Canada’s climate activists want to be taken seriously but not literally – by Sean Speer (The Hub – May 29, 2023)


The Public Policy Forum (disclosure: where I am a senior fellow) recently released a major paper on Canada’s climate goals and the implications for the oil and gas sector. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in climate policy and the inherent trade-offs in different policy approaches.

Yet the paper has been criticized in some policy quarters for various reasons including, for instance, that it doesn’t properly account for the economic benefits of cultivating fossil fuel alternatives. (The researchers who produced the analysis have responded to this particular critique.)

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OPINION: How big are Canada’s carbon emissions? Compared to China, we’re a rounding error – by Tony Keller (Globe and Mail – May 30, 2023)

Please note that Canada is the 4th biggest oil producer and the 6th largest natural gas producer in the world, and yet we still only contribute 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions!- Stan Sudol

And two points to remember: Canada is the 4th biggest oil producer and the 6th largest natural gas producer in the world. And we still only contribute 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions!! – Stan Sudol.

The statement from the most recent Group of Seven heads of government annual meeting, held earlier this month in Japan, is an encyclopedia of commitments and wishes, weighing in at 40 pages and 19,000 words. It takes positions on everything from human rights in Afghanistan to the challenge of artificial intelligence to the need for “stable access to affordable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food for each and every individual” on the planet.

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Saskatchewan: ‘Come get me’: Premier Moe responds to federal minister on running coal plants past 2030 – by Adam Hunter (CBC News Saskatchewan – May 18, 2023)

Premier Scott Moe said “come get me” on Thursday when asked about the potential legal ramifications of running coal-fired power plants past 2030 in violation of federal regulations. On Wednesday, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada Steven Guilbeault said Saskatchewan would be breaking the law if it ran coal-fired electricity after 2030, unless they were equipped with carbon capture technology.

“We’ve regulated the ban on coal through CEPA (Canadian Environmental Protection Act) which is a criminal tool that the federal government has. So not complying with this regulation would be a violation of Canada’s Criminal Code.”

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Power grid can’t handle Biden’s climate rule, industry groups say ( – May 12, 2023)

Power producers say squeezing fossil fuels will worsen the strains on the grid, though EPA’s backers say those risks are manageable.

The Biden administration’s new greenhouse gas rule is designed to drive drastic changes in how U.S. power companies produce electricity — but utilities say it could escalate the risk of outages as it squeezes fossil fuel plants into retirement.

Power producers are already warning that the rule threatens to compromise the power network’s reliability by pushing their older, dirtier coal and gas plants into retirement at an even faster pace than they are closing now. They say it’s especially worrisome if the plants aren’t replaced as quickly as they shut down.

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The Green Revolution Is Here. Which Big Miners Are Prepared? – by Megha Mandavia (Wall Street Journal – May 5, 2023)

New U.S. legislation points to the world being short of copper in a few years. A few big mining firms could be huge beneficiaries.

A decade of underinvestment and a dense thicket of permits are challenges that the world’s top miners need to tackle head on. That is, if they want to ride a probable surge in copper prices as the world finally gets its act together to tackle climate change—a task which will require vast quantities of the red metal.

Over the last six months mining firms have begun jostling to acquire copper assets. One major reason: The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, essentially a massive green industry policy bill, which passed last August. Copper supply now looks likely to fall far short of demand over the next decade—unless big new greenfield projects are brought online.

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The Rising Chorus of Renewable Energy Skeptics – by Andrew Nikiforuk (The Tyee – May 2, 2023)

The green techno-dream is so vastly destructive, they say, ‘we have to come up with a different plan.’

“Sometime during this century, it is highly likely that worldwide depletion of natural resources will force an entire reorganization of social and economic structures, perhaps violently.” — Walter Youngquist, ‘Our Plundered Planet’

We are going to have to dramatically downsize the dream of a future in which we replace 150-year-old fossil fuel infrastructure with “clean energy” by 2050. That’s the message in a number of recent important reports and books. They underscore a number of problems with the renewables illusion, including the complexity of the task, the toxicity of rare earth mining and the scarcity of critical minerals.

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Why China Is Investing in Africa’s Green Energy Future – by Kate Bartlett (Voice of America – May 3, 2023)

JOHANNESBURG — A wind farm in Namibia and a floating solar farm on Zimbabwe’s massive Kariba Dam are among the new green energy projects Chinese companies are looking at investing in this year after Beijing pledged to help African countries address their energy problems with renewable sources rather than fossil fuels.

