Finance and Divestment

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

Coastal GasLink Faces Delay as LNG Canada Disputes Cost Overruns, Missed Deadlines

The completion of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline could be delayed if TC Energy can’t resolve an ongoing dispute with LNG Canada over project costs, the Calgary-based company said Thursday.

Ottawa Announces $5.2-Billion Bailout for Muskrat Falls Hydro Megaproject

The Trudeau government has agreed to a tentative, C$5.2-billion bailout for Newfoundland and Labrador’s troubled Muskrat Falls hydropower megaproject, aimed at stopping local electricity rates from almost doubling while taking some of the immediate heat off a province facing serious financial woes.

U.S. Nearly Doubles Wind and Solar Capacity in 2020

The United States almost doubled its new installed capacity of wind and solar power in 2020, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACPA).

California Insurers Abandon Farmers in Face of Wildfire Risk

In yet another sign that our current systems are poorly equipped for the demands of climate change, California farmers are being left unprotected as insurance companies raise premiums and drop renewals to compensate for the increasing risk of wildfires.

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.

Pacific Salmon Face Massive Die-Offs as Temperatures Rise

With massive die-offs predicted for salmon populations across North America’s West Coast, as both home and migratory waters grow too hot for their survival, efforts are intensifying to restore and protect habitats and restrict the annual harvest.

‘Provincially Legislated Monopoly’ Blocks Renewables in New Brunswick, Developer Says

A solar and wind power developer in Fredericton is taking the New Brunswick government to task for letting a “provincially legislated monopoly” keep a lid on renewable energy investment.

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.

Ottawa, B.C. Pick ‘Wrong Path’ as New Innovation Centre Favours Carbon Capture Technology

The federal and British Columbia governments are on the wrong path to counter the climate emergency, a West Coast advocacy group is warning, after Premier John Horgan and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough announced funding for a new low-carbon innovation centre led by Shell Canada.

New Climate Adaptation Coalition to Stress Social Equity, Just Transition

A new climate adaptation coalition is bringing together an unusually wide mix of voices—from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to the Métis National Council—and placing carbon reductions, social equity, and a just transition off fossil fuels at the centre of its strategy for building climate resilience.

Citizen Complaint Challenges ‘Sustainable’ Certification for Old Growth Logging

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is facing a citizen complaint before the federal Competition Bureau for certifying old-growth logging as “sustainable”, something it has being doing since 1996 through its Sustainable Forestry Management standards process.

Indigenous-Led Renewables Can Support Reconciliation, Climate Action

Green partnerships could hold the key to improving the Canadian government’s deeply damaged relationship with Indigenous peoples—while bolstering its lacklustre record in fighting the climate crisis.

Wildfire Wave Creates New Risks for U.S. Solar Operators

Wildfires have cost the United States solar industry tens of millions of dollars in losses over the last decade, and the costs could add up as blazes across the western U.S. become more frequent and severe, warns renewable energy insurance specialist GCube.

‘We Have No Choice’: Ottawa adds $1.4B to Climate Adaptation Fund

The federal government is adding almost C$1.4 billion to its disaster mitigation and adaptation fund this year to help communities across Canada facing climate change and environmental disasters.

Canada Lags U.S., EU as Export Agency Cuts Fossil Support Just 40%

Climate campaigners and analysts were pressing Export Development Canada (EDC) for faster, better results yesterday, after the federal agency released a 10-page net-zero roadmap that pledges to reduce its financial support to a half-dozen high-emitting sectors by 40% from 2018 levels by 2023.

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Carbon Capture a ‘Dangerous Distraction’, 500 Organizations Warn Canada, U.S.

Technological carbon capture is a “dangerous distraction” that will only delay the transition off fossil fuels, “despite occupying centre stage in the ‘net-zero’ climate plans trumpeted by the United States, Canada, and other countries”, more than 500 organizations are warning this week, in an open letter to political leaders published simultaneously in the Washington Post and the Hill Times.

Carney Rules Out Election Run This Year, Citing UN Climate Finance Role

The United Nations special envoy on climate finance, Mark Carney, says he won’t be on the Liberal ticket if there’s a federal election this fall.

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.

Nisga’a Nation in B.C. Proposes $10-Billion LNG Project

The Nisga’a Nation in British Columbia is teaming up with seven natural gas producers to propose a C$10-billion liquefied natural gas development, claiming the project will bring its emissions to net-zero within three years of starting operations in 2027 or 2028.

Fossils’ Messaging Embraces Climate as Investors Shift to Renewables

Top financiers are shifting their dollars from fossil fuels to renewable energy, while turning up the heat on oil and gas companies to address emissions and climate risks in their meetings with investors, according to two separate analyses published 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.

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.

Bitcoin ‘Miners’ Look to Nuclear to Cut Carbon Emissions

The financial mavens behind Bitcoin have come up with a nifty, new plan to greenwash their electricity-hogging currency. They’re talking about powering it with nuclear energy.

International Fossils May Sell Off $13.4 Billion in Alberta Oilpatch

International oil companies may be on the verge of divesting tar sands/oil sands properties worth C$13.4 billion, according to a new report published earlier this month by Toronto-based Veritas Investment Research.

No GNL Québec Pipeline on Ancestral Lands, Innu Say

There won’t be any more negotiations over a proposed natural gas pipeline crossing Indigenous lands in northern Quebec, say Innu leaders who oppose it.

Elon Musk’s Fort Lauderdale Tunnel Plans Don’t Hold Water

As Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formally accepts proposal a proposal from Elon Musk’s Boring Company
to build an underground transit tunnel, many are asking if the decision is wise, given the porous ground on which the city sits and the high risk of sea level rise in the area.

Democrats Include Clean Electricity Standard, Border Carbon Tax in $3.5-Trillion Budget Plan

A clean electricity standard, a border tax on imports from polluting countries, renewable energy and electric vehicle tax breaks, a new “methane reduction fee”, funding for a civilian climate corps, and a raft of health care and family service elements are central elements of a US$3.5-trillion budget that U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled Wednesday.

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.

EU Introduces ‘Sweeping’ New Laws to Hit 55% by 2030

The European Union executive has introduced a dozen new laws aimed at curbing carbon pollution, raising renewable energy targets, plant three billion trees, and cut the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions 55% by the end of a “make-or-break decade” for climate and biodiversity.

Hunger Now Kills 11 People Every Minute

A roiling combination of climate crisis, pandemic shock, and war has disrupted food production, leading to a six-fold increase in people suffering famine-like conditions, according to a new report from Oxfam.

Trudeau Announces $25 Million to Expand Gaspé Wind Turbine Plant

Low-carbon investments continued to hold pride of place in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pre-election tour this week, with the PM travelling to Quebec’s Gaspé region Wednesday to announce C$25-million for an expanded wind turbine plant.

Greenwashing Hobbles the Transition Off Carbon, Gore Warns

As sustainable investing goes mainstream, Climate Reality Project founder and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore warns that rampant greenwashing risks “derailing hard-won progress” in the fight against global heating.

BREAKING: Two-Thirds of Canadian Oil and Gas Workers Want Net-Zero Jobs

More than two-thirds of Canadian fossil fuel workers are interested in jobs in a net-zero economy, 58% see themselves thriving in that economy, and nearly nine in 10 want training and upskilling for net-zero employment, according to a groundbreaking survey released this morning by Edmonton-based Iron & Earth.

‘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.

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Shell Announces CCS Plan for Edmonton-Area Refinery

Shell Canada Ltd. has announced tentative plans to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage project at its Scotford Complex near Edmonton, part of its strategy to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050.

Fossils Tout ‘Uncompetitive’ Hydrogen Cars to Delay Decarbonization, Liebreich Says

Fossil fuel companies are happy to hype “uncompetitive” uses of hydrogen in cars and home heating if it means delaying the shift to electric vehicles and heat pumps that are practical and affordable, Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich said in a recent interview.

Vancity Carbon Disclosure Shows Far Smaller Footprint than Big Banks

With Canada’s banks under heightened scrutiny for the “financed emissions” they drive with their loans and investments, the Vancity Credit Union is out with a public disclosure report that shows where the 35-year-old co-operative is leading other financial institutions—even though management is taking the report as a roadmap for further carbon reductions.

Offsets Allow Polluters to Focus More on ‘Net’ than ‘Zero’, McCarthy Warns

While the corporate embrace of net-zero targets might seem cause for celebration, the allure of the relatively easy to achieve “net” may be distracting—or providing an escape hatch—from the hard work of actually zeroing emissions, analyst Shawn McCarthy warns in a recent opinion piece for Corporate Knights.

Schumer Opposes Local Gas Peaker Plant, Wants Gas Left Out of Clean Electricity Standard

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out against a new natural gas peaker plant in his home state, and is pushing to exclude a “clean gas” provision from the upcoming Clean Electricity Standard that is a centrepiece of U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate plan.

New York Commuters Wade Through Filthy Floodwaters as Storm Swamps Subway Station

Subway riders slogged through waist-deep water and more than a dozen people had to be rescued from a flooded stretch of highway Thursday as Tropical Storm Elsa brought heavy rains and winds up to 50 miles per hour to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Verification Still an Issue as U.S. Gets Close to Funding Soil Carbon Capture

With the United States moving swiftly to fund credits for farmers who store carbon in their soil, there’s growing concern that the program may pay for carbon storage that is already happening—and give fossil companies and other major emitters a free pass to keep polluting.

Lytton-Area Tribal Council Criticizes B.C.’s ‘Slow, Chaotic’ Wildfire Response

As experts warn that the planet is entering a “runaway fire age,” First Nations in and around Lytton, British Columbia, are expressing anger as response crews prioritize fire-damaged rail infrastructure over people.

Ottawa Announces $420 Million for ‘Green Steel’ Conversion in Sault Ste. Marie

Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will receive up to C$420 million in federal funding to replace its coal-fired production processes with electric arc furnaces, one of a trio of green infrastructure announcements this week that included a high-frequency rail promise for the Quebec City-Toronto corridor and light rail funding for the long-delayed Green Line in Calgary.

B.C. Plan Risks GHG Emissions from ‘Blue’ Hydrogen

British Columbia’s natural gas-friendly government is taking fire for introducing a new hydrogen strategy, the first to be introduced by any Canadian province, that emphasizes “blue” hydrogen production from methane-heavy gas alongside “green” hydrogen development meant to reduce emissions and produce cleantech jobs.

Study Shows $23 Billion in Taxpayer Support to Three Fossil Pipelines

Federal and provincial governments have lavished C$23 billion on fossil fuel pipelines, mostly in the form of loan guarantees and other fiscal measures that are heavily distorting Canada’s financial marketplace, according to new research released this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Offshore Oil Subsidies a ‘Misuse of Funds’, Carter Warns Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador’s federally funded subsidies for offshore oil are a “misuse of funds” and another step in the wrong economic direction for the cash-strapped province, says a political scientist who previously taught in the province has studied the province’s oil sector.

International Funding a ‘Moral Imperative’ as Madagascar Famine Looms

Having contributed nearly “zero” of the emissions that are driving the climate crisis, the people of Madagascar are now at serious risk of starvation as global heating brings crop-decimating drought, dust storms, and locust plagues.

International Student Initiative Plans to Train 50,000 Young Renewable Energy Workers

A Canadian-based global renewable energy solutions group is joining forces with New Energy Nexus and the Government of Denmark to help deploy 10,000 new youth-led clean energy initiatives by 2030.

Chinese Bank Walks Away from $3-Billion Zimbabwe Coal Project

China’s biggest bank is stepping away from a plan to invest US$3 billion in the 2,800-megawatt Sengwa coal project in northern Zimbabwe, according to an email the bank sent to climate campaign groups in mid-June.

