Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


Trudeau Tables New Cdn. Net-Zero Emissions Legislation (Reg. & Leg.)
Canada Climate Change
Date: 2020-11-20
In Ottawa, the Government of Prime Minster Justin Trudeau (Lib) Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has tabled new "legally binding" legislation -- bill C-12 -- that would force current and future federal governments to set binding climate targets although the bill fails to specify penalties for non compliance. If passed into law, federal governments would be required to set five-year interim emissions reduction targets over the next 30 years to ensure progress toward reaching "net-zero" by 2050.

The legislation calls for the creation of an outside 15-member advisory board composed of climate experts, scientists and Indigenous representatives, among others to advice the minister on setting targets and the best "sectoral strategies" that are "deemed effective" for achieving net-zero. The legislation also requires the minister to a plan in Parliament outlining how Ottawa will meet those targets as well as annual reports on the bill's progress.

Canada's carbon reduction target, set by the former Conservative government in May 2015, is to reduce emissions by 30 pct compared to 2005 levels by 2030. Current policies -- including the carbon tax, banning coal power plants and regulating methane emissions in the oil and gas industry -- will only get Canada about two-thirds of the way to its goal.

While the government describes this legislation as "legally binding," there would be no tangible penalty applied if the country fails to drive down emissions as promised. In short, bill C-12 appears to be little more than political window dressing.

As previously reported in Nov, 2019, Prime Minister Trudeau committed Canada to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce CO2 levels by 30 pct by 2030. In December 2018, Climate Change Canada projected Canada's total emissions by 2030 are only on track to be 19 pct -- not 30 pct -- below 2005 levels. (Source: Environment Canada, Various Media, CBC News, 19 Nov., 2020) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment Canada,  Net-Zero Emissions,  Climate Change,  Trudeau,  


"Reject Industry Efforts to Derail Clean-Fuel Standard", Suzuki Says (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Canada Clean Fuels Standard,Suzuki Foundation
Date: 2020-10-23
"The UN's annual Emissions Gap Report 2019 found Earth is headed toward 3.2 degrees C warming based on current and estimated emissions trends and called on governments to increase efforts to limit global warming immediately. But Canada isn't even on track to meet its original 2030 emissions-reduction targets.

"Greenpeace recently obtained leaked strategy documents advising industry to push back against measures such as the federal clean fuel standard that prompts a switch to low-carbon fuels by setting limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels. To meet it, fossil-fuel suppliers can buy or generate credits by offering low-carbon alternatives, like biofuels from waste organics or electric-vehicle charging stations. The clean-fuel-credit market is expected to attract investment in low-carbon fuel production and distribution in Canada.

"It's a smart move as the government looks to support economic recovery. Clean-fuels investments generate employment. Clean Energy Canada estimates the regulation could spur the need for up to 31,000 skilled workers to build, operate, and supply new facilities.

Navigator, the PR firm engaged to develop an action plan to counter the clean-fuel standard, advises its unnamed clients to use a "counter-punch strategy" -- to pay lip service to government's climate agenda, wait for the clean-fuel-standard announcement, then orchestrate a hard push-back. Part of the scheme is to convince Canadians that "fighting climate change is a losing battle" by arguing action is too costly. It's dishonest. Energy companies -- and the politicians they're seeking to influence -- know Canada must decarbonize the fuel supply to reduce GHG emissions.

"All the major federal political parties have pledged to meet or exceed Canada's 2030 targets. The clean-fuel standard is projected to reduce annual GHG emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030 -- equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road and accounts for 15 pct of Canada's current emissions-reduction target -- more than can be achieved with any other single climate-policy instrument.

"B.C.'s (British Columbia) low-carbon fuel requirement has been in place since 2010 and is credited with delivering one-quarter of B.C.'s emissions reductions between 2007 and 2012 with limited impacts to consumers' pocketbooks. As part of its CleanBC plan, the province recently announced further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels over the next decade using this instrument. California, Oregon, and the EU have parallel policies. Their experience shows that a clean-fuel standard can reduce emissions, drive innovation, and increase renewable alternatives availability.

"Too often, industry opposition to environmental policies isn't driven by facts but by vested interests. Climate action is in everyone's interest. Government must stand firm on the policies needed to achieve timely emissions reductions. The sooner Canada adopts its clean fuel standard, the better."

Download the UN Emissions Gap Report 2019 HERE. (Source: David Suzuki, Suzuki Foundation, The Straight, 20 Oct, 2020) Contact: Suzuki Foundation, David Suzuki, 604-732-4228, www.davidsuzuki.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels,  Suzuki Foundation,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


COVID-19 Blamed for CDN Clean Fuel Standard Delay (Ind. Report)
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Date: 2020-05-04
According to a Environment and Climate Change Canada press release, the government of Canada is delaying the publication of proposed regulations for the liquid fuel class of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) to Fall 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations are still expected to to be finalized before the year end and in force in 2022. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, May, 2020) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada,(800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Canada Clean Fuels Standard,  


WMO Warns of Record CO2 Levels -- Canada Falling Behind (Int'l.)
World Meteorological Organization
Date: 2019-11-27
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports world wide CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are at a record high and still rising faster than ever with no sign of slowing down.

In a report released Monday, the WMO said despite international pledges made under the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 15), the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide all surged by higher amounts in 2018 than average for the past decade. The global average of carbon dioxide concentration reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017, the U.N. agency said. The concentration of methane was the highest recorded since 1998 while the levels of nitrous oxide, which is responsible for eroding the ozone layer was the highest ever recorded. The report was released ahead of next month's global climate summit in Madrid.

