COP24

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

China to End International Coal Financing after ‘Profoundly Important’ UN Statement

A single phrase in a recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly sent waves through the international climate policy community this week as President Xi Jinping pledged China will stop building and funding coal-fired power plants in other countries.

LIBERAL MINORITY: 60% Vote for Climate Action as Trudeau Wins Third Term

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a third term, more climate hawks took seats in the House of Commons, and nearly a dozen organizations demanded immediate action on the climate emergency as Canada’s $650-million pandemic election produced another minority parliament Monday night.

Climate Finance Faces $75-Billion Gap as COP 26 Looms 1,000 Hours Away

With the opening of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, less than 1,000 hours away, the world’s poorest, most vulnerable countries are facing down a six-year, US$75-billion shortfall in the international climate finance that rich countries have been promising since 2009, Oxfam estimates in a report released Sunday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen Navigates Tricky Balance on Climate Financial Risk

As U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sets out to reshape the country’s financial regulations to account for climate risk, she faces a tricky balance between climate hawks calling for faster action and independent banking regulators with the institutional power to stymie it.

New York

Climate Negotiators Risk ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ Despite 1.5°C Target Within Reach

Countries are on the verge of failing to avert “catastrophic consequences” at this year’s United Nations climate conference, beginning in just six weeks in Glasgow, even though G20 countries on their own can get average global warming down to 1.7°C if they decide to take action, according to a flurry of reports issued late last week.

U.S., European Union Pledge 30% Methane Cut by 2030

The United States and the European Union issued a joint promise Friday to reduce their emissions of climate-busting methane by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, with the aim of finalizing the agreement during this year’s United Nations climate conference and getting other countries to sign on.

Straights of Mackinac

Michigan’s Line 5 Pipeline Could Wreak US$41B in Climate Damage

Allowing Calgary-based pipeliner Enbridge Inc. to maintain its Line 5 pipeline by tunnelling beneath the Straits of Mackinac could generate US$41 billion in climate damages over the next 50 years, new expert testimony submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission states.

Economic Focus May Hamper Success of New Chinese Carbon Market

China’s climate pledges put it on a tight schedule to cut emissions, but whether a new carbon market will help the country reach its targets depends on how it balances its ambitious commitments with economic growth.

mental health

3/4 of Young People Fear for the Future, 4 in 10 Fear Having Children, Global Survey Finds

A recent global survey on young people’s attitudes toward the climate crisis has shown that 75% agree that “the future is frightening.”

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‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’ as Canada’s Climate Plan Deemed ‘Highly Insufficient’

Canada is one of 15 countries to have their performance rated “highly insufficient” in Climate Action Tracker (CAT)’s latest rating of governments’ emission reduction plans under the Paris climate agreement.

Catastrophic Tipping Points ‘Closer Than We Think’: Monbiot

The effects of climate change may well escalate faster than expected, thanks to climate policies that won’t go far enough, fast enough to reduce warming and avert catastrophic consequences, warns essayist and activist George Monbiot in a recent post for The Guardian.

Murdoch’s Media Empire Switches Tactics from Denial to Delay

As COP 26 approaches and the public increasingly turns against shows of climate denial, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is switching from denial tactics to predatory delay.

Climate Disasters Could Cost 1/3 of Global GDP by Century’s End

Climate-driven disasters like wildfire are generating persistent economic harm that could tally up to more than a third of global GDP by 2100, an international study has found.

drought crops

#Elxn44: Canadian Voters Demand Mitigation, Adaptation Strategies

As Canada approaches the September 20 federal election, climate organizations are looking to candidates for immediate plans for faster, deeper carbon cuts—and to adapt to the climate impacts the country is already seeing.

CleanBC Climate Plan Falls Short, Indigenous and Environmental Leaders Tell Horgan

Barely three years after environmental and Indigenous leaders in British Columbia endorsed the province’s CleanBC climate plan, those same leaders have withdrawn their support and are demanding a plan that matches the scale of the climate crisis.

Severe Weather Affects 1 in 3 Americans, Threatens 60,000 More Deaths Per Year by 2050

This summer’s weather disasters affected nearly 1 in 3 Americans, highlighting the urgency for immediate mitigation and raising doubts about whether the country is prepared for climate change.

Exxon, Disney, Pfizer ‘Lobby for Climate Disaster’: Krugman

A bid by America’s wealthiest companies to avoid higher taxes by opposing President Biden’s US$3.5-trillion investment plan is like lobbying for climate disaster, says renowned economist Paul Krugman.

Equitable Energy Use Could Bring Decent Living Standards to All

Providing a decent standard of living for all people on Earth would take less energy than the current global demand—provided a concern for equity takes centre stage, an international team of researchers says.

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Canada Must Leave 83% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground in Latest 1.5°C Scenario

Canada must leave 83% of its fossil fuel reserves and 84% of its tar sands/oil sands in the ground if the world is to have even a 50% chance of holding average global warming to 1.5°C, according to a paper published this week in the prestigious journal Nature.

BREAKING: Postpone COP 26 Over COVID Safety Failures, Climate Groups Urge

Crucial negotiations over carbon reductions and international climate finance at this year’s United Nations climate change conference must be postponed because of the UK government’s failure to ensure pandemic safety, particularly for delegates from the Global South, Climate Action Network-International declared in a statement released this morning.

Devastating Hurricane Ida Reveals Deep Inequities in U.S. Climate Protections

Ten days after Hurricane Ida first began swinging its scythe of destruction and death from the U.S. Gulf Coast all the way up to the streets of New York City, the story of this monster storm has become one of unprepared authorities, inadequate infrastructure, and the most vulnerable, as always, in the crosshairs.

#Elxn44: Federal Election Spotlights Urban Densification Debate

With Canada’s election day two short weeks away, the country’s Liberal, Conservative, and New Democratic parties are all making noises about increasing urban density as a solution to the climate and housing crises.

India Could Gain Trillions of Dollars by Acting on Emissions: Deloitte

India stands to gain US$11 trillion in economic value over the next 50 years if it realizes its potential to “export decarbonization.”

Minnesota Utility Co-op Rejects 10-Year Coal Agreement

Minnesota’s largest collective cooperative utility wants to cancel its membership with its main electrical supplier in “a clash over costs and carbon” that is revealing divides in how community energy groups see the role of coal.

Renewable Diesel ‘Won’t Make a Dent’ in Imperial’s Petroleum Output

Alberta fossil and petrochemical company Imperial Oil plans to adapt to Canada’s forthcoming Clean Fuel Standard regulations by building the country’s largest renewable diesel facility—but has no plans to cut back its petroleum diesel production, and may not be factoring methane emissions associated with “blue” hydrogen into its decarbonization claims.

Efficient Material Use by Homebuilders Could Cut Emissions by 52 Billion Tonnes

In a first-ever study, an international team of industrial ecologists has determined that reducing material use in building construction could lower production emissions by 22 to 61% by 2050.

Saskatchewan Clings to Carbon Despite Vast Potential for Renewables

Saskatchewan’s geography makes it an ideal place for renewable energy, but the province’s opposition to federal climate plans still gives it the country’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions, and could prevent Canada from meeting climate targets, says a technology writer and journalist.

CO2 Pipeline Rupture in Mississippi Points to Health Risks in Carbon Capture Expansion

A dangerous carbon dioxide pipeline rupture in Satartia, Mississippi, last year is a foreshadow of the risks people face in the U.S. and elsewhere if the fossil industry and governments push through with plans to expand carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure.

Economists Must Pay Closer Attention to Climate Tipping Points, New Study Shows

A new model of climate tipping points shows them increasing the future economic costs of climate change by at least one-quarter, or as much as 100%.

#Elxn44 Roundup: O’Toole Pledges to Break the Paris Agreement, Fossils Release Election Demands, and Climate Holds Top Spot with Voters

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole pledged to move boldly backwards on Canada’s emissions reduction target, the fossil lobby published its campaign wish list, and the climate crisis held its spot as a top concern for Canadian voters as the federal election moved into its third week.

Indigenous Seed Growers Advance Food Security in Northern B.C.

Canada’s climate conversations have largely left out Indigenous voices and land-based knowledge, but a seed-saving group in northeastern British Columbia is showing a different way forward.

Denmark, Costa Rica Build International Alliance to Speed Fossil Phaseout

Denmark and Costa Rica are working to build a Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) of countries willing to stop issuing new permits for fossil exploration and set a deadline to phase out oil and gas production, the Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.

#Elxn44 Opinion: Online Climate Simulator Can Point Campaign Discussions to Solutions that Work

If massive public investment in renewable energy were only enough on its own to draw average global warming down to 3.5°C, but fossil fuel and methane reductions brought the world within reach of 1.5°C, which set of policies would citizens support?
And if those citizens could use a free, online simulator to map out and discuss those options, say, in the lead-up to Canada’s federal election September 20, would it help drive politicians’ response to the climate crisis?

Average Canadian Vehicle Size Rises 25% as Automakers Double Down on Trucks, SUV’s

Despite the popularity of electric vehicles, Canadian forecasts show no slowing of production for combustion-engine trucks and SUVs, leading environmental organizations to call for tighter federal regulations on automakers.

Methane Fee Shapes Up as New Political Battle for Biden, Congress

Farm state Democrats in the United States and the Biden White House are about to step into a “political tinderbox” over the emissions reduction option identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the quickest ways to begin getting runaway global warming under control.

India On Track to Beat Paris Targets, but Next Round Depends on International Finance

India says it is on track to beat its own targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and scaling back fossil fuel use under the Paris climate agreement. But the next round of improvements will depend on international climate finance.

1 Billion Children at ‘Extremely High Climate Risk’ as Inequities Get Worse, UNICEF Warns

Nearly half of the world’s 2.2 billion children face “extremely high risk” due to the climate crisis and other forms of pollution, according to a new UNICEF report released late last week, marking the third anniversary of the start of #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg’s school strike.

Most Disasters are Predictable, Political, Not ‘Natural’, Expert Asserts

A renowned expert in emergency management is saying the U.S. emergency response system needs major reform to confront the oncoming disasters of climate change.

Emissions Must Peak in Four Years, IPCC Scientists Warn in Leaked Draft

Humanity has just four years to peak and start drawing down global greenhouse gas emissions, coal- and gas-fired power plants must shut down within a decade, and wealthy lifestyles and behaviours will have to change to avoid climate breakdown, according to a leaked draft of an upcoming working group report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Ontario Could Double Rooftop Solar Uptake, Save $250M Per Year

Installing more rooftop solar panels would help Ontario meet future electricity demand and save money for ratepayers across the province, a new study finds.

Feds Pledge $200M to Help Farmers Cut Emissions, Boost Resilience

Canada’s ministry of agriculture and agri-food has announced a three-year, C$200 million On-Farm Climate Action Fund to help farmers adopt climate-friendly management practices. 

Global Outrage, Calls to Action Greet IPCC Science Assessment

A wave of reaction greeted this week’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s devastating new science report, with vulnerable regions and cultures spotlighting the climate impacts they already face, countries like Australia and China under renewed pressure to speed up their emission reductions, and some commentators stressing the fossil industry’s central role in driving the crisis.

German Greens Propose Veto Power for New Climate Ministry

The German Green party has announced plans to establish a climate ministry—with veto power over other agencies’ plans—if they are voted in as part of a new national government in the country’s federal election September 26.

Perilous Impacts and a Call for Deep Emission Cuts: A Special Report on the IPCC Science Assessment

A devastating science assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hit desktops and news media around the world Monday. This Special Report by The Energy Mix brings you the details—including the IPCC’s urgent call for rapid, deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in time to limit the impacts of the global climate emergency.

New Certainty on Extreme Weather Must Lead to Political, Social Action

From land and marine heat waves to storms, flooding, drought, and wildfire, extreme weather events have become more common and more intense since the 1950s, and human-caused climate change is the primary driver. 

Human Activity Drives Climate Change, ‘Epochal’ IPCC Report Finally Confirms

It is now, finally, “unequivocal” that human influence is behind our warming climate.

Five IPCC Scenarios ‘Show How Much Suffering Can Be Averted’

Even the most optimistic scenario in this week’s science assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows average global warming pushing past the crucial boundary of 1.5°C and staying there for most of the century, before gradually beginning to decline. All the other scenarios point to a far worse future. 

But the differences among the five pathways make all the difference in the world.

Continuing Ocean Warming Will Bring ‘Irreversible’ Changes

Scientists are “virtually certain” that ocean temperatures will continue rising until the end of this century, and that the transformational impacts of sea level rise, ocean acidification, melting of the cryosphere, and deoxygenation are now irreversible.

All the World’s Regions Face ‘Concurrent, Multiple Changes’, IPCC Says

Every region of the world will “increasingly experience concurrent and multiple changes” in climate events if global warming continues to rise, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). 