Climate Hawks Celebrate as Goldboro LNG Misses June 30 Investment Deadline

Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Ltd. has missed its June 30 deadline for a decision on whether to go ahead with its controversial Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Nova Scotia, stating in a release Friday that “cost pressures and time constraints due to COVID-19 have made building the current version of the LNG Project impractical.”

‘Nationalize’ Old Oilfields and Use Revenue for Cleanup, Researchers Urge Alberta

Most of Alberta’s energy wells no longer hold enough oil and gas to pay for their cleanup and the public should take them over to ensure their remaining revenue funds remediation, a new report concludes.

‘Total Mitigation’ Strategy Will Save 37 Billion Tonnes of Carbon, Create 122 Million Jobs: IRENA

The shift to a decarbonized energy system will create 122 million jobs in 2050, 43 million of them in renewable energy alone, but require US$131 trillion in investment over the next three decades, the International Renewable Energy Agency concludes in its World Energy Transitions Outlook issued late last week.

‘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.

Ottawa Sets 2035 Phaseout for Non-Electric Cars, Light Trucks

The federal government announced Tuesday it’s speeding up its goal for when it wants to see every new light-duty vehicle sold in Canada to be electric. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that by 2035, all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the country will be zero-emission vehicles, The Canadian Press reports. Until now, the […]

‘Speak and Act Like It’s a Damn Emergency’, Klein Urges Ottawa [Video]

A new launch video from the Climate Emergency Unit digs into Canada’s past to create a hopeful call to action, illustrating how even a fight that feels overwhelming can be won when a nation comes together.

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.

Boston Transit Revival Must Connect Climate Resilience, Equity Concerns

If we want equitable cities, the post-pandemic revival of mass transit systems must prioritize both day-to-day and extreme-event climate resilience, says a new in-depth study by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).

LNG Boom Falling Flat as Climate Concerns Rise, ‘Go-Go Atmosphere’ Evaporates

The bottom is falling out of a heavily-hyped boom in liquefied natural gas (LNG) development, as cost overruns, project delays, climate concerns, and security worries for one major megaproject drive down investor confidence that seemed unbeatable as recently as two years ago, according to a new analysis by Global Energy Monitor.

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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California Brings Renewables ‘Into the Spotlight’ with 11.5-Gigawatt Power Purchase Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is calling for 11.5 gigawatts of new generating capacity, almost all of it clean, by 2026, a procurement equal to one-fifth to one-third of the power the state consumes.

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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.

Pandemic May Kill Off Traditional Rush Hour for Good

As life edges toward a degree of normalcy in many U.S. cities, traffic experts are waiting to see whether rush hour returns to “normal” as well—while they envision how it could be better.Traffic may be returning along with a reviving economy, but “planners, transit agencies, and researchers are now considering the remarkable possibility that in many places it won’t revert to its old shape amid newfound work flexibility,” reports The New York Times.

Deep Retrofit Program Could Fix Every Canadian Building by 2035, Supply Enough Electricity for 10 Million EV’s

Taking on an audacious “national retrofit mission” would enable Canada to upgrade every building in the country by 2035, eliminate their fossil fuel consumption by 2050, make energy poverty a thing of the past, and free up 50 terawatt-hours of electricity for other uses—enough to eliminate 60 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year if it were used to power 10 million electric vehicles, according to new analysis released this week by Efficiency Canada.

Big Alberta Solar Farm to Sell Power to Amazon

Amazon announced Wednesday it will purchase power from a massive new solar farm in Alberta, marking the e-commerce giant’s second renewable energy investment in Canada.

O’Regan Announces $1.5-Billion Clean Fuels Fund for Hydrogen, Bioenergy

The hydrogen and biofuel industries were both paying close attention this week after the federal government announced a C$1.5-billion Clean Fuels Fund, aimed at boosting the country’s supply of hydrogen, renewable diesel, synthetic fuels, renewable natural gas, and sustainable aviation fuel.

Sea Level Rise Could Swamp Denmark’s Financial System

The Danish financial system is becoming concerned about future losses due to flooding, with its potential to swamp assets in a relatively small country with a coastline that stretches more than 8,000 kilometres.

Developers ‘Blindsided’ as Australia Scuttles 26-Gigawatt Renewable Energy Hub

Australia has pulled the plug on a proposed 26-gigawatt plan to produce green hydrogen and ammonia from wind and solar power, just months after the project was awarded major project status by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coal-friendly national government.

Saudi Minister Dismisses IEA Report as ‘La La Land’, Warns Investors Not to Bet Against Oil

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has been on a tear this month, warning Wall Street investors not to bet on oil stocks to lose their value, dismissing last month’s net-zero analysis from the International Energy Agency as “La La Land”, and curiously claiming the desert kingdom is no longer an oil-producing country.

Automakers Tout EV’s but Keep Pushing Gas-Guzzling SUV’s, Report Finds

A new report from Environmental Defence Canada finds that pledges from automakers to drive an EV revolution are at odds with their continued hard-sell of fossil-driven SUVs in Canada.

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.

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.

Provincial ‘Lifeline’, with Federal Funds, Averts Shutdown at Terra Nova Offshore Oilfield

The Newfoundland and Labrador government insists it’s getting a good deal after throwing fossil companies a C$505-million lifeline to help keep the Terra Nova offshore oilfield alive, even if it means it will reap just $35 million in royalties over the next decade.

City of Ottawa Doubles Down on Transit Electrification Plans

After announcing its access to a C$400-million loan earlier this month, The City of Ottawa is now putting its financial pedal to the metal, committing to spend nearly $1 billion by 2027 to start electrifying its bus fleet.

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).

crude oil

Value of Canadian Oil Exports Leaps 15-Fold in 30 Years

The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased over 15-fold in the last 30 years, according to a report from Statistics Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator.

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.

Haphazard Regulation Allows Lax Safety Culture, Drives Insurers Away from Trans Mountain, Critic Says

Haphazard oversight by the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) may have enabled a lax safety culture at Crown-owned Trans Mountain Corporation that is now making insurers nervous about backing the company’s existing 68-year-old pipeline and its efforts to complete a C$12.6-billion expansion project, a retired insurance executive says.

AGI New York

Giant UK Investment Manager Drops AIG Over Fossil Fuel Insurance, Climate Risk

The United Kingdom’s biggest asset manager, Legal & General Investment Management, is dropping its shares in U.S. insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and three other companies, after concluding they aren’t moving far enough, fast enough to address the climate risks in their activities.

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Analysis: Possible Sale of Shell Oilfield Points to Next Hurdle in Decarbonizing Energy

In what the Reuters news agency is calling a “blockbuster” moment, Royal Dutch Shell is considering selling off the biggest oilfield in the United States, a 260,000-acre expanse in Texas’ Permian Basin, for as much as US$10 billion.

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Newfoundland Oil Workers Rally as Offshore Drilling Project Faces Closure

About 100 oil workers gathered outside Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislature Monday, a day before Suncor Energy was expected to announce whether the Terra Nova offshore oilfield will be shut down for good.

Alberta Finance Minister Defends Taxpayers’ $1.3-Billion Loss on Keystone Gamble

Alberta’s finance minister says the province’s C$1.3-billion investment of taxpayers’ money in the now-defunct Keystone XL oil pipeline project was a prudent gamble given the potential payoff in profits and jobs.

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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.

Fossils’ ‘Net-Zero’ Alliance Has No Phaseout Plan, Relies on Shaky Carbon Capture Technology

Canada’s five big tar sands/oil sands companies are raising eyebrows with their plan to form an Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero alliance aimed at cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without reducing their actual oil production.

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.

High-Carbon Investments are ‘Mispriced’ for Climate Risk, Bank of Canada Warns

Canadian investors may be in for a rude awakening as they discover that their stocks and bonds in carbon-intensive industries are “mispriced” once the risks of climate change are taken into account, the Bank of Canada warned in its annual Financial System Review released last month.

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.

Coal-Heavy Queensland Commits $2 Billion to Clean Energy Jobs

Australia’s fossil-heavy state of Queensland is committing A$2 billion to create what Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called a “self-reinforcing cycle of investment—a job-generating clean energy industrial ecosystem”.

Ed Markey

‘No Climate, No Deal,’ Democrat Vows, as Senate Group Scales Back Biden Infrastructure Plan

With a handful of Democrats in the U.S. Senate scrambling to protect the proposed climate investments in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, a group of 10 Democrats and Republicans announced last night they had agreed on a scaled-back plan in which the climate provisions are likely excluded or drastically scaled back.

Poll Shows Strong Public Support for Climate Finance Across Canada, G7

With climate finance on the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom, 70% of Canadian adults and 66% across the world’s seven most industrialized countries say they favour financial and technological support to help poorer countries shift from fossil fuels to renewables, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by the E3G climate consultancy.

solar power

Investment Must Triple by 2030 to Hit 1.5°C Target, IEA Warns

Global clean energy investment must triple by 2030 to fulfill the projected 1.5°C future in the International Energy Agency’s net-zero by 2050 roadmap, the agency warns today in its annual World Energy Investment report.

Senate ‘Detour’ Puts Biden Climate Plan at Risk

One of the staunchest proponents of climate action in the United States Senate is warning that a fast, ambitious approach to carbon reductions may be falling off the Biden administration’s priority list.

$400M Loan Brings Ottawa Closer to All-Electric Bus Fleet

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank has agreed in principle to lend the City of Ottawa C$400-million to help it buy 450 electric buses and build out the necessary charging infrastructure.

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.

HSBC to Phase Out Fossil Financing after 99% Shareholder Landslide

HSBC shareholders have voted nearly unanimously to end coal financing by 2040, and to align all the bank’s lending with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

Ottawa Directs Dollars to Clean Grid, Transit, Indigenous Guardians

Federal departments and agencies have spent the last few days issuing a flurry of new funding announcements for clean technologies, and for nature protection through the Indigenous Guardians program.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Loses Another Insurer

Another insurance company is abandoning the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Alberta Government’s Objections No Longer Matter after IEA Roadmap, ‘Cataclysmic’ Week for Oil

Alberta’s predictably hostile, defensive reaction to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) landmark Net Zero by 2050 roadmap shows it no longer matters what the Kenney government or its fossil industry allies think about the drive to decarbonize the global economy and hold average global warming to 1.5°C.

Canada, G7 Fall Short on Green Strings for COVID Recovery Funds

Canada spent significantly more of its COVID-19 recovery dollars on renewable energy than on fossil fuels, but has attached few green strings to that funding and is still failing on a crucial commitment to international climate finance, according to new analyses published ahead of next week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, England.

Funding Must Address Climate Health Impacts, Inequities, Culbert and Ness Warn

The climate crisis is deepening the socioeconomic factors that lead to widespread ill health—and policy-makers must pay attention, say two Canadian public health experts.

coal mine

New ‘Coal Rush’ Throws Climate Targets into Doubt

Mining companies in a handful of countries are planning a new, global “coal rush” of 2.2 billion tonnes per year of new production capacity, a move that throws a 1.5°C climate stabilization target into doubt and risks US$91 billion in stranded assets, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) warns in a new report this week.

VCIB Unveils First Dedicated Loan Program for Commercial Solar Projects

Canadian businesses and non-profits will be able to borrow up to $10 million to install solar panels on their properties under a new commercial solar financing program introduced by the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB).

Environmental Sciences

University of Waterloo to Dump Fossil Investments, Take ‘Proactive’ Approach to Climate Risk

The University of Waterloo moved yesterday to drop all its fossil fuel exploration and extraction investments by 2025 and decarbonize its C$2.7-billion pension and endowment fund 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2040, capping a six-year campaign by Fossil Free UW and allied groups to push the school to divest.

