Jobs and Just Transition

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

Fossils Ask for ‘Policy Stability’, Workers Push for Transition Funds from New Minority Parliament

Fossils asked for “policy stability”, while oil worker advocacy group Iron & Earth pushed for retraining programs and a just transition package, as the dust began to settle on this week’s federal election.

Justice, Local Engagement Underlie Five Lessons for Managing the Just Transition

Countries that have successfully managed a just transition out of polluting, destructive industries had good industrial policy, made best use of community assets, cared about justice, and planned ahead, authors Tamara Krawchenko and Megan Gordon wrote last month for Policy Options.

High Prices, Customer and Investor Resistance Drive Natural Gas Out of World Markets

With natural gas prices headed for a winter high, the resulting difficulties for importing countries are just one of the factors driving the climate-busting fossil fuel out of world markets, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports.

Hydro-Québec Signs 25-Year, $20-Billion Export Deal with New York

Hydro-Québec has signed a tentative C$20-billion deal with New York State that will see the utility export 10.4 terawatt-hours of electricity per year for the next 25 years, pending approval from both sides of the border.

Shift Language to Talk Climate Across Ideological Divide, Hayhoe Urges

The epithet “climate denier” inhibits efforts to sway people who are resistant to climate action, says Canadian climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe, who recommends empathy as a far more effective path to talking climate change across ideological divides.

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

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

Economic Focus May Hamper Success of New Chinese Carbon Market

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

mental health

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

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

Climate Leadership Requires Better Decarbonization Pledges, Project Drawdown Warns

Any corporation or country looking to be a climate leader needs to abandon its focus on net-zero targets and craft climate pledges equal to the threat of global heating.

‘I Had to Do Something’: British Seniors Join the Climate Fight

From “grey greens” being arrested for their involvement in Extinction Rebellion protests to people in their post-50s embracing no-meat diets and carless lives, older Britons are getting more involved in climate actions, both political and personal.

#Elxn44: Climate Messaging Can Connect to Local Concern for Safety, Health, Cost of Living

Over the last month of election campaigning, much of the climate conversation has necessarily focused on familiar campaign themes like emission reduction targets, pipelines, fossil fuel subsidies, and how to elect more climate champions to Parliament.
But on a parallel track, some organizations have been listening for issues that connect the climate emergency back to voters’ day-to-day concerns—like community safety and vulnerability, staying healthy in a global pandemic, the cost of living, and the need for basic fairness in the transitions that lie ahead.

Workers Pick Job Stability Over Higher Wages as Oil Rig Operator Scrambles for Crews

Job stability and a 40-hour work week are emerging as higher priorities for western Canadian workers than the high wages they could once earn in the oilfield services industry, as a new reality of unsteady or crashing oil prices enters its eighth year.

U.S. Transportation Policy Leaves Rural Communities Behind

U.S. lawmakers can invest in small towns to reduce emissions with strategies drawing inspiration from bustling town centres, EV programs, and even a South Korean taxi service for rural seniors. But so far, their funding decisions are leaving those communities behind.

Universities Woo Gen Z Students with Expanded Climate Career Options

Having been born into the existential crosshairs of the climate crisis, Generation Z members, are vowing to dedicate their careers, and their lives, to finding solutions. 

Harvard to Divest Fossil Fuels, Sets Example for Other Institutions

Climate activists are hailing Harvard University’s move to divest from fossil fuels as a profound shift in the status quo and a model for other institutions.

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

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

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#Elxn44: Canadian Voters Demand Mitigation, Adaptation Strategies

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

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

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

U.S. Solar Confronts ‘Incredible Challenge’ as Biden Pledges Tenfold Growth by 2050

U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled plans last week to boost solar energy from four to 45% of his country’s electricity supply by 2050, although the details of the White House roadmap will be up to members of Congress to decide.

Climate Extremes Force Small-Town U.S. to Choose: Fight or Leave?

Small, rural towns in the United States are struggling to stay afloat after recurring extreme weather has depleted funds and prompt migration, raising questions about how to address climate damage in communities that are disappearing. 

Equitable Energy Use Could Bring Decent Living Standards to All

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

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

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

#Elxn44: ‘All Platforms are Not Equal’ as Party Leaders Debate Climate

Climate held its position as a top-tier issue in last night’s English-language debate, parties tussled over their campaign pledges, and Calgarians declared climate action their top concern in upcoming federal and municipal votes as Canada’s national election campaign entered its last 10 days.

Fossils Thank Provincial Subsidies as Newfoundland Oilfield Reopens

The Terra Nova oilfield southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland will produce an additional 70 million barrels of oil over the next decade under an agreement between Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, and Houston-based Murphy Oil to restart the shuttered project.

Insurers Deny Coverage for Homes Near Wildfires

With wildfires raging in British Columbia, insurers are putting property owners in a bind by refusing to cover new properties bought and built within a certain distance of a fire.

Minnesota Utility Co-op Rejects 10-Year Coal Agreement

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

#Elxn44: Liberals’ $2B Green Transition Pitch Leaves Mayors Lukewarm, Labour Groups Supportive

The federal Liberals have pledged C$2 billion to help workers in oil-producing provinces make the transition to a greener economy, a proposal that is getting a lukewarm reception in communities that might be beneficiaries of the funding, but a more open response from trade union and labour groups.

#Elxn44: Transition Discussion Drills Down to Fossil Exec’s Dinner Table

Our continuing coverage of Canada’s federal election September 20 carries the #Elxn44 tag. You can use the search engine on our site to find other stories in the series. Just days before Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made a campaign promise to institute a C$2-billion just transition fund for oil and gas workers, one of Canada’s top […]

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

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

Iraq Urges OPEC to Reduce Oil Dependency, Embrace Renewables

The deputy prime minister of Iraq and the executive director of the International Energy Agency are urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and shift into renewable energy.

All-Indigenous Crews Bring Local Knowledge to Wildfire Response

First Nations in the North Thompson region of British Columbia are making the case that all-Indigenous fire crews can deliver the local knowledge that has been missing from the province’s wildfire response.

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

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

Microgrids Deliver Resilience in Wake of Devastating Haiti Earthquake

Haiti’s fledgling microgrid system survived last month’s devastating earthquake, galvanizing some non-profits in the country to secure more distributed and renewable energy resources.

Shell Misleads with ‘Drive CO2 Neutral’ Ads, Dutch Watchdog Says

A Dutch advertising watchdog group is calling out Royal Dutch Shell for misleading advertising even as the oil giant faces pressure from the country’s courts.

Shift Forestry Jobs to Other Sectors, B.C. Analyst Urges

Citing the imperative to preserve forests as carbon sinks, a 40-year veteran of the British Columbia Forest Service is urging the province to substantially reduce its annual allowable cut, put an end to clearcutting, and stop accepting inflated job data meant to justify practices that are far from sustainable.

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

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

#Elxn44 BREAKING: Trudeau Campaign Announcement Means End of Oil and Gas Expansion

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s promise yesterday to cap oil and gas sector emissions at today’s levels and set five-year targets to reduce them beginning in 2025 amounts to the end of fossil fuel expansion in Canada, the country’s leading climate advocacy network told The Energy Mix Sunday evening.

Mental Health Crisis Hits U.S. Wildland Firefighters

Longer, more intense fire seasons are increasing stress and trauma among U.S. wildland firefighters, raising the need for accessible, targeted mental health services.

Southeast Asia Loses $28 Trillion by 2070 if Average Warming Exceeds 3°C

Southeast Asia—a region that British Columbia and others have been touting as a possible market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports—stands to gain US$12.5 trillion if average global warming is held to 1.5°C, but lose $28 trillion if warming is allowed to exceed 3°C by 2070, the Deloitte Economics Institute concludes in a new analysis this week.