Two Metres’ Sea Level Rise Unlikely, But Can’t Be Ruled Out

While most projections in the sixth IPCC assessment of global climate science track anticipated developments under five emissions scenarios, there is one notable exception: a single chart projecting future sea level rise that deviates significantly as early as this decade.

NO MORE EXCUSES: ‘Unimaginable, Unforgiving World’ without Drastic Emission Cuts, IPCC Warns

Human activity is “unequivocally” producing a world of heat waves, wildfires, floods, sea level rise, and needless death and suffering, “it is more likely than not” that average global warming will exceed 1.5°C by 2040, and faster, deeper emission reductions will be needed to bring temperatures back below 1.5° by the end of the century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark science assessment released this morning.

Cut Methane Now or Face Climate Catastrophe, Scientists Warn

Humanity must cut methane emissions or face climate catastrophe, scientists were expected to warn in this morning’s release of a landmark science report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Gulf Stream Becoming Wildly Unstable, Dangerously Weak, New Study Finds

New research suggests that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), a critical ocean current that stabilizes monsoon patterns and helps keep the northern hemisphere warm, has become wildly unstable and dangerously weak. 

Boris Johnson

Climate Inaction ‘Can Be Justified’, UK Says, as Leadership Failures Imperil COP 26

In a remarkable challenge to the global consensus that the climate crisis is an urgent threat to the planet, the United Kingdom has argued that a failure to act on the 2015 Paris climate agreement can be justified.

Key Countries Miss UN Deadline for Updated Climate Targets

The world’s two most populous countries and one of its most relentless fossil fuel producers have all missed the July 31 to submit updated carbon reduction plans to the United Nations climate secretariat, just days before this morning’s landmark science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

New Study Measures the Cost of Emissions, One Heat Wave Death at a Time

A recent study has arrived at a striking new form of measurement for the true cost of burning fossil fuels: the number of people who will die annually from rising heat, and the number who won’t once emissions are scaled back.

This story includes details about the impacts of climate change that may be difficult for some readers. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this crisis situation here is a list of resources on how to cope with fears and feelings about the scope and pace of the climate crisis.

Half of IPCC’s 2018 Low-Carbon Scenarios Were Unrealistic, Researchers Conclude

A new study is warning that many of the “questionably optimistic” scenarios in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2018 special report on 1.5°C pathways were unrealistic, and those that were feasible would require substantial changes to hit the 1.5°C target.

Worldwide Tree Planting Promises Could Exceed the Available Land

A new Oxfam report is warning that relying too much on tree-planting offsets will endanger the world’s food supply—just as Royal Dutch Shell pushes hard to open a new oil field that would require a new forest the size of England to offset its emissions.

UK High Court to Hear Challenge to North Sea Oil Plan

The United Kingdom’s High Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the country’s oil and gas exploration program for the North Sea, after campaigners with Paid to Pollute, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth UK said the plan conflicted with the Boris Johnson government’s legal duty to hit net-zero emissions by 2050.

New York

IPCC Begins Two-Week Marathon Meeting on New Climate Science Assessment

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has launched a high-stakes, all-virtual marathon meeting aimed at finalizing a key climate science report, the first volume of the world’s first comprehensive climate change assessment in nearly a decade.

Scientists Scorch China, Russia, Brazil, Australia for Lax Climate Targets

A group of scientists is calling out four of the world’s richest countries for insisting on climate targets that would drive up global temperatures by an average 5.0°C if all the G20 countries adopted them.

SBTi Drops 119 Companies for Failing to Declare Climate Targets

The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has dropped 119 companies from its corporate sustainability rankings in recent years, including 57 this past March, for dragging their feet on setting climate goals that meet the targets in the Paris Agreement.

G20 Fails on Coal Phaseout, Delays Decisions on Climate Finance, Fossil Subsidies

Environment and energy ministers from the world’s 20 wealthiest countries have failed to agree on a 2025 coal phaseout, made no progress on international climate finance, and refused to set a deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies, just 100 days before high-stakes negotiations get under way at this year’s UN climate conference, COP 26, in Glasgow.

EXCLUSIVE: Experts Press Trudeau to Link Regulator’s Energy Planning to 1.5°C Targets

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to bring the Canada Energy Regulator (CER)’s energy futures modelling in line with the Paris climate agreement, The Energy Mix has learned, just as an international agency warns that the world’s 1.5°C climate stabilization target is slipping out of reach.

Record Emissions Through 2023 Could Put 1.5°C Beyond Reach, IEA Warns

Governments’ failure to “build back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic will likely drive global greenhouse gas emissions to record levels over the next two years, putting a 1.5°C target for climate stabilization all but out of reach, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is warning this week.

Start Keeping Promises on Climate Finance, Developing Countries Urge G7, G20

Developing countries have presented G7 and G20 nations with a five-point plan to correct their “worrying lack of urgency” on climate finance in the lead-up to this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, coming up in November.

Canada Must Protect ‘Near Urban’ Wild Spaces to Meet Conservation Goals

The federal government must prioritize the protection of “near-urban” nature—spaces rich in biodiversity but increasingly fragmented and fragile—if Canada is to make good on its promise to protect 30% of its land and waters by 2030.

Chicago, Detroit Floods Show Inland Cities Threatened by Rising Waters

As climate change wreaks havoc with the world’s water cycles, Chicago and Detroit are facing a serious reckoning with their engineering—and social—underpinnings.

Global Green Deal Alliance Connects Politicians to ‘Build Back Better’

A new international alliance of politicians is urging all world leaders to join them in working to craft a “global green deal” ahead of this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, convening in Glasgow in November.

Greenland Bans Future Oil Exploration, Seeks End to Uranium Mining

Greenland is pushing ahead with plans to outlaw uranium mining and new offshore oil and gas exploration, three months after the left-leaning Inuit Ataqatigiit party formed a new government.

UK Using ‘Serious Loophole, By Design’ to Approve New Offshore Oilfield

The Boris Johnson government in the UK is using what one campaigner calls a “serious loophole, by design” to approve a new oilfield off the Shetland Islands that will extract 150 to 170 million barrels of oil by 2050, just months before the country hosts this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26.

Proposed U.S. Clean Energy Bill Could Save 317,000 Lives

The Biden administration’s proposed clean energy standard could enable a swift drop in emissions and save hundreds of thousands of lives between now and 2050, says a new report.

Wind turbines

Majority of Canadians Want Investment in Renewables Before Oil

Wind, solar, and hydrogen energy are gaining ground in the minds of Canadians, with more than half of respondents telling the Angus Reid polling agency they want to see renewables prioritized over fossil fuels.

‘Nothing to See Here, Folks’, as Canada Sends Updated Carbon Target to UN

The federal government is facing reactions ranging from disappointment to mockery after filing its updated carbon reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), with the United Nations climate secretariat this week.

Opinion: Toronto Councillors Can Help Wind Down Fossil Fuel Proliferation

Days after people across the Greater Toronto Area watched a “heat dome” scorch much of western Canada and burn Lytton, British Columbia to the ground, Toronto City Council has a unique opportunity to help turn down the heat.

‘Climate Investment Trap’ Keeps Private Finance from Countries that Need it Most

A “climate investment trap” laid down by purveyors of sustainable finance is making it tougher for developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by driving up the cost of the money they have to borrow to get the work done, a research team at University College London has found.

Parliament Buildings Ottawa Centre Block

Senate Vote on Climate Accountability Act Counters ‘Decades of Broken Promises’

Parliament made history yesterday and overjoyed climate and civil society groups took a victory lap as the Senate passed Canada’s first-ever climate accountability legislation, just hours before adjourning for the summer.

Pérez: New Paris Target Must ‘Break the Cycle’ of Fossil Emissions

Canada’s new emission reduction target under the Paris climate agreement is the federal government’s opportunity “to finally do the right thing and address the disconnect between its climate goals and its ongoing support for oil and gas,” writes Eddy Pérez, international climate diplomacy manager at Climate Action Network-Canada, in a post this week for Climate Home News.

EU European Union

EU Approves 55% Carbon Cut by 2030, Net-Zero by 2050

The European Council has formally adopted a law that sets a 2030 deadline for its 27 member countries to cut their emissions by 55% from 1990 levels, en route to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Conference Diplomacy Veterans Question UN Mega-Events

One of Canada’s leading sustainability think tanks is out with a new critique of United Nations conferences that raises some probing questions about whether they’re worth holding.

Scaled-Back U.S. Infrastructure Package Leaves Most Climate Action Behind

After weeks of often intense negotiations, the White House and a group of Democratic and Republican senators finalized an infrastructure package Thursday that includes US$579 billion in new spending, but does little to address what President Joe Biden has acknowledged as the “existential threat” of climate change.

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Rich Nations Leave Island States to Shoulder Impacts, Effort in Climate Crisis

As the nations most responsible for the climate crisis continue to deny and dither, the world’s small island states are fighting hard to save themselves.

Dire Climate Thresholds ‘Closer Than Once Thought’, Leaked IPCC Report Warns

Dangerous climate thresholds that will fundamentally reshape life on Earth “are closer than once thought” and will create unavoidable, dire consequences in the short term, even if humanity gets greenhouse gases under control, according to a leaked draft of an upcoming United Nations science report obtained earlier this week by Agence France-Presse.

UK’s ‘Obscene’ Offshore Oil Plans Put COP 26 Credibility at Risk

Just four months before it plays host to COP 26, the United Kingdom is risking the remaining tatters of its threadbare climate credibility by considering the approval of an 800-million-barrel oil field extension off the Shetland Islands.

New International Crisis Group Will Press for Climate Action

More than a dozen of the world’s top scientists, led by former UK chief scientific advisor Sir David King, have formed a new Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG) to monitor and critique the global response to the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Judges Say Belgium’s Slow Climate Action Breaks Civil Law, Violates Human Rights

Belgium has breached civil law and violated the European convention on human rights by failing to meet its declared climate targets, a court in Brussels ruled Friday, in what The Guardian calls “the latest legal victory against public authorities that have broken promises to tackle the climate emergency.”

Global Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Show Desperate Need for Policy

Nearly three-quarters of the planet will be facing a significant increase in wildfires by 2100, leading to severe public health impacts, a new report by the Global Climate Health Alliance concludes.

Stumbling UN Climate Negotiations Raise Fears for 1.5°C Target

With scarcely four months before this year’s United Nations climate conference convenes in Glasgow November 1, negotiations are stumbling over multiple hurdles—from a frustrating and largely unproductive set of mid-year negotiations over the last 2½ weeks, to rich countries’ failure to deliver on promises ranging from climate finance to international access to COVID-19 vaccines.

drought crops

Advisors Scorch UK’s ‘Really Shocking’ Climate Record as COP 26 Approaches

In a searing indictment of its failure to act fast enough to prepare for the onslaught of rising heat, there is condemnation of the British government by its independent advisors for the UK’s “really shocking” climate record.

Opinion: Offsets Can Help Fund Climate Solutions if ‘Imperfections’ are Solved

The chorus of “net-zero” commitments continues to grow, fuelling the ambitions of businesses and governments around the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. And one hot topic of debate is the role of offsets.

No Change in Fossil Fuel Use Despite ‘Tremendous’ Global Growth of Renewables, Report Finds

The world is recording tremendous growth of renewable energy in the electricity sector, but its share of total final energy consumption (TFEC) continues to increase only moderately and still isn’t making a dent in global fossil fuel consumption, according to the Renewables 2021 Global Status Report (REN21).

Poor Countries React to Failed G7 Summit as EU, U.S. Mull Carbon Border Adjustment

The European Union and the United States have agreed to work together on a series of climate, technology, and sustainable investment initiatives, possibly including a carbon border adjustment, just days after a G7 summit that is being written off as a failure on the two biggest crises the world’s wealthiest countries face—climate change, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

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Canada Boosts Finance Commitment as G7 Falls Short on Climate, Vaccines

G7 leaders have tied up a weekend summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom that produced a still-vague collective promise on international climate finance, pledges to stop funding international coal projects next year and to “strive” to shift vehicles off fossil fuels, a still-nascent sustainable infrastructure investment plan for developing countries, and a disappointing effort on global vaccine equity.

Report Calls for Climate, Biodiversity Action to Work in Tandem

A landmark report is warning that global heating and biodiversity collapse are intertwined crises that will be solved only if they are solved together—critical information for policy-makers as the world prepares for this fall’s global biodiversity and climate conferences.

Vietnam Solar Capacity Grows 100-Fold Since 2019

Solar uptake in Vietnam has reached eye-blinking speed, with a 100-fold increase in generation just since 2019.