Limited Insurance Access Impedes New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Limited access to insurance is emerging as a big obstacle for Canadian tar sands/oil sands companies aiming to get new projects off the ground, just a year or two after campaigners began setting their sights on getting insurers to abandon fossil fuels, CBC reports.

UK, Norway Foresee More Oil and Gas Development Despite IEA Roadmap

Two of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers apparently have no plans to scale back exploration, in spite of last month’s landmark net-zero roadmap from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that calls on countries to do exactly that.

‘Cataclysm’ for Industry, ‘Good Day for Life on Earth’ as Fossils Lose Legal, Shareholder Battles

After a flurry of court and shareholder action that The Guardian declared a “cataclysmic day” for oil and gas companies and the Heated climate newsletter headlined as “a good day for life on Earth”, analysts are wrapping their minds around how much has changed for the fossil industry—and what’s next in the global push for faster, deeper carbon cuts.

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

Canada’s Top Five Pension Funds See Tar Sands/Oil Sands Investments Rise by $2.9 Billion

Canada’s biggest pension managers saw their investments in the country’s top four tar sands/oil sands producers grow by $2.9 billion in the first three months of this year, a 147% increase from last year, the Reuters news agency revealed last week in a new analysis.

Invest in Transition, Not Declining Alberta Fossil Sector, IISD Urges Governments

The expected uptake of electric vehicles and stricter measures worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are the top reasons why a climate-focused research group is calling on governments not to invest any more money in Alberta’s oil sector.

coal power plant

G7 Environment Ministers Pledge to Stop Financing International Coal Projects

Environment ministers from the world’s seven biggest advanced economies have agreed to phase out international financing for coal projects by the end of this year, do the same for all fossil fuels over a longer time span, and deliver tough enough national climate targets to help keep average global warming to 1.5°C.

Global Spending on Nature Protection Must Triple by 2030

About US$8 trillion will be needed over the next 40 years to restore and protect nature and safeguard the systems that sustain much of life on Earth, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). And in the scheme of things, that amount is “peanuts”, says the agency’s chief executive.

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%.

Biden test drive

Analysts See Ford’s F-150 Electric Truck Bringing EV’s to Mainstream

A Twitter video this week of a smiling U.S. President Joe Biden trying out an F-150 Lightning electric truck along a Ford Motor Co. test track was a step in the company’s bid to turn the popular pickup into the Model T of the electric vehicle era—with the side benefit of a battery that can power the average home for three days.

Half of Carbon Offset Projects Don’t Deliver on Promises, New Analysis Finds

A UK start-up that rates the carbon offset efforts of private companies has found that nearly half of them fall short of their claims.

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).

energy efficient home retrofit

Ottawa Looks to Train 2,000 New Energy Advisors for Home Retrofit Program

The federal government is looking to train 2,000 more people to do energy audits as it tries to get its new green home renovation program off the ground.

Transit Projects in Toronto, Hamilton Nab $12-Billion Federal Investment

The Trudeau government is getting a thumbs-up from the Globe and Mail editorial board after announcing more than C$12 billion for major transit projects in Toronto and Hamilton.

Air conditioner

Desert Cities Tap into Waste Water from Air Conditioning Units

From the Negev Desert to the state of Texas, the private and public sectors are tapping into a previously overlooked source of water: condensate from air conditioners.

Canada Lags on Renewables Due to ‘Disconnect between Ambition and Action’

The lack of a predictable, long-term development plan is holding Canada back from emerging as a global leader in renewable energy production, according to a new international market assessment by London, UK-based IHS Markit.

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.

Wind turbines

Transition Off Fossils Could Be Cheaper, Faster than Net-Zero Models Assume

The transition off fossil fuels could be a lot less expensive than standard net-zero models assume, as long as countries speed up deployment rather than waiting for (even) cheaper low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies, concludes a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Martha's Vinyard

Biden Administration Approves 800-MW Vineyard Wind Project

The Biden administration has approved the 800-megawatt, US$3-billion Vineyard Wind project off the Massachusetts coast, the United States’ first utility-scale offshore wind farm and a key plank of the new White House effort to shift the country’s electricity system to renewables.

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.

wind turbine construction

IEA Sees ‘Exceptional’ Solar, Wind Growth as ‘New Normal’

The “exceptional” global growth of solar and wind capacity is set to become a “new normal” in 2021 and 2022, the International Energy Agency says, prompting the epically cautious organization to boost its forecast of future renewables growth by 25%—just six months after it published the last set of figures.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Suncor, ATCO Seek Government Backing for ‘Multi-Billion-Dollar’ Hydrogen/CCS Project

Tar sands/oil sands producer Suncor Energy Inc. is partnering with utility ATCO Ltd. on a “multi-billion-dollar” project to produce more than 300,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen—as long as governments are ready to facilitate the deal, and taxpayers are standing by to help clear some of the financial hurdles.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

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.

rooftop solar

Community Solar Microgrid to Save $4 Million for Northern Ontario First Nation

Nearly three dozen households in the Taykwa Tagamou Nation in northern Ontario stand to save hundreds of dollars per month on their power bills with the installation of rooftop or ground-mounted solar panels over the next few months.

Carbon Border Adjustment Gains Ground as Countries Weigh Emission Cuts, Global Trade

The reference to a carbon border adjustment in the latest federal budget was one sign that countries with relatively strong carbon prices are keen to avoid becoming the new “Rust Belt”, CBC business columnist Don Pittis writes in a recent analysis.

Coronavirus Creates Opportunity for Zero-Carbon Transportation

When discussing low-carbon transportation and the question of why cars play such a dominant role in our society, it is often tempting to fall back on a comfortable and familiar answer: We drive cars because we like them!

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

U.S. Tribes Work to Advance Water Equity as Colorado Basin Drought Worsens

As a megadrought deepens across the Colorado River Basin, the Indigenous nations of the region are seeing hope for real change after decades of water inequity.

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).

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

Asian Development Bank Ends Financing for Coal Mines, Power Plants

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to stop financing coal mines and power plants and curtail its funding for oil and gas production, according to a draft of an updated energy policy released last week.

Good ‘Regulatory Tailwinds’ Prompt Lion Electric to Build in Illinois

Quebec-based electric school bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric is citing a friendly operating environment in its decision last week to locate a US$70-million manufacturing plant in Illinois, a move expected to create about 750 jobs over the next three years.

air conditioning

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.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChineseCoalPower.jpg

China Can Peak Coal Consumption, Power Sector Emissions by 2025, Researcher Says

An energy researcher from Peking University is pointing to a pathway for China to peak its coal consumption, coal-fired generation capacity, and power sector carbon emissions by 2025, in line with President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the White House Leaders’ Summit on Climate April 22.

BP Emerges as Lead Customer for Woodfibre LNG Despite Low-Carbon Messaging

The company proposing the Woodfibre liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project near Squamish, British Columbia, says it has struck a second sales contract with BP Gas Marketing Ltd. that allows it to account for more than 70% of future production from the plant.

Ottawa Grapples with Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate as Industry Opponent Digs In

The Trudeau government is still grappling with whether introduce a national mandate requiring the auto industry to make or sell more zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) as it scrambles to meet its new 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions.

New Study Shows Small Farms Delivering Higher Yields, Better Biodiversity

While much of the world’s food is produced on large farms, a recent review has found that smaller operations tend to have higher yields and biodiversity while being no less profitable or efficient—making them a fund-worthy lynchpin of sustainable development.

U.S. LNG’s Green Profile Depends on ‘Costly, Untested’ CCS

A new analysis cites carbon capture and storage as a “costly and largely untested technology” that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developers are counting on to “burnish their green credentials and boost their competitiveness”.

Massive Carbon Footprint May Give Governments a Path to Curb Growth of Cryptocurrencies

While proponents of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin steadfastly claim their operations will be carbon-neutral by 2030, their net impact so far is to keep a fracked gas plant in New York State in operation.

‘Financed Emissions’ Take the Spotlight as Banks Slowly Begin Reporting Climate Risk

Canadian banks and insurance companies are finding themselves singled out as major players in the effort to get climate change under control, after analysis by the non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) concluded that financial institutions’ investments, loans, and underwriting activities account for 700 times more climate impact than the direct emissions from their operations.

In Conversation: Ottawa is Continuing Its ‘One Eye Shut’ Climate Policy, Carter and Dordi Say

Angela Carter is a political science professor and Truzaar Dordi is a PhD candidate in climate finance at the University of Waterloo. In this interview, they explain their research showing that the fossil fuels Canada expect to extract until 2050 would soak up a full 16% of the world’s remaining carbon budget, and talk about what climate policy would look like if Ottawa weren’t formulating it with one eye shut.

Exxon Outvotes Other Shareholders to Beat Back Net-Zero Resolution for Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil Ltd. investors have voted 86% to defeat a shareholder resolution that it adopt a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Chinese Banks Rank Second as Financiers for Tropical Deforestation

China now ranks second in the world as a financier of industries linked to tropical deforestation—and a new report shows the country’s banks hold the keys to a better path.

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.

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.

Barcelona Tests Solar Pavement in Small Urban Park

In an initiative that could boost solar capacity in the urban areas that need it most, Barcelona has installed Spain’s first photovoltaic pavement.

Biden’s 2022 Budget Earmarks $220 Million for Climate Health Preparedness

President Biden’s budget blueprint for 2022 is looking to prepare the U.S. for future climate impacts by earmarking at least US$220 million for federal climate and health research and an expanded framework to help states and cities generate adaptation plans.

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.

Washington State ‘Cap-and-Invest’ Law Aims for Fast Carbon Cuts without Higher Energy Costs

Washington State is adopting a new “cap-and-invest” law aimed at driving rapid decarbonization without increasing energy costs for ratepayers.

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.

‘These Insurers Can’t Hide’, Campaigner Says, After Regulator Allows Trans Mountain to Keep Identities Secret

The Canada Energy Regulator has decided to grant a request by the operator of the Trans Mountain pipeline to protect the identity of its insurers in its regulatory filings.

U.S. Bike-Share Programs Shift Equity into High Gear

Discounted rates, community outreach, and more docking stations are all helping low-income cyclists, including those in underserved minority communities, gain access to bike-share programs in the United States.

Fossil Decline Creates ‘Existential Business Risk’ for Exxon, Hedge Fund Analysts Warn

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil is up against “existential business risk” due to its “refusal to accept that fossil fuel demand may decline,” according to an investor presentation by San Francisco-based hedge fund Engine No. 1 that was first reported by the Financial Times.

Campaigners Scorch BlackRock for Backing Fossil-Heavy Leadership at Wells Fargo Bank

Investment giant BlackRock failed the first test of its promise to hold companies responsible for addressing the climate crisis through their business plans when it voted to support the current chair of the Wells Fargo Bank, one of the world’s biggest investors in new fossil fuel infrastructure, campaigners at #BlackRocksBigProblem said yesterday.

Research Team Aims for Full Accounting of Canada’s Natural Ecosystems

A team of Canadian scientists is about to embark on a five-year attempt to calculate just how much the country depends on the natural world—in economic terms, and in ways that are far less tangible.

Climate Impacts Could Cost Canada $140 Billion by 2050, Insurance Giant Warns

Canada will be more than $100 billion poorer by 2050 if the world doesn’t work harder to fight climate change, says one of the world’s largest insurers.

Haley: Ottawa’s Energy Efficiency Plans Will Hinge on ‘Nitty-Gritty Details of Implementation’

While last week’s federal budget cemented a significant increase in government support for energy efficiency, the “nitty-gritty details of implementation” have yet to be filled in and more funding will be needed to deliver the scale of building retrofit activity the country needs, Efficiency Canada Policy Director Brendan Haley argues in a follow-up analysis.

Washington State to Ban New Light-Duty Gas Vehicles by 2030

Washington State legislators have come together across the aisle to pass a bill requiring all new light-duty vehicles bought, sold, or registered in the state to be electric-powered by 2030.

Berkshire Hathaway Opposes Climate Risk Reporting Demands from Shareholders

Defiant in the face of political and shareholder pressure, investment Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is refusing to begin annual reporting on its climate risk.

Nova Scotia Company Shares XPrize Award for Technology to Capture Carbon in Concrete

Burnside, Nova Scotia-based CarbonCure Technologies is taking home about C$9.4 million as one of two winners of the NRG COSIA XPrize, after developing a technology to capture carbon dioxide in concrete and make an essential building material stronger while reducing its carbon footprint.

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.

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.

Wind turbines

Daily Conversation Among Houston Energy Traders Turns to Renewables

In energy-centric Houston, the scuttlebutt around most office coolers is not the fading fortunes of fossil fuels, but the rising star of renewables—with the exception of how that star might intersect with carbon capture ventures.

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.

Feds Promise Consultation as Carbon Capture Tax Credit Draws Fire

Big industrial emitters are emerging as major winners from the climate-related elements of this week’s federal budget, even though the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments are already fretting that the billions in new funding won’t flow quite the way they’d hoped.

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

Carbon Capture Tax Credit Could Drive Up Emissions, Analyst Warns

A troubled demonstration project in Saskatchewan may be an example of the challenges the Trudeau government will face if it relies on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, as this week’s federal budget proposes, an analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has told The Energy Mix.

Ottawa Offers $40,000 Interest-Free Loans for Deep Energy Retrofits

The federal government is hoping a budget provision for C$40,000 interest-free loans will be sufficient incentive to encourage 200,000 Canadian households to undertake deep retrofits on their homes.

Federal Budget Directs Dollars to Farm Climate Solutions, Forest Bio-Economy, Protected Areas

Nature-based climate solutions show up at several points in this week’s federal budget, with funds set aside for emission reductions on farms, the forest-based bio-economy, and a continuing, multi-billion-dollar effort to extend Canada’s network of protected areas.

EU Defers Decision on Green Label for Nuclear, Natural Gas

The European Union was expected to defer a decision on whether its new green finance rules, due to be published today, would list nuclear and gas-fired power plants as sustainable investments, according to leaked documents obtained last week by Euractiv.

Cheap Renewables, Net-Zero Promises Could Produce $100 Billion in Stranded Gas Assets

With renewable energy costs dropping dramatically, and mounting pressure from investors to abandon natural gas, utilities and gas producers are facing a quick, stark choice between shifting their business focus or being caught with a stranded asset risk that could exceed US$100 billion, according to recent analysis.

crude oil

Oil Price Could Fall to $10 Per Barrel by 2050

Plummeting demand could drive the price of a barrel of oil down as low as US$10 by 2050—far less than fossils need to cover their production costs—according to one of a series of scenarios produced by analysts at Wood Mackenzie to tease out the implications of meeting the carbon reduction targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Produces Many Questions, Few Results

While corporate sustainability reporting has become commonplace in boardrooms around the world, the practice is not living up to its billing as a path to a kinder capitalism, says an expert on organizational behaviour.

‘Checking the Boxes’ in Federal Climate Plan Won’t Deliver on Canada’s Paris Targets, Researchers Warn

Two veteran public interest researchers have come up with a troubling equation they say is at the heart of the federal government’s climate strategy: Carbon Pricing + Hydrogen + Carbon Capture + Nuclear = Paris 2030 and beyond.

Federal Budget-Watchers Expect ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Canadian Climate Action

From transit to home energy retrofits, from natural climate solutions to green innovation funding, the federal budget tabled today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will put an end to months of lobbying, advocacy, and speculation from climate policy advocates looking for a solid federal commitment to climate action.

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.

New Zealand Becomes First Country to Set Climate Disclosure Rules for Big Investors

In a world first, New Zealand will require all its biggest banks, insurance companies, and investment managers to report the climate impacts of their business activities.

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.

Florida Takes Climate Adaptation Funds Out of Affordable Housing Budget

Two recent bills passed in Florida are sending hundreds of millions of dollars toward improving climate resiliency in the state—at the expense of established funding for affordable housing.

Saskatchewan Sends ‘Wrong Signal’ with $150 EV Tax

Two federal ministers have written Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to protest his plan to bring in a tax on electric vehicles.

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.

‘No Vaccine for Climate Change’, Departing Toronto Energy Director Warns, in Critique of City’s Climate Performance

Toronto’s retiring director of environment and energy issued a broadside on his way out the door last week, warning councillors that there’s “no vaccine for climate change”, and an urgent need for the city to pick up the pace on its climate plan.

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.

Virginia’s ‘Solar Barn Raisings’ Help Power Community Spirit

A solar non-profit’s work with Habitat for Humanity to bring “solar barn raising” to Virginia communities is putting paid to the myth that solar is only for the rich.

New York State Pension Fund Divests from Seven Tar Sands/Oil Sands Producers

New York State’s US$247.7-billion pension fund is dropping the more than $7 million it’s invested in seven Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers, citing the “significant environmental, legal, and economic risks” the companies face.

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.

IEA Urges ‘Massive’ Energy Efficiency Gains to Hit Net-Zero Targets

Countries will need “massive improvements” in energy efficiency to achieve their net-zero targets under the Paris Agreement, International Energy Agency policy analyst Alyssa Fischer argues in a recent commentary.

Wildfire

U.S. Prepares for Another ‘Devastating’ Fire Season

From California to Wisconsin, U.S. policy-makers are putting dollars into pre-emptive action and more “boots on the ground” as a lower-than-normal snowpack portends a fierce fire season.

‘Chaotic’ UK Retrofit Program a Cautionary Tale for Trudeau, Biden

A failed attempt at a building energy retrofit program in the United Kingdom could offer lessons for governments in Canada and the United States as they prepare to launch their own plans.

Airship Company Plans to Float Cargo Gently Over the Canadian Arctic

A Paris-based airship company called Flying Whales has signed an exclusive deal with Canada that could advance plans to use the dirigibles as an Arctic-preserving cargo solution.

Pre-Budget Talk Centres on National Child Care Plan as Trudeau Mocks Conservatives’ Climate Policy

Fresh from a Liberal Party policy convention over the weekend, the Trudeau government is just days away from an April 19 budget that is widely expected to emphasize a national child care plan alongside a menu of green economic recovery measures.

Inuit Party Election Win in Greenland Casts Doubt on Rare-Earth Mining Project

Greenland’s plans for a massive rare-earth metals mine have been thrown doubt with the recent election victory of Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), a party firmly opposed to the project.

Albertans Demand Federal Impact Assessment for Controversial Coal Mine Plan

A fourth request has been made to the federal government to get involved in the environmental review of a coal mine proposed for Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Prepare to Lose 450,000 Fossil Jobs in Transition Off Carbon, TD Warns

As many as 450,000 of the 600,000 people now employed directly or indirectly by the Canadian fossil industry could be looking for new jobs as the transition off oil and gas unfolds, TD Economics concludes in a report released earlier this week.

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

Canadian Fossils Predict Long Future for Oil and Gas, Look to Carbon Capture to Cut Emissions

Canada’s biggest fossils aren’t considering a sudden pivot to renewable energy, but pipeline companies have no major expansion plans in the offing, judging by their remarks at a virtual symposium this week hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and Scotiabank.

62% of Big Five Bank Directors Have Ties to ‘Climate-Conflicted’ Industries, New Database Shows

Nearly two-thirds of the directors of Canada’s five biggest banks have past or present ties to high-carbon industries, making “climate-conflicted” bank directors a far more common phenomenon in Canada than in the United States, Europe, or the United Kingdom, according to a database compiled by DeSmog UK.

‘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.

New Start-Up Aims to Build U.S. Energy Equity One Neighbourhood at a Time

To be poor and a person of colour in the United States all too often means living with energy poverty and its associated health effects. A Brooklyn-based business founded by the son of Guyanese immigrants is working to change that reality, one building at a time.

Pre-Budget Opinion Snapshot Shows Jobs, Climate Action Among Canadians’ Top Priorities

A new public opinion snapshot shows job creation, climate action, and income inequalities among Canadians’ top priorities ahead of this month’s federal budget.

Supreme Court Carbon Ruling Could Trigger ‘Start-Up Explosion’ but Loopholes Undermine Federal Floor Price

A U.S. technology newsletter is touting Canada’s newly-confirmed carbon tax as a likely catalyst for a “start-up explosion” in several branches of cleantech, even as the Globe and Mail reports on the loopholes some provinces have opened up in the federal scheme—with the Trudeau government’s blessing.

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.

Record 260 GW of New Capacity in 2020 ‘Marks Start of the Decade of Renewables’, IRENA Says

Renewable energy producers around the world installed a record 260 billion watts of new capacity last year, with China and the United States setting the pace, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports this week.

Alberta Job Posting for ESG Czar More Talk than Action, Observers Say

The posting for a new high-level Alberta government job supposed to help the province align with environmental concerns from financial markets seems more about talk than action, observers say.

Canada Set to Lose $11.9 Billion on Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Canada is in line to lose C$11.9 billion on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as rising project costs collide with falling demand for oil, according to a new analysis by Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management.

Renewable Stocks Deliver 422% Return in 10 Years, Outperform Fossils Seven-Fold

Investors’ overall returns on their renewable energy stocks have outperformed fossil fuels three-fold over the last five years and seven-fold over the last 10, coming in at 422.7% for the decade compared to just 59% for fossil shares, according to an analysis released last month by the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment (CCFI) at Imperial College Business School and the International Energy Agency.

U.S. Looks to Canada as ‘51st State’ for Supplies of Electric Vehicle Minerals

Less than two weeks before U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a US$2-trillion infrastructure plan with heavy emphasis on electric cars and clean electricity, U.S. Department of Commerce officials were touching base with Canadian mining companies and battery producers to look at amping up production of electric vehicle components.

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.

Planned Plastics Plant in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ Fails to Pass Economic Muster

Yet another behemoth plastics complex planned for Louisiana’s infamous “Cancer Alley” is running into headwinds as a new report declares it economically unviable and suggests it be abandoned.

Central Banks See Climate Impacts Driving Permanent Shifts in Monetary Policy

An era of climate-driven extreme weather will force governments to keep interest rates low and usher in a new era of monetary policy, the world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, warned last week.

Climate-Denying Kansas Senator Plans Straitjacket for $14-Billion State Wind Industry

At hearings last week chaired by a climate change denier and green energy critic, the utilities committee of the Kansas Senate considered a measure to limit expansion of a wind energy sector that already supplies 41% of the state’s electricity, the second-highest share in the United States.

Biden to Announce Massive Jobs and Infrastructure Plan as Allies Push for Climate Spending

U.S. President Joe Biden will be in Pittsburgh today to announce a massive new jobs and infrastructure plan worth as much as US$4 trillion over the next eight to 10 years, potentially paid for with tax hikes of up to $3 trillion on corporations and the country’s highest income earners.

Pieridae Pitches for $925M Federal Subsidy for Goldboro LNG, Threatens Legal Action to Silence Critics

A fossil company angling for a C$925-million federal “grant, repayable contribution, or loan guarantee” for the controversial Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Nova Scotia is threatening legal action against five signatories to an open letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Iain Rankin, and other elected officials to reject the plan.

Federal Carbon Offset Plan Could Drive Up Emissions, Analysts Warn

The Canadian government’s new carbon offset system could ultimately drive up greenhouse gas emissions while creating the illusion of progress on the climate crisis, three of the country’s leading climate analysts warn in an opinion piece for the CBC.

U.S. Aims for 30,000 MW of Offshore Wind as Industry Urges Faster Global Deployment

The Biden administration has unveiled a US$3-billion plan of loan guarantees and accelerated permitting aimed at installing as many as 2,000 offshore wind turbines along the U.S. Atlantic coast and generating 30,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030.

U.S. Regulator Presses ConocoPhillips to Consider Shareholder Motion on Scope 3 Emissions

An investor action group in the Netherlands is declaring a “breakthrough” after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) backed shareholders’ bid to have colossal fossil ConocoPhillips consider their motions related to the carbon pollution its operations produce.

Sustainable Investing a ‘Deadly Distraction’ from Government Action, Ex-BlackRock CIO Warns

It’s a “deadly distraction” to think major corporations can replace sweeping government action in response to the climate crisis, according to a former finance professional who now says he helped promote that “fantasy” as chief investment officer for sustainable investing at mammoth investment firm BlackRock Inc.

Hapless ‘War Room’ Sets Out to Defend Alberta Fossils’ ESG Credentials

The Alberta public relations shop last known for picking a fight with Netflix over an animated children’s movie has been handed responsibility for promoting the province’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials to would-be investors in its beleaguered fossil industry.

Economic Future Looks Dim for Appalachian Fracking, Plastics Production

Those banking on reviving Appalachia with shale gas and plastics would do well to think again, says a new report. A resource glut and competition from renewables are liable to make the former unprofitable, while market forces are seriously reducing the odds of the latter’s success.

U.S. Aims to Cut Solar Costs 60% in a Decade

The United States government is setting out to cut the cost of solar-generated electricity by 60% over the next decade, five years ahead of schedule.

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.

GNL Québec Project Risks Far Outweigh Benefits, Government Review Panel Concludes

Quebec’s environmental review board says the risks associated with GNL Québec’s proposed Saguenay gas terminal project far outweigh its benefits.

U.S. Fracking Counties Face Economic Crunch as Coal Country Looks to Diversify

As the energy transition picks up across the United States, fossil-dependent states like Pennsylvania are struggling with the devastating financial and environmental price of betting the farm on oil, gas, and coal. But a policy brief published late last year offers some hints on how to build back better.

Invest in Bioeconomy to Tap $200-Billion-Per-Year Opportunity, Industry Advocate Urges Ottawa

Canada is missing out on a C$200-billion-per-year opportunity to build an industrial bioeconomy using feedstocks from forestry, agriculture, and municipal solid waste, Passmore Group CEO Jeff Passmore writes in a post this week for Biofuels Digest.

Wild Spaces Left Undeveloped Have Higher Dollar Value, Scientists Calculate

British scientists have once again made the commercial case for conserving wilderness. They have demonstrated that in its pristine state—mangrove swamps, wetlands, savannahs, forests, and so on—nature left alone is of more value to humankind than as exploited real estate.

EXCLUSIVE: New Carbon Capture Tax Credit Would Drive Higher Emissions, Could Mislead Investors

A new federal incentive, modelled on a U.S. tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage, would be tailor-made to drive higher greenhouse gas emissions and could produce unexpected surprises for private investors if it’s included in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s April 19 budget, a veteran U.S. energy consultant and attorney has told The Energy Mix.

CP Rail Merger with U.S. Rival ‘Supports New Source of Bitumen’

A partner in a project designed to allow more tar sands/oil sands bitumen to be shipped by rail from Canada to Texas says the US$25-billion merger of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and U.S. rival Kansas City Southern announced Sunday promises to provide new benefits.

Goldgrub: ESG Investing Requires (and Will Receive) Legal Standards

A wave of interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments is leading to louder calls for government-mandated ESG standards, as it becomes increasingly clear that promises of better behaviour from the world’s largest corporations aren’t translating into the environmental and social benefits they’re supposed to be delivering.

Harvard Students Discover State Law that Could Boost Case for Divestment

Harvard students pushing the institution to divest from fossil fuels may have found a winning strategy with the new legal argument that investing in Big Oil violates Massachusetts state law. All they need is now for their state’s attorney general to take up their cause.

Imperial Oil Tells Shareholders to Vote Down ‘Premature’ Net-Zero Emissions Target

Imperial Oil Ltd. is advising investors attending its annual meeting in May to vote against a shareholder resolution that it adopt a corporate wide target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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.

Wealthy Countries Hit Peak Oil Use, but Global Demand Headed for Record High Unless Governments Take Action

Wealthy countries will never return to their pre-pandemic levels of oil consumption, but rebounding economic activity in the developing world could drive daily demand to new highs within two years without much stronger government leadership toward clean energy, the International Energy Agency warned in its Oil 2021 assessment released last Tuesday.

Nuclear Fuel ‘Recycling’ in New Brunswick Could Drive Weapons Proliferation, Analysts Warn

Two veteran safe energy campaigners are raising the alarm after the federal government announced a C$50.5-million subsidy to a New Brunswick company that wants to build a new 300-megawatt small modular nuclear reactor at the site of the current Point Lepreau nuclear station by the early 2030s.

‘Choosy’ Colossal Fossil Chevron Pulls Funding from Kitimat LNG Project

The decision by Chevron Canada Ltd. to stop funding its proposed Kitimat LNG project on B.C.’s north coast isn’t surprising given its failed attempt to sell its stake over the past 15 months, an analyst says.

U.S. Lawmakers to Vote on Groundbreaking Environmental Justice Bill

A landmark bill currently in front of the U.S. Congress could change the game for environmental justice in the country. Two key provisions: an annual US$75 million in funding to improve public health in disadvantaged communities, and taxing the fossil sector in order to support fossil-dependent workers and communities in the transition to green jobs.

Nature Destruction Has Humanity Playing ‘Russian Roulette with Pathogens’ Like COVID-19

The trillions of dollars being spent worldwide on health care and pandemic recovery will ultimately be for naught if governments fail to tackle the destruction of nature as the root cause of emerging zoonotic pathogens like COVID-19, says a new international coalition of health and environmental groups.

Unchecked Climate Change Could Mean $270B Per Year in Higher Interest Costs for Countries, Businesses

More than 60 countries could see their credit ratings downgraded by 2030, while countries and businesses could be in line for as much as US$270 billion per year in higher interest costs by 2100, without tough policies to get climate change under control, according to a study released last week by three United Kingdom universities.

‘Conventional Energy Bubble’ Could Cost Utilities $1 Trillion as Cheap Renewables Undercut Fossil Plants

Power utilities are on track to lose US$1 trillion over the next 15 years after analysts, agencies, and bankers grossly overestimated the revenue they’re likely to generate through 2040 and beyond, RethinkX founder Tony Seba and research fellow Adam Dorr warn in an opinion piece this week for Utility Dive.

Canada’s Pandemic Bike Lanes Boost Accessibility, Should Be Made Permanent, Advocates Say

A recent study in shows that new bike lanes set up during the pandemic made the city more accessible for all, prompting cycling advocates to urge policy-makers to make the lanes permanent.

U.S. Revives $40-Billion Loan Program Office with Jigar Shah at the Helm

The Biden administration is reactivating a US$40-billion loan office left on hold in the years since the Obama presidency, with pioneering cleantech entrepreneur and investor Jigar Shah at the helm and a mandate to capture a share of a $23-trillion global market for low-carbon technologies—along with a simultaneous appetite for research on fossil and nuclear technologies.

UK Climate Scientist Traces Three Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

The planet had already warmed by around 1.2℃ since pre-industrial times when the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This began a sudden and unprecedented drop in human activity, as much of the world went into lockdown and factories stopped operating, cars kept their engines off, and planes were grounded.

Initial Economic Gains Mustn’t Deter Freeland’s Green Recovery Budget, Analysts Warn

The federal government could be at risk of squandering its best opportunity at a just, green transition if a rosy February jobs report, the prospect of higher borrowing costs, and the belief that consumers are itching to spend their pandemic year savings pull it away from the job creation and economic recovery investments it promised in the Speech from the Throne last fall.

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.

Lion Electric to Build $185-Million Battery Plant in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec

Electric school bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric is building a new C$185-million battery pack assembly plant near its headquarters in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, after the federal and provincial governments each invested $50 million in the new venture this week—possibly forestalling a decision to locate the factory in the United States.

Indigenous-Led Dakota Wind Project Holds Lessons for Just Transition

With some of the windiest places on the continent sited within their territories, six Oceti Sakowin (Lakota) tribes in South Dakota are three years into development of a major wind power project. And with the project well under way, the community has much to teach about achieving a just energy transition.

Ottawa Earmarks $400 Million Over Five Years for Active Transportation

Canada is about to get its first-ever pool of money dedicated specifically to “active transportation,” Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced last week.

‘Low-Carbon’ Diesel, Hydrogen Plant Expects $100M in B.C. Government Credits

Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. says it expects to receive C$100 million in provincial government low-carbon fuel credits if it proceeds with a plan to build renewable diesel and renewable hydrogen facilities at its Prince George Refinery in British Columbia.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChineseCoalPower.jpg

China’s International Investments Undermine ‘Green is Gold’ Domestic Mandate

China’s efforts to assert the green credentials of its Belt and Road Initiative are being undermined by its long-standing habit of ignoring public opinion, especially when it comes to human and ecosystem health. And recent successful pushback from community groups in Africa suggests it’s time for a rethink.

More Systemic Racism than Storm Damage in Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis

The winter storm that famously brought Texas to its knees last month also delivered misery to places like Jackson, Mississippi. Weeks later, more than 70% of Jackson’s mostly Black residents still don’t have safe water, an infrastructure failure that owes directly to systemic racism, past and present.

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.

Federal Carbon Tax Revenue Funds Energy Retrofits for 172 Ontario Schools

The federal government will spend more than C$40 million of carbon tax revenue to make Ontario schools more energy efficient, the Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced last Wednesday.

Fort Nelson First Nation Nabs Federal Funding for 15-MW Geothermal Project

Ottawa has committed more than C$40 million to fund the development of geothermal power from a diminishing natural gas field in northern British Columbia.

Increases in U.S. Floods, Flood Damage Fuel Insurance Crisis

Sea level rise and severe storms are sending more and more water surging into America’s towns and cities, destroying property and lives. That has activists calling for reform of the country’s National Flood Insurance Program as inequitable insurance rates leave many citizens unable to pick up the pieces.

EXCLUSIVE: Blaming Campaigners for Rising Premiums Masks Trans Mountain’s Shoddy Safety Record, Ex-Insurance Exec Says

The federal Crown corporation responsible for the Trans Mountain pipeline is diverting attention from its own shoddy safety culture by blaming campaigners for its rising insurance premiums, while trying to conceal information on its operations that properly belongs in the public domain, two insurance industry veterans have told The Energy Mix.

Time to Invest Now as Governments Devote Just 18% of COVID Spending to Green Recovery

The world’s 50 biggest economies devoted just 2.5% of their budgets in 2020 and only 18% of their pandemic spending to green recovery measures, according to a new analysis released this week by the University of Oxford and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Brookfield to Supply Hydro-Generated Electricity for U.S. Green Hydrogen Plant

Toronto-based Brookfield Renewable Partners is planning to supply electricity from its Holtwood hydropower plant in Pennsylvania to a U.S. fuel cell company aiming to cash in on the growing green hydrogen boom.

Alberta Calls for $30-Billion Carbon Capture Subsidy in Upcoming Federal Budget

The Alberta government is pitching for a 10-year, C$30-billion federal budget commitment to subsidize large-scale carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) projects, even as the federal and provincial governments form a joint working group to develop CCS strategy for the fossil sector.

