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Mission: Efficiency

Report: Canada needs a war-time level of mobilization to ensure that all buildings are refurbished no later than 2050

Canada needs the equivalent of a war-time mobilization to ensure that all buildings are refurbished no later than 2050 as part of our effort to hit net-zero emission goals, a new report from Efficiency Canada concludes.

The federal, provincial and municipal governments offer a host of programs across the country to subsidize energy retrofits by homeowners and commercial building owners, but that “piecemeal” approach is insufficient to achieve the necessary deep emission reductions, says the report, which was co-authored by Efficiency Canada research director Brendan Haley and energy consultant Ralph Torrie.

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Are corporations getting trapped in net zero?

As carbon-neutral pledges mount, so do concerns that firms are putting too much focus on the “net” and not enough on the zero

In a hopeful sign that the world is finally getting serious about tackling climate change, we’re seeing a raft of net-zero-carbon pledges from countries, investors, cities and corporations – even oil companies.

More than 100 countries have either set or are considering commitments of carbon neutrality, with most – like Canada – aiming for a 2050 net-zero target date. They are joined by more than 800 cities, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The private sector is also stepping up. Financial institutions around the world, including Canada’s biggest banks, are committing to net-zero investment and lending portfolios by 2050. At the same time, we’re seeing an outpouring of carbon-neutrality pledges from leading global corporations, including Walmart Inc., Ford Motor Company, Royal Dutch Shell and Canadian oil sands giants Cenovus Energy Inc and Suncor Energy Inc.

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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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