poor, non-white communities are at far greater risk of grievous harm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_East_Africa_drought

Pandemic Will Drive Global Famine Without Urgent Food System Reform

The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing the risk of famine in the world’s poorest countries as it bankrupts small-hold farmers, breaks supply chains, and stymies efforts to build climate resilience, reports Climate Home News. If the worst of the disaster is to be averted, humanitarian systems need to change the way support is delivered, and “think differently” about everything from climate finance to food production.

Missouri Utility to Test On-Bill Payments for Fund Home Energy Retrofits

A Missouri utility is moving to clear one of the barriers to home energy retrofits, with a pilot program to cover the up-front cost of the work on its customers’ behalf.

Insulators’ Union Boosts Climate Literacy in Construction

Fossils Face $25-Trillion Loss as Coronavirus Drives Industry’s ‘Decline and Fall’

The world’s fossil companies stand to lose US$25 trillion in profits as the coronavirus pandemic triggers a terminal decline in demand for oil, gas, and coal and drives down the value of fossil fuel reserves by two-thirds, according to a report released yesterday by the London, UK-based Carbon Tracker think tank.

Climate Justice Requires Racial Justice, Expert Panel Says

The roiling traumas of racial injustice, coronavirus, and climate change are a “veritable witch’s brew of community risk,” according to a panel of five environmental justice leaders recently brought together by Grist. The antidote? To make sure that “normal” is never the same again. 

2.0°C Would Shift Once-in-a-Century Storms to Once in Five Years, Canadian Study Concludes

Researchers at Environment and Climate Change Canada have established an unequivocal correlation between climate change and the increasing number of extreme rainfall events in North America—and the data suggests things will get worse if warming continues. 

San Francisco to Turn 29-Acre Fossil Site Into Low-Carbon Neighbourhood

Suncor CEO’s ‘Stark Prediction’ Has Off-Carbon Transition Driving Down Oil Demand

The CEO of Suncor Energy is admitting that the transition off carbon could hit crude oil demand as hard as the pandemic did, in what Reuters describes as a “stark prediction in an industry that frequently downplays the impact of electrification” on its future prospects.

Federal Officials Express Doubts on Post-COVID Recovery Package as Cabinet Seeks Free Consulting Advice

Federal government department officials may be throwing cold water on the idea of a green recovery package—or any economic recovery package at all—the Globe and Mail reported last Friday, in a story that focused mainly on the Trudeau government turning to one of the world’s biggest management consulting firms for free advice on its post-pandemic strategy.

Here’s What Canada’s Climate Strategy Would Look Like if it were Modelled on the COVID-19 Response

Canada’s approach to climate change would look a lot different if it were modelled on the all-in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, five of the country’s leading climate advocates argue this week in an opinion piece published simultaneously in The Hill Times and La Presse.

Hundreds of Companies, Regional Governments Demand Green Recovery Post-Pandemic

The pressure on governments to make the post-pandemic economic stimulus a green recovery continues to intensify, with 155 multinational companies and more than 220 state and regional governments joining the call, and business analysts suggesting the right recovery package could make 2019 the year of peak carbon while delivering badly-needed job creation.

Empire State Building Retrofits Cut 10-Year Emissions by 40%

Thanks to a scrupulously well-planned retrofit, the owners of the Empire State Building have been able to reduce the structure’s emissions by 40% over the last decade. They’re now determined to cut emissions a further 40% by 2030, an ambition borne forward, in part, by the conviction that the building must remain what it has always been: a beacon of faith that better times lie ahead.

‘Patchwork’ Wildfire Safety Protocols Increase COVID-19 Outbreak Risk

In the face of another hot, dry season, western U.S. wildfire fighters are worried that unwieldy pandemic protocols for fire camps—paired with the hard financial realities of the job—are breeding ideal conditions for a devastating coronavirus outbreak.

Skill-Building Program for Fossil Transition Runs Out of Funds

EU Confirms Green Strings Attached to €750-Billion Recovery Package, €1-Trillion/Seven-Year Budget

News reports are confirming that the European Union’s seven-year, €1-trillion budget proposal and its €750-billion coronavirus recovery package will both have green strings attached, with 25% of the funds devoted to climate action and a “do no harm” clause to prevent environmentally damaging investments.

Alberta_oil_energy

Fossils Complain About Tough Terms Attached to Canadian Pandemic Relief

Fossil companies are complaining bitterly about the conditions the federal government has placed on the pandemic relief loans it’s making available to them, claiming that not a single oilpatch business has benefited from the program.