Panicky Messaging on Line 5 Closure Threat Masks Real Issues with Pipeline, Oil by Rail

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is framing Michigan’s intention to shutter Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline as a dire threat to energy security on both sides of the border. Calmer analysis suggests otherwise.

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.

Bankrupt Texas Oil Companies Abandon Toxic Wells, Cash Out CEOs

Texas oil and gas companies are pulling up stakes, pleading bankruptcy, and leaving the public on the hook for abandoned wells they insist they cannot afford to plug themselves. But the pay packages delivered to CEOs just prior to the declarations of bankruptcy seem to show that different decisions could have been made.

Rising Emissions Make Animal Protein, Dairy the ‘New Oil and Gas’, Analysts Warn

Some of the same banks and investment funds that are promising to scale back their financial support for fossil fuels are still throwing their dollars at agri-food companies that produce massive amounts of carbon pollution and play a direct or indirect role in the loss of the world’s forests, Inside Climate News reports.

Decentralized Energy Is Critical for African Vaccine Distribution

Getting vaccines (and good health care in general) to all the people who need it depends on connecting remote and rural health centres to renewable energy. And making that happen will require multilateral cooperation, including the United States taking its “build back better” mantra to the global stage.

Ottawa Releases Rules for National Carbon Offset System

The Trudeau government has released draft regulations that will set the rules for companies intent on buying and selling credits for projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Alberta Regulator Clamps Down after Deadbeat Fossil Falls $67 Million Short on Cleanup Funds

The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending licences for thousands of wells and pipelines after an oil and gas producer failed to bring its operations into regulatory compliance.

Social Cost of Carbon ‘Puts a Number on Climate Damage’

On Day One of his administration, U.S. President Joe Biden directed his team to reassess the social cost of carbon. This seemingly obscure concept puts a number on how much damage a tonne of carbon dioxide emitted today will do in the future, to show how much a given climate policy would benefit the economy in the long run. Biden’s team explicitly called for considerations of environmental justice and intergenerational equity, referring to the perils of climate change to future generations.

Canadian, European Officials Urge World Bank to End Fossil Investments

Senior officials from Canada and Europe are urging the World Bank to end its investments in coal- and oil-related projects and gradually phase out gas, three separate sources told the Reuters news agency late last month.

$565-Billion House Bill Aims to Cut U.S. Emissions 50% by 2030, Decarbonize Grid by 2035

The United States would cut its greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and count on a clean electricity standard to achieve a 100% clean energy grid by 2035 under legislation reintroduced this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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.

Ottawa Sends $2.7 Billion to Transit Agencies for Zero-Emission Buses

Canadian transit agencies are in line to receive C$2.7 billion in new federal funding over five years to begin converting their diesel fleets to electric buses.

Canada Aims for Green Energy Exemption from Biden Buy American Rules

Canada is angling for a green energy exemption from Buy American policies likely to be introduced by the Biden administration, chief trade negotiator Steve Verheul told a parliamentary committee earlier this week.

New Technologies Could Cut Millions of Tonnes of Carbon, Save U.S. Utilities Billions of Dollars

Utilities in the United States could cut millions of tonnes of carbon pollution, save billions of dollars, and double their capacity for new wind and solar capacity if federal government incentives can be set up to support a suite of “grid-enhancing technologies”, the Boston-based Brattle Group concludes in a report released last month.

Forget ‘Safe’ and Focus on Impact to Make Carbon Credits Work: WWF

Despite more than a decade of policy discussion, questions still remain over how to differentiate “good” carbon forest credits from those that just squeak by the grade. A new primer from World Wildlife Fund attempts to lay out the challenges and offer a path forward.

coal power plant

BREAKING: Powering Past Coal Alliance Urges Faster Phaseout While Co-Founders Allow New Coal Mines

The global Powering Past Coal Alliance is taking sharp criticism from both sides of the Atlantic this week, with delegates gathering for a three-day online summit while the PPCA’s two founders and co-chairs, Canada and the United Kingdom, allow new coal mines to go into operation.

Windsor, Ontario Courts Investor for $2-Billion Battery Manufacturing Plant

The auto manufacturing town of Windsor, Ontario is angling for a C$2-billion investment in an electric vehicle manufacturing plant, Canada’s first, that would create 2,000 local jobs and be “truly transformative” to the local economy.

Seven in 10 Canadian Car Shoppers Plan to Go Electric

Nearly 70% of Canadians looking to buy a new vehicle within the next five years plan on dumping the internal combustion engine and going with an EV, according to a new KPMG survey.

War-Torn States Look to Local Renewables, Rooftop Solar for Greater Stability

Desperate to improve energy access for their citizens, some of the world’s most fragile states have delivered an open letter to wealthy nations, development banks, and the private sector, pleading for support to expand distributed renewable energy systems like inexpensive and relatively conflict-resistant rooftop solar.

Western Australia Plans 1,000 New Microgrids Combining Solar+Storage+Hydrogen

The Labor government in Western Australia expects to save hundreds of millions of dollars with a A$259-million, five-year green manufacturing plan that will see 1,000 new microgrids, combining solar, batteries, and hydrogen electrolyzers, installed across the state.

B.C. Pushes Forward with Site C Hydro Megaproject Despite $16-Billion Price Tag

Premier John Horgan has given the green light for work on British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam to proceed, citing termination costs of more than C$10 billion and expert opinion that the geotechnical problems that have haunted the project can be fixed. Members of the West Moberly First Nations say they’ll see the province in court.

RBC Adds $500 Billion to Sustainable Funds, Faces Mounting Pressure for Fossil Investments

The Royal Bank of Canada plans to add C$500 billion to its sustainable investment funds by 2025 after hitting an initial target of $100 billion last year, even as it comes under increasing fire as a leading supporter of new fossil fuel projects.

‘Future Belongs to Renewables’ as Norwegian Wealth Fund Blacklists Four Alberta Fossils

Norway’s US$1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund is following through on its threat to drop investments in Canadian tar sands/oil sands production, with four Alberta fossils showing up among the 15 companies the fund blacklisted last year, the Globe and Mail reports.

Five Colossal Fossils Lose $76 Billion in 2020 as Energy Transition Speeds Up

Five top colossal fossils—ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and Total—lost a combined US$76 billion last year, almost all of it due to an accelerating transition off fossil fuels, analysts at Rystad Energy reported last month.

TAF Urges $27-Billion Federal Investment for ‘Well-Functioning Deep Retrofit Market’

The federal government should build on the work of the 2020 Task Force for a Resilient Recovery by investing at least C$27 billion in resilient, energy-efficient buildings and directing the dollars to help build an effective deep retrofit industry, The Atmospheric Fund recommends in its 2021 pre-budget submission.

Coalition Urges Federal Funding to Drive Down Farm Emissions, Bring Producers Onboard for Climate Action

A new coalition of agriculture and environmental groups is calling for a two-year, C$600-million federal investment to begin reducing the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, pave the way for further improvements over time, and dial down concerns about carbon pricing and its potential impact on farm producers.

Carney Walks Back Net-Zero Claim, SBTi Faces Criticism as Corporate Carbon Plans Draw Closer Scrutiny

Two of the biggest sources of optimism on corporations’ momentum toward serious carbon reductions are receiving pushback, with ex-Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney forced to walk back a net-zero claim for a major investment portfolio and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) under fire for its choice of assessment methods.

Canadian Fossil Subsidies Tripled in 2020, Report Shows

A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada’s oilpatch.

Trans Mountain Tries to Hide Insurers’ Identities as Industry Pushes for Climate Disclosure

The Crown corporation building the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has asked a federal regulator to conceal the names of its insurance companies to prevent them from being targeted by climate campaigners, just days before the insurance industry’s “leading international think tank” released a new task force report on climate risk assessment.

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

Exxon Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands Holdings, Slashes Estimate of Recoverable Reserves

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil has dropped virtually all its tar sands/oil sands holdings from its list of recoverable assets, and its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil followed suit by cutting a billion barrels of bitumen from its inventory, in what Bloomberg News calls a “sweeping revision of worldwide reserves to depths never before seen in the company’s modern history”.

Four Canadian Banks Make ‘Dirty Thirty’ List of Global Coal Financiers

Four of Canada’s Big Five chartered banks have made the Dirty Thirty list of the world’s largest coal financiers, making the country the fourth-largest lender to the global coal industry between 2018 and 2020, according to releases this week by European NGO Urgewald and Toronto-based Shift Action for Pension Wealth & Planet Health.

Nine Big Emitters Would Pay Their Share Under ‘Hypothetical Climate Liability Regime’

The world’s big oil and mining companies emit vast amounts of climate-changing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By extension, the actions of these corporate giants stand accused of contributing to floods and droughts and other climate-related disasters around the globe, extremely costly in both human and financial terms.

Nova Scotia Unveils EV, Energy Retrofit Fund, but Climate Analysts Look for More

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin has announced C$19 million in rebates to help people buy electric vehicles and to assist low-income families in making their homes more energy efficient.

Global Solar Installations Could Reach 209 GW This Year as BNEF Projects 13 to 50% Growth

New installations of photovoltaic solar capacity will reach 160 to 209 gigawatts (that’s up to 209 billion watts) this year, with booming activity in most markets around the world, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reported in an analysis released this week.

Rising Rents, Hurricane Damage Drive Homelessness Crisis in Louisiana

Only six months after seeing their homes destroyed by back-to-back hurricanes, many renters in the industrial heartland of southwest Louisiana have found themselves literally on the street due to unconscionable eviction laws, a woefully insufficient federal aid response, a pre-existing housing crisis, and pandemic-related job losses.

Great Barrier Reef Geoengineering an Expensive Smokescreen, Scientists Say

Researchers and innovators are piling on to the effort to geoengineer a way to protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from a warming ocean. But as intriguing as some of the solutions are, critics say such projects do nothing but put a very expensive, potentially destructive band-aid on a problem that will only be solved by sharp emissions cuts.

‘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.

U.S. Wind, Solar Post Record Growth in 2020 Despite Pandemic Restrictions, Job Losses

United States solar and wind developers had a record year in 2020 despite punishing restrictions and job losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately rising to 20% of the country’s electricity production, according to new data released last week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

Coastal GasLink Costs Rise as B.C. Flags Environmental Impacts Along Pipeline Route

The CEO of TC Energy Corp. is warning that the cost of its Coastal GasLink pipeline to bring natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to Canada’s first LNG export terminal is rising and completion will likely be delayed due to a construction halt to control spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Time to Come Clean on Rising Carbon Emissions, Bloomberg Columnist Urges Musk

It’s time for Tesla founder Elon Musk to come clean about the rising carbon footprint of his signature product, as the company’s rapid growth around the world takes it into countries and regions where electric vehicles are powered by the world’s most polluting fuels, commodities columnist David Fickling writes for Bloomberg Opinion.

World Bank, IMF May Link Debt Relief for Poor Countries with Climate Investments

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are looking at how to take climate change into account as they open negotiations to reduce unsustainable debt loads for some of the world’s poorest countries, Reuters reports, citing an interview last week with World Bank President David Malpass.

Toronto Cuts Climate Funding, Delays Long-Term Emissions Plan as Pandemic Strains Finances

Toronto city council decided last week to delay planning activities and reduce funding for its TranformTO climate plan, ignoring warnings that the climate crisis and the community’s own environmental targets will make it tough to make up the lost time.

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.

Alberta Towns Declare Crisis as Deadbeat Fossils’ Unpaid Tax Bills Triple to $245 Million

The exponential growth of unpaid property taxes from Alberta’s struggling oilpatch is threatening small communities and they need new ways to enforce the rules, says the group that represents them.