“Chinese overseas renewable energy investments aim to deliver China’s international climate commitments of accelerating the energy transition away from fossil fuels in Africa, China’s largest trading partner,” Lei Bian, a policy fellow at the The London School of Economics and Political Science, told VOA.

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A not-so-green reality behind green transition – by Terence Corcoran (Fiancial Post – May 3, 2023)

If fossil fuels are destructive, renewable alternatives are maybe even more so

In the rollicking world of net-zero policy-making and initiatives, Canada aims to be a global leader. The country’s bankers, mining executives, auto companies, electricity producers and political leaders have merged into a unified machine around the idea that a new green economy can be achieved via a just transition to a global energy system free of carbon emissions.

The nationalist clatter last week around the possible sale of Teck Resources of Vancouver to Swiss mining giant Glencore reflected the new official Canadian corporatist approach. As a key global player in the business of producing “critical minerals” — copper, zinc, molybdenum — Teck is seen as a vital cog in the wheel of economic fortune swirling around the net-zero objectives.

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No one left behind on the road to net zero – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – April 19, 2023)

Except, maybe, coal and China and downtown condo owners

As part of the global policy movement toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as required under the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, Canada’s target is to reduce and/or offset all greenhouse gas emissions through various methods, including “tree planting or employing technologies that can capture carbon before it is released into the air.” China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, is aiming for net zero by 2060.

How’s the global plan going so far? We turn to last weekend’s meeting of G7 ministers of climate, energy and the environment in Sapporo, Japan, which ended with a 20,000-word statement that, if nothing else, serves as an important demonstration of the high level of linguistic advocacy that propels net zero forward.

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Enough is enough of energy absurdity – by Derek H. Burney (National Post – April 18, 2023)

A line must be drawn between obtuse environmental orthodoxy and the rational need for responsible energy development

Led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently announced a million-barrel-per-day reduction in oil production, action only cartels can take to limit supply in order to raise prices — the cost to the global economy be damned.

It will inevitably lead to higher North American gasoline prices as refineries gear up for peak-driving summer months. Even more damning is that it exposes the inherent fallacy of the anti-energy policies of Canada and the United States, which have two of the largest oil and gas reserves on the planet.

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Go green or go broke — the Liberals’ new budget does both – by Rex Murphy (National Post – March 30, 2023)

In politics, budgets are screenplays for movies that will never get made

Budgets, like Bidens, bore me. Like another in the fellowship of the great minds of our day, I pay no attention to monetary policy. Or to fiscal policy. And what is a budget but a massive tool of that latter? Budgets get as much attention from “communications advisers” — the most empty phrase and occupation of our time — as they do from … people who might know something about the economy. Most likely more. Besides, budgetary promises do not stand up in time, at all.

You want an example? Recall. In 2015, Justin Trudeau “looked straight at Canadians” (his phrase) and in that soft, hushed, mellow tone he struggles to adopt when he’s about to burst from the magma force of his urgent sincerity, promised — “being honest the way I always have” — that by 2019 (four years back for those who are counting), Canada would have a “balanced budget.”

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Biden’s big, bold green spend sends shockwaves around the world, including Canada – by Kyle Bakx (CBC News Calgary – March 8, 2023)

Green energy investment could pour into the U.S. from around the globe

U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate bill is only six months old, but its impact on the energy industry around the world continues to grow as pressure mounts on countries to offer similar subsidies toward green energy or risk losing out on valuable investment dollars.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a multi-billion-dollar program that pledges government dollars toward developing low-carbon energy. The policy is aimed at boosting the country’s manufacturing sector and takes aim at China’s dominant position in the clean energy technology supply chain.

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Politics Meets the Minerals Rush at the World’s Biggest Mining Convention – by Charlie Angus (Policy Magazine – March 6, 2023)

March-April 2023

Investors from all over the world are in Toronto this week for the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Conference (PDAC) convention. It is the biggest mining expo in the world. This year’s conference is taking place amid a global rush to secure critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and key base metals such as copper and nickel.

The climate crisis has arrived and our hope for survival is dependent on a dramatic transformation in energy sources. This is why critical minerals are key. They are essential for the development of battery and renewable technology.

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The mining conundrum — responsibly sourcing green technology minerals in conflict zones – by Kim Polley (Daily Maverick – January 29, 2023)

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Responsible sourcing should be at the top of the agenda for multinationals. But many green technologies — which we advocate in our war on climate change — rely on the use of minerals sourced in high-risk areas with poor human rights records.

In the last 12 months, the world came out of a heightened state of pandemic panic and headed directly into climate crisis consciousness. