Family feud: Shell breaks rank with other oil producers over low-carbon future

Shell puts nine oil associations on notice – including Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers – over climate differences

The world’s major oil companies are so tightly aligned that they were once known as the Seven Sisters. But as the climate crisis grows, the family bond is fading.

In April, Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had recently reviewed its role in 19 industry associations in Europe, North America and Australia and that it would pull out of one of them and serve notice to nine more.

Relative to major oil peers, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant has been among the leaders on climate change, endorsing the Paris Agreement as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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Civil liberties group challenges Doug Ford’s gas pump propaganda

Ontario's provincial government has turned gas companies into PR firms, says Canadian Civil Liberties Association

When the federal carbon tax came into effect in Ontario on April 1, it was a first step towards putting a realistic price on carbon pollution. But populist premier Doug Ford was apoplectic. One of his first acts after winning the election last June was to cancel the previous Liberal government’s cap-and-trade system. So he wasn’t about to sit and watch as Ottawa replaced that system with a tax he calls a “job killer.”

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Spotlight on green building innovation: Library Square Tower, Vancouver

The Government of Canada has announced a target to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in federal government operations by 80% by 2050. As assistant deputy minister, real property services, Kevin Radford has his work cut out, with a remit that includes 7.1 million square metres of building space. But unlike much of the rest of the country, his department has already achieved a 54% reduction of GHGs from the 2005 baseline. “To hit the 80% target, we have to get into really deep green retrofits,” says Radford, “which requires a whole new way of looking at upgrades.”

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Green New Deal has kicked off new climate conversation

By CK Staff
Republican-led U.S. Senate may have rejected the Green New Deal, but climate advocates aren't deterred

The Republican-led U.S. Senate may have rejected the Green New Deal March 26th, but climate advocates aren't deterred.

Looking to own the anti-Trump vote in next year’s elections, the Democrats have been rallying around the Republicans’ greatest nightmare: the Green New Deal (GND). The ambitious, but non-binding, resolution submitted to Congress in February proposes to eliminate “pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible” over 10 years. It would also require the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels in favour of “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources.”

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Climate risks: Disclose now – or pay later

2019 may go down as the year that the pressure to comply hit a critical mass

For some people, creating a more perfect world will involve giving up meat or switching to an electric car. For big organizations, sustainability starts with a more daunting challenge: signing on to a maze of new paperwork and regulations. But 2019 may go down as the year that the pressure to comply hit critical mass.

Exhibit A: The London-based Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has just announced that, as of next year, it will require its 2,250 signatories to formally report how they have considered specific climate-change risks in their investment portfolios. These signatories represent global institutional investors with US$83 trillion in assets.

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China’s Green Belt fueling coal rise beyond its borders

China's war on pollution hasn't stopped it from funnelling $36 billion to coal plants in 27 countries

The latest report from the International Energy Agency warns that a rise in coal use is fueling a global increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The IEA called out Asia as the source of the majority of coal-fired generation. But while Beijing has garnered attention for attempting to crackdown on urban pollution from coal, China is aggressively exporting coal technology abroad.

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Church of England prods coal goliath to pursue more saintly endeavours

But is Glencore's coal cap all that righteous?

As [miners] tunnel through the rocks,

They discover precious stones…

But where can wisdom be found?

—Job 28. (Good News Translation)

The grimy world of coal production brightened briefly in February, when Swiss mining giant Glencore announced it would cap its global production of thermal and coking coal at its current capacity of 150 million tonnes per year. Glencore promised to refocus on metals such as cobalt, nickel, vanadium and zinc, key battery components for a lower-carbon world.

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POTUS impotent in battle to bring back coal

Older coal-fired plants just can’t compete as renewables are proving cheaper and more flexible

Last month, the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority voted to close two aging coal-fired power plants. No tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump could save them.

Despite the White House’s efforts to prop up the coal industry, the U.S. was on track to shut down more coal plants in 2018 than in any other year. “The thing that has changed fundamentally the whole picture is that renewables have gotten so cheap,” says Jim Barry, global head of BlackRock's infrastructure investment group. BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager with US$6.29 trillion in assets under management.

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Ethical investing need not penalize struggling economies

Ethical investors may be unintentionally screening out investments in poorer countries where they can do the most good

As awareness dawns of the increasing risks of climate change, business and government have developed new tools and mechanisms to promote pro-social and environmentally friendly investment. But one U.K. analyst is pointing out that such high standards could backfire by restricting capital to many developing nations that need it most.

Charles Robertson is the London-based global chief economist at Renaissance Capital, an investment bank specializing in emerging markets. As the lead author of The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Economic Revolution (2012), Robertson has a genuine interest in helping developing countries succeed – and thinks they deserve a break from well-meaning financial engineering.

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Big Oil finds a profitable path to going green

Goldman Sachs says Big Oil can become Big Energy within 10 years by embracing greener energy

A recent Goldman Sachs report says big oil companies are key to the global climate debate, as their products account for 10 per cent of the carbon emissions of the global energy sector. The rest of the report asks: Can Big Oil change its ways?

Goldman’s answer is yes. It sets out a path through which Big Oil can become Big Energy by the year 2030 by embracing greener energy sources and higher-value petroleum products. These initiatives can help the oil industry reduce its carbon-emission intensity by 23 per cent, a target that matches sustainable development goals while still providing universal access to energy, according to the International Energy Agency.

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