B.C. Pension Fund Plans $5 Billion for Sustainability Bonds as ESG Investments Surge

The investment fund responsible for British Columbia’s public sector pensions is committing to buy C$5 billion in new sustainability bonds and reduce the carbon dioxide exposure of its existing investments 30% from 2019 levels by 2025, at a moment when the broader field of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is taking financiers by surprise with its “astronomical” rise.

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.”

Going All In on EV Adoption Won’t Solve America’s Car Addiction: Op-Ed

While the Biden administration’s recent pledge to replace the U.S. government’s fleet of some 650,000 vehicles with EVs is being welcomed, observers warn that simply replacing one car type with another won’t solve a deeper issue at the heart of America’s transportation fabric.

Circular Economy Leader Brings Major-Brand Refillable Grocery Packaging to Canada

A new partnership between a rising circular economy juggernaut, a supermarket giant, and some very popular food brands (think Häagen-Dazs and Heinz) is raising hopes for the viability of reusable packaging in Canada. The groundbreaking project is being met with acclaim from business sustainability experts, and cautious praise from Greenpeace.

BREAKING: Texas Was ‘Seconds and Minutes’ from Months-Long Blackouts, Grid Operator Admits

At least 47 people were dead, hundreds of thousands of homes were still without power, half of the state was under a boil water order, racialized communities were bearing the brunt, and the electricity system operator admitted it had only narrowly averted months-long blackouts as Texas began taking stock of a rolling disaster brought on by climate-driven severe weather and ideologically-driven grid deregulation.

Alberta Business Council Calls for Provincial Sales Tax, Reinstated Carbon Tax

A business council with representation from virtually all the major fossil companies in Alberta is calling on the Jason Kenney government to introduce a provincial sales tax and reinstate a consumer carbon tax.

New U.S. Scenarios Show State-by-State Benefits of Net-Zero Shift

A modelling study published earlier this month by three U.S. organizations breaks down the state-by-state benefits the country can expect from the drive to a net-zero economy by 2050.

Giant Whales, and Their Giant Poop, Serve as Natural Carbon Sinks

The Earth’s great whales are magnificent, intelligent, and peaceful. But new research shows that they also help keep the planet cool—in life, and in death. Such knowledge has put a new urgency to the call to “save the whales,” as doing so may also help cool the climate.

France’s New Repairability Labelling Law Boosts Fight Against Planned Obsolescence

In a global first, France has mandated that certain electronics manufacturers must let consumers know just how repairable their products are. And happy Right to Repair advocates say other nations are watching closely.

Bitcoin Draws as Much Electricity as Argentina as Consumption Quadruples in Four Years

With the computing power that drives the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin now consuming nearly as much energy as Argentina, analysts are warning the renegade technology’s carbon footprint will only get worse as it becomes more popular.

Brutal Cold Snap Triggers Rolling Blackouts, Drives Up Power Costs as Texas Gas Plants Fail

A brutal blast of cold, winter weather this week killed at least 14 people in four U.S. states, dropped snow and ice on an area from Texas to New England, took 34,000 megawatts of power offline in Texas, drove wholesale electricity rates up by more than 10,000%—and prompted a brief, inevitable burst of complaints directed at the state’s wind farms, before it became clear that most of the missing electricity was from the state’s gas plants.

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”.

Line 3 Pipeline Runs $1.1 Billion Over Budget as Eleventh-Hour Opposition Mounts

Construction of the U.S. portion of the Line 3 pipeline will cost $1.1 billion more than expected due to regulatory and court delays in Minnesota, but the CEO of owner Enbridge Inc. says the project is on track to start delivering “lots of free cash flow” by late this year.

New Deforestation Map Reveals Shocking Loss of B.C.’s Old Growth Stands

Despite its “Super, Natural” branding, British Columbia is by no means a haven for old-growth forests, according to a new mapping project that points to a massive toll from logging and industrial activity.

Explainer: IISD Lays Out Pros and Cons of Subsidizing Hydrogen Development

As countries chart paths to net-zero economies by 2050, hydrogen has enjoyed a new wave of attention. But a key question facing governments is whether the benefits of subsidizing hydrogen development outweigh the risks, the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Richard Bridle and Estan Beedell note in a detailed explainer.

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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.

Net-Zero Home Rides Out Edmonton Cold Snap with No Furnace Required

A net-zero home in Edmonton, Alberta stayed toasty warm this week when the polar vortex brought bitterly cold temperatures to town, enabling Darryl Zubot and his family to stay comfortable and safe—without having to turn on the furnace.

Shareholders Squirm, Climate Analysts Pounce as Shell Releases ‘Grotesque’, ‘Delusional’ Climate Plan

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell is taking criticism from all sides for its latest attempt at a decarbonization strategy, with fossil-friendly investors driving its share price down 2% after last week’s announcement while climate campaigners declare the plan “grotesque” and “delusional”.

Wilkinson, McCarthy Hold First Talks on Cross-Border Climate Action

With a new administration in Washington, DC setting climate action as one of its four defining priorities, Canadian Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has opened conversations with his U.S. counterpart on “an array of potential new agreements” for cross-border cooperation, the Globe and Mail reports.

Valentine’s Day Campaign, New Research Highlight B.C. Subsidies to Top Fracking Companies

“Roses are red/Money is green/Thanks for the cheque/Glad we’re on the same team.”
That’s the tone of a series of valentines released late last week by Dogwood BC, this one addressed from fossil producer Encana (now Ovintiv) to Premier John Horgan, just days after a four-page analysis by the Wilderness Committee listed the subsidies going to the province’s top 10 fracking companies.

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.

Indigenous Clean Energy Seeks Federal Endowment to Build ‘Decolonized Energy Future’

With nearly 200 renewable energy projects in progress, each of them generating more than a megawatt of electricity at full capacity, Indigenous Clean Energy is calling on the federal government to invest C$500 million in a “decolonized energy future” for Indigenous communities.

Science ‘Translators’ Needed to Help Investors Avoid Climate Greenwashing

Investors and their advisors may be making a dangerous mistake if they allow climate modelling to give them a false sense of certainty over the physical impacts to be expected from climate change, according to a new article in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Alberta, B.C. Receive New Funding Under Federal Oil Well Cleanup Program

The Alberta, British Columbia, and federal governments have unveiled a new round of funding to help clean up inactive oil and gas sites in the province, including C$400 million in Alberta and $120 million for B.C.

EXCLUSIVE: Study Shows Governments’ Oil and Gas Revenue Crashing as Decarbonization Takes Hold

Canadian governments stand to lose more than half of their revenue from oil and gas activities through 2040, and nearly nine-tenths of the taxes and royalties the industry says they will collect, as the global economy decarbonizes and shifts away from fossil fuel production, the UK-based Carbon Tracker Initiative concludes in an analysis released this week.

Fund Low-Income Building Retrofits in Upcoming Budget, Efficiency Canada Urges Ottawa [Sign-Ons]

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2021 budget must include funding for building energy retrofits for low-income households that can’t afford the up-front cost of a home renovation, Efficiency Canada argues in a sign-on published this week.

Big City Mayors Cheer as Trudeau Offers Permanent Federal Transit Funding

The federal Liberal government is promising cash-strapped cities billions of dollars in permanent funding for their public transit systems—though most of the money won’t start flowing until later in the decade.

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Climate Crisis Will Be More Deadly than COVID, Carney Warns

Climate change could cause as many deaths each year by mid-century as the COVID-19 pandemic has produced over the last 12 months, UN climate action and finance envoy Mark Carney said last week, in an interview in which he called on governments to double their investments in a green recovery.

Ex-Exxon Engineer Personifies ‘Generational Schism’ Facing Millennial Oil and Gas Workers

As pressure on climate-unfriendly Big Fossil builds, so does the sense of disillusionment among the industry’s younger employees, for whom climate change is a real and present danger—for themselves and for their children.

Study Shows U.S. Decarbonizing by 2050 for $1 Per Person Per Day

The United States—per head of population perhaps the world’s most prodigal emitter of greenhouse gases—can reverse that and have a carbon-free future within three decades, at a cost of no more than $1 per person per day, according to a new study in the journal AGU Advances.

Canada Can Thrive on Road to Net-Zero if Governments Make Good Decisions Now

Canada has multiple opportunities to thrive along the road to a net-zero economy by 2050 as long as governments make the right decisions now, concludes a study released this week by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC).

U.S. Can Save $3.5 Trillion by Launching Climate Transition Today, Not Waiting Until 2030

The United States can save US$3.5 trillion by launching a serious greenhouse gas reduction effort now, rather than waiting until 2030—without even factoring in the public health benefits of fossil fuel reductions, or the avoided cost of climate-driven extreme weather, according to a new report by San Francisco-based Energy Innovation.

In Conversation: New Fibre Sources Are Key to Protecting Forest Ecosystems, Drawing Down Carbon, Rycroft Says

Nicole Rycroft is founder and executive director of Vancouver-based Canopy, and one of this year’s two recipients of the 2020 Climate Breakthrough award, a US$3-million, unrestricted award that supports “the kind of novel and potentially game-changing strategies we need in order to achieve massive greenhouse gas reductions”. In this feature interview, she talks about how to quickly and fundamentally shift supply chains and scale up next-generation alternative fibres as a key step to protect intact, carbon- and biodiversity-rich forest ecosystems.

Capital Markets ‘Shift Decisively’ Out of Oil and Gas as Investors Place Their Bets on Renewables

Investors are increasingly placing their bets with renewable energy and abandoning oil and gas, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports, in an analysis that shows capital markets “shifting decisively towards cleaner investments”.

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Line 5 Pipeline Battle Produces Overheated Claims on Job vs. Environment

As officials in Michigan look to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, business interests in Ontario and Quebec are warning of dire economic effects. But others—like Green Party Leader Annamie Paul—say there are opportunities, too, and that presenting the pipeline as a choice between jobs and the environment is a false, and dangerous, dichotomy.

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.

Alberta Fossil Cenovus Declares $100-Million Loss on Keystone XL Cancellation

The cancellation of the Keystone XL oil export pipeline has resulted in a second tar sands/oil sands company posting a multi-million-dollar impairment charge in its fourth quarter earnings report.

GM to Supply Fuel Cells for Hybrid-Electric Trucks

In about three years, Lisle, Illinois-based engine maker Navistar plans to start selling low-emission hydrogen-powered heavy trucks under a partnership with General Motors and a small distribution company called OneH2.

‘Hydropower Era May Be Over’ as Wind Farms Draw New Investment in Quebec, B.C.

Wind energy investment received twin boosts in Quebec and British Columbia last week, with one of the announcements prompting the Globe and Mail to comment that “the era of building big new hydropower dams in Quebec might be over”.

Tech Sector Helps Diversify Alberta Job Market, But Gains May Not Last

Technology companies are delivering a ray of hope to an Alberta economy facing the combined impact of a global health crisis and shaky demand for oil. But the sector’s success could be precarious as the province competes with other jurisdictions for investment and jobs.

Permian Basin Drilling Leases Put New Mexico’s Aquifers at Risk

The vast and pristine network of caves that thread through the limestone and gypsum landscape of southeastern New Mexico are otherworldly in their beauty, rich in scientific and cultural revelation—and increasingly threatened by ongoing Permian Basin fossil exploration.

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”.

Industrial Hog Farm Biogas Projects Ignore Community Impacts

Many Black and low-income communities in the U.S. have long played unwilling hosts to industrial hog farms and their sub-par waste-treatment processes. Now, efforts to turn hog-generated methane into renewable natural gas are doing little to improve the quality of life in these communities—and may even be making it worse.