Natural Solutions Could Cut Canada’s Emissions by More Than 10%

If work begins now to aggressively restore and protect Canada’s forests, grasslands, farmlands, and peatlands, the country could reduce its annual emissions by 78 megatonnes (Mt) by 2030, says a groundbreaking new study.

Youth Group Launches Poland’s First Climate Lawsuit to Tackle Individual Rights

In a first for Poland, young climate activists—together with one grandfather—are suing their notoriously coal-friendly government for imperilling their futures by failing to act on the climate crisis.

Atmospheric CO2 Now 50% Higher than Pre-Industrial Levels

The annual peak of global heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air has reached another dangerous milestone: 50% higher than when the industrial age began.

World Climate Deal Could Fail Unless G7 Solves Vaccine Disparities

The shattering disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates between rich and poor countries could defeat efforts to implement the Paris agreement, a growing chorus of international leaders is warning ahead of a three-day summit of G7 leaders in Cornwall beginning Friday.

G7 Ministers Recommit to Climate Finance, Leave Details for Later

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s seven wealthiest nations have signed off on a communiqué that recommits to US$100 billion per in international climate finance, but still leaves it up to G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall, UK next week to decide how the now dozen-year-old promise will be kept.

Solnit: Progress in Net-Zero Technology, Policy Offers ‘Cautious Case’ for Optimism

In a recent op ed for The Guardian, American writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit puts forward a “case for climate optimism” grounded in the science, solutions, and shifts in perspective and policy being achieved by activist pressure around the world.

EXCLUSIVE: Canada Helped Prod IEA for Net-Zero Pathway

Canada played an important behind-the-scenes role in prodding the International Energy Agency to develop its landmark Net-Zero by 2050 pathway, while the Trump administration would have been in a position to exert outsized influence on the IEA’s governing board to obstruct progress, The Energy Mix has learned.

budget day 2021

Opinion: ‘Climate Ambition Poker’ Masks Canada’s Fossil-First Energy Plan

In the space of a few days in April, Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement jumped from 30% to 36% to between 40 and 45%. Going into this latest round of climate ambition poker, the federal government, we were told, had already put everything it could on the table and was tapped out. But along came the White House climate summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau upped the ante by another 50%.

Most Municipal Climate Plans Fall Short of What’s Needed

While the number of cities with climate plans has rocketed from 16 to 365 since 2010, fewer than 20% are tackling all four of the most emissions-heavy sectors.

sunrise windmill

IT’S THE END OF OIL: Blockbuster IEA Report Urges No New Fossil Development

No new investment in oil, gas, or coal development, a massive increase in renewable energy adoption, speedy global phaseouts for new natural gas boilers and internal combustion vehicles, and a sharp focus on short-term action are key elements of a blockbuster Net Zero by 2050 report released Tuesday morning by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Critics Pounce after Kerry Says 2050 Carbon Cuts Depend on ‘Technologies We Don’t Yet Have’

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is receiving severe pushback for his comment in a weekend interview that half of the greenhouse gas emission reductions that must be achieved by mid-century depend on technologies that don’t yet exist.

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Don’t Look to CCS, Hydrogen for Quick Carbon Cuts, Le Quéré Warns Canada

It would be a big mistake for Canada to count on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) or hydrogen to meet its 2030 climate targets when those technologies will make “zero contribution” to emission reductions over the next decade, renowned Canadian climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré told a webinar audience Monday morning.

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Louisiana Forms Climate Task Force as Fossils Dig In

Louisiana is sending mixed signals on climate action, with Governor John Bel Edwards (D) setting up a task force in support of his pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while legislators push to make the state a “fossil fuel sanctuary.”

Global Petition Presses Ireland to Introduce Fracking Ban at UN General Assembly [Sign-On]

A grassroot group from Ireland is looking for international support to persuade the Irish government to call for a global ban on oil and gas fracking at the United Nations General Assembly in mid-September, just six weeks before this year’s UN climate conference, COP 26, convenes in Glasgow.

Underfunded Climate Adaptation Projects Aren’t Delivering What Communities Need

In 2019, an international climate fund approved a 10-year, US$9.3-million project to support communities in the drylands of Mozambique that are affected by frequent droughts. This money seems a lot, but it really is not much for a country also affected by other climate-related events such as cyclones. Indeed, the World Bank estimates Mozambique needs at least $400 million a year to protect itself from climate change.

Spain Sets Modest 2030 Emissions Target, Earns Praise for Banning New Fossil Permits

The Spanish parliament has adopted a new climate law that calls for just a 23% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2030, but immediately bans new permits for coal, oil, and gas operations, sets a 2040 deadline to phase out fossil fuel vehicle sales, and commits the country to generate 74% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

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Labour, Housing Bottlenecks Could Threaten Canada’s Promised Green Job Boom

Critical shortages in skilled labour and affordable housing are threatening to derail Canada’s plan to reduce national emissions—and, with it, the promise of sustainable economic growth.

Biden Administration Mulls Controversial Climate Deal with Bolsonaro

Defenders of the rainforest are watching with trepidation—and, for some, horror—as the Biden administration contemplates a climate deal with Brazilian president and “climate-scoffing populist” Jair Bolsonaro, aka “Capitão Motoserra” (Captain Chainsaw).

Suncor Energy Plant_Max and Dee Bernt:Flickr

Naming Fossils as Climate Champions is Like Tobacco Execs Regulating Cigarette Ads: Berman

A British Columbia legal research initiative and the UK government might just as well have named tobacco lobbyists to oversee health messaging, after two fossil executives were among 26 “exceptional individuals” identified as Canadian climate champions ahead of this year’s United Nations climate conference, one of the country’s top climate advocates said Monday.

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More Than One Billion Lack Access to Cooling, Risk Illness and Heat Stress

As the pandemic drives up poverty rates, a lack of access to cooling technology has now put more than a billion people at increased risk of heat stress, food insecurity, job loss, and COVID-19 infection.

UK Grocery Chains Prepare Brazil Boycott as Amazon Becomes Net Carbon Emitter

The Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil is once again risking international boycotts in response to a rainforest-imperilling law, as a new study confirms that the Amazon has become a net carbon emitter for the first time in recorded history.

Children Face Future Wars for Water and Food Unless Adults Embrace Climate Action, Timmermans Warns

Policy-makers must do better at persuading adults to embrace the change the climate crisis demands, rather than fearing it, or “today’s children will face a future of fighting wars for water and food,” says the EU’s deputy chief.

Biden’s Infrastructure, Conservation Plans Not (Necessarily) in Conflict

U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent pledge to protect 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030 need not clash with its earlier promise to reduce emissions by expanding the country’s wind and solar farms—as long as those implementing renewable energy policy do so with an eagle eye on sustainability.

1.5°C ‘Not Impossible’ with Rapid Action This Decade, Climate Scientists Say

Scientifically speaking, humanity can still limit global warming to 1.5°C this century, four veteran climate scientists write for The Conversation. But political action will determine whether it actually does. Conflating the two questions amounts to misplaced punditry, and is dangerous.

Export Development Canada Could Face Legal Challenge for Fossil Industry Financial Support

Export Development Canada (EDC) may face court action in the not-too-distant future, after a legal opinion commissioned by Oil Change International and several other organizations concluded that national export credit agencies have an international legal obligation to scale back their financing for fossil fuel-related activities.

Canada’s Carbon Target Still ‘Insufficient’, Global Warming On Track for 2.4°C, Climate Action Tracker Warns

Canada’s 2030 carbon reduction target is still “insufficient”, the 50% cut promised by United States President Joe Biden is enough to trim average global warming by 0.2°C, and the combination of rich nations’ climate promises to date points toward a 2.4°C world, according to the latest batch of analysis released this week by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT).

Victoria LNG Project Gets Swept Away in Australian Renewable Energy Surge

As Australian energy provider AGL officially pulls the plug on its proposed Victoria coast LNG import terminal, a new report predicts a surge in renewables could leave natural gas delivering as little as 1% of the country’s power mix by 2030.

Historic New York Climate Protection Act Remains Underfunded, Underserved

Two years after New York passed its landmark climate protection act, legislators are still failing to approve any meaningful funding to realize its ambitions.

10 Years After Fukushima, Japan Finally Begins Push for Renewables

A decade after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, an entrenched reluctance to embrace renewable energy—fostered in part by utilities anxious to maintain their dominance—may be giving way, slowly, to a new dawn for green energy in Japan.

Study of Climate Tipping Points Shows Need for Rapid Carbon Cuts

A new study concludes it may still be possible to temporarily exceed the environmental “tipping points” that would signal a drastic deepening of the climate crisis—but only with rapid action to address those impacts and drive down the greenhouse gas emissions at the root of the problem.

Cuts to UK Global Resilience Funding Undermine Cities’ Response to Fire, Floods

The UK’s decision to gut the budget for a key global disaster resilience research hub is putting millions of poor and vulnerable city-dwellers in developing countries at a greater risk of climate impacts like flooding and wildfire.

Climate Scientists Explain Why Net-Zero is a ‘Dangerous Trap’: Part 1

In a searing historical account of the various technological fixes on the road to net-zero emissions, veteran climate scientists James Dyke, Robert Watson, and Wolfgang Knorr conclude the whole effort has been a “dangerous trap”. In Part 1 of this two-part series, they explain how early climate modelling replaced critical thinking, and carbon capture schemes gained traction against real carbon reductions.

UN Declares ‘Make or Break Moment’ on Forest Protection

Humanity is at a “make-or-break moment” to protect the forests we all depend on, United Nations leaders are warning.

Canada Must Tie Budget 2021 Spending to Community-Based Action: Op-Ed

While the “serious coin” directed to climate action by Canada’s 2021 budget is most welcome, two experts are urging policy-makers at all levels to double down on community-based climate policies that integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Unifor Calls for 60% Emissions Cut by 2030 with Just Transition for Oil and Gas Workers

Canada’s biggest private sector union, Unifor, is throwing its support behind calls for a 60% cut in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as long as the more ambitious target comes with a realistic just transition plan for the oil and gas industry workers it represents.

Trudeau Disappoints with 40-45% Emissions Pledge that ‘Falls Short of What’s Needed’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed Canada to a 40 to 45% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 yesterday, in an address to the Leaders’ Summit on Climate convened by U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden Promises 50-52% Emissions Cut by 2030

President Joe Biden confirmed a much-anticipated 50 to 52% emission reduction target for the United States yesterday morning, kicking off a two-day Leaders’ Summit on Climate intended to reassert American leadership on global climate action and prompt other high-emitting countries to embrace faster, deeper carbon cuts this decade.

Some Countries Commit, Others Deflect as White House Pushes for Faster Carbon Cuts

The Biden-Harris Leaders’ Summit on Climate was scheduled to open with statements from leaders of more than two dozen countries, in what the White House signposted as “an opportunity for leaders to highlight the climate-related challenges their countries face and the efforts they are undertaking”.

International Climate Finance Promise Puts U.S. ‘Back in the Game’ but Campaigners Demand More

The Biden-Harris administration’s agenda for yesterday’s Leaders Summit on Climate included a new international climate finance plan that puts billions of new dollars on the table, but not enough to shore up the United States’ credibility as a source of global leadership on climate action.

Carney Launches New Net-Zero Finance Alliance with $70 Trillion in Assets

Nearly four dozen of the world’s biggest banks, insurance companies, and investment fund managers are vowing to mobilize trillions of dollars in financing for net-zero initiatives under the banner of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), a new initiative launched this week with Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, at the helm.

Over 100 Nobel Winners Call for Global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

One hundred and one Nobel laureates—including peace activists, economists, medical experts, chemists, and physicists—have released an open letter urging world leaders to sign a treaty for fossil fuel non-proliferation.

New International Forest Protection Fund a ‘Game Changer’, Says EDF

The United States, United Kingdom, Norway, and nine corporate heavyweights came together at this week’s Climate Leaders’ Summit with a joint commitment to mobilize at least US$1 billion before the end of this year to prevent tropical deforestation.

Federal Budget Puts $17.6 Billion into Green Recovery, Tips 36% Emissions Cut by 2030

The federal government is getting decidedly mixed reviews for a 2021 budget that announces but doesn’t quite spell out C$17.6 billion in green recovery spending over the next five years, while tipping a 2030 emissions reduction goal of 36% that may be superseded within days by a more ambitious government target.

Analysts Search for Details as UK Pledges 78% Carbon Cut by 2035

The United Kingdom has announced plan to legislate a 78% greenhouse gas emissions target for 2035, putting the country in what one news report calls a “world-leading position”.

IEA Projects Alarming 5% Growth in CO2 Emissions This Year

Renewable energy is the success story of the COVID-19 era, but the global economic recovery may see energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise by nearly 5% this year, their second-largest annual increase ever, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in a report this week.

