National Newswatch

Brad Wall’s carbon-pricing fight is constitutional hot air

Jun 14 2017 — — Constitutional showdowns are regular fare in Canadian politics, and it looks like carbon pricing might be next up in the ring. The federal government recently unveiled its carbon-price backstop. This default pricing system will come into effect only if a province isn’t showing its own leadership – and most are. However, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall […]

Rebates should be part of electric car strategy

Jun 9 2017 — — Last month, Ottawa officially kicked off work on a national strategy for zero-emission cars. And this week, a thoughtful report from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission said that offering incentives to Canadians who buy those cars doesn’t make much sense. Our take? A national game plan to get more electric vehicles (EVs) on Canada’s roads is essential, […]

Trump’s Paris withdrawal, Canada’s opportunity

Jun 7 2017 — — Donald Trump may have done the world a big favour last Thursday afternoon when he announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement. In a single blurt, he largely muted three years of expected US obstruction at the international climate negotiating table, while salvaging the momentum toward ever-more-ambitious greenhouse gas reductions […]

Why Trump’s climate change move is not a Kyoto redux

Jun 6 2017 — — We expected it was coming, given President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Yet we followed the news each day, intensely, reading signals into Trump’s “game-show”-style tweets about the decision to come. And now it has. The US is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement under Trump, just as […]

Donald Trump, Paris and the melodrama of climate change

Jun 5 2017 — Tom Walkom — In practical terms, U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to formally withdraw from the Paris climate accord doesn’t much matter. Rather, it is a theatrical gesture that gives all actors in this drama a chance to strut their stuff. The accord itself is largely aspirational. According to the United Nations, even if all the pact’s signatories […]

‘Extremely disappointing:’ clean tech firms hit hard by U.S. withdrawal from Paris climate accord

Jun 2 2017 — — Canadian clean-technology companies said it’s “extremely disappointing” that U.S. President Donald Trump will withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, but believe state-level green legislation still represents an opportunity. Stock prices at domestic clean-tech companies plunged this week amid reports Trump would take the U.S., the world’s second largest emitter and Canada’s largest trading partner, […]

A great, and terrible, day for climate action

Jun 1 2017 — — When reflecting upon yesterday’s climate change news, I thought back to a pivotal moment in the movie City Slickers when Billy Crystal’s character Mitch and his pals Phil and Ed, are on horseback discussing their best and their worst days.

A plan that promotes environmental sustainability

May 30 2017 — — The report of the expert panel on environmental assessment processes, Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Environmental Assessment in Canada, has been met with both scepticism and strident criticism. The most vociferous response was that of Trevor McLeod of the Canada West Foundation, who says the panel’s report should be shelved. We disagree. As […]

Climate change adaptation on the farm and ranch

May 8 2017 — It’s important to recognize the distinct ways in which farmers see climate adaptation compared with the way that international experts and policy-makers approach it. The views of local producers are essential to shaping any coherent plan for dealing with the effects of global warming in Canada. The advocates of proactive adaption to projected climate changes, […]

Will B.C. LNG exports reduce global carbon emissions?

May 2 2017 — Josha MacNab — The claim that B.C. LNG will result in emissions reductions in China is one that British Columbians have heard repeatedly over the past four years. The story by now should be familiar: producing and shipping liquefied natural gas from B.C. will be good for the global climate. The Pembina Institute dug into the numbers for just one of […]

Turning the climate corner with nuclear energy

May 2 2017 — — At a conference held last month on what it will take to decarbonize Canada’s economy, one of this country’s top economists asked me whether the nuclear industry would be ready to deliver even half of the added electricity that electric cars, green buildings and transit are going to need. He wanted to know whether we […]

Ontario still needs an electricity policy plan

Apr 20 2017 — — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne admitted late last year that the provincial government had “made a mistake” and mismanaged electricity prices in Ontario. In doing so, the Premier was acknowledging what many experts had been saying for some time. As Ontario’s Auditor General wrote about Ontario’s electricity system in 2015, “the planning process had … broken […]

Site C: It’s not too late to hit pause

Apr 19 2017 — — Site C is an $8.3-billion hydroelectric project in the early stages of construction by BC Hydro, the provincial power utility, on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia. It is designed to produce 1,100 megawatts of capacity and 5,100 gigawatt-hours per year of energy, starting in 2024. Supporters of the project have promoted it as […]