This follows the overwhelming scientific consensus delivered earlier this month that the Earth is indeed facing a climate emergency. Over 11,000 scientists world wide, including 409 from Canada, signed a letter pleading for world leaders to take the crisis seriously, for the wealthy to change their habits and for those in denial to accept that global warming is human driven.

Specific to Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed Canada to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce CO2 levels by 30 pct by 2030. In December 2018, Climate Change Canada projected Canada's total emissions by 2030 are only on track to be 19 pct below 2005 levels. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada,Various Media, Nov., 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change; World Meteorological Organization, www.public.wmo.int/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News World Meteorological Organization,  Climate Change,  ,  


Canada Stiffens Methane Emissions Regulations (Reg & Leg)
Methane,Environment and Climate Change Canada
Date: 2019-11-25
As previously reported, Environment and Climate Change Canada has announced proposed regulations to cut methane emissions from drilling and processing by 20 megatonnes a year.

Under the new regulations, affected companies would be required to regularly check and repair leaks from their equipment, use cleaner technologies to minimize emissions, monitor emissions at their property lines and report the results to the Canadian government.

The regulations are part of the Pan-Canada Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change to cut methane by 40 to 45 pct by 2025.

The Canadian oil and gas sector produces about 44 pct of the country's escaping methane which represents about 15 pct of Canada's greenhouse-gas emissions. The changes are expected to cost the industry an estimated $3.3 billion over the next 20 years. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, CBC, Various Media, Nov. 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada,(800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane Emissions,  GHG,  Climate Change,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Date: 2019-09-09
Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • Canadian Global Warming Over TWICE GLOBAL RATE! (Ind. Report)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2019-04-08
    According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada commissioned study -- Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR) -- Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at double the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average.

    Since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.

    The CCCR reports also claims Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer, and a heightened risk of coastal flooding.

    The document says that while warming in Canada has been the result of both human activity and natural variations in the climate, "the human factor is dominant," especially emissions of greenhouse gases. The report says the national annual average temperature increase projected for the late century, compared to the reference period of 1986-2005, ranges from a "low-emission scenario" of 1.8 C to a "high-emission scenario" of 6.3 C. The report also predicts glaciers in western Canada will lose between 74 and 96 pct of their volume by the end of the century.

    Download the full report HERE. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, April, 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Carbon Emissions,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    Canadians Investigate Rising Antarctic Ocean Temp. (Ind. Report)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2018-09-26
    According to new research conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada scientists and a colleague from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in he U.S., ocean water temperatures around Antarctica have been rising over the past several decades due directly and primarily to increases in man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The research also noted a drop in atmospheric ozone levels associated with the ozone hole is also contributing to warming, and that the waters around Antarctica are becoming less salty, consistent with known shifts in Southern Hemisphere rainfall patterns.

    The researchers also found that: the Southern Ocean has been warming at about twice the average rate of the global ocean; GHG increases are the most important driver of recent warming and freshening of the Southern Ocean; and zone depletion is also driving the warming and freshening of the Southern Ocean. However, given the ozone recovery associated with the Montreal Protocol, which is now underway, it is anticipated that the impact of ozone changes on the Southern Ocean will diminish. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Sept., 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Neil Swart, Research Scientist, www.ec.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas,  CO2 Emissions,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    Fundy's "Blue Carbon" Sequestration Capacity Explored (Ind. Report)
    Blue Carbon,Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2018-05-23
    In Atlantic Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada's recent study of the Bay of Fundy coastal ecosystem and its "blue carbon" has estimated the area's carbon sequestration capacity to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of carbon-offsetting costs. "Blue carbon" is a term coined by scientists to describe carbon dioxide stored in coastal plants and soil.

    On land, forests capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Forests release their carbon every few hundred years, due to fire, tree mortality or human harvesting. By comparison, coastal marshes maintain their carbon for thousands of years. Coastal ecosystems do the same -- but they're much better at it, according to McGill University "Blue Carbon" authority Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain. Coastal ecosystems can hold three to five times more carbon than the equivalent area of forest, according to a federal government report.

    The financial value of blue carbon comes from its potential for carbon emission credits which the Canadian federal government is introducing. According to government documents, "carbon stored in tidal salt marshes in the Bay of Fundy could have an estimated value of $202 million." That would equal $1 billion in 2022. In terms of Canada's national carbon emissions strategy, blue carbon could be used as an offset to meet international targets and coastal communities could protect or rehabilitate wetlands to generate carbon credits. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, CBC, 22 May, 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm; McGill University, Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain, (514) 926-6854, gail.chmura@mcgill.ca, www.mcgill.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Storage,  


    Ottawa Launches $500Mn Low Carbon Economy Challenge (Ind. Report)
    /www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm
    Date: 2018-03-28
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon.Catherine McKenna, has launched the Low Carbon Economy Challenge. The will consider projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, under two streams:
  • Champions: Valued at over $450 million, the champions stream is open to applicants of any size. Eligible applicants include all provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Partnerships: Valued at $50 million, the partnerships stream is limited to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities. The partnerships stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the challenge.

    Successful projects will be selected based primarily on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the growth of clean energy. The funding is available until 2021-22.

    Download details HERE. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada , Mar., 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm

  • Showing 1 to 10 of 10.