Trudeau Expected to Announce 40% Emission Reduction Target as Analysts See End to ‘Canada’s Silly War’ on Carbon Pricing

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to increase Canada’s 2030 carbon reduction target to more than 40%, and the Conservative Party embracing carbon pricing (however fractiously) as a central plank of their own emerging climate strategy, analysts and major media are pointing to a narrowing of the political polarization that has helped block decisive action on climate change.

U.S., China Agree to Tackle Climate Crisis with ‘Seriousness, Urgency’

In a joint statement late Saturday, the United States and China committed to work together on the climate crisis “with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” carving out space for joint efforts despite a series of major irritants in their bilateral relationship.

UK Seabed Has More Economic Value Than Oil Beneath It, Study Finds

Official estimates from the United Kingdom are showing that the carbon sequestration capacity of the country’s seabed is more valuable than the oil and gas reserves that lie beneath it.

Canada Must Show Up at Biden Summit with ‘More than Just Words’ , International Experts Warn

With the new U.S. administration taking real action on climate change, both domestically and internationally, Canada will have to show up next week at President Joe Biden’s climate leadership summit with more than just words, former Irish president Mary Robinson said Wednesday.

Analysis: Unmeasured Methane Could Undercut Canada’s Blue Hydrogen Drive

The inability to accurately measure and regulate methane emissions from natural gas operations is emerging as a gaping, potentially fatal flaw in a Canadian climate strategy that appears to lean increasingly on a continuing presence for the oil and gas industry, with large volumes of hydrogen to be produced from natural gas.

Conservative MPs Feel ‘Blindsided’ as O’Toole Embraces $50/Tonne Carbon Levy

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was facing intense criticism from within his own caucus Thursday evening, just hours after releasing a glossy, 15-page brochure he’d touted as his party’s new climate plan, with backbenchers telling media they’d had no advance warning that he planned to turn his back on long-standing policy and embrace a half-hearted carbon price.

U.S Global Intelligence Report Presents Stark Climate Vision for 2040

The latest Global Trends report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council offers harrowing projections alongside glimmers of hope in its visioning of how the post-pandemic world may—or may not—respond to the climate crisis by 2040.

Cut U.S. Emissions 50% by 2030, Over 300 Corporate Leaders Urge Biden

With U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate leaders’ summit just over a week away, more than 300 major corporations are urging the White House to commit to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, nearly double the goal of 26 to 28% previously set by the Obama administration.

Scientists Urge UK Supreme Court to Rethink Ruling on Heathrow Expansion

In a significant challenge to the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court, several leading climate scientists have said a recent ruling it made on the expansion of London’s main airport, Heathrow, will cause serious damage to the global environment, urging it to rule that the government must respect the 1.5°C limit internationally agreed to rein in global heating.

‘Battery Swapping’ Could Boost EV Uptake

Biden administration officials gearing up to fund 500,000 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles might be better off investing in the mechanics of “battery swapping”, says an industry insider.

Confidence in Success Increases Odds of Hitting 1.5°C Target

Ever since governments at the 2015 Paris climate summit set 1.5°C as the desired limit for global warming, scientists and journalists alike have regularly asked whether it is achievable. The question arose again recently when the United Nations published a report of national emission-cutting pledges for the next decade. It will be posed regularly before the publication of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report in July—a synthesis of the most recent information scientists can offer on climate change—and the UN climate summit in November.

Biden Jobs, Infrastructure Plan Aims to ‘Turbocharge the Transition’ Off Fossil Fuels

U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Pittsburgh last Wednesday to unveil a US$2-billion jobs and infrastructure plan that includes a 10-year, $650-billion commitment to a U.S. clean energy transition, with big allocations for building energy retrofits, electric vehicle infrastructure, grid modernization, public transit, and union jobs cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells and mines.

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China Urged to Speed Up Closure of 186 ‘Underperforming’ Coal Plants

China can hit its stated target of carbon neutrality by 2060 if it expedites the closure of 186 of its most underperforming coal plants, gradually reduces the capacity of those that remain, and ceases to build any new ones, a new study concludes. But a powerful coal lobby is attempting to stand in the way.

‘Like Big Tobacco at a Medical Conference’: Campaigners Urge UK to Ban Fossils from COP 26

Campaigners are renewing their pressure on the United Kingdom government to keep polluters out of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, when it convenes (if it convenes) in Glasgow in November.

Solar Panels

Dollars ‘Speak Louder than Words’, Climate Campaigners Say on Eve of Ministerial Summit

Citing a profound erosion in trust, and with its eye on this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow, COP 26, climate campaigners are urging leaders in the Global North to recommit to ensuring that the flow of international climate finance contributes to social justice.

Capping Warming at 1.5°C Could Cut Expected Deadly Heat Stress by Half

Limiting global warming to 1.5°Cwill reduce the exposure of hundreds of millions of South Asian people to lethal heat events by half, in turn preventing economy-destabilizing drops in labour productivity, says a new study by an international climate science institute.

Australia Swings, Misses on Claim of ‘World-Leading’ Climate Targets

The Biden administration is expected to announce new and tougher 2030 climate targets when the U.S. plays host to a global climate leadership summit a few weeks from now. Australia’s government, on the other hand, will be doubling down on climate negligence, spinning distortions about past efforts to justify its ongoing lack of ambition.

New Legislation Requires Massachusetts to Reach Net-Zero by 2050

Two months after he vetoed a landmark climate bill, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has signed something very similar, with a 2050 net-zero target and raft of measures that include more offshore wind, new building codes, and benchmarks for electric vehicle adoption.

RBC in the Spotlight as Global Banks Hand $3.8 Trillion to Fossils Since Paris Agreement

The Royal Bank of Canada is being singled out for the “dubious honour of punching above its weight” after a new international study identified 60 of the world’s biggest banks that have invested US$3.8 trillion in fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Canadian Environmental Racism Bill Addresses ‘Toxic Divide’

Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia, Ontario, is ringed by some 60 toxin-spewing petrochemical plants, more than any other community in Canada. That kind of environmental racism is the motivation for a private member’s bill currently before the House of Commons that calls for a national program to help communities measure the impacts they face.

New Report Counts 600+ Cities in 72 Countries with 100% Renewable Energy Plans

The latest global status report on renewable power in cities shows that 2020 was a good year for the development of targets and policies at the municipal level, with more than 610 municipalities in 72 countries setting 100% renewable energy targets by year’s end.

Opinion: Freeland Must Pick a Lane with Next Month’s Federal Budget. And the Right Answer is Obvious.

When she tables a much-anticipated federal budget later this year, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland mustn’t pass up the opportunity to revisit and rethink a bedrock assumption of Canadian economic strategy: that the country’s prosperity stands or falls on the fortunes of its oil and gas industry. It’s time for the federal government to stop trying to do two things at once, and instead pick a lane.

IRENA Urges $131-Trillion Investment through 2050 to Hit 1.5°C Target

Countries will have to speed up renewable energy development eight-fold, invest US$131 trillion by 2050, and massively ramp up hydrogen production to meet a 1.5°C target under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes this week, in the latest edition of its annual World Energy Transitions Outlook.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Call for End to Canada’s Foot-Dragging on Climate

The government of Canada has been quick to hit back against fast-moving emergencies like wildfires—and against actions by Indigenous land defenders—but the country has been bitterly slow to respond to the gradual juggernaut of the climate crisis. Now, two Wet’suwet’en chiefs are calling for an end to those politically-motivated delays.

Youth Delegates Get Seat at the Table, Begin Demanding Respect at UN Climate Talks

Youth delegates are finally just beginning to claim their seat at the table in United Nations climate negotiations. But some of the (apparent) adults in the room are having trouble accepting that they have anything to contribute to the process.

Analysts See ‘Marathon’ Ahead as China’s Five-Year Plan ‘Defers Heavy Lifting on Decarbonization’

China’s much-anticipated economic blueprint for the next five years stands pat on carbon reduction targets, leans heavily on “clean” coal and nuclear generation, and could lead to what one news outlet calls “a strong rise in greenhouse gas emissions” if the country doesn’t take further, faster action toward its promise to peak emissions before 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060.

Relying on BECCS Could Leave 4.5 Billion at Risk of Water Shortages

Banking heavily on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to keep average global warming under 1.5°C could put more than 50% of the world’s population into high water stress by the end of the century, with South America and southern Africa in line to suffer the worst.

Sketchy Carbon Accounting Turns Net-Zero Targets into ‘Weapons-Grade Greenwash’, Scientist Warns

Carbon accounting tricks won’t be enough to solve the climate crisis, and “disaster looms if big finance is allowed to game the carbon offsetting markets to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions,” global change scientist Simon Lewis argued last week in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

Analysts Hope for Earlier Emissions Peak as China Focuses Five-Year Plan on Climate Action

With China widely expected to release its latest five-year economic plan today, analysts were cautiously hoping for a major milestone on the road to a decarbonized future, while watching for indications of whether the country would begin cutting its emissions soon enough and deeply enough to bring it fully in line with the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Accountability Bill Lacks ‘Clear Path’ to Net-Zero Targets, Climate Scientist Warns Ottawa

Just days after unveiling its long-awaited Net-Zero Advisory Body, the Canadian government is receiving some pointed advice on how to toughen up its new climate accountability framework, Bill C-12, to deliver on a legally-binding net-zero target by 2050.

Citizens’ Assembly Pushes Back, Legislators Draft 4,000 Amendments After Macron Tables Climate and Resilience Bill

A highly-touted climate and resilience bill from the government of President Emmanuel Macron is running into gale-force headwinds in France, after the country’s citizens’ assembly panned the plan and legislators came back with more than 4,000 amendments.

Criminalizing Ecocide Could Give Teeth to Easy-to-Evade Climate Targets

While most of the world’s countries are, for all intents and purposes, reneging on their promises to keep global warming below 1.5°C, individuals and organizations are fighting to hold such ecocidal inaction to account in criminal court.

‘Red Alert for Planet’ as UN Report Projects Only 0.5% Emissions Cut by 2030

An initial snapshot of countries’ latest carbon reduction promises, released Friday by the United Nations climate secretariat, shows global greenhouse gas emissions on track to fall just 0.5% between 2010 and 2030, prompting Secretary-General António Guterres to declare a “red alert” in a year that was supposed to be a make-or-break moment for climate action.

Lookback: Anjali Appadurai Speaks for ‘Silent Majority’ at COP 17

Just over nine years ago, at the closing plenary of COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, climate youth delegate Anjali Appadurai delivered a transfixing speech, excoriating world leaders for their failure to follow through on their climate action pledges. Her words as she spoke them on December 9, 2011 were an advance echo of the ambition gap the UN identified in Friday’s NDC synthesis report.

‘There’s a Lot to Rebuild’, Trudeau Tells Biden, as Canada, U.S. Map Climate Partnership

Accelerating climate ambition and building back better are two of the six components of a new U.S.-Canada partnership roadmap that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden released yesterday, during the first official summit between the two leaders and their senior cabinet officials.

Remote Russian Region Aims for Net-Zero Emissions by 2025

Possibly signalling a (slow) shift in Vladimir Putin’s unambitious climate agenda, the far east Russian island region of Sakhalin has declared its intent to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.

Coalition Pushes for 50% Carbon Cut by 2030 as U.S. Rejoins Paris Agreement

The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement Friday, with climate envoy John Kerry warning that high-stakes negotiations at COP 26 in Glasgow this fall represent the “last, best hope” to avert catastrophic climate change.

Rejoining Paris Deal Must Include U.S. Commitment to Climate Finance: Athanasiou

With the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement, the country must look beyond faster, deeper carbon cuts at home and step up with a fair share financing commitment to help developing countries do the same, Eco Equity Executive Director Tom Athanasiou argues in a new post for The Nation.

UN Report Urges End to ‘Suicidal’ War on Nature

A landmark UN report has delivered a shattering synopsis of the three intertwined emergencies facing humanity—the climate crisis, a devastated natural world, and catastrophic air and water pollution—along with an authoritative and detailed blueprint for how to fix a “broken planet.”

Key Passage in IPCC’s 1.5°C Report Cited as ‘Most Important Sentence Ever Written’

The key passage in the 2018 UN agency report that set countries on a path to a 1.5°C limit on average global warming is gaining recognition as one of the most influential bits of text in human history.

Peg Social Cost of Carbon at $100 Per Tonne, Economists Urge Biden

Two eminent economists are urging the Biden administration to peg the social cost of carbon at a minimum US$100 per tonne or risk underestimating what Bloomberg Green calls the “looming damage from warming temperatures”.

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Deliver Real Protections for Climate Migrants, Refugee Group Urges Biden Administration

As work begins on a new climate change and migration report commissioned by the Biden administration, Refugees International is urging the White House to turn the initiative from “some sort of risk scenario and planning exercise” into a gateway to real solutions.