Mini-Boom in Renewables Hiring Offers Lifeline to Laid-Off Texas Fossil Workers

Even as the coronavirus pandemic wipes out tens of thousands of renewable energy jobs, Texas is going through a mini-boom in renewables hiring, Bloomberg Green reports, as a handful of clean energy executives in the state tap into an opportunity to recruit talent from an industry that has been hit even harder.

U.S. Green Jobs Program Earns Cross-Party Support

The idea of a green jobs creation program is receiving bipartisan support in the United States as policy-makers grapple with the twin spectres of skyrocketing unemployment and escalating ecological breakdown—perfect timing, as recent high school graduates pile onto the ranks of millions of Americans desperate for work in a COVID-ravaged economy.

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

Berman, Campanale Call for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

With fossil jobs drying up, the industry bent under a “staggering mound of debt” despite trillions in subsidies, fossil fuels responsible for 75% of the world’s past greenhouse gas emissions, and companies plotting a massive expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments must adopt a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty alongside a strengthened Paris Agreement, according to Canadian climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman and Carbon Tracker Initiative founder Mark Campanale.

Energy Efficiency, Trades Training Could Combat Women’s Job Loss in COVID-19 ‘She-Cession’

With job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting women more seriously than men, it’s time to increase women’s participation in energy efficiency jobs, writes Natalie Irwin, director of stakeholder engagement at Efficiency Canada.

Four-Day Work Week Could Boost Post-Pandemic Economy

Canadian workplace health experts are urging policy-makers to consider a condensed work week to reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost a post-coronavirus economy. A three-day weekend could also be a boon to the pandemic-ravaged tourism sector, which lost 50% of its work force this past spring.

Week 22, June 1: Regenerative Forestry

It is not our emissions as such that are causing the climate emergency: it is our accumulated emissions. Our world therefore faces not one but two climate challenges: Reducing human-caused emissions to zero, and bringing the atmospheric burden of carbon down to its pre-industrial level.

Virginia Launches Technical Assistance to Make Solar ‘Faster, Easier, More Affordable’

Smart Prosperity Institute Publishes Resilient Recovery Framework

It’s 2030. Here’s How Calgary Transformed Itself into a Cleantech Capital.

The city at the heart of the Alberta oilpatch can transform itself into a cleantech capital by the end of this decade if it makes the right decisions and brings together the needed investment now, Calgary-based environmental lawyer Jeremy Barretto argues in an opinion piece for CBC.

Solar Microgrids Deliver Multiple Wins for Refugee Camps

Non-polluting, cost-effective, and mercifully quiet, solar microgrids may make the dirty, noisy, and expensive fossil-powered generators that are ubiquitous in humanitarian relief efforts a thing of the past—a gift both for traumatized asylum seekers and cash-strapped aid organizations. 

Shell Turns to ‘Voluntary’ Layoffs to Conserve Scarce Cash

BREAKING: Canada Leads G20 in Per Capita Public Financing to Oil and Gas

Canada has lavished at least C$13.8 billion per year in public financing on oil and gas projects since signing on to the Paris climate agreement, making it the fossil industry’s highest per capita source of public finance in the G20, and their second-largest overall benefactor after China, according to a blistering new report issued today by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth U.S.

Squamish District Declares Woodfibre LNG ‘Unwelcome’ Unless It Meets Paris Targets

The Woodfibre LNG liquefied natural gas project should be unwelcome in Squamish, British Columbia unless it can align with the greenhouse gas reduction goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement, district councillors decided earlier this month, in a hotly-debated preliminary motion adopted by a 4-3 margin.

150 Canadian Non-Profits, Campaign Groups Launch Just Recovery Principles

A group of 150 non-profit and campaign organizations of Canada have launched a set of six principles for a just recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil Price Crash Hits Royalty-Dependent Indigenous Communities

Plummeting oil revenues are walloping more than 100 Indigenous communities across Western Canada that depend financially on fossil drilling within their territories—with the lost royalties and jobs putting social programs, youth supports, and personal livelihoods at risk in the face of steep pandemic-related costs.

Rwanda Emerges as Climate Leader with Updated 2030 Carbon Target

One of the world’s poorest countries became one of its more ambitious climate leaders last week, when Rwanda became the first African nation to promise deeper greenhouse gas emission reductions and a more ambitious approach to climate adaptation by 2030.

EU’s Massive Green Recovery Plan Includes 15-GW Renewables Tender, Support for Green Hydrogen

The European Union is set to propose a massive economic stimulus plan, complete with a 15-gigawatt renewable energy tender and auctions for green hydrogen, that will transform the European Commission’s Green Deal into the world’s greenest recovery package, according to leaked documents released last week by Bloomberg News and Euractiv.

