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Economic Factors, Creating a Low Carbon Future

Fossil fuels just lost the race against renewables

Feature

Tom Randall | Bloomberg - April 17th 2015

Press Clipping: The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there's no going back. The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.

Energy East

TransCanada’s pipeline benefit vows fail to sway Quebec’s Arcand

Frederic Tomesco and Rebecca Penty | Bloomberg - April 17th 2015

Press Clipping: Quebec wants more evidence from TransCanada Corp. that its Energy East pipeline will benefit the province after a marine terminal was scrapped from the plan, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said. While the company argues the proposed C$12 billion ($9.8 billion) line crossing the French-speaking Canadian province to reach the Atlantic would create jobs and boost the local economy, Arcand isn’t convinced.

Climate Impacts, Petrostate Politics

The Faulty Logic Behind the Argument That Canada’s Emissions Are a ‘Drop in the Bucket’

Carol Linnitt | DeSmog Canada - April 17th 2015

Press Clipping: The debate about climate change isn’t merely a moral one. The cost of failing to act will almost certainly outweigh the costs of acting. Think: floods, heat waves, adaptation efforts, rising sea levels, water scarcity, lower crop yields and wildfires. Economic research by experts like Yale’s William Nordhaus demonstrates that waiting to act on climate will cost a lot — like in the trillions-of-dollars a lot. Canada’s poor-sport attitude on climate change amounts to a major ‘tragedy of the commons’ outcome: If everyone shrugs off their individual responsibilities, we’re all going to suffer.

Climate Impacts, Petrostate Politics

If pipelines are dead, Harper helped kill them

L. Ian MacDonald | iPolitics - April 15th 2015

Press Clipping: Nobody can pretend Canada is a world leader on fighting climate change. We signed on to the 2009 Copenhagen target of reducing emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. We’re on course to miss that target … by a lot. As David McLaughlin, former head of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, recently wrote in Policymagazine: “Without additional measures, Canada will miss its target by … almost 50 per cent.”

Climate Impacts, Petrostate Politics

Why don’t we have GHG policy for the oil sands? Blame Stephen Harper.

Andrew Leach | Policy Options - April 14th 2015

Press Clipping: There is one person to blame for the fact that Canada, to date, does not have greenhouse gas policy for the oil sands: Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Had greenhouse gas policy for the oil sands and other major emitters been seen as critical to the federal government’s agenda, they’d be implemented today. As it happens, they’re not.

Climate Impacts, Creating a Low Carbon Future

Albertans have plenty of reason to Norwail

Mitchell Anderson | The Tyee - April 14th 2015

Press Clipping: Back in 2012, The Tyee sent me to Norway to write a 10-part series on what Canada could learn from a country that has saved $1 trillion in oil wealth. To understand the root of the Alberta resource problem, look no further than this helpful infographic recently released by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, which itemizes oil production and resource revenues in Alberta, Alaska and Norway in 2013. Which place is doing a better job of capturing public value from a public resource? Norway realized revenues of $87.69 per barrel in 2013. Alaska managed $38.54. And Alberta? Just $4.38 -- one-twentieth what our Norwegian cousins managed to rake in.

Climate Impacts, Creating a Low Carbon Future

Editorial: On the hot seat

Editorial Board | Calgary Herald - April 14th 2015

Press Clipping: This from the editorial board of the Calgary Herald: "With climate change the most important environmental issue facing Canada, Premier Jim Prentice should have taken a couple of days off from campaigning, or at least sent a cabinet minister, to attend the premiers’ climate-change summit in Quebec, which opens Tuesday. Instead, Prentice will send “senior government officials” to the summit and their job will be to observe what goes on. The optics of this are terrible. The rest of the provinces have long harboured a suspicion that Alberta cares the least about greenhouse gas emissions because of its dependence on the oilsands.

Keystone XL

Is Northern Gateway dead?

Feature

Kai Nagata | Dogwood Initiative - April 13th 2015

Press Clipping: On April 12, 2014, B.C. citizens directly in the path of the Northern Gateway pipeline had been asked to vote on it, and Kitimat voted No. the key to the plebiscite's victory was a simple tactical fact: energy companies have not, so far, figured out how to move votes. They can easily outspend opponents in the "air war," but they don't have the lists, the organizing tools or the volunteer strength to get large numbers of people to the polls.