1930s Jobs Program Holds Mixed Lessons for Biden’s U.S. Climate Corps

A recent executive order by President Biden has set policy-makers on course to design a strategy for a new U.S. Civilian Climate Corps, with details due by late April. Comparisons to the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps and to the present-day AmeriCorps are inevitable, but also problematic, observers warn.

Countries Must Cut Emissions 80% Beyond Paris Pledges, but Study Author Sees Glimmers of Hope

The countries that signed on to the Paris Agreement will have to increase their 2015 carbon reduction promised by 80% to avoid the worst effects of climate change, according to a new study published this week in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

Floating Solar Could Boost African Hydropower Output by 50%

Covering just 1% of Africa’s hydroelectric reservoirs with floating solar panels could double the continent’s hydro capacity while increasing dams’ output by 50%, delivering a huge boost to a region struggling with the dual impacts of the climate emergency and widespread energy poverty, a new study concludes.

EXCLUSIVE: UNESCO Partnership Helps Global Gas Exporters ‘Boost Legitimacy’, Undercuts UN Climate Goals, Analysts Say

The United Nations agency responsible for science, education, culture, and protected areas is undercutting global action on the climate emergency, analysts and campaigners warn, by forming a partnership with a global forum dedicated to promoting and greenwashing natural gas exports.

U.S. Cities Vastly Underreport Their Emissions, Study Concludes

A new study in the journal Nature Communications warns that most American cities are likely underreporting their greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%, an alarming statistic given that the world’s cities already produce the lion’s share of CO2 emissions—and many are expected to triple in size by 2030.

Veteran Negotiators, ‘Dream Team’ of Advocates May Bode Well for COP 26 ‘Moment’

With at least two veteran negotiators back for a repeat engagement, a “dream team” of newer advocates coalescing, and a massive sense of urgency carrying over from 2020, this year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow may be shaping up as the biggest COP “moment” since the 2015 Paris Agreement—even with the expected gaps in a major upcoming science report drawing comparisons to “Star Wars without Darth Vader”.

Wyoming Citizens Divided on Economic Shift from Fossil to Renewables

As the low-carbon transition takes hold, fossil-producing Wyoming is at a crossroads. The windy state is grasping at the potential to invest big in renewable power—but old habits die hard, and uncertainty about wind’s ability to deliver has many citizens fearing change.

B.C. Logging Practices Drive Up Climate Risk, Sierra Club Warns

After failing to assess elevated risks of drought, wildfire, and flooding resulting from its standard logging practices, British Columbia urgently needs to address impacts of forest clearcutting that were left out of its 2019 Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, according to a report released Monday by Sierra Club BC.

Climate ‘Pariah’ Bolsonaro Faces International Court Complaint for Crimes Against Humanity

At home and abroad, the environmental policies being adopted in President Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil are leaving the country increasingly isolated, especially now his climate-denying idol Donald Trump has been replaced by the climate-friendly U.S. President Joe Biden.

Global Climate Adaptation Funding Overreported, Underspent

Even if global climate adaptation financing were as high as reported—and it isn’t—it would still fall woefully short of what’s needed. And the projects that are being funded may be leaving their intended beneficiaries worse off due to oblivious planning that ignores local drivers of vulnerability.

State-Led U.S. Climate Alliance Still Sees Headwinds Post-Trump

A White House led by a climate denier who was actively working to undermine global efforts to meet the targets in Paris Agreement made work hard for the 25 U.S. states that pledged to make good on their country’s promises under the 2015 deal. But even with Trump gone, progress is still being hamstrung by a tendency to equate action with electric power.

virtual hybrid meeting Event Camp 2010

Climate Scientists Look to Virtual Platforms to Cut Their Travel Footprint, Make Meetings More Inclusive

Far-flung field work and international conferences are part and parcel of climate research work—meaning scientists who study climate change can fly far more than their academic peers. But with the pandemic shaking up those norms, many now plan to remain virtual—and grounded—for as much and as long as possible.

Sweeping Biden Executive Orders Halt Fossil Leases, Boost Renewables, Stress Environmental Justice and Scientific Integrity

With a set of three sweeping executive orders Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden launched an abrupt shift from four years of climate denial and inaction. The orders included measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, increase its reliance on renewable energy, accelerate government renewables procurement and research, restore scientific integrity, and begin addressing the searing inequities and environmental justice issues that had been allowed to fester under his predecessor’s watch.

Biggest-Ever Global Climate Poll Reveals Overwhelming Demand for Action

The biggest climate survey ever conducted has confirmed that nearly two-thirds of people around the world see climate change as a “global emergency”—a mandate for action that is clear and unquestionable. And with the desire for change even higher among young people, it’s also clear that education has played a big role in the groundswell.

Critics Weigh Merits of Soil Sequestration-Based Carbon Storage

Soil scientists, carbon credit start-ups, and now U.S. President Joe Biden want to enlist American farmers to fight the climate crisis through soil sequestration. Some, however, are questioning whether the benefits are as advertised, or if the initiative is a dangerous distraction from more proven, heavyweight carbon solutions like peatland restoration and forest protection.

81% of ‘Removed’ Atmospheric Carbon is Reused to Extract More Fossil Fuel

The global operational capacity of carbon capture and storage (CCS) currently stands at 39 megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 per year, or roughly 0.1% of global annual emissions, with deployment slow and plagued by accidents. And despite its fervid marketing as a climate saviour, CCS today is primarily used merely to extract more fossil fuels.

Norway to Offer Barents Sea Exploration Permits Later This Year

Environmental groups and opposition parties in the Norwegian parliament are pointing to a severe disconnect from the country’s climate targets after Oil and Energy Minister Tina Bru announced plans last week to open up new oil and gas exploration permits in the Arctic in the second quarter of this year.

Flurry of Biden Executive Orders Returns U.S. to Paris Agreement, Begins Reversing Trump Deregulatory Agenda

News reports Wednesday heralded the dawn of a new era in U.S. climate, energy, and environmental justice policy, as President Joe Biden marked his first day in office by signing a wave of executive orders to begin rolling back four years of deregulation under Donald Trump.

Be Wary of Plans for Direct CO2 Removal, Greenpeace Warns Investors

While direct carbon removal (DCR) technologies like afforestation and direct air carbon capture are showing up in climate plans across the corporate world, it will be sharp emissions reductions, not DCR, that actually will keep a 1.5˚C climate target in view, Greenpeace UK warns in a new report.

BREAKING: Biden to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline, Rejoin Paris Agreement on Day One as ‘10-Day Blitz’ of Executive Actions Kicks Off

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to rescind the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and bring his country back into the Paris climate agreement on his first day in office Wednesday, CBC reported yesterday, kicking off a 10-day blitz of executive actions this week and next, a first step in shifting the country’s direction after four years under the influence of Donald Trump.

UNEP Calls for Better Funding to Speed Global Climate Adaptation

As the climate crisis accelerates and the Earth nears a fast-approaching “temperature tipping point,” the world’s nations need to speed up their adaptation planning and funding, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns in its latest Adaptation Gap Report.

McCarthy: 2021 Could Be ‘Pivotal Year’ for Climate Action

With climate action and ambition accelerating toward the end of last year, in Canada and internationally, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution under way, 2021 could be a pivotal year in the fight to get the climate crisis under control, writes Shawn McCarthy, senior counsel at the Sussex Strategy Group, in a post last week for Policy Options.

Report Declares Carbon Capture and Storage a ‘Dangerous Distraction’

Anyone banking on carbon capture and storage (CCS) as the silver bullet that will allow for undisturbed continuation of the fossil fuel business had better have (extremely) deep pockets, reports Grist, citing a new study that declares the technology gobsmackingly expensive, wildly inefficient, and a dangerous form of climate-action delay.

crude oil

Cities Help Build Momentum for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

A plan for a global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, first introduced last year in a paper co-authored by Canadian climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman, may soon get a boost from three major cities in the United States and Spain.

Positive Feedback Loops Could Speed the Shift Off Carbon, Study Finds

Large-scale progressive change can be accomplished as much by “positive-sum” cooperation as by “zero-sum” thinking, argues a new study co-authored by the deputy director of the UK’s Cabinet Office COP26 Unit.

COVID Recovery Funds, Green Jobs Could Help Developing Countries Drive Down Emissions

COVID-19 recovery funds and green job investment could be a cornerstone for efforts by more than 20 developing nations to come up with new, improved national climate plans, according to a Seoul, South Korea-based organization that is working on Green New Deal-type plans with nearly a dozen different countries.

Climate Finance Needs Data Standards, Verification to Build Trust Among Rich and Poor Countries

As Paris Agreement climate financing commitments come due, established standards and third-party verification for finance data are desperately needed to win back the trust of poorer nations, urges the editorial board of the journal Nature.

coal mine

UK Accused of ‘Rank Hypocrisy’ After Allowing New Underground Coal Mine

The UK government is being accused of “rank hypocrisy” that “beggars belief”, after failing to rescind local approval of the country’s first new underground coal mine in 30 years while preparing to convene this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, just 10 months from now.

Momentum from 2020 Drives Hopes for a Year of Climate Action

After a horrid year of pandemic lockdowns and searing inequalities that nevertheless produced surprising progress for climate action and carbon reduction commitments, several news outlets are looking ahead to 2021 with something that sounds an awful lot like optimism.

850,000 Trapped in Darkness as Cyclone Yasa Hits Fiji at 250 Kilometres Per Hour

More than 850,000 Fijians were trapped in inky darkness on Thursday, hunkered down against the ravages of Tropical Cyclone Yasa, which slammed ashore around 8 PM local time bearing average windspeeds of 250 kilometres per hour, towering storm surges, and the siren call of a climate emergency.

‘Damn It Feels Good to Win’: Historic Diversity, Serious Climate Expertise as Biden Cabinet Takes Shape

As U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet and senior White House appointments take shape, a picture is emerging of an administration that will be keenly focused on climate action and environmental justice—not only in the key portfolios traditionally responsible for environment and natural resources, but in important related areas from treasury to health, from transportation to trade.

In Conversation: World Energy Outlook’s Role is to Reflect Current Policy Plans, Push Decision-Makers to Do More, IEA’s Wanner Says

Brent Wanner is Power Sector Modelling Lead with the team that produces the annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) for the International Energy Agency. In this feature interview, he talks about the path to 1.5°C, the breakaway growth potential in renewable energy, and why the WEO’s purpose is to model the climate implications of current government policies and plans as a way to nudge policy-makers toward more ambitious climate action.

Ontario Guts Conservation Authorities, Risking ‘Irreversible Damage’ in Flood Zones

Overreaching, unnecessary, and downright dangerous is how Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities are describing a new provincial law that limits their power to protect an already vulnerable public from increasing flood risks—a threat the Ford government continues shrug off.

Lloyd’s Promises 2030 Withdrawal from Fossil Fuel Project Insurance, Draws Fire for Slow Timeline

The world’s biggest insurance network, UK-based Lloyd’s, is promising to end new investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic oil and gas, and coal by 2022 and stop insuring any fossil projects at all by 2030.

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

Pakistan Halts 27,000 MW of New Coal Development

Amid the 75 action commitments that different countries put forward at the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit last weekend, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) is pointing to a pledge from Prime Minister Imre Khan that Pakistan “will not have any more power based on coal”.

‘Winners and Losers’ Mentality Blocks Success in International Climate Negotiations

The old idea that 30 years of largely failed international climate action amount to a “collective action problem” gets a fresh, new look in an opinion piece this week by Bloomberg Green sustainability editor Eric Roston.

Citizens’ Climate Assembly Aims for ‘Biggest Global Democracy Experiment Ever’

A factory worker from India, a sheep farmer from New Zealand, and a bus driver from the UK could end up working side by side on the best approaches to solving the climate crisis, if they’re among the 1,000 people chosen at random to take part in a first-ever global citizens’ assembly leading up to next year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.

Energy Transition Could Cut Future LNG Demand by 75%, Leave Long Trail of Stranded Assets

Renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and green hydrogen are set to draw away more than 75% of future demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), analysts at Wood Mackenzie warned last week.

With $170/Tonne Carbon Price, $15B in New Spending, Canada’s 2030 Carbon Target Still Falls Far Short

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an updated national climate plan Friday that includes a $170-per-tonne carbon price in 2030, C$15 billion in new climate spending, a more modest Clean Fuel Standard, and a slight increase in the country’s 2030 carbon reduction goal—just barely enough to keep the government’s promise to boost its ambition beyond the 30% target originally adopted by the Stephen Harper government in 2015.

‘Now Fix the Future’: UN Climate Ambition Summit Delivers Progress, Leaves More Ground to Cover

Leaders and diplomats from 75 countries closed out the Climate Ambition Summit Saturday with solid progress in the road to stabilizing average global warming at 1.5°C, but a lot more ground to cover before they reconvene in Glasgow next year for the next United Nations climate change conference, COP 26.