South Korea Faces Big Challenges in Implementing ‘Stunningly Ambitious’ Green New deal

National elections last month amounted to an endorsement of a “stunningly ambitious” national climate policy put forward by South Korea’s Democratic Party under President Moon Jae-in. But now, the hard work begins to bring that commitment to life in a country that is deeply locked in to coal-fired electricity and faces a “painful, controversial but necessary overhaul of its energy systems,” Channel News Asia reports.

Campaign for a Resilient Canadian Recovery Signs 2,100+ Allies [sign-on]

More than 2,100 Canadian companies and organizations have signalled their support for a post-pandemic economic recovery plan grounded in the principles of sustainability and resilience and driven by projects that “aren’t just shovel-ready, but shovel-worthy.”

In Conversation: Canada Can Create Jobs, Set a ‘Signpost’ for the World in Shift to 100% Renewable Electricity, Hornung Says

Robert Hornung has been president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association since 2003. Last week, CanWEA and the Canadian Solar Industries Association announced they are merging to form the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, with Hornung at the helm. He talked to The Energy Mix about a massive moment of opportunity for solar, wind, and storage, and the importance of speaking with a common voice.

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges

The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.

OCI: ‘Transformational Moment’ Is Last, Best Chance to Break from Fossils

The slow emergence from pandemic lockdown is the “last, best chance to plan for the economy we need to stay within 1.5°C and avoid the worst chaos of global warming,” declares a recent five-point call to policy-makers to cooperate in a rapid worldwide phaseout out of fossil fuels. 

‘Office Centricity is Over’, Shopify Declares, as Tech Companies Embrace Working from Home

Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify has declared itself “digital by default”, joining a growing list of North American tech companies that are rethinking their work arrangements in the wake of the pandemic—with still unpredictable but potentially huge implications for everything from commuter traffic and congestion to the demand for downtown real estate.

New Quebec Liberal Leader to Emphasize Environment, Economy

Toronto Community Housing Brings Passive House to Alexandra Park

Carbon Emissions Fell 17% at Pandemic’s Peak, But Will Rebound Without Bigger Changes

While the economic crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic reduced daily greenhouse gas emissions 17% in early April, and will likely produce a 4.0 to 7.0% emissions reduction for the year, the real takeaway from a new analysis in the journal Nature Climate Change is that those carbon cuts will only be temporary without an aggressive response to the climate crisis.

Pandemic Delays Climate Plan Update as Ottawa Mulls Green Recovery Options

A recent wave of policy advocacy aimed at shaping the Canadian government’s green economic stimulus package is beginning to generate media coverage of its own, with the Globe and Mail reporting this week on the “frenzy” now under way “to determine just how—and how much—the federal government’s strategy for economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown will be shaped by its climate change agenda.”

Major Cities Urge Green, Resilient Recovery with ‘No Return to Business as Usual’

There’s no going back to “business as usual” after the COVID-19 pandemic when that previous path had the world on track for at least 3.0°C average global warming, the mayors of more than three dozen major cities declared in a statement of principles released earlier this month.

U.S. Lags in Preparing for a Just Transition to Decarbonization

The United States is failing coal and nuclear plant workers who are seeking a just transition to a decarbonized economy, while their counterparts in many European countries face much better odds. 

Vancouver Passive Solar Building Will Deliver 146 Affordable Housing Units

Homes with No Rooftop Exposure Turn to Community Solar

Spain’s Green Recovery Bill Pledges 350,000 Jobs Per Year, Sets 2050 Net-Zero Target, Halts All New Fossil Projects

The Spanish government is expected to table a draft law today that will aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, call an immediate halt to new coal, oil, and gas projects, and ground the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a green transition.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands ‘Man Camp’ Drives COVID-19 Spread to Five Provinces

While actions taken to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake tar sands/oil sands mine seem to have slowed infection rates, both labour and community officials are calling for a ban on fly-in workers, a labour model that has proven literally deadly in its power to both incubate and spread the virus.

Judges Reverse Ford Government Bid to Cancel Cornwall-Area Wind Farm

The 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm near Cornwall, Ontario is back on the boards, following a court decision that quashed the last-minute decision by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek to cancel the project in December.

1.5¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour: New Mexico Solar Project to Deliver Power at Record-Low Price

A state regulator has approved two new projects that will deliver electricity in southern New Mexico and west Texas at the record-low prices of just US1.5¢ per kilowatt-hour for solar and 2.1¢ for solar plus storage.