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Australian Solar Out-Produces Coal-Fired Power

For a few groundbreaking minutes on Sunday, Australia’s solar producers out-generated coal—but experts warn the country is still far from meeting its Paris Agreement commitments.

Ikea to Sell Renewable Power to Retail Customers

Starting this September, furniture retail giant Ikea will begin selling renewable energy to Swedish customers through its new Strömma service.

Insurers Move ‘at Light Speed’ to Limit Exposure to Fossil Industry Risk

With global climate change threatening to wreak havoc on their industry, insurance companies are increasingly looking to limit their exposure to the fossil fuel sector.

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

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

Solar Could Top 40% of U.S. Power Supply by 2035

The right federal policies could boost the share of solar in the United States electricity mix from 3% today to more than 40% in 2035, according to a memo published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy.

U.S. Urban Heat Islands Rooted in Redlining, Other Discriminatory Policies

As heat waves become more severe and more frequent, experts are saying that protecting marginalized communities from the killer effects of urban heat islands will require undoing decades of inequitable housing policies.

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

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

‘Leapfrogging’ to Renewable Power Can Deliver Low-Carbon Energy Equity Worldwide

Renewable technologies could help emerging economies achieve better and more equitable energy access—without adding to the world’s carbon emissions. 

How Much Climate Transition Would $50 Billion Buy? Energy Mix Readers Respond to Fossil’s Subsidy Demand

After Cenovus Energy CEO Alex Pourbaix made his pitch for C$52.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies to decarbonize production in the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, we asked Energy Mix readers how else they would spend that money to drive faster, deeper carbon cuts. The community delivered.

New Iron-Air Battery Could Speed the Shift to Renewable Grid, Deep Decarbonization

A new chemistry for an iron-air-exchange battery that promises “multi-day storage” for electricity could be the breakthrough that will speed up the shift to an all-renewable grid, according to the battery’s developer, Somerville, Massachusetts-based Form Energy.

Canadian Solar Manufacturer Heliene Plans Second U.S. Factory

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-based solar equipment maker Heliene Inc. is opening a third factory in Riviera Beach, Florida, its second in the United States, with its eye fixed firmly on a burgeoning residential solar market south of the border.

Renewable Mini-Grids Can Replace Diesel, but Depend on Community Ownership

Powering our appliances and charging our smart devices night and day is something many take for granted. Yet 789 million people living in remote communities and isolated areas globally do not have access to electricity. If we include the people who are not connected to their national grid, the number rises to 1.4 billion.

Standardization Needed for Carbon Credits in U.S. Agriculture

Experts are calling for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to standardize and regulate the currently “uncertain” protocols for carbon credit programs. 

heat dome

Canada Has ‘Responsibility, Power to Make a Difference’ on IPCC Findings

In the hours after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its new science assessment, Canadian climate organizations linked the report’s stark findings to Canada’s stubborn refusal to scale back fossil fuel emissions and subsidies, and the urgent need to close the gap between science and action.

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

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

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

Biden Sets 50% EV Target for New Cars by 2030

United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday that calls for 50% of his country’s new cars to be electric vehicles or hybrids by 2030, just days after the Senate adopted a $1.2-trillion infrastructure package that was widely seen as just a downpayment on the White House’s commitment to climate action.

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Northern B.C. Communities Urge Cooperation, Decolonization for Economic Health

settler—provided that decision-makers adopt the principles of reconciliation, decolonization, and collaboration, a new report concludes.

solar panels jobs

Nova Scotia Liberal Platform Promises Coal Phaseout, 53% Carbon Cut by 2030

Previous targets for greenhouse gas reductions and a new promise to protect more land in Nova Scotia were the highlights of the Liberal party’s environmental platform released Tuesday.

New Cooling Technologies Could Reduce Carbon Impact of Air Conditioning

Passive cooling and other innovations can play a critical role in lowering air conditioner energy use during heat waves, experts say—but barriers remain for some communities to gain access to these cooling solutions.

Ottawa Invests $400 Million to Help Hamilton Steel Mill Decarbonize

The federal government says it is investing C$400 million in a Hamilton-based steel producer to help it adopt low-carbon technology.

30% of Pedestrian, Bike Crashes Go Unreported in Washington, DC

Realizing that Vision Zero safety initiatives are being hampered by patchy data, jurisdictions across the United States are using software programs and public outreach to fill in the gaps. 

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.

Data Reveals Continuing, Needless Methane Flaring by Fossil Operators

Continuing, needless flaring of natural gas still persists across the fossil fuel industry, raising questions of greenwashing for companies claiming carbon neutrality.

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.

Weak Regulation Drives Down Wages in U.S. Renewables Sector

Wages for U.S. renewable energy workers stack up poorly against their coal and gas counterparts, casting doubts on President Joe Biden’s vision for a green sector that rebuilds the middle class.

British Queen Lobbies for Exemption from Scottish Carbon Reduction Measure

Lawyers for Queen Elizabeth II successfully lobbied cabinet ministers to exempt the monarch’s private lands from one of Scotland’s major initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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

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

Heat Wave Stresses Pacific Northwest Utility Grids, Shows Value of Demand Response

Changing weather patterns are altering energy use trends in the Pacific Northwest, revealing shortcomings in regional demand management strategies and setting the stage for innovation.

Managing EV Demand Helps Optimize Renewable Power Production

The rapid adoption of smart software to optimize energy use at electric vehicle charging sites across the globe is creating new potential applications for distributed energy. 

‘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.

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.

More Trees, Less Pavement Can Reduce Urban Heat Islands

A new report from Climate Central lays out how U.S. cities can mitigate urban heat islands (UHIs) and adapt to the increasing frequency of extreme heat events. 

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.

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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.

Climate Change Adds New Risks for Retirement Savings

Individual retirement savings are facing a new form of risk as climate change wallops the corporate world’s physical assets and drives heavy economic losses.

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.

Ottawa Gets Applause, Pushback for Just Transition Consultation Plan

The federal government is getting mixed reviews after announcing an engagement process on a just, equitable transition for fossil fuel workers and communities, nearly two years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a federal Just Transition Act during the last round of electioneering in 2019.

New Solar Projects Train Indigenous Youth in 2 Saskatchewan Communities

Two Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous communities are engaging younger generations in renewable energy by launching in-school solar power projects.

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.

Toronto Endorses Fossil Non-Proliferation Treaty, Adopts New Building Retrofit Standards

Toronto city councillors carried off a two-fer this week, adopting two new policies Wednesday to accelerate energy-efficient building retrofits before endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Thursday afternoon on a 22-2 vote.

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.

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.

Gulf of Mexico Fracking Releases 250 Million Litres of Toxic Waste

Oil and gas fracking has released at least 66.3 million gallons/250 million litres of waste into the Gulf of Mexico since 2010, according to an analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Fossil Subsidy Reform, Fuel Tax Could Cut 10.5 Billion Tonnes of Emissions by 2030

Reforming fossil fuel consumption subsidies, introducing a modest fuel tax, and directing some of the savings to energy efficiency and renewable energy would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10½ billion tonnes—the equivalent of 2,000 coal plants—by 2030, the International Institute for Sustainable Development reports in an analysis released last week.

B.C. Battles 300 Wildfires as Next Western Heat Wave Begins

Crews in British Columbia battled nearly 300 wildfires, temperatures in Death Valley, CA hit 130°F/54.5°C, more than 31 million Americans were under heat warnings, and a mega-drought spanned 93% of the western United States, as an entire region of North America faced a second massive heat wave just a bit milder than the last one less than two weeks ago.

University of Calgary Suspends Admissions for Oil and Gas Engineering Program

The University of Calgary has decided to suspend new admissions to its bachelor’s program in oil and gas engineering.

abandoned oil well

Federal Orphan Wells Fund Replaced Money Fossils Were Already Spending: Report

Much of the federal subsidy that has helped clean up abandoned oil wells in Alberta may have simply replaced money that fossil companies would have spent anyway, according to a new analysis.

Scanga Urges Radical Action to Stop ‘Waking Up and Watching the World End’

Nineteen-year-old Canadian climate campaigner Alyssa Scanga is fed up with adult inaction on the climate crisis and has served notice that she’ll no longer play along with the notion that tinkering around the edges of business-as-usual will make everything okay again

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.

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.

https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/environmental-justice-activists-in-california-fight-off-a-new-gas-plant/

Oxnard, California Declares Environmental Justice Win as Batteries Replace Gas Peaker Plant

A California utility’s decision to replace a natural gas peaker plant with a battery storage installation is being hailed as a victory for environmental justice and an example of what the future of the state grid could look like.

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.

‘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.

‘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.

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.

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

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

Senate Approval Looks Likely after MPs Adopt Climate Accountability Bill

Environmental groups were celebrating, a climate champion in the Canadian Senate was optimistic, and one of the country’s highest-profile fossil senators appeared to be onboard after the country’s new climate accountability legislation, Bill C-12, cleared the House of Commons earlier this week and looked likely to receive Senate approval before Parliament shuts down for the summer.

Clean Energy Will Create More Jobs by 2030 than Fossil Industry Will Lose, New Analysis Shows

Canada is on track to add more than 200,000 clean energy jobs this decade, considerably more than 125,000 that will be lost in a declining fossil fuel industry, Clean Energy Canada concludes in an analysis released last week.

‘Outdated Perception’ Blocks Adoption of Renewables as Cheapest Power Source: IRENA

Almost two-thirds of the new renewable energy capacity installed last year can generate power less expensively than the cheapest fossil fuel option, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Canadian Survey Shows Split on Preserving Jobs vs. Preserving Climate

The majority of Canadians believe a national climate plan must nurture strong economies across the country, but there are sharp regional differences on how that plan should be carried out, the latest Confederation of Tomorrow survey shows.

Enbridge Line 3

Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking Accompany Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline Project

Two contract workers involved with Enbridge’s US$2.9-billion Line 3 replacement project in northwestern Minnesota have been charged with human trafficking, and reports of sexual violence and harassment associated with the project have been flooding in to local crisis centres.

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.

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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.

Fast Renewables Growth Triggers Scramble for Qualified Workers

As the shift off carbon accelerates, clean energy companies are scrambling to find the people power they need to keep the lights on.

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”.

Europe Finalizes Just Transition Fund While Canada Dithers

The European Union has approved a €17.5-billion Just Transition Fund (JTF) to support communities most affected by the shift off fossil fuels, while Canadians wait for word on federal just transition legislation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised two years ago, but has not said very much about since.

New York

Oxfam, Swiss Re Predict Deep Economic Pain without Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts

Canada’s economy could shrink 6.9% per year by 2050, the world’s most industrialized economies could drop 8.5%, and developing countries will fare far worse if governments don’t deliver on the faster, deeper carbon cuts they promised in the Paris Agreement, Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute warn in an analysis released on the eve of this week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, UK.

Renewables in South Australia Grid Leap from 0 to 60% in Just 14 Years

The breakaway success of the South Australian electricity grid, which literally took renewable energy from zero to 60% of total demand in just 14 years, points the way for other jurisdictions to rapidly decarbonize their power supplies, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis writes in an analysis published last week.

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.

Horgan Favours Lumber Access as B.C. Old-Growth Forests Fall

As the British Columbia government moves to overhaul the province’s forestry sector, the Sierra Club of BC is decrying the decision to prioritize access to wood fibre over old-growth forest protections.

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.

Texas Storm

True Death Toll from Texas Winter Power Failure Rises to 702

The death toll from February’s power grid failure in Texas could be five times what officials have so far declared—and little is being done to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

mental health

Action is the Antidote as Climate Anxiety Creates Mental Health Crisis

Climate change is driving a secondary—and badly under-addressed—crisis for hundreds of millions around the world: the brutalization of mental health.

Australian Court Affirms “Duty of Care” to Protect Youth from Climate Crisis

In a global first, Australia’s federal court has ruled that the country’s government is legally obliged to protect young people against future harms from the climate crisis.

In Divided U.S., Biden Juggles Climate Pledges and Fossil Support

The Biden administration’s recent decision to defend a massive oil and gas drilling operation proposed for Alaska is simply part and parcel of governing a deeply divided country, say policy analysts.

abandoned oil well

Alberta Landowners, Taxpayers ‘Left Behind’ by Cost of Abandoned Wells

The costs of Alberta’s growing stock of abandoned and inactive oil and gas wells are falling unfairly on landowners and taxpayers, says a report from the University of Calgary.

7 in 10 U.S. Fossil Jobs Lost in Pandemic May Not Return This Year

More than seven out of 10 jobs lost to the U.S. fossil industry during the COVID-19 pandemic may not return by the end of this year, according to the 2020 Oil and Gas Industry Outlook published by management consulting giant Deloitte.

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.

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.

Syrians in Rebel-Held Region Embrace Solar Panels as ‘Blessing from God’

An “unlikely solar revolution of sorts” is taking place in Idlib Governate, a rebel-held province in northwestern Syria, where local residents are turning to a cheap electricity source they can count on in the midst of a brutal, 10-year civil war.

Ending Daily Commutes Could Save Canadian Office Workers $3,000 to $6,000 Per Year

Difficult as it was for many people to adjust to working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit—and to absorb the searing realities of who got to stay home and who didn’t—the shift back to regular workplaces may be even more complex.

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.

Urban Food Forest Movement Tackles Food Insecurity One Community at a Time

The urban food forest in Browns Mills, Atlanta, is one of more than 70 such initiatives scattered across the United States: all the work of volunteers determined to fight food insecurity through urban agriculture.

construction worker

‘We’re All Scared’, Worker Says, as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine Becomes Alberta’s Biggest COVID Outbreak

Tar sands/oil sands workers in the midst of Alberta’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon bitumen mine say their living and working conditions are putting them at risk—but they can’t afford not to work, even if they’re feeling sick.

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

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

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!

COVID Cases Sweep Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Thousands Arrive for Spring Maintenance Work

Tar sands/oil sands companies are stepping up protective measures as a spate of COVID-19 cases sweeps through the region at the same time that thousands of workers are being brought in for spring maintenance shutdowns at various plants.

New Solar, Wind Now Cheaper than 80% of U.S. Coal Plants

Renewable energy prices have fallen so far in the United States that it’s usually now cheaper for operators to replace existing coal capacity with new solar and wind investments, rather than continuing to run the coal plants, according to new analysis released last week.

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.

U.S. Cities at Risk for ‘Deadliest’ Heat Wave-Power Failure Combo

Millions of urban Americans will be put at serious risk of heat exhaustion this summer if any heat waves coincide with power failures—a deadly conjunction that is increasingly likely, says a new study.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Intensifies as May 12 Closure Date Looms

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is less than 10 days away from implementing a momentous decision to shut down a 68-year-old, underwater pipeline that her administration and many of her constituents consider an environmental hazard and an affront to Indigenous rights, but that Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan has declared a “non-negotiable” irritant in bilateral relations.

Biden Connects Climate to Jobs as Coal Miners Hold Out for Results

With a US$2-trillion infrastructure plan on offer, and a $1.8-trillion American Families Plan backing it up, U.S. President Joe Biden took advantage of his first address to a joint session of Congress to reprise a central theme from his election campaign: that climate action and job creation go hand in hand.

Taxes Just One Tool to Cut Carbon, but Won’t Harm the Economy, New Research Shows

After too many esoteric, technical debates over far too many years, Bloomberg Green columnist Gernot Wagner says the evidence is (finally) in on carbon taxes: they do play a role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and they don’t harm job creation or slow economic growth.

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.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray Reels Under 1.5% Infection Rate as Third Wave of COVID-19 Hits Alberta Oilpatch

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the Alberta tar sands/oil sands hard, with 12 active outbreaks at man camps and mining sites across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 738 active cases, and a total of 2,054 workers who’d tested positive as of Tuesday.

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

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

California Pitches 2024 Fracking Ban, 2045 Oil Phaseout as Campaigners Urge Faster Action

California climate campaigners marked a moment of progress Friday while urging Governor Gavin Newsom to pick up the pace, after the state that calls itself the world’s fifth-biggest economy moved to ban new oil and gas fracking projects by 2024 and phase out oil extraction by 2045.

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.

Analysts Explain What Makes Trudeau’s 40% Emission Cut a Heavy Lift

In the days since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged a 40% reduction in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, analysts and news outlets have been weighing in on what it will take for the country to hit a target that many climate advocates consider far too modest, but its proponents see as a very heavy lift.

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.

Small Temperature Shifts Can Drive ‘Chaotic’ Changes to South Asian Monsoon

As the world warms, monsoon changes are set to cause havoc across a huge and densely populated swathe of the planet, with the great South Asian summer monsoon becoming both stronger and less reliable.

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.

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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.

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

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

Over 50 Million People ‘Doubly Hit’ by Pandemic, Climate Disasters: WMO

The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic had no effect on the “relentless” increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, but made the impacts of the climate crisis worse for tens of millions of people around the world, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) concludes in a report released this week.

IEA Projects Alarming 5% Growth in CO2 Emissions This Year

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

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.

‘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.

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

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

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.

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.

Oregon Forest Partnership Shows Blueprint for Building Common Ground

The town of John Day, Oregon, once the site of a “venomous” battle between loggers and environmentalists, has been saved by a shared determination to act with humility and empathy.

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.

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.

B.C. Wood Pellet Industry Feeds on Whole Trees, Not Waste Wood

Environmentalists and loggers are crying foul after revelations that British Columbia’s thriving wood pellet industry is sourcing its feedstock not from wood waste, but from forests—and employing scant few workers in the process.

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.

Fossils Could Replace Two of 10 Workers with Robots in a Decade, Save $7B Per Year in Wages

At least two out of 10 fossil workers around the world involved in drilling, operational support, or maintenance could be replaced by robots over the next decade as the industry sets out to save more than US$7 billion per year in the United States alone, according to the latest analysis by Rystad Energy.

Decolonize Climate Policy, Address Structural Inequalities, Indigenous Climate Action Urges Ottawa

Canada needs to rethink its climate policies to stop excluding Indigenous people from decision-making, respect Indigenous rights to self-determination and free, prior and informed consent, deliver solutions that reflect the realities of both rural and urban Indigenous communities, and address “structural inequalities that are continually being reproduced through colonial relation, processes, and structures in so-called Canada,” Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) concludes in a report issued late last month.

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.

Pandemic Disrupts Alberta Fossils’ Maintenance Plans with Nine Sites Reporting Outbreaks

Canadian tar sands/oil sands operators are having trouble lining up the skilled work force they need for a busy period of essential scheduled maintenance, with nine facilities fighting COVID-19 outbreaks as the country lurches through a third wave of the pandemic.

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.

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.

Danish Architects’ Prefab Façades Could Cut Building Energy Use in Half

An architectural design collaboration in Denmark is hard at work on a prefab, modular façade that can be quickly installed on an existing building to boost its energy efficiency.

coal power plant

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Minnesota Appeals Court Considers Declining Demand for Line 3 Pipeline

The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard arguments last week over Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project in northern Minnesota, which opponents are calling unnecessary due to an eventual decline in the demand for oil.

Kenney Admits He Had No ‘Plan B’ as Provinces, Federal Conservatives Weigh Supreme Court Carbon Tax Ruling

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government didn’t prepare a fallback plan on implementing a consumer carbon tax because they were hoping to win in the country’s top court.

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.

‘Love Letter to the Planet’: Supreme Court Upholds Federal Carbon Price Regime in 6-3 Decision

The Supreme Court of Canada has brought an end to years of provincial legal challenges to a key cornerstone of federal climate policy, deciding by a 6-3 vote that the Trudeau government’s carbon pricing regime is constitutional.

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.

Alberta Loses 35,000 Oil and Gas Jobs Since 2013

Alberta’s oil patch shed more than 35,000 jobs between December 2013 and February 2020. Now, analysts are urging anyone still banking on a strong return of fossil employment to think again.

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.

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.

Canada’s Opposition to Line 5 Closure Flies in the Face of Science, Courts Disaster, Ex-IJC Chair Warns

In announcing its “non-negotiable” opposition to the closure of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, the Canadian government has seemingly kicked to the curb a longstanding cross-border commitment to protect the Great Lakes from harm, says an experienced U.S. advisor.

Top Architecture Award Picks Refurbishment Over High-Carbon Reconstruction

For the first time in its 46-year history, the most prestigious award in architecture has gone to a firm that has devoted three decades of work to retrofit and refurbishment, rather than new construction.

Shiny, New Innovations Won’t Move Fast Enough to Deliver Deep Carbon Reductions

Even the most promising new emissions reduction innovation would only have a limited impact on the climate crisis if it were introduced today, given the time it would take to scale up, according to a global climate policy simulator profiled yesterday in the Bloomberg Green newsletter.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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-Germany Agreement Spotlights Tensions Over Renewable, Fossil-Based Hydrogen

Canada and Germany have signed an agreement to team up on green energy innovation and trade, with an eye to hydrogen as the market for the low-carbon fuel heats up.

Wasted Decade Delivers Airline CO2 Scheme That’s ‘Bad for Climate’

A “ridiculously weak” international carbon offset rule, already seen as giving airlines a three- to six-year free pass to pollute, is set to undermine Europe’s attempts to get its greenhouse gas emissions under control, according to a September 2020 consulting analysis produced for the European Commission and obtained by Brussels-based Transport & Environment under access to information laws.

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.

Use Energy Efficiency to Counter Energy Poverty, Analyst Urges

Energy efficiency is an essential part of the solution for the 20% of Canadian households now living in energy poverty—but the country’s major news outlets have yet to factor that reality into their coverage, Efficiency Canada argues in a recent blog post.

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.

Reopening Tesla Plant Last May Resulted in 450 Extra COVID Cases, Health Records Show

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s insistence on reopening his Fremont, California auto plant last May in the midst of a global health emergency resulted in an estimated 450 extra COVID-19 cases in California’s Alameda County, according to public health data obtained by the legal transparency website PlainSite.

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.

‘Default Effect’ Drives Massive Growth in Green Power Adoption

When green power is the fallback option for electricity consumers, the large majority of them will accept it rather than going to the trouble of switching to other sources, experience in Switzerland shows.

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.

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).

A Decade After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Cleanup ‘Has Barely Begun’ [Sign-on]

A decade ago, on March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake created a 14-metre-high tsunami wave which destroyed the reactors of a Japanese nuclear power station at the town of Fukushima. Ten years on, the cleanup has barely begun.

Caribbean Refinery Poses an Early Test for U.S. Climate Justice Commitments

U.S. President Joe Biden’s promise to advance the cause of environmental justice is being put to the test by a U.S. Virgin Islands oil refinery that insists it is exempt from implementing monitoring protocols.

Volvo’s Plans for Online EV Sales Bypasses Car Dealerships

Volvo has already made waves with its announcement that it will be fully electric by 2030, and now the company is pushing for change again, stating that its EV models will only be sold online, with software updates delivered remotely. The news is being received as grim tidings for the millions who work in car dealerships.

Economic, Racial Bias Skews Cascadia’s Push to Decarbonize

The fight for climate justice continues to struggle for air as Cascadia races ahead to decarbonize. But brighter days may lie ahead.

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.

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.

$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.

Appalachia’s Coal Fate Could Hold Lessons for New Mexico

Analysts are warning that New Mexico’s dependence on oil and gas could lead to the same legacy of poverty and pollution as Appalachia inherited after the decline of coal. That has some observers pointing to the option of a better ending—by using the state’s confirmed potential as a solar and wind powerhouse.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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

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

Remote Russian Region Aims for Net-Zero Emissions by 2025

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

Federal Committee Undercuts Net-Zero Pledge by Making Airtightness Testing Voluntary

The federal committee responsible for building code development is undercutting Canada’s commitment to a net-zero future by making airtightness testing a voluntary measure, Efficiency Canada warns in a new blog post.

$16,752 Power Bill was a Feature, Not a Bug, in Texas’ Market-Driven Electricity System

With one Texas ratepayer looking at a US$16,752 power bill, and another down to her last $200 after her electricity reseller cleaned out her bank account, the architect of the state’s deregulated electricity market says it’s functioning exactly as it’s supposed to.

Texas Blackouts Highlight Disaster Risk for U.S., Canadian Utilities

With many Texans still scrambling to recover from a week of freezing cold weather, power blackouts, and water shortages, early analysis in the United States and Canada is pointing to the episode as a wake-up call for grid operators—and electricity users—across the continent.

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.

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.

California Senate Bill Would Halt New Fracking, Set 2027 ban

Citing the “existential threat” of the climate crisis, two California senators have introduced a bill that would sharply curtail fracking in the state—and eventually ban it outright. And despite the predictable backlash from fossil interests, the bill makes explicit a commitment to a just transition.

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.

Ottawa Underestimates Carbon Tax Rebates after Revenue Exceeds Predictions

The federal government owes Canadian families in three provinces more than C$200 million after underestimating how much it would raise from the carbon tax during the first year of the program.

Teachers, Youth Fight Fossil Influence in U.S. Schools

The heavy influence of Big Oil in U.S. teaching materials and a lack of support for educating students about climate change has left many American children ignorant about the climate crisis and its solutions. But some teachers and youth are fighting back against the lies and condescension.

Ford Europe Promises All-Electric Passenger Vehicle Lineup by 2030

Ford is vowing to convert its entire passenger vehicle lineup in Europe to electric power by 2030, in just the latest sign of the seismic technological changes sweeping the auto industry.

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.

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”.

Appalachia Counties Lose Jobs, Population Despite Massive Fracking Boom

The 22 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that have been at the centre of an extraordinary, decade-long fracking boom have seen very little job creation or economic gain as a result, concludes a new study released last week by the Pennsylvania-based Ohio River Valley Institute.

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.

Fact Checker Scorches Kenney’s Keystone Claims as Premier’s Political Woes Deepen

The Edmonton-based Parkland Institute is out with a detailed fact check of Premier Jason Kenney’s recent pronouncements on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Maclean’s magazine speculates on whether this is the job Kenney was looking for when he sought the Alberta premiership.

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.

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).

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

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.

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

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

French Court Orders More State Action on Climate Change

In what campaigners are calling a landmark ruling, a French court has judged the country to be failing in its commitments to fight the climate crisis—and has ordered it to do better.

‘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.

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”.

Young Cartographer Unearths Massive Climate Action Potential in Catholic Church Land Holdings

A 26-year-old cartographer, environmentalist, and devout Catholic from Connecticut wants to use digital mapping software to engage the Catholic Church in the cause of environmental justice. And the Pope is impressed.

Refocus Infrastructure Spending to Cut Carbon, Create Jobs, Blue Green Canada Urges

Canada is missing a big opportunity to create jobs, cut pollution, and advance a net-zero emissions agenda by failing to prioritize projects that use low-carbon building materials and cleaner construction processes, Blue Green Canada argues in a report issued this week.

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.

Finnish City of Oulu Shows How Winter Cycling Can Rule

Though the blame for Canada’s dearth of winter cyclists is typically placed on weather, it is the lack of dedicated—and snow-cleared—bike routes that keeps people tethered to their cars and public transit, according to a video that profiles the 200,000-strong city of Oulu, Finland as Exhibit A for how to make winter cycling work.

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.

Job Prospects Evaporate, Student Interest Sags as Fossils Scramble for New Talent

A new generation of young professionals is coming back with an eloquent response to the idea that a declining fossil industry is a “slap in the face” to people who’ve set their sights on careers in fields like geology or petroleum engineering.

Major Canadian Solar Firm Denies Reports of Forced Labour

A Canadian solar company is claiming that no Uyghurs are employed at its 30-MW solar farm in China’s Xinjiang region, nor are any members of the persecuted Muslim community being forced into labour anywhere along its solar supply chain. But human rights observers say that last assertion doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

Keystone Decision Triggers Calls for More Pipeline Cancellations [Sign-ons]

After President Joe Biden kept his promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, with a Day One executive order rescinding the presidential permit for the project, Indigenous campaigners and climate organizations were quick to respond with pressure on the United States and Canada to turn the decision into a trend.

Youth Activists Demand Voice in Climate Policy

Youth climate organizations like Fridays for Future have proven themselves to be non-partisan, passionately intersectional, and naturally animated by a dauntless “get-it-done” spirit. With such extraordinary power and capability in their hands, younger people must have a seat at the table on climate policy, two youth activists say.

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.

‘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.

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.

After Early Momentum, Cascadia Region Loses Focus on Climate Action

Political infighting, misinformation campaigns, and serial communication failures have dashed any hopes that the Cascadia region would take the lead in the climate fight and significantly reduce its emissions by the end of last year. Now, angry young people are asking the courts to force their leaders to do a better job, and fast.

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.

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.

‘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.

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 Ministerial Mandate Letters Lay Out Federal Agenda on Climate, Green Recovery

While the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is still necessarily taking up most of the oxygen on Parliament Hill, climate action and a green recovery figure fairly prominently in a new batch of ministerial mandate letters released last Thursday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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

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

New Offshore Drilling Permits Could Put Canada’s Climate Targets Out of Reach, Endangered Right Whales at Risk

The federal government is putting its own climate targets out of reach, triggering higher carbon dioxide and methane emissions, putting endangered North Atlantic right whales at further risk, and undercutting the new impact assessment process it adopted less than two years ago, according to environmental groups reacting to the approval of three new fossil exploration projects off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador earlier this week.

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Higher Emissions from Fossil Plants Could Drive Up Global Power Demand by 27 Gigawatts

In a global first, a study just published in the journal Environmental Research Letters concludes that reliance on fossil-fuelled power plants in a warming world could drive up global electricity demand by as much as 27,000 megawatts.

Higher ‘Value of Carbon’ Guidance Could Boost Aggressive Climate Policy

New “value of carbon” guidance from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation could spur stronger climate action in all sectors, while encouraging land use reform and carbon sequestration. At US$125 per metric tonne, the new estimate blasts past the New York Public Service Commission’s 2020 rate of $43.

More Investment, More Renewable Options Needed to Hit Rapid Decarbonization Goals

Renewable energy investment is falling short of what’s needed to meet rapid decarbonization goals, and national implementation strategies often work to the disadvantage of small and medium-sized renewable energy producers, according to a think tank study released late last year.

Norway Boosts Carbon Tax to $237 Per Tonne by 2030

Norway will more than triple its national carbon tax by 2030, from kr 590 to kr 2,000 (US$70 to $237) per tonne of carbon dioxide, under a plan released last Friday by Environment Minister Sveinung Rotevatn.

Africa Needs ‘Decarbonization Shock’ to Prevent Decade of New Fossil Fuel Investments

It will take a “decarbonization shock” to jolt utilities and governments in Africa into a quick transition to renewable energy this decade that avoids investments in fossil fuel projects that will lock the continent into a future of high-carbon development, warns a report this week in the journal Nature Energy.

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

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

Forest Carbon Offsets on the Agenda as France’s One Planet Summit Confronts Biodiversity Loss

Global leaders are in the midst of a high-stakes virtual summit today, aimed at rebooting international diplomacy on climate change and species extinction ahead of a United Nations biodiversity conference scheduled for October.

Vancity Sets 2040 Net-Zero Target for Entire Lending Portfolio

The Vancouver City Savings Credit Union is promising to bring its entire mortgage and loan portfolio to net-zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as part of a five-part plan aimed at building climate action into the financial co-op’s business strategy.

Haley: $170/Tonne Carbon Price Still Needs Green Industrial Policy to Set Direction

While Canada’s pledge to achieve a carbon price of C$170 by 2030 gives the country “a credible shot” at hitting its 2030 climate targets, the invisible hand of the marketplace won’t deliver a just transition to a lower-carbon economy without a green industrial policy to chart the course, Broadbent Institute policy fellow Brendan Haley argues in a recent blog post.

Momentum from 2020 Drives Hopes for a Year of Climate Action

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

‘Baked-In’ Warming Will Push Temperature Rise Past 2°C, Adding Urgency to Net-Zero Push

Alongside the extreme weather events of 2020, new research that shows today’s atmospheric CO2 levels pushing average global warming beyond 2.0°C makes it that much more important to push a rapid decarbonization agenda, scientists say.

Democrats’ Senate Majority Means Green Policy Shift, Wider Rollback of Trump Deregulation

With Democrats poised to form a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, following landmark run-off election wins this week by Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, the first two months of the Biden-Harris administration may be marked by a concerted push to roll back some of the worst deregulatory excesses of the Donald Trump years.

Suncor Writes Off $425 Million in White Rose Oilfield Off Newfoundland

CALGARY — The new operator of the White Rose offshore oilfield says no final decision has been made about its future despite a move by partner Suncor Energy Inc. to take a C$425-million impairment charge, or downgrade, on the value of its stake, The Canadian Press reports.

Wilkinson Tips North American Ban on Gasoline Vehicles as Biden Inauguration Approaches

A North America-wide ban on new gasoline-powered vehicle sales may be on the agenda as the Canadian government begins building ties with the incoming Biden-Harris administration in the United States.

December Sees Three Dead, One Injured on Fossil Projects in Alberta, B.C., Minnesota

December was a hazardous month to work in the fossil industry, with workers killed or injured on projects in Alberta, British Columbia, and Minnesota.

$38-Million Subsidy Could Drive 10 More Years of Oil Drilling Off Newfoundland

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador is giving C$38 million to the Hibernia offshore oil project in a bid to protect 148 jobs over 18 months.

Battery Packs Hit ‘Historic Milestone’ with Record-Low Price Below $100/kWh

Lithium-ion battery pack prices dipped below the milestone of US$100 per kilowatt-hour in 2020, and the average price of batteries plummeted 89% in a decade to land at $137/kWh, according to a year-end survey released in mid-December by Bloomberg NEF, formerly Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Federal Clean Fuel Standard Aims for 21-Megatonne Emissions Cut by 2030

Environment and Climate Change Canada has published draft rules for a new Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) that it says would focus primarily on fossil refineries, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from liquid fuels by nearly 21 million tonnes by 2030, and drive up the cost of a litre of gasoline by up to 11¢.

Opinion: Federal Nuclear Plan Confuses Science Fiction with Real Energy Technologies

Canada’s action plan for small modular nuclear reactors is nothing more than science fiction, writes analyst Burgess Langshaw-Power: idle dreams of an indefinite group of technologies which may be ready in a decade. In the meantime, renewable energy continues to leap ahead, mostly without any federal support.

New Congressional Funding, Tax Credit Extensions Create ‘Enabling Conditions for Decarbonization’

From solar and wind tax credits, to reductions in climate-busting hydrofluorocarbons, to financial support for battery storage, microgrids, combined heat and power, and carbon capture, the US$900-billion pandemic relief package adopted by the U.S. Congress late last month is being hailed as the most substantial federal investment and one of the biggest victories for climate action in a decade.

Ottawa Releases Flurry of New Announcements on Tree Planting, Hydrogen, Clean Fuels, SMRs

The Trudeau government is continuing its flurry of year-end policy moves on climate change and energy, with announcements earlier this week on hydrogen strategy and tree planting and more news expected today on a narrowed Clean Fuel Standard and small modular nuclear reactors.

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

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

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

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

New East End Montreal LRT Will Be 25 to 70% Faster than Driving

Montreal’s light rail network has announced a C$10-billion expansion into the city’s perpetually underserved east end, meaning that residents will be just a minutes-long trip away from downtown once the 23 new stations and 32 kilometres of track go into service in 2029.

U.S. Solar Sees Record Expansion in 2020

Neither the COVID-19 pandemic nor policy uncertainty held U.S. utility-scale solar back in 2020, with a record year on track to see more than 19 gigawatts of new capacity installed—enough to power 3.6 million homes.

Federal Climate Plan Garners Positive Response, Creates ‘Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up Moment’ for Alberta Fossils

A new federal climate strategy with a C$170-per-tonne carbon price at its core is receiving a largely positive response in initial media coverage, with news outlets and pundits crediting the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with developing a program that might work—and telling provincial premiers to get with the program.

With Fossil Plants Running Out of Time, U.S. Grid Decarbonization May Cost Less than Expected

With nearly three-quarters of the country’s fossil-fuelled power plants reaching the end of their operating life by 2035, it will probably cost the United States less than expected to decarbonize its grid over that time span, according to a new analysis published earlier this month in the journal Science.

Carbon Capture and Storage (Still) Falls Short of the Hype

A drastic increase in most countries’ carbon prices, to something above US$100 per tonne, will be the price of entry for anyone banking on carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a technological fix for the climate crisis while turning a profit for its providers, Greentech Media reports.

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

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

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

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

New Report Shows Path to 1.5°C with Less Consumption, Basic Income, and a ‘Good Life for All’

A 25% reduction in average living space in developed countries, less food waste and meat consumption, less road-based transport, better infrastructure, and “relocalization” of economies are key elements of a new 1.5°C scenario from two European think tanks that charts a course to stabilize the climate by mid-century, while balancing the economies of the Global North and South.

EU Considers 50% Toll Reduction for Zero-Emission Trucks

European Union transport ministers have agreed to a new tolling system that will give truckers a price break of at least 50% if they use emissions-free vehicles.

Globe Editorial Board Calls for Deep Investment in Canadian Public Transit

With Canada’s government short on specifics for how the billions in “smart investments” promised in its recent Fall Economic Statement will be spent, the Globe and Mail is calling for deep investments in public transit as a timely and just use of the funds.

$875M Quebec Biofuel Project Will Process Non-Recyclable Waste, Prevent Methane Emissions

Quebec and federal officials announced an investment Tuesday in a biofuel production facility that will use non-recyclable residual materials, diverting those items from landfills while reducing greenhouse gases in the province.

Wildfires, Pandemic to Drive 3-5% Increase in Food Prices

The COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and changing food habits will drive up the cost of groceries by nearly C$700 for the average family next year, according to the latest edition of Canada’s Food Price Report produced by researchers at four Canadian universities.

Year of Extraordinary Crisis ‘Breaks the System’ as U.S. Wildfire Crews Burn Out

By mid-September, there was no one left to call. The U.S. West, with its thousands of federal, state, and local fire engines and crews, had been tapped out.

‘Checking the Box’ on Environmental Justice Produces $8-Billion Liability for Virginia Utility Giant

Callous disregard for community health has left a Virginia utility giant on the hook for a US$8-billion cancelled pipeline. And more of the same lies ahead for fossil interests as citizens, courts, and legislators increasingly say to no to projects that bode ill for people and climate.

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

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

Alberta Power Producer Announces 2023 Coal Phaseout as Province Pushes Rocky Mountain Mining Leases

Alberta took one step forward and one step back on the road to phasing out coal, with independent power producer Capital Power announcing it was speeding up its shift to coal-free electricity but the province opening up new mining leases across nearly 2,000 hectares on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Ottawa Announces $41.5 Million for Offshore Oil Jobs in Newfoundland

The federal government is directing C$41.5 million to Husky Energy to help the company keep 331 workers employed on its West White Rose offshore oil development through the end of next year—even though there’s no decision yet on whether the project will go ahead.

Record Losses from Climate Disasters Are ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ for Canada, Institute Warns

The billions of dollars Canadians are already paying out for weather-related climate disasters are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg that calls for proactive investment in climate adaptation and resilience, the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) concludes in a report issued last week.

Energy Efficiency Improvements Stall Out as COVID-19 Roils National Economies

The International Energy Agency is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for dragging annual improvements in energy efficiency down to their lowest pace since 2010, in a report that urges governments to pick up the pace on efforts to reduce global primary energy intensity.

Four Decades of Research Show Gas Stoves as ‘Overlooked’ Risk to Indoor Air, Child Health

As a physician and epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, T. Stephen Jones spent his career fighting major threats to public health in the United States and globally, from smallpox to HIV to viral hepatitis. But it wasn’t until Jones was well into retirement that he learned about a widespread yet widely overlooked health risk in his own home in Florence, Massachusetts, and in most U.S. households: pollution emitted by natural gas appliances.

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Brazilian State Fossil Petrobras Expands Production, Writes Off Net-Zero as ‘Fad’

Brazilian state fossil Petrobras is writing off the drive to net-zero carbon as a “fad”, after undertaking to reduce its own emissions 25% by 2030.

Boris Johnson

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

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

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Global Death Toll from Heat Emergencies, Air Pollution Shows Need for Climate Action, Health Professionals Say

Extreme heat killed 296,000 older adults world-wide in 2018, and heat-related deaths among seniors rose 58% in Canada and 50% internationally over a 20-year span, the 2020 edition of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change reported earlier this week.

Don’t Let Fossil-Derived Hydrogen Undermine New Federal Strategy, Climate Hawks Urge

The Canadian government has a chance to tap into renewably-produced hydrogen as a way to decarbonize key sectors of the economy, but not if it allows that potential to be “undermined by a focus on fossil fuel-derived hydrogen,” a list of 27 environmental organizations and other non-profits warned last week in a letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and three of his cabinet colleagues.

Opinion: For Ottawa, Delayed Climate Action Could Mean Relying on ‘Expensive, Unproven’ Carbon Capture Technologies

Last month, the federal government released its long awaited plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Bill C-12, if passed, commits Canada to “binding” targets every five years as of 2030 with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

European Court Greenlights Portuguese Youth Climate Lawsuit

In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has greenlighted a climate lawsuit brought against 33 countries by six Portuguese children and young adults who say those nations must “do better and act correctly” in the fight against the climate crisis.

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

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

Home Retrofit Grants Won’t Deliver the Energy Savings the Climate Crisis Demands, Analysts Warn

Impatience is building among policy analysts behind the push for mass, deep energy retrofits as a cornerstone of Canada’s post-pandemic green recovery, after this week’s Fall Economic Statement from Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland came up with just a fraction of the funding and none of the design and structure that a comprehensive program would require.

Saskatoon Company Strikes ‘Gusher’ with Groundbreaking Geothermal Project

In a global first, a Saskatoon-based geothermal company has successfully drilled and fracked a 90-degree horizontal well, delivering enough heat to supply electricity to 3,000 homes. And it did so thanks to the expertise of over 100 oilfield technicians—a switch that is offering hope to many such workers facing unemployment as fossil fortunes tank.

Small Modular Reactors ‘Very Inappropriate for Remote Locations’, CELA Warns

It’s a potentially dangerous mistake to pitch small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) as a potential electricity source or remote Northern communities, according to one of the 30 local, regional, and national public interest organizations that have come out against federal financial support for the technology.

‘Generation 2050’ Manifesto Sets Agenda on Climate Crisis, Energy Poverty

In an urgent call to simultaneously address the climate crisis and energy poverty, 1,000 young energy industry professionals have released a Generation 2050 Manifesto that champions ingenuity, passion, and collaboration over attachment to entrenched and beleaguered status quos. 

The Rise of SWB: Seba Says Solar, Wind, Batteries Can Deliver 100% RE by 2030, Make New Fossil Investment Irrational

An all-renewable electricity system is “both physically possible and economically affordable by 2030,” according to a new report from the RethinkX think tank, write co-founder Tony Seba and research fellow Adam Dorr in an early November post for Utility Dive.

Fossil Companies Tout Diversity, Downplay Racism at Worksites

As minority workers in Canada’s tar sands/oil sands speak up about systemic racism on the job, U.S. fossil companies are trying to present themselves as an ally to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities—against considerable evidence to the contrary.

UN Research Confirms Effectiveness of Indigenous-Led Biodiversity Protection

The critical role of Indigenous-led conservation efforts in protecting biodiversity has been gaining recognition. But now that understanding is backed up by research from the United Nations, say two Indigenous leaders from Northern Canada.

Imperial Oil to Lay Off 200 Staff, 450 Contractors as Suncor Takes Over Management of Syncrude Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

Calgary-based Imperial Oil announced last week that it is laying off 200 staff, just a day after the ExxonMobil subsidiary agreed to hand over business management of the mammoth Syncrude Canada tar sands/oil sands mine and upgrader to project partner Suncor Energy.

2020 Delivers Devastating Slump for LNG Developers

Continuing low gas prices, the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and continuing uncertainty about a cluster of market factors have turned 2020 into a never-ending slump for liquefied natural gas (LNG) project developers, despite their earlier hopes for a breakout year.

Climate Groups Must Connect with Communities that Feel ‘Villainized’ by Just Transition

Coal country in Utah is at risk of being left behind as the United States accelerates its shift off fossil fuels, making it that much more important for just transition advocates to make a place for fossil communities rather than allowing them to feel “villainized”, writes Chris Barnard, policy director with the Appleton, Wisconsin-based American Conservation Coalition, in a post for The Independent.

As an Oil Un-Building Looms, Newfoundlanders Ask: What Next, and Who Pays?

With 5,200 direct jobs lost in the fossil sector since March, the government of Newfoundland is beginning to talk, tentatively, about reinventing itself as a green energy leader. Also on the horizon: finding answers to the murky question of who will pay to decommission the fossil infrastructure left behind.

Opinion: An Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable Electricity Future for Atlantic Canada is Renewable

Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth, far cheaper than coal, nuclear, or natural gas. When paired with energy storage technologies and regional hydropower networks, they can deliver reliable power while reducing utility bills for ratepayers who most need the savings, say the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre.

No Future Need for Trans Mountain, Keystone XL Pipelines, Canada Energy Regulator Report Shows

There will be no need and no justification to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion or the Keystone XL pipeline if Canada makes any effort at all to strengthen its climate policies, according to the more ambitious of two fossil demand scenarios in an analysis published yesterday by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).

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

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

‘Window is Rapidly Closing’ for Canadian Fossils to Adapt to Falling Oil Demand

With nearly four decades of growth in global oil demand coming to an end, Canada’s fossil industry is going to have to pay closer attention to a combination of climate response and surging new technologies if it wants to stay competitive in a “quickly changing world”, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in the second of a series of three blog posts.

With Fossils Crashing, Renewables Surging, Alberta and Saskatchewan Need a New Narrative

Across nearly a dozen pieces of news and analysis over the last week, a consistent theme is emerging: Canada’s fossil sector crash is accelerating, the renewable energy industries are beginning to surge, and oil-producing provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan need a whole new narrative if they’re going to catch up, keep up, and thrive in an emerging, low-carbon world.

Downtown Vancouver Congestion Pricing Proposal Draws Mixed Reviews

Two Vancouver policy experts are offering opposing views of the city’s proposed downtown driving congestion charge, with one saying the idea is rife with equity concerns, and the other countering that the proposal is fundamentally driven by a concern for equity itself.

Climate-Focused Green Banks Could Spur Sustainable Cities, Just Recovery

In an effort to help cities balance climate action with pandemic recovery, C40 Cities has released a guide to establishing local green banks as an equitable, resilient, and sustainable path to achieving both goals.

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

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

B.C. Leads, Alberta and Ontario Imperil National Results in Efficiency Canada’s Latest Provincial Scorecard

British Columbia maintained its lead as Canada’s top jurisdiction for energy efficiency in 2019, Saskatchewan came in last for a second year running, Prince Edward Island distinguished itself as most-improved province, and program cuts in Alberta and Ontario emerged as a serious threat, as Efficiency Canada released its second annual scorecard of provincial efficiency programs.

Ørsted, U.S. Building Trades Union Form Training Partnership for Offshore Wind

Offshore wind giant Ørsted and North America’s Building Trades Union (NABTU) have arrived at a deal to train a construction work force for the new projects the Danish company expects to build along the East Coast of the United States.

Alberta Youth Want Better Education on Climate Change, Survey Concludes

A recent survey by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education concludes that 61% of the province’s youth are worried about climate change, and 69% get anxious when they contemplate what they see as the competing needs of the economy and the environment. What’s needed to allay both worries is better education on climate change.

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

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

Front-Line Communities Are Driving Force for Biden’s Climate Transformation, Salazar and Goloff Say

Adrien Salazar is Senior Campaign Strategist for Climate Equity at Dēmos, a U.S. racial and economic justice policy organization. Ben Goloff is Senior Climate Campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. In this feature interview, they talk about what the Biden-Harris administration can get done on climate, energy, and environmental justice, and how front-line communities across the United States put them in a position to make a difference.

Midwestern U.S. Mayors Launch $60-Billion Energy Transition Blueprint

Mayors in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia recently unveiled a US$60-billion Marshall Plan for Middle America, intended to accelerate a compassionate, equitable, just, and sustainable transition away from fossil fuels.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Yanks Line 5 Pipeline Easement, Citing Enbridge Violations

Citing repeated and routine refusals by Calgary-based Enbridge to address safety concerns surrounding the 6.4-kilometre Straits of Mackinac section of its Line 5 pipeline, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has terminated the easement that allowed the submarine pipeline to operate.

Trump Makes Last-Ditch Effort to Sell Drilling Rights in Arctic Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration is making a last-ditch effort to sell oil and gas drilling rights in Alaska’s environmentally fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before it hits its own best-before date January 20—despite the fierce local opposition any new projects will ignite, and some skepticism on whether cash-strapped fossils will be interested in the leases.

Safety Issues, Cost Overruns Mean It’s Time to Cancel Site C Megadam, Dogwood Says

With its price nearly doubling, construction deadlines slipping, and serious geological challenges on the ground, BC Hydro’s plan to complete the Site C megadam on the Peace River may be slipping away, Dogwood B.C. warns in a recent blog post.

Canada Boosts Fossil Subsidies to $14.3B Per Year, Joins Saudi Arabia as G20’s Top Two Oil and Gas Funders

Canada averaged US$14.3 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2017 and 2019, earning it top ranking alongside Saudi Arabia as the two G20 countries with the most generous subsidies for oil and gas production, according a scorecard issued last week by three international think tanks.

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

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

Federal Regulator Allows Oil Drilling in Atlantic Marine Refuge as Fossils Abandon Newfoundland Offshore

A federal regulator is taking criticism from East Coast environment and biodiversity advocates after allowing BP Canada to drill for oil in an environmentally sensitive marine refuge in the Atlantic Ocean.

San Francisco Passes Landmark Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings

The city of San Francisco will begin banning natural gas as a heating or cooking energy source for all new residential and commercial buildings—except restaurants—as of next June, adding to a prohibition already in place banning natural gas in new city-owned buildings.

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Analysts Expect Fast Action on Infrastructure, Possible White House ‘Climate Czar’ as Biden-Harris Priorities Take Shape

Rolling back environmental deregulation, investing in green economic stimulus, restoring trust in science, and possible appointment of a White House “climate czar” are expected to be key priorities for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden after he’s sworn in January 20, sparking an equal and opposite reversal after the four years of deep damage caused by a soon-to-depart Donald Trump.

IEA Sees Global Solar and Wind Capacity Doubling, Outstripping Gas and Coal by 2025

Global solar and wind capacity is on track to double over the next five years and outstrip both coal and gas, after continuing to surge in spite of the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports in its annual renewable energy update issued this week.

In Conversation: Biden-Harris Climate Plans Put Canada, U.S. ‘on the Same Pathway Together’, MacNab Says

Josha MacNab, National Director of Policy and Strategy at the Pembina Institute, recently published a Hill Times op ed on the Biden administration, Canada, and climate action. In this interview, she talks about what’s next as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to assume office January 20.

U.S. ‘Climate Corps’ Could Mimic Depression-Era Economic Lifeline

A U.S. program once put to work as an economic lifeline in the 1930s is being proposed for revival as a 21st-century response to youth unemployment, devastated ecosystems, and the climate crisis.

Lawsuit Calls for Duke Energy, Not North Carolina Ratepayers, to Fund Coal Ash Cleanup

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is pushing for permission from the state’s utility commission to impose rate increases to cover the US$9 billion it will need for coal ash cleanup. But the company will be seeing the state’s attorney general, along with local environmental groups, in supreme court.

China’s Solar Surge Leads to Glass Shortage

With glass supplies running short and prices correspondingly spiking, Chinese solar manufacturers are appealing to Beijing to approve new glass factories—an industry that hit the brakes in 2018 when the country banned further expansion due to overcapacity concerns.

President-Elect Biden Brings ‘Clear Climate Mandate’ to White House

Even with Democrats unlikely to hold majority control of the U.S. Senate during the first two years of his administration, President-Elect Joe Biden enters the White House with a clear mandate for climate action and a toolbox of options for delivering faster, deeper carbon cuts, according to multiple analyses in the wake of a decisive election win over Donald Trump.

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

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