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CKTV: Green pot of gold at bottom of the barrel

Alberta could be generating more revenue from carbon fibres than oil and gas by the middle of next decade

Alberta is setting its sights on non-transportation markets for oil-sands bitumen that could drive a vast increase in the value of production by 2035 – assuming that major technological hurdles can be overcome.

Alberta Innovates – a Crown agency – says the biggest opportunity lies in the production of carbon fibre, a high-strength material that can be used in wind turbines, automotive applications and the aerospace industry. The agency has launched a $15-million “Grand Challenge” in which 20 laboratories around the world are participating in research to commercialize the production of carbon fibre from the heavy asphaltenes contained in bitumen, in the so-called bottom of the barrel.

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To pay for the green recovery, we’ll need to leverage public investment

To maximize impact, it’s critical that government and business leaders combine public and private financial efforts

If governments want to ensure that they can fund the green recovery plans needed to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis, they’ll have to collaborate with private sector financial institutions.

As governments in Europe, North America and around the world announce trillions of dollars in stimulus to revive moribund economies, many experts are urging them to focus on climate-related efforts that will help the world avert the worst impacts on climate change.

This is a sentiment that has moved from the sidelines to becoming a key recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF’s recently released flagship publication in advance of its annual meeting emphasized the power of public investment in uncertain times, noting that raising public investment by 1% can increase private investment by more than 10%. It also noted that “the goal of bringing net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 in each country can be achieved through a comprehensive policy package that is growth friendly (especially in the short term).”

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Lessons from the last recovery for this recovery

Building back to business-as-usual will reignite GHGs and represent a tragic missed opportunity

Governments looking to stimulate their economies to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic should heed a lesson from the financial crisis a decade ago: building back to business-as-usual will reignite greenhouse gas emissions growth and represent a tragic missed opportunity to align economies with clean growth trends.

GHG emissions are expected to decline by 8% in 2020, down to 2010 levels, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a September report. However, unless governments impose a strict climate lens on their recovery programs, the GHG reductions will likely be short-lived and growth will resume at an even-quicker pace, said the Paris-based organization that provides policy advice to developed nations.

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IEA summit urges global energy ministers to adopt ambitious green recovery plans

At clean transition summit, IEA executive director Fatih Birol warns that investment in clean energy must increase fourfold

The steep drop in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could make 2019 the peak year for GHGs, but only if governments around the world adopt ambitious economic recovery policies that accelerate the clean energy transition, the executive director of the International Energy Agency said last week.

The IEA’s Fatih Birol addressed the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit, a virtual meeting that drew energy ministers from 40 countries, leaders from business and non-government organizations, and 500,000 viewers worldwide.

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Canadian boards legally obliged to address climate risk, new study reveals

New analysis finds corporate directors have a duty to assess how climate change will impact a company over the long-term

Corporate directors have a legal obligation to address the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to the companies on whose board they serve, a corporate governance expert says in a new study.

“Directors should recognize that the courts, regulators and investors accept that climate change poses real risks,” veteran lawyer Carol Hansell wrote in a 25-page legal opinion released on June 25.

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Bridge-builder in the oil patch  

Can former Enbridge exec turned Pembina head convince Alberta to transition to lower carbon economy?

Linda Coady is a rare bird who can work on both sides of the deep and bitter divide separating oil-industry partisans and environmental advocates.

After spending six years as vice-president for sustainability at pipeline giant Enbridge Inc., Coady took up the reins at the Pembina Institute environmental think tank at the end of March.

Environmental advocates have long regarded Enbridge as a public enemy because of its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, the current expansion of its mainline oil pipeline in the U.S., and its fight over refurbishing a pipeline in Michigan where it had a major spill into the Kalamazoo River a decade ago.

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Green recovery fever spreads around the globe

EU, South Korea, Chile among growing list of nations funding climate-friendly stimulus

With its reliance on heavy industry and its financing of coal-fired power, South Korea is an unlikely poster child for the low-carbon economy, but the East Asian nation is staking its claim to a leadership role in the transition.

Fresh from a landslide election victory in April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is promising to launch a “Green New Deal” that aims to provide economic stimulus while putting the country on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Around the world, national and sub-national governments are grappling with the need to stabilize their economies with emergency financing to support individuals and businesses that are being devastated by shuttered economies. As they plan longer-term stimulus packages, a growing group of them – from the European Union to New York State – are insisting that stimulus spending and tax measures must be consistent with net-zero goals.

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Final roundtable: Clean economy projects could create 670,000 jobs per year

Seize this moment to be creative about how we reposition Canadian economy for a just, low-carbon future, panellists say

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an opportunity to “reposition” the Canadian economy to take full advantage of the low-carbon transition, the new chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank said June 3.

The economic crisis resulting from the pandemic has forced corporations and governments to deviate from their standard operating procedures, opening up an opportunity for innovation and creativity, said Michael Sabia, who was recently appointed by the federal government to head up the infrastructure bank.

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Roundtable: Oil sands has to embrace new low-carbon technologies to prosper

While working on game-changing innovations like carbon fibres, Alberta should make jet fuel from food waste, panel hears

The oil sands sector will have to embrace new technology and new products if it is going to prosper as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

Addressing a roundtable hosted by Corporate Knights on May 27, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said the federal government is working on a strategy that will not only exceed Canada’s existing commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) by 2030, but put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

He said Canada’s oil sector – the fourth largest producer in the world – will not disappear over the medium-term and has to be part of a national climate-change strategy.

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Roundtable urges feds to dramatically scale up support for nature-based climate solutions

Canada could reap sizeable economic and environmental gains by supporting better carbon management in our forests and farms

Canada could reap sizeable economic and environmental gains by supporting better carbon management in our forests and on our farms, which are often treated as afterthoughts in the climate-crisis debate.

In an online roundtable Wednesday, experts urged the federal government to dramatically scale up its support for nature-based climate solutions.

The approach would not only contribute to the country’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; it would protect nature, create jobs, provide additional income to struggling farmers and promote reconciliation with Indigenous communities, a white paper produced for the session by Ralph Torrie of Torrie Smith Associates and Céline Bak of Analytica Advisors concluded.

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