UK Becomes First Major Economy to Ban Public Finance for Overseas Fossil Projects

Climate campaigners were parsing language and awaiting details Friday after the United Kingdom announced it would become the first major world economy to promise an end to public financing of overseas fossil projects.

Paris Agreement Pushes Low-Carbon Solutions to Mass-Market Appeal This Decade, Analysts Conclude

While global greenhouse gas emissions have risen from 53 to 55 billion tonnes per year since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, low-carbon solutions are poised for mass-market appeal in sectors representing 70% of emissions by 2030, creating more than 35 million net new jobs along the way, according to an analysis released last week by SYSTEMIQ.

U.S. Takes Colossal (Dis)Honours in Special Five-Year Fossil Awards

The United States won the highly-coveted Colossal Fossil of Five Years, as well as a second award for stinginess on climate finance, while Brazil came away with two awards and Australia with one, when Climate Action Network-International announced its modified Fossil of the Year awards on the eve of Saturday’s UN Climate Ambition Summit.

EU Adopts 55% Target, But Fine Print Points Toward Slower Carbon Cuts

The European Union is boosting its greenhouse gas reduction target to 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, prompting negotiators to take a victory lap but climate analysts to raise warnings about loopholes in a deal that still doesn’t go far enough, fast enough toward decarbonization.

Montreal Vows 55% Emissions Cut by 2030

In its just-released 10-year climate plan, the city of Montreal is vowing to cut emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. Environmental groups like Équiterre are praising the plan as a “very pragmatic and serious” effort grounded in the realities of climate science.

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Analyst Cites Fossil Exports as the ‘Biggest Climate Scandal You’ve Never Heard Of’

The focus on domestic greenhouse gas reductions in the run-up to next year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, COP 26, will leave out the “biggest climate scandal you’ve never heard of”, Australian political philosophy professor Jeremy Moss writes in a recent post for Climate & Capital Media.

Contrail Pollutants Contribute Twice the Impact of Airline CO2 Emissions, Study Finds

A new report from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency concludes that emissions of black carbon, nitrous oxide, soot, and water vapour were responsible for two-thirds of the total climate impact of the aviation industry in 2018—twice that of its CO2 emissions.

International Group Proposes Legislation to Criminalize Ecocide

In an effort led largely by small island nations, 13 international lawyers are drafting a plan to make ecosystem destruction a criminal offence of the highest degree.

Boris Johnson

BREAKING: UK Declares 68% Carbon Reduction Target for 2030 After Analyst Warns to Watch the Fine Print

The United Kingdom will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 68% from 1990 levels by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today, a plan he said would put the country on track for net-zero emissions by 2050 and represent the fastest rate of GHG reductions of any major economy.

BREAKING: Countries’ Fossil Extraction Plans Drive Emissions Far Past 1.5°C Limit

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a “potential turning point” in global fossil fuel production, countries will drive greenhouse gas emissions far beyond a 1.5°C limit on average warming if their published plans to increase coal, oil, and gas extraction come to pass, according to the 2020 Production Gap Report issued this morning by five major international agencies.

Price: Following the Money Spotlights ‘Big Banks’ Green Bafflegab’

There must be a basement somewhere on Bay Street full of English majors, writes campaigner and Engagement Organizing author Matt Price. Every day they churn out great reams of verbiage about “environmental, social and governance strategy” and fill annual reports with a dozen different ways to say the big five Canadian banks care about the environment.

In Conversation: A Better Climate Accountability Bill Serves Everyone’s Interests, Croome and Andrews Say

Julia Croome and Alan Andrews are staff lawyers at Ecojustice, where they’ve been leading much of the climate community’s research and analysis leading up to the release of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, last week. In this feature interview, they explain the essential difference between an accountability bill and a climate plan, the gaps in the current legislation, and why every party in Parliament should want C-12 strengthened.

Opinion: Kerry Must Lead Total Reform of U.S. Climate Diplomacy

After four years of climate denial at the top of the U.S. government, the appointment of John Kerry as a climate envoy for the next administration is a bit of a breath of fresh air. But to avert runaway climate breakdown, we need the Biden administration to be orders of magnitude more ambitious, writes Brandon Wu of ActionAid.

Kerry Named White House Climate ‘Czar’ as Analysis Shows U.S. Could Cut Emissions 38-54% by 2030

Paris Agreement architect John Kerry was appointed White House climate “czar”, a half-dozen other senior appointments signalled stability and continuity, and a few glass ceilings were shattered as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced nominees for senior administration positions Monday.

Climate Vulnerable Forum Push for Specifics as 151 Countries Promise Tougher Paris Targets

While more than 150 countries have confirmed their Paris Agreement commitments to introduce more ambitious climate plans by the end of this year, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is warning those promises may not be enough to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis in the countries it affects first and worst.

With Fossils Making Net-Zero Promises, Not All Targets Are Equal

Most North American and European fossil producers have published voluntary carbon reduction commitments, but not all targets are equal, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in a new analysis, the first of three looking at the future of oil in a decarbonized world.

G20 Survey Finds Canada’s Renewables Growth Stagnating, Fossils at 76% of Total Energy

While Canada has the second-largest share of renewable energy in its electricity mix, it was one of only four that didn’t have plans to increase renewables output in 2020, even as its greenhouse gas emissions soared far above its fair share of a 2030 carbon budget, according to the latest edition of the Climate Transparency Report released earlier this week.

U.S. GHG Emissions on Track for ‘Biggest Drop on Record’

The United States is on track to exceed the emissions pathway targeted by the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, thanks to green(er) transformations in the country’s power sector coupled with pandemic-driven declines in transportation. It’s a deep enough drop in emissions to put the country’s Paris Agreement targets back within reach, according to new analysis by BloombergNEF.

‘Complacency is Breathtaking’ as Nations Approve 10 Years of Rising Emissions from International Shipping

Governments attending a key meeting on international shipping have adopted what one observer calls a “disastrously weak” plan that will lead to a decade of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a sector that already adds a billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year.

Doig: For 1.2 Billion People, Decarbonization is a Matter of Survival

I have sat in many long Zoom calls this year discussing climate ambition. Never once have I thought these were life or death discussions for me personally. But for 1.2 billion people across the globe, the collective decarbonization commitments put forward by all governments are a matter of survival. The tempest of our changing climate is right on their door and pushing hard.

Ontario Youth Climate Defenders Win Their Day in Court

Almost a year after launching a climate lawsuit against their province’s government, seven young Ontarians have learned that their case can go forward, and they will have their day in court.

Early Signs Show Biden Setting Up to Deliver on Bold Climate Action Agenda

It’s still the earliest of early days in the Biden administration’s transition process, with countless decisions to be made, cabinet appointments to be vetted, and senior staff to be recruited. But the news reports so far are coming to an astonishing consensus: that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris meant it when they declared climate action a priority, and they seem determined to deliver on the promise.

Youth Campaigners’ Mock COP to Spotlight Vulnerable Countries, Adopt Climate Ambition Treaty

Youth campaigners kicked off their Mock COP 26 this week with a demand for “real action” on the climate crisis, taking up the calendar slot that was supposed to be filled by the regular UN climate event before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden-Harris Win Could Bring 1.5°C ‘Within Striking Distance’, Climate Think Tank Declares

With their promise to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement on Day One of their new administration, and a US$2-trillion climate plan in their back pockets, a major climate think tank says the election win by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris could be enough to bring a 1.5°C limit on average global warming “within striking distance”.

Biden-Harris Campaign Launches BuildBackBetter. com Transition Team Site

With the final ballots still being counted in five key states, but analysts and a desperate-sounding Donald Trump signalling the imminent end of the U.S. election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled BuildBackBetter. com as the online address for the transition leading up to their inauguration January 20.

Wilkinson Promises New 2030 Target in ‘Very Near Term’ as Opposition MPs Flag Delays

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson promised to announce measures to exceed Canada’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions in the “very near term”, but refused to say when the government’s wider climate plan would be released, under questioning by opposition MPs at the House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Wealthy Countries Fall Short on $100-Billion Annual Climate Fund Promise

In 2009, the world’s rich nations agreed to collectively mobilize an annual US$100 billion in climate finance for poorer nations by 2020. But Oxfam’s examination of the latest available figures finds the reality falling far short of the promise.

Election Just ‘One Step Along the Way’ as U.S. Vote Counting Continues, Climate Community Awaits Results

With vote counting in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election not nearly complete, climate campaigners were clear about two key points: that every ballot must be tallied before anyone tries to tweet or more officially call the outcome, and that wherever this chapter of the story ends, a massive amount of work was ahead to build a just, green recovery and pull the country back into the Paris Agreement.

Lookback: Trump’s 2017 Inauguration Put Climate Campaigning at the Starting Gate

This archived post captures what the world looked like on January 20, 2017, the day a misogynistic, white nationalist climate denier became president of the United States. It stands as a prequel for a monumental, four-year effort to contain the damage on climate, energy, environmental justice, and so much more—and for the rebuilding that begins as soon as the votes (all the votes) have been counted later this week or this month.

Switzerland to Fund Projects in Peru Under World-First Carbon Offset Agreement

A newly-signed carbon offsetting agreement will see Switzerland earn emission reduction credits by funding sustainability projects in Peru with money from Swiss motor fuel importers.

Failing to Embrace Green Recovery Will Drive ‘Catastrophic’ Climate Change, C40 Cities Warns Governments

The world’s governments can cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2030, create 50 million “good, sustainable jobs” by 2025, prevent 270,000 premature deaths in the next 10 years, and save US$1.4 billion in health costs by embracing a green and just recovery, the C40 Cities COVID-19 Recovery Task Force concludes in an analysis released Wednesday.

Democrats Explore How Biden Climate Plan Would Navigate a Hostile U.S. Senate

With a bitter presidential campaign in the United States winding down to its last 100 or so hours, and Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris holding a steady lead in opinion polls, U.S. analysts are starting to ponder how much the new administration will be able to get done on climate policy once it takes office—and how they’ll go about it.

Wilkinson Interested in Carbon Border Adjustment as Analysts Scan Biden Trade Policies

The Trudeau government is expressing warmer interest in carbon border adjustments (CBAs) as a way to control industrial greenhouse gas emissions without putting Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage internationally, just as the European Union and the United States begin serious musings about taking similar steps, the Globe and Mail reports this week.

New Carbon Regulations Give International Shipping a Free Pass Until 2030

International shipping companies are on track to get a free pass on their greenhouse gas emissions for the rest of this decade under what’s being called a “compromise” proposal that postpones energy efficiency requirement for marine vessels until 2030.

New IMF Climate Action Blueprint Maintains GDP, Factors in Human Health

Rejecting the oft-cited dictum that growth must be sacrificed to cut emissions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a “blueprint” for getting to net-zero by 2050 without economic pain—and with a healthier global population.

Insurer Warns of Ecosystem Collapse in One-Fifth of Countries, Imperiling $42 Trillion in Global GDP

A new report from insurance giant Swiss Re Group warns that more than half of global GDP—totalling US$42 trillion—is in peril, as climate change brings biodiversity to a tipping point and puts 20% of the world’s countries at risk of ecosystem collapse.

BREAKING: ‘Baby Steps’ in Annual Analysis Make International Energy Agency a ‘Threat to Climate Safety’

The International Energy Agency is taking intense criticism this morning for a set of energy futures scenarios that factor in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, recognize the transition taking hold in global energy production, but still guide governments, corporations, and investors toward decisions that will drive average global warming far above 1.5°C.

Fossil Shutdowns Could Lead to Pricey Compensation Claims Under Investor Dispute Settlement Rules

A maze of more than 2,600 bilateral treaties and preferential trade agreements could expose governments to costly lawsuits by allowing foreign investors and shareholders to recover losses on their stranded oil, gas, and coal assets, according to a new analysis by the London, UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development.

Emissions of Super-Pollutant Nitrous Oxide Rising on ‘Worst-Case’ Trajectory

Global emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) are rising on a frightening scale, putting them on track to single-handedly push global warming far beyond the limits of the Paris Agreement, according to a new study.

Leaked 2018 Strategy Proposed ‘Broader Than Oil’ Coalition to Undercut Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard

A top communications and government relations firm led by long-time Conservative Party strategist Jaime Watt developed a confidential plan to undercut support for the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by convincing Canadians that “fighting climate change is a losing battle,” according to leaked documents released this week by Greenpeace Canada.

