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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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Roundtable: Paying steel and cement to go green could generate huge carbon savings

Smaller manufacturers could boost recycling and lower GHGs if government delivers recycled content requirements

Canada’s heavy industry is gearing up to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions but will need government support to hit net-zero emission targets.

In an online roundtable Wednesday, policy experts said that even “smokestack industries” in Canada can become low-carbon sectors using existing technology. To make the transition, however, they’ll require government subsidies.

Manufacturers generate more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, export more than $354 billion in goods annually, and employ 1.7 million Canadians. Energy-intensive heavy industry – including steel, cement, pulp and paper, and chemicals – accounts for 85% of the sector’s emissions.

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Roundtable: Canada needs to ramp up EV strategy – and make transit free

More made-in-Canada EVs, support for green freight and a year of free transit could turn Canada from a laggard to a leader

Canada needs to move aggressively to shift the transportation sector off fossil fuels and get people out of cars while taking full advantage of the economic opportunities available in the transition.

In an online roundtable Wednesday, a chorus of policy experts urged the federal government to undertake a 10-year, multibillion-dollar effort to electrify the transport sector as part of its effort to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases.

Transportation – including passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, planes and trains – accounts for 25% of Canada’s emissions. Emissions from the sector have grown by 53% since 1990.

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Roundtable: Greening Canada’s electricity could help kickstart economy

Unprecedented federal-provincial co-operation needed to overcome the balkanization of country’s electricity, say panelists

The federal government could create thousands of jobs and virtually eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country’s electricity sector with a $1.7 billion investment in transmission projects, analysis prepared for Corporate Knights suggests.

However, the effort would require unprecedented federal-provincial cooperation to overcome the balkanization of the country’s existing electricity markets, experts said during an online conference Wednesday.

With Canada mired in a deep economic slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawa is preparing to launch a massive stimulus program to get the country back to work.

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