212,000 Kilometres of New Pipelines World-Wide Would Enable 170 Billion Tonnes of Emissions, Analysts Warn

A 212,000-kilometre network of oil and gas pipelines now in construction or under development around the world could set investors up for US$1 trillion in stranded asset risk, while enabling 170 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over their full operating lives, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) warns in a devastating assessment released this week.

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.

‘Ending Zero-Sum Green Energy Politics’ Depends on Local Solutions, Win-Win Thinking

A detailed, local pitch for jobs and economic activity will be central to the Biden administration’s push to transform the way the United States produces energy and addresses the climate crisis, writes Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, in a recent opinion piece on the pathway to “ending zero-sum green energy politics”.

Exxon Faces ‘Frustrated Investors’ After First-Ever Financial Loss

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil declared an annual financial loss yesterday for the first time ever, capping a year in which it had to borrow money and sell off assets to manage a US$15.2-billion payout to its shareholders.

New Campaign Presses RBC, Other Canadian Banks to Drop Fossil Investments [How-to Guide]

A series of socially-distanced demonstrations across Canada last Friday kicked off a national campaign to press the Royal Bank of Canada and other big banks to stop investing in fossil fuel projects and respect Indigenous rights.

Banking Industry Funnelled $17 Trillion into Big Plastic over 4½ Years

A groundbreaking investigation into plastics funding has found that the world’s biggest financial institutions have been “silently and indiscriminately” bankrolling the biggest actors in the global plastic supply chain. Between January 2015 and September 2019, they wrote cheques totalling more than US$1.7 trillion.

Musk Faces Headwinds in Bid to Power SpaceX Rockets with Fossil Gas

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk is facing serious criticism for plans to power his other major business venture, SpaceX, with fossil gas.

Circular Approach Can Cut Automakers’ Carbon Intensity 75%, Resource Consumption 80%

A circular economy approach to auto manufacturing could cut the sector’s per-passenger life cycle carbon emissions by 75% and its “non-circular” resource consumption 80% while driving “transformative solutions for the automotive industry,” write two consultants from Accenture and one executive from the World Economic Forum in a recent post for the WEF blog.

Fossils ‘Stunned’, ‘Aghast’ After Biden Pauses New Oil and Gas Leases

North American fossils are declaring themselves “stunned” and “aghast” at the wave of climate action emanating from the White House last week, with U.S. President Joe Biden ordering a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land and climate advisor Gina McCarthy promising “the most aggressive” greenhouse gas reductions the country can achieve.

Jason Kenney vs. the Plimsoll Line

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proved to be “all hat but no horse” when it came to roping and tying down the ill-fated Keystone XL pipeline. Now, after risking billions in taxpayer funds on that folly, it appears he may soon be riding out of town on a one-trick pony. A metaphorical analysis by veteran journalist Paul McKay.

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.

Trudeau Tree-Planting Plan to Run $2.78B Over Budget, PBO Warns

The parliamentary budget office says a pledge by the Trudeau Liberals to plant two billion trees could cost almost double what the government says.

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.

GM Pledges to Phase Out Gasoline and Diesel Cars, SUVs by 2035

Giant U.S. automaker General Motors is declaring an end to new cars and SUVs with gasoline and diesel engines by 2035 and promising carbon-neutral operations by 2040, marking what the Washington Post calls “an historic turning point for the iconic American automobile company” and a “future full of new electric vehicles for American motorists.”

CNRL, Imperial, 11 Others Face Rating Downgrades Due to Competition from Renewables

Alberta fossils Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Imperial Oil are on a list of 13 big oil and gas companies that may face rating downgrades within weeks, and Suncor Energy was also assigned a negative outlook, after ratings agency Standard & Poors shifted its risk assessment for the entire fossil industry from “intermediate” to “moderately high”.

‘Net Negative’ Claims from Alberta Fossils Underscore Flaws with Carbon Capture

Two Alberta-based fossil companies are reporting that they’ve reached “net-negative” carbon emissions, thanks to carbon capture technology. But while the news sounds promising for CCS—which experts increasingly believe will be necessary to keep average global warming below 2°C—there are still concerns about how emissions reductions are calculated, and how CCS may reduce the incentive to actually reduce emissions.

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.

Offsets May Give Big Polluters a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card on Carbon Emissions

Some of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, including colossal fossils Royal Dutch Shell and BP, may be on the verge of receiving a “get out of jail free” card by exerting influence on the design of a new global market for voluntary carbon offsets, DeSmog UK reports.

New York Approves New Transmission Line, Calculates 39,000 MW of Renewables Demand by 2040

New York’s utility regulator has approved a new 93-mile, US$854-million transmission line that is just one part of a wider effort to decarbonize the state’s electricity grid by 2040.

Fossil Industry’s Oceans Project Falls Flat After Promising Major Plastics Cleanup

Citing lack of capacity, the fossil industry is walking away from its much-touted Renew Oceans project, a flagship in its pledge to spend US$1.5 billion over five years to help clean up the world’s most polluted rivers.

Biden to Pause Oil and Gas Leasing, Emphasize Environmental Justice in ‘Climate Day’ Executive Orders Expected Today

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to pause new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters and unveil an ambitious plan to put environmental justice at the centre of his climate program in a series of executive orders to be signed later today.

Inventors Unveil New EV Battery that Charges in Five Minutes

An electric vehicle battery that charges in just five minutes is now commercially ready—so long as EV charging systems are up to the task, say its inventors. And BP’s Advanced Mobility division is keen to make that happen.

Vulcan County, Alberta Sets Sights on 500-MW Wind Farm

The rural county in Alberta that brought Canada its biggest solar farm to date is at it again, with word this week that it is seeking regulatory approval for a 500-megawatt wind farm.

Hydro-Québec Lands 88-MW Green Hydrogen Deal with Thyssenkrupp

Provincial utility Hydro-Québec has signed a deal with a division of Essen, Germany-based industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp to build one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, an 88-megawatt facility in Varennes that will produce 11,100 tonnes of the product per year.

BlackRock Presses Businesses on Climate Disclosure as Campaigners Push BlackRock to Divest

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is receiving media play for endorsing net-zero investments in his annual letter to investors, but taking fire from fossil divestment analysts who see little change in what one group calls the company’s “extremely weak coal commitment”.

TC Energy May Survive Keystone Cancellation Unscathed. Alberta Not So Much.

In the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, analysts say proponent TC Energy should be able to walk away from the intensely controversial megaproject relatively unscathed. But the same can’t be said for the Jason Kenney government in Alberta, whose eleventh-hour subsidy kept the pipeline alive long enough for Biden to shut it down.

BP Slashes Fossil Exploration Team from 700 to 100 as Shift to Renewables Takes Hold

Colossal fossil BP has cut its oil and gas exploration team from more than 700 geologists, engineers, and scientists to fewer than 100, as new CEO Bernard Looney begins reorganizing the company’s operations in response to the climate crisis.

Time to Move On from Keystone, Ambassador Says, as Biden, Trudeau Talk Climate Cooperation

With U.S. President Joe Biden making climate action a top priority for his new administration, and an analyst warning that the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation will stifle Alberta’s fossil industry for years, Canada’s U.S. ambassador is saying that it’s time to move on and focus on other opportunities in the bilateral relationship.

‘Gas Is Over’, EU Banker Declares, Casting Pall on Ontario Teachers’ Fund’s Net-Zero Plans

A European banking executive’s declaration that “to put it mildly, gas is over” is casting a pall over what should have been a moment of triumph for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)—the release of a new net-zero emissions plan, just a month after the fund became majority owner of Italy’s second-largest natural gas pipeline network.

EVs Surge Toward Mass Adoption as Sticker Price Falls, More Models Enter Market

Two new analyses show electric vehicles approaching a “tipping point” for mass adoption, with global sales rising 43% last year, battery costs plunging, and the number of models available in the United States expected to triple over the next three years.

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.

‘Humiliated’ Kenney Demands Trade Sanctions, Could Sell Pipeline for Scrap as TC Shuts Down Keystone Construction

A “humiliated” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney demanded trade sanctions against the United States, TC Energy cut 1,000 construction jobs, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal falsely claimed 10,000 to 11,000 jobs lost, and the Keystone XL pipeline was at risk of being sold off for scrap after President Joe Biden signed a Day One executive order cancelling the presidential permit for the intensely controversial fossil megaproject.

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.

Global Energy Transition Investment Grows 9% in 2020, Hits Record $501 Billion Despite Pandemic

Global investment in the energy transition hit a record US$501.3 billion last year, posting a brisk 9% increase in spite of the severe restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released this week by BloombergNEF.

Power Corp. Division Says $1-Billion Renewables Fund Will Be ‘First of Several’

A division of storied Quebec industrial conglomerate Power Corporation is launching a C$1-billion investment fund focused on solar and wind projects.

Federal Green Economy Procurement May Kick Off in October, Government Relations Specialist Advises

A Toronto-based government relations specialist is advising clean transition entrepreneurs to tentatively mark October in their calendars for the first signs of federal procurement supporting a Build Back Better agenda.

Canadian Carbon Price Proponent Pushes Back on False Narratives

Those peddling the notion that Canada’s federal government is holding back some portion of the federal carbon tax from its citizens are pushing a false narrative, writes Toronto-based Clean Prosperity, in an analysis that lays out the plain truth: nine out of every ten dollars is returned via taxpayer rebates, with the remainder going to support local emissions reduction projects.

Fossils Create Less than 1% of Canadian Jobs, Making 20-Year Phaseout ‘Very Feasible’, Study Concludes

The Canadian economy has added 42 new jobs for each one it has lost in fossil fuels since 2014, and a 20-year industry phaseout would only reduce fossil employment by about 8,500 positions per year—as many as the country usually creates every 10 days—concludes economist Jim Stanford in an analysis published this week by Environmental Defence.

Biden Brings a Policy ‘Sea Change’, Podesta Tells GreenPAC Webinar

An aggressive program of executive actions and green investments, a White House staffed with “climate champions”, and a concerted effort to rebuild the U.S. government’s scientific capacity and morale will all begin to take shape today with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, former White House counsellor John Podesta said Tuesday afternoon, during a webinar hosted by Toronto-based GreenPAC.

TC Energy Touts ‘Zero-Emissions’ Plan, Kenney Threatens Court Action as Keystone Cancellation Looms

Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy touted a “zero-emissions” approach to its fossil fuel transportation business, the federal and Alberta government vowed to continue the fight, and Premier Jason Kenney admitted his province stands to lose a billion-dollar gamble as the reality sank in that U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline after he’s sworn in later today.

84% of New U.S. Generating Capacity Will Deliver Fossil-Free Electricity This Year

Wind and solar will deliver 70% of new U.S. renewable energy capacity this year, compared to only 16% expected to come from natural gas, while battery storage will vault to 11% of the total, according to new data released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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.

Weak Climate Risk Disclosure Puts Canadian Businesses at Disadvantage

With Canadian companies continuing to flout climate risk disclosure regulations, even as many of their global competitors come clean, the CEO of one of the nation’s largest investment managers says the disconnect will come back to burn the economy, particularly as the country struggles to rebuild from the pandemic.

‘Smart Cities’ Hype Enters the Global South, after North American Projects Fall Short

While oft-criticized in North America for promising much and delivering little, the “smart city” concept is gaining a foothold in the Global South—a troubling development for those who worry about the incursions of Big Data, or see the projects as little more than oversized gated communities.

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.

GM Canada Announces $1-Billion Electric Van Investment in Ingersoll, Ontario

Results of a ratification vote were to be released today after GM Canada and Unifor reached a tentative deal that will see the giant automaker invest C$1 billion to build electric vans at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

New Exposé Reveals $171 Million in No-Bid Contracts on Site C Hydro Megaproject

Disgraced engineering giant SNC Lava