European Parliament Adopts 60% Carbon Cut by 2030 as Fossils Fall Short of Paris Targets

European legislators adopted a legally-binding target this week to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030, more ambitious than the net reduction of “at least 55%” the European Commission had proposed, even as a new study found the continent’s fossil companies’ climate plans falling short of the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Keep Fossil Polluters Out, Campaigners Urge COP 26 Organizers [Sign-on]

Climate campaigners are mounting a new effort to push fossil fuel lobbyists out of the influential back rooms of next year’s United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow.

Nature-Based Solutions Risk a Greenwashing ‘Circus,’ Says International Coalition

An international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous groups is warning that the net-zero emissions concept has become little more than a licence to pollute as governments and fossils leverage their version of “nature-based solutions” to dodge the heavy lifting of actual emissions cuts.

Canada Signs G20 Energy Statement that Endorses Fossil Bailouts, Never Says the Word ‘Climate’

Canada has signed on to a G20 energy communiqué led by Saudi Arabia that endorses fossil industry bailouts, contains not a single use of the word “climate”, makes no reference to the G20’s now 11-year-old promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, and endorses the host country’s perverse definition of a “circular carbon economy” that is long on unproven carbon capture technologies and short on meaningful commitments to actual decarbonization.

Rapid Arctic, Antarctic Ice Loss Prompts Urgent Call for 1.5°C Action

Ice cover in the Arctic Ocean reached its second-lowest level on record, and ice melt in Antarctica is on track to raise global sea levels 2.5 metres over the very long term, according to two separate studies released in the second half of September.

Multinational Companies’ Supply Chains Produce Nearly 20% of Global Emissions

The supply chains of big, multinational companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart, and Total SA account for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change.

New Study Places Long-Term Cost of Carbon Emissions at $100,000 Per Ton

Carbon dioxide emissions will ultimately cost humanity US$100,000 per ton, according to a shocking new study released earlier this month by the University of Chicago.

BREAKING: ‘First Blueprint’ Lays Out China’s Path to Carbon Neutrality

China would rely on a massive increase in solar, nuclear, and wind capacity while cutting its coal consumption 96% between 2025 and 2060 under a “first blueprint” for fulfilling the carbon neutrality target unveiled by President Xi Jinping at last week’s United Nations General Assembly.

Jonathan WIlkinson

Wilkinson Promises Five-Year Emissions Targets While O’Regan Announces $320 Million for Newfoundland Fossil Industry

Within hours of each other Friday, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson vowed that a series of five-year emissions targets through 2050 will be his top legislative priority this fall, while Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan unveiled a C$320-million cash infusion for the struggling fossil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Humanity Faces a ‘Climate Reckoning’, Trudeau Says, as 60 World Leaders Sign Climate-Biodiversity Pledge

The world faces a “climate reckoning”, and countries must create a more equitable international system that can confront 21st century challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations General Assembly in a recorded address Friday.

Youth Around the World Demand Action During Friday’s Global Climate Strike

From Vienna to Seoul, Pretoria to Warsaw, Saskatoon to Hong Kong, youth climate activists—masked and social distancing—returned to the streets last week for a Global Climate Strike calling for a green and just recovery.

Climate Hawk Declares ‘Most Progressive Throne Speech in a Generation’ as Ottawa Pledges Tougher Emission Targets, Links Cleantech to Million-Job Strategy

Climate change moved to the centre of Canada’s million-job recovery strategy, the Trudeau government pledged immediate action on more ambitious carbon reduction targets, neither the fossil nor the nuclear industry rated a single explicit mention, and a government-appointed senator was more deeply critical than many of the country’s leading campaign organizations as Governor General Julie Payette read a much-anticipated Speech from the Throne Wednesday afternoon.

Scathing New Report Finds ‘Failure Across the Board’ in Colossal Fossils’ Climate Plans

Despite a flurry of announcements from colossal fossils claiming great plans to decarbonize their operations, the companies’ actual performance shows they can’t be counted on to manage their own decline, Oil Change International concludes in a scathing new report that finds “failure across the board” in the industry’s climate plans.

Climate-Vulnerable Nations Urge Courage, Demand Action at UN General Assembly

As their homelands see more and more damage from the escalating chaos of the climate crisis, the national leaders of Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands called on the rest of the world for compassion, courage, solidarity, and action as the annual United Nations General Assembly convened this week.

BREAKING: New Assessment Declares Canada’s Climate Plan ‘Insufficient’ as Throne Speech Day Dawns

With the Trudeau government just hours away from tabling its long-awaited Speech from the Throne, the international Climate Action Tracker is branding the country’s carbon reduction efforts “insufficient” and consistent with a 3.0°C world, with “little support” for green recovery measures to date.

Wilkinson Says COVID Won’t Hijack Canada’s Green Agenda as Climate Community Demands Commitments, O’Regan Touts Nuclear

On the eve of this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is declaring that the pandemic won’t hijack Canada’s green agenda, adding that “if left unaddressed, climate change will have more of an impact on Canadians than COVID-19,” CTV News reports.

Fridays for Future Calls Global Climate Strike September 25

As the United Nations’ 75th General Assembly continues to unfold under pandemic conditions, #FridaysforFuture is urging the world’s children and their supporters to participate in a global climate strike this Friday, September 25.

China’s Xi Jinping Pledges CO2 Emissions Peak Before 2030, Carbon Neutrality by 2060

China is committing to peak its greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping announced yesterday, in what was seen as a surprisingly bold videolink address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

U.S. Senate Defies Trump, Reaches Bipartisan Deal to Cut HFCs 85% by 2035

In a brief moment of bipartisan agreement, and what the Washington Post calls a “rare show of defiance of the Trump administration,” the U.S. Senate sealed a deal earlier this month to reduce climate-busting hydrofluorocarbon emissions 85% by 2035.

China to Consider Carbon Neutrality by 2050 in Long-Term Climate Plan

China is considering a long-term climate plan that commits to carbon neutrality by 2050, just days after the European Union boosted its 2030 emission reduction target from 40 to 55%.

Youth Activists Plan ‘Mock COP’ to Protest Delays in Climate Action

Frustrated by the lack of progress in addressing the climate emergency and appalled by the UK’s pallid efforts to promote the pandemic-delayed COP 26, young activists will be holding their own “Mock COP” this November.

EU Targets 55% Emissions Cut by 2030, but Real Progress Hinges on U.S. Election Result

Europe is on track to increase its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target from 40 to 55% after the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the continent’s “biggest and most influential political faction”, threw its support behind an updated EU-wide goal.

Faster Tree Growth Leads to Shorter Lifespans, Less Carbon Storage

Climate modellers have long embraced the idea that trees flourish in warmer conditions, calculating friendly feedback loops where thriving forests create deeper carbon sinks. But a new study showing that fast-growing trees die younger has thrown cold water on this theory.

UK Citizen Climate Assembly Calls for ‘Fair’ Green Recovery

A ban on SUVs, a frequent flyer tax, carbon emissions labelling, and protections for those most exposed in the push to net zero were among the core recommendations when the UK’s citizen-led Climate Assembly issued its final report last week.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 2)

This is the second of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

Bolsonaro Holds Fast on Defence of Big Ag, Calls Rainforest Defenders a ‘Cancer’

While Brazil could gain two million jobs, US$535 billion in GDP, and 12 million hectares of restored pastureland by “building back better” from the pandemic, President Jair Bolsonaro is clinging  to his own status quo, defending the interests of Big Ag and calling the civil society groups fighting deforestation in the Amazon a “cancer”.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 1)

This is the first of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

Carbon Border Taxes Mustn’t Penalize Developing Countries for Emissions Driven by Developed-World Policies

While a carbon border adjustment looks reasonable at face value as a way to encourage faster, deeper carbon cuts, the approach will fail the equity test in the 2015 Paris Agreement if it puts the onus on developing countries to curtail fossil fuel use the developed world has worked hard to promote.

50% Global Emissions Cut Would Avoid Severe Climate Impacts to Tropics

If governments across the world align their 2025 climate targets with the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement, they can still halve the crushing GDP losses that will otherwise hit tropical economies by 2100, and significantly mitigate sea level rise and extreme heat events, Climate Analytics concludes in a new study.

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.

New Framework Gives Pension Funds a Blueprint for Net-Zero Investing

A group backed by 70 major investors with more than US$16 trillion under management has launched the Net Zero Investment Framework, the world’s first blueprint to help pension funds and other big investing institutions match the composition of their investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Wilkinson Orders Federal Environmental Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is earning praise for ordering a federal environmental review of the proposed Vista coal mine expansion near Hinton, in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta, reversing an earlier decision after facing intense pushback from the Louis Bull Tribe, the Stoney Lakoda Nation, and Ecojustice.

Deutsche Bank Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Oil and Gas, Falls Short on Coal Divestment

Frankfurt-based banking giant Deutsche Bank is immediately cutting off financing for new tar sands/oil sands and Arctic oil and gas projects and will end its involvement with coal mining by 2025, in a move that at least one Canadian climate analyst praised but a European campaign organization cast as just a first step in a longer transformation.

Famed ‘Doughnut’ Economics Framework Gets Adaptation for Cities

A new methodological guide adapts the celebrated Doughnut Economics framework for living within planetary boundaries to the urban level by answering one passionate, optimistic question: “How can our city be a home to thriving people, in a thriving place, while respecting the well-being of all people, and the health of the whole planet?”

WMO Sees ‘Enormous Challenge’ to Hit Paris Targets as 1.5°C Warming Looms

There’s a one in five chance that average global warming will hit 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in at least one of the next five years, and a 70% chance that at least one month will exceed that threshold, according to the latest in a series of annual climate updates released yesterday by the World Meteorological Organization.

IEA’s Clean Energy Summit Prompts Calls for 1.5°C Modelling

The virtual Clean Energy Transitions Summit convened yesterday by the International Energy Agency produced new calls for the Paris-based agency to put a 1.5°C ceiling for average global warming at the centre of its attempt to lead on climate change.

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. 

Week 26, June 29: Global Engagement

Unless every nation pulls its weight, global emissions will continue to rise and the climate emergency will cause an ever more disastrous future.

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. 

Momentum Builds for Canadian Climate Accountability Act, Long-Term Carbon Targets

Momentum for Canadian climate accountability legislation is beginning to build, with campaigners laying out five pillars for a federal accountability act, a national think tank arguing the benefits of legislated milestones, and a CBC News analysis laying out how such a law might work in practice.

Climate Models for Upcoming UN Report Show ‘Incredibly Alarming’ Risk of Runaway Warming

The climate community and the general public are in for some “incredibly alarming” worst-case scenarios as modelling for the United Nations’ next major climate risk assessment takes shape, with about a quarter of the new research showing a sharp increase in the amount of global warming that would be expect if atmospheric carbon levels doubled from pre-industrial levels.

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.

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.

Greta Thunberg Justin Trudeau

Tie Canada’s UN Security Council Bid to Climate Action, Thunberg Urges Island States

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushing hard for a long-coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council, #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg is urging small island states to hinge their votes for both Canada and Norway on the two fossil countries stepping up their action on climate change.

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.

Montpellier: It’s Time to #FireYourFossilBank

After watching the country’s Big Five banks supply nearly half a trillion dollars to the global fossil fuel industry since 2016 despite rapidly accelerating climate change, it’s time for Canadians to #FireYourFossilBank, Below2C editor Rolly Montpellier writes in a recent opinion piece.

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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.

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.

Europe’s Green Recovery Includes ‘Caveat’ for Natural Gas

The European Union has introduced an important “caveat” in its much-touted green recovery plan, with Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans admitting that natural gas will “continue to play a key role in replacing coal while helping to build a hydrogen infrastructure at least cost,” Euractiv reports.

40 Global Brands Threaten Boycott Over ‘Land-Grabbing’ Brazilian Legislation

A diverse coalition of 40 international companies—including the UK’s top supermarkets, a Swedish pension fund, and Norwegian asset manager Storebrand—are threatening boycotts should Brazil’s Bolsonaro government push through a bill that will accelerate the devastating deforestation of the Amazon.

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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.

UK Hosts ‘Couldn’t Deliver a Pizza, Let Alone COP 26’, Ousted COP President Charges

Dominic Cummings might have thought his flagrant disregard for COVID-19 safety precautions would produce the toughest public rebuke he could ever face. But that’s just because the widely-reviled political strategist and chief adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson didn’t see Claire Perry O’Neill coming until it was too late to duck.

200+ Groups Representing 40 Million Health Workers Call for Health, Climate Reform

Health workers around the world have joined together to deliver an open letter to G20 leaders urging them to implement post-pandemic recovery plans that prioritize human and environmental health—with key signatories representing more than 40 million individual medical professionals. 

UN Climate Conference Rescheduled for November 2021

Britain has announced that the next UN climate conference, originally planned for Glasgow in November, will be delayed a full year, to November 1-12, 2021.

Abreu Wins Prestigious Jack Layton Progress Prize

Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu is the recipient of this year’s Jack Layton Progress Prize, awarded annually “to an individual or organization who has run a particularly noteworthy political or issue campaign” for justice, sustainability, or democracy.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Philippe Dunsky

In Conversation: Post-COVID Recovery Becomes Added Lens for Climate, Energy Efficiency Programs, Dunsky Says

Philippe Dunsky is President of Dunsky Energy Consulting, a 35-person Canadian firm specialized in accelerating the clean energy transition. In early April, he circulated a sampling of the energy efficiency, clean energy, electric mobility, and climate action plans his firm is continuing to support through the pandemic, with members of his Montreal-based team conducting their work from home. He talked to The Mix about what a future of rapid decarbonization could look like post-coronavirus.

In Conversation: COVID Demands Global Investment to Build Back Better, McArthur Says

Shaughn McArthur is Policy and Influence Lead at CARE Canada, and has been a leading voice for Canadian civil society at the last several United Nations climate change conferences. He’s been looking at the way the global focus on the pandemic has drawn attention away from the climate emergency—and how action on COVID can bring both crises together.

‘Radical Agenda’ in Memo to Ministers Shows Fossil Fuel Lobby Losing Touch

The epic news conference in mid-April where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$2.4 billion in job creation funding for the country’s oil and gas workers, but not the $30-billion bailout the industry had demanded, was the second-worst moment in a very bad week for the fossil fuel lobby.

17 of 27 EU Countries Link Pandemic Recovery to European Green Deal

Nearly two-thirds of the countries in the European Union have signed on to an appeal to put the European Green Deal at the heart of the continent’s post-pandemic recovery, after Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Malta joined the crowd last week.

Canada Records 15-Megatonne Emissions Hike in 2018, Wiping Out 13 Years of Gains

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 15 million tonnes between 2017 and 2018, driven by vehicle emissions, oil and gas extraction, and manufacturing, and essentially erasing 13 years of small reductions dating back to 2005.

Shell Draws Praise, Pushback for 2050 Net-Zero Pledge

Royal Dutch Shell is receiving some praise and a healthy dose of pushback after unveiling plans to become a “net-zero carbon company” by 2050.

‘Gobsmacking’ UK Announcement Says Green Transport Must Become Citizens’ First Choice

The UK government recently declared that meeting the nation’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 will require that public transit, cycling, and other forms of active transport become “the natural first choice” for citizens—a statement that transport policy experts and active travel campaigners found happily “gobsmacking,” reports BBC News.

Suspected COVID-19 Claims Climate Pioneer Sir John Houghton at Age 88

Sir John Houghton, a Welsh physicist and climate researcher who helped convince then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher that climate change is real, caused by human activity, and in need of a response, died last week of suspected COVID-19 at age 88.

Without Net Zero Plans, Pandemic-Driven CO2 Decline a ‘Pit Stop’ to Climate Ruin

Forecasters are predicting that coronavirus disruptions will lead to the largest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions ever recorded—but multiple data challenges make any such estimates extremely tentative, and without post-pandemic recovery efforts that prioritize and accelerate the zero-carbon shift, the plunge in emissions will prove nothing more than a brief pit stop on the road to climate ruin, analysts warn.

Falling Short of Paris Targets Will Cost $600 Trillion by 2100, New Study Shows

The world’s governments will miss out on US$600 trillion in economic activity by the end of the century if they stay on their present path for carbon emission reductions, rather than setting and meeting tougher targets consistent with the 2015 Paris agreement, according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

Adow: The West Must Pay Its Debt If the World Is to Win the Climate Fight

Writing with “a clarity born not from abstract understandings but from visceral experience,” Mohamed Adow, founder and director of Power Shift Africa, urges the West to act with integrity and deep compassion, and pay the profound and ever-growing “climate debt” it owes the developing world. 

NOAA Reports Fastest Growth in Methane Concentrations Since 2014

Atmospheric methane levels increased at the fastest rate in five years between 2018 and 2019, according to preliminary data released last week by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and scientists aren’t entirely sure why.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Subnational Leadership ‘Essential’ in Climate, COVID-19 Crises

Informed, cooperative, and compassionate bipartisan leadership at all governmental levels is helping U.S. citizens weather the pandemic, just as such subnational leadership has proven to be an essential agent in the climate crisis fight.

UN Postpones COP 26 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The United Nations has postponed this year’s global climate change conference, COP 26, to the middle of next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

European Green Deal Will Guide Coronavirus Recovery Plan, EU Leaders Pledge

European Union leaders have agreed to make the massive economic measures they’re planning in response to the coronavirus match up with the continent-wide Green Deal they adopted not long before the pandemic struck.

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.

Climate Satellites Still On the Job, Delivering Data to Help Coronavirus Fight

Their manufacturers may be offline, and their mission control stations are on skeleton staff, but the NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) satellites that relentlessly gather data to track a changing climate are still on duty overhead.

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.

Officials Weigh Postponing COP 26 Despite Urgent Timing for Climate Action

Scarcely seven months before a United Nations conference where countries will be under pressure to agree on fast, decisive action on climate change, the coronavirus pandemic is raising serious questions about whether the event will have to be cancelled—or possibly shifted to an all-virtual gathering.

Indigenous Approaches Could Support Ecological Health in the Amazon

A flurry of news reports earlier this year suggested that the future of the Amazon—and, therefore, of the planet—would be in good hands if only the wisdom of Indigenous peoples and the careful research of scientists were given the attention they deserve. But while Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rules, that is an unlikely outcome.

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.

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.

Climate Crisis Response a ‘Cautionary Tale’ for Health Organizers

The fight for climate action offers a “cautionary tale” for policy-makers looking to accelerate their efforts to #FlattenTheCurve on COVID-19—as well as on how to best stimulate the global economy in the pandemic’s aftermath, reports the New York Times.

Tropical Forests Lose One-Third of Carbon Storage Ability, Could Soon Become Carbon Source

Tropical forests have lost much of their ability to pull carbon dioxide out of the air, and could begin turning into net carbon sources in the next 10 to 15 years, according to an alarming new study published last week in the journal Nature.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Electricity Generation Cuts Emissions 2% in 2019, But Faster Coal Phaseout Needed

Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation fell 2% last year, the biggest annual drop since at least 1990, driven by reduced coal use in the European Union and the United States, according to a report released Monday by climate think tank Ember.

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.

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

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

Australia Working Toward Net Zero Despite Federal Stonewalling

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

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

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

Climate Groups Accuse EU of ‘Surrender’ on 2030 Emissions Target

EU climate groups are accusing legislators of “surrender” after the European Commission approved a draft regulation for the continent’s Green Deal that makes its net-zero target for 2050 legally binding and sets an interim target for 2030, but contains no fixed goals for the crucial decade of action beginning now.

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.

Trudeau Calls for Year of Consultation on 2030, 2050 Climate Targets

The federal government is calling for a year of consultation before finalizing plans to meet a more ambitious carbon reduction target by 2030 and hit net-zero by 2050.

Coronavirus Already Hampering Preparations for High-Stakes UN Climate Conference

The coronavirus is already impeding preparations for crucial United Nations climate negotiations at COP 26 later this year, with travel restrictions getting in the way of key meetings and governments’ time and resources drawn away by a looming global health crisis.

Brazil Fires Top Climate Policy Staff, Calling Paris Commitment Into Further Doubt

The environment ministry in Brazil has fired the director and deputy director responsible for its climate change programs, at a moment when the international community is looking more closely at the climate impact of the country’s moves to clearcut the Amazon rainforest. 

‘Bell Tolls on Carbon Economy’ as UK Court Rules Third Heathrow Runway Illegal

United Kingdom climate campaigners are declaring a precedent-setting win after an appeal court ruled the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport illegal, citing the national government’s failure to include the country’s climate commitments in the project planning process.

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Restrictions on Japanese Coal Exports Neglect Deeper Problems at Home

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

Study Catches Denier Bots Generating One-Quarter of Climate Messages on Twitter

An “army of automated Twitter bots” is hijacking the conversation about climate change, generating one-quarter of the tweets on the topic on the average day, The Guardian reports, citing as-yet unpublished research by a team at Brown University.

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.

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

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

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.

Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

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

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

Week 4, January 27: Our Climate Investments

To address the climate and ecological emergencies and to support Canada’s transition to renewable energy and ecologically-managed forestry, farming and fisheries, in addition to large private sector investments, the Bank of Canada, new public banks, utilities, municipalities and citizens will collectively invest $62.7 billion a year, representing 3.6% of Canada’s estimated $1,735 billion GDP in 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

African Development Bank Hires Ottawa Lobbyist, Seeking Funds ‘to Develop Climate Capacity’

The African Development Bank has hired an Ottawa lobbyist to reinforce its quest for funds to help the continent “develop the capacity to address climate change”, iPolitics reports.

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

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

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

Wind turbines

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

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

Climate Targets Impede ‘Maximization’ of Carbon Reductions, Monbiot Warns

Rather than setting climate targets that become the minimum politicians strive for, it’s time to adopt a “maximization” strategy to get the climate emergency under control, argues British author and activist George Monbiot, in a post for The Guardian that points to the UK’s widely-cited Committee on Climate Change (CCC) as an example of failed incrementalism.

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.

Reject Teck Wilkinson petition

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

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

Wilkinson Tips Early Moves on Just Transition Act, Tougher 2030 Carbon Target

The second-term Trudeau government is considering kicking off its legislative response to the climate crisis with a new Just Transition Act, adjustments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and new carbon reduction measures aimed at exceeding its Harper-era goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, iPolitics reports, citing an interview late last week with Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

Spain Adopts National Climate Emergency Declaration

Spain adopted a climate emergency declaration earlier this week, with officials promising to send legislation to the national parliament in the next 100 days to drive action on the crisis.

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

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

Scientists Declare 2010s the Hottest Decade, 2019 the Second-Warmest Year on Record

NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have declared the 2010s the hottest 10 years on record, with 2019 the second-warmest ever, findings confirmed by climate-related devastation around the globe.

BlackRock CEO’s Influential Annual Letter Emphasizes Climate Risk, Fossil Divestment

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is promising to pay attention to the climate crisis and avoid investing in companies that “present a high sustainability-related risk” in his widely-read and influential annual letter to chief executives of the world’s biggest companies.

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

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

‘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.

Campaigners Press Scotland to Ban Fossil Lobbying at COP 26

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

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.

COP 25 Becomes First to Use ‘F Words’ to Call Out Fossil Fuels

Disastrously as COP 25 turned out for anyone expecting coordinated action on a mounting global emergency, two of the world’s leading climate campaigners are pointing to a shift in language and emphasis that could echo through future UN climate conferences for years to come. For the first time, report Catherine Abreu and Jamie Henn, institutions and UN diplomats up to and including Secretary General António Guterres used the “F words”—fossil fuels—to name and call out the major cause of the climate crisis, and of the chronic dysfunction in the hallways and back rooms of the COP itself.

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Five Colossal Fossils Face 2020 Shareholder Resolutions on Emission Reductions, Paris Compliance

Colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Equinor can expect to see shareholder resolutions in the first half of 2020 urging them to cut their carbon emissions in line with the targets in the Paris Agreement, after Netherlands-based responsible investment advocates Follow This announced a stepped-up campaign.

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.

Jurisdictions with Net Zero Plans or Aspirations Now Produce 40% of Global GDP

About 40% of the world’s economic activity, totalling US$34.6 trillion, now takes place in jurisdictions that have adopted or proposed plans to bring their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 or before, according to analysis released last week by the UK’s Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

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.

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.

Victor: Acting on Emission Cuts, Solving ‘Hard Problems’ Matters More than Statements of Ambition

The utter failure of leadership at this year’s United Nations climate conference shows that the next step for climate leaders is to evaluate everything they do “through the lens of whether it increases the chances of followership,” international relations specialist David G. Victor writes for the New York Times.

Melting Permafrost Turns Arctic into Net Source of Greenhouse Gases

As scientists grow ever more certain that the Arctic is becoming a net contributor to climate change as its carbon- and methane-heavy permafrost melts, the 35 million people who call the polar region home fear exposure to heavy metals and dangerous pathogens, while witnessing a collapsing food chain.

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.

Globe and Mail Editorial Rejects International Carbon Credits for LNG Exports

The Globe and Mail editorial board is weighing in against the fossil industry’s increasingly faint hope that Canada can earn international carbon reduction credits for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia.

New UK Government Faces Steep Climb on Net-Zero Target, Power Supply Post-Brexit

Implementing the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target, eliminating planning bottlenecks for offshore wind, and keeping post-Brexit power connections with Europe smooth, especially for Ireland, are three challenges facing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Greentech Media reports, in a follow-up on the election last week that brought Johnson a majority government.