Better EV Policies Could Jump-Start $110 Billion in Canadian GDP

A shift in policy could jump-start Canada’s domestic EV market, generating nearly 800,000 jobs and $110 billion in GDP by 2040, according to a recent report co-authored by the International Council on Clean Transportation and the Pembina Institute.

COVID-19 Wipes Out Nearly 600,000 U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out nearly 600,000 energy efficiency and renewable energy jobs in the United States, more than twice as many as the country has created since 2017, and the numbers are set to rise through the spring, according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data released last week by Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Edmonton Lays Plans to Reboot, Diversify Local Economy

A new agency unanimously approved by city council in Edmonton, Alberta will oversee the creation of a post–COVID-19 economy—equipped with a C$11-million budget and an advisory table that adds foreign investment, trade, and tourism interests to the usual oil and gas voices. 

Week 20, May 18: Green Industry

In 2017 heavy industry produced 73 Mt of CO2e, accounting for 10% of Canada’s emissions, including non-fossil-fuel mining, smelting and refining, and the production and processing of industrial goods such as fertilizer, paper and cement.

Offshore Wind Emerges as Lifeline for Oilfield Service Contractors

Analysts Point to Green Recovery as Route to ‘Shovel-Worthy Decade’

From prominent international economists to an (almost as prominent?) Canadian think tank, there’s a widening consensus that green investment in projects that are “shovel-worthy” as well as “shovel-ready” will be the best way to restore economies ravaged by the coronavirus lockdown while simultaneously addressing the climate crisis.

Ramp Up Training, Break Down Market Barriers to Boost Zero-Carbon Buildings, CaGBC Urges

Canada’s building industry “still has work to do” to acquire the skills and knowledge it’ll need to deliver zero-carbon buildings at scale, even based on the country’s current greenhouse gas reduction target of just 30% by 2030, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) concludes in a report issued last week.

Canada’s ‘Rich Carbon Sink’ Peatlands Need Urgent Protection, Story Map Shows

Northern peatlands—the richest carbon sinks on the planet and epicentres of biodiversity—are in urgent need of protection from human development, the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada asserts, in a detailed “story map” that outlines why and how these “enormous carbon storehouses” must be preserved, with Indigenous peoples leading the way.

Researchers Cite Urban Density as Solution, Not Cause in Pandemic Spread

It is not density, but instead an inhumane and unhealthy infrastructure rooted in a long history of pervasive inequality and bigotry, that is fuelling the COVID-19 pandemic in the world’s cities, according to several environmental health experts who are urging city planners not to waste a critical insight laid bare by the current health crisis.

‘Stealth Subsidies’ in Trade Policy Deliver $550 to $800 Billion Per Year to Fossil Companies

The “environmental bias” in tariffs and other trade barriers adds up to a US$550 to $800 billion annual “stealth subsidy” to fossil fuels, according to a study of 163 industries in 48 countries just released by a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Orphan Wells Funding Draws ‘Significantly Higher’ Interest Than Expected

The federally-funded program to help clean up thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by delinquent fossils received nearly 18,000 funding applications from 530 companies in its first four days online, prompting Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan to declare the level of interest “significantly higher” than governments expected.

Alberta Hires 200 More Wildland Firefighters

Fossils Expect Permanent Losses, Renewables Keep Growing as Pandemic Crashes Global Energy Demand

The permanent reductions in conventional energy demand wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic will change the oil and gas industry forever, leaving renewables as the only energy form resilient enough to keep growing, according to separate assessments released last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Europe’s biggest fossil, Royal Dutch Shell.

New Alliance Looks to Geothermal to Get Alberta Oil Rigs Back in Use

In what the Globe and Mail calls “a rare united front between environment and energy,” Alberta’s shattered oil drillers are looking to the emerging geothermal industry as a place to get idled rigs back in production and begin a shift to post-carbon energy.

World’s Biggest Solar Plant to Deliver Power at Record-Low 1.35¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour

The two-gigawatt Al Dhafra project in Abu Dhabi, the world’s biggest single-site solar installation, is expected to deliver electricity at a record-low US1.35¢ per kilowatt-hour when it goes into service in 2022.

In Conversation: Energy Retrofits Can Drive Economic Recovery, But Financing and Logistics Are Key, Torrie Says

Ralph Torrie is a senior associate with the Sustainability Solutions Group, partner in Torrie Smith Associates, and one of Canada’s leading energy and carbon modellers. He’s been focusing on mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of a green economic recovery, the financing, training, and logistical approaches that will get the job done, and a “very human response” that might be the catalyst for action.