Dinner in Davos serves up 7 kernels of carbon-pricing wisdom
Posted February 3, 2015
Heavy hitters of finance share what finance ministers need to hear as governments weigh pros, cons of carbon pricing.
It seems like everybody is talking about carbon pricing these days, but few have approached the issue from the perspective of finance ministers, which is where the rubber hits the road.
Two weeks ago, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and a group of financial mandarins came up with a carbon-pricing cheat sheet for finance ministers at a Chatham rule dinner discussion hosted by Corporate Knights.
The dinner generated seven kernels of wisdom:Continue Reading...
Bank of Canada mum on unburnable carbon thesis
Posted January 29, 2015
Opinion: There's growing risk of the oil sands becoming stranded assets. Do federal finance officials have a Plan B?
In 2012, the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook report legitimized the notion of unburnable carbon in one sentence: “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal, unless carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is widely deployed.”
On Jan. 19 that year, a group of investors wrote a letter to the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, requesting that its Financial Policy Committee look into the systemic economic risks of certain carbon-based assets being stranded. Less than two weeks later, King replied with his own letter assuring that the bank would further evaluate the risk of stranded assets. He also outlined the three key conditions by which the unburnable carbon thesis could plausibly have adverse effects on the economy:Continue Reading...
Council for Clean Capitalism: 2014 in review
Posted December 29, 2014
Through its work in Ontario, the Council for Clean Capitalism is laying the groundwork for the rest of Canada.
The Council for Clean Capitalism’s work with Ontario’s political leadership and borrowing unit was catalytic in launching a provincial green bond program in 2014.
Ontario entered this market with a $500-million green bond issue in October that raised funds to finance transit infrastructure. This first provincial green bond issue in Canada was oversubscribed by nearly 500 per cent and socially responsible investors received preferential access to participate.
Bay Street investors were quick to promote their green credentials – many for the first time. Going forward the province plans to issue $1 billion of green bonds annually with the main constraint being the set-up of an efficient process to select eligible projects for the use of proceeds.Continue Reading...
Posted May 20, 2014
More municipalities want to switch over to LED streetlights but many remain in the dark on how to pay for it.
After several hours of driving on a dark rural highway, the first distant glimpse of a roadside streetlight can be a sight for sore eyes. It’s also a reminder to urban and suburban dwellers that we too often take these beacons of safety for granted.
Looking out the window of an airplane, streetlights automatically reveal the design and character of a city. They are a kind of municipal fingerprint, and no two are alike.Continue Reading...
Energy reporting helps cities
Posted April 4, 2014
Toronto joins several U.S. cities in the push for commercial building benchmarking for energy use.
Buildings are a main source of energy use and greenhouse gases. In Toronto, for example, 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are associated with existing buildings, while energy costs represent one of the largest controllable cost centres for commercial buildings. Yet, the lack of standardized information on the energy performance significantly constrains the scale of cost-effective energy efficiency investments - a global opportunity estimated by McKinsey to be in the order of $250 billion annually.Continue Reading...