Surging Indigenous renewable projects lead shift to clean energy future

Remote communities across Canada are pursuing opportunities in renewables that reduce reliance on dirty, expensive diesel

Mounting an Indigenous-led clean energy project in Canada’s remote communities takes a special kind of resilience, as best intentions meet the harsh reality of permitting delays, construction deadlines and difficult negotiations with governments and local utilities.

At a recent Gathering of Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), Nihtat Energy Ltd. president Grant Sullivan gave a master class on the challenges and rewards of installing solar panels in off-grid Nihtat Gwich’in communities in the Northwest Territories.

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Net-zero report card: How future-friendly are Canadian provinces?

Delivering on Canada’s climate promises requires top grades from provinces and territories. We grade the leaders and laggards

The federal government is committing Canada to achieving a net-zero emissions goal by 2050, but getting there will require substantially more action from provincial governments to reduce greenhouse gases.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson released Ottawa’s bulked-up plan in December, highlighted by a proposal to increase the federal price on carbon to $170 a tonne by 2030 from $50 a tonne in 2022. After the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of the federal carbon price in a March decision, the fate of the Liberals’ plan now hangs on whether they can return to power in the next election, which could come this year.

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Canadian corporations push back against internationally aligned-climate reporting

Bankers association, Loblaw parent co oppose mandatory "one size fits all" climate-risk disclosure, diversity targets

Some of Canada’s biggest corporations are opposing an Ontario proposal to require publicly traded companies to disclose their climate-change-related financial risks in a manner that aligns with global reporting standards.

They have also rejected a call for rules that would require public companies to set diversity targets for their boards of directors.

The province’s Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce published a discussion document last summer in which it proposed mandatory disclosure of material environmental, social and governance (ESG) information in a format consistent with international standards bodies.

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Gambling on climate disaster-preparedness is high risk

By Shawn McCarthy
New report says climate change impacts have been disregarded, but adaptation is still a blip in the feds updated plan

Canadas governments and corporate leaders are failing to account for the growing and costly impacts that the climate crisis will wreak on the countrys physical landscape and infrastructure, and their lack of foresight will drive up the cost of adaptation in the future. 

The federal government is increasing its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and meet tough new targets on the way to the country having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, it has taken relatively little action to prepare for the catastrophic physical threats that climate change poses to the nations people, businesses and ecosystems, warns the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. 

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Feds’ fall economic statement shortchanges climate

What gets funded gets done, and Ottawa’s climate plan falls 80% short of what’s required

Canadians are going to have to wait until the next Liberal budget to get a full sense of the government’s commitment to a green recovery, though Ottawa has unveiled some key parts of the plan this fall.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland made a down payment on clean-energy stimulus in her fall economic statement on November 30, but the $6.64-billion package of new measures over 10 years was far smaller than some clean-energy advocates had called for.

Corporate Knights calculates that the funding announced for a climate-focused recovery plan represents only 20% of the federal investment needed to meet the government’s own commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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How to trigger a net-zero building wave

Roundtable makes business case for deep retrofits and net-zero new builds

Meeting Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require an all-out national effort to transform our buildings from energy-wasting, fossil-fuel-gulping structures to global models of clean-energy efficiency.

The endeavour will require concerted action from governments, banks and other lenders, asset managers, developers, landlords and tenants, and individual homeowners.

“Buildings are the biggest source of emissions in cities and so a huge opportunity for meeting our climate targets … but we have to get on with this with alacrity,” Julia Langer, chief executive of Toronto-based Atmospheric Fund, told an online panel Wednesday. “We certainly see things from the perspective of ‘all hands on deck.’ ”

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Hydrogen’s high stakes for Canada

Minister O'Regan touts hydrogen-strategy potential to create jobs and slash GHGs by 25% at Building Back Better event

The federal government is set to launch a hydrogen strategy that will vault Canada into world leadership in the clean-energy market and help the country achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said Thursday.

“If Canada is going to continue to prosper, we’ve got to skate to where the puck is going,” the minister told a virtual roundtable hosted by Corporate Knights and the Embassy of Germany. “Hydrogen is where the puck is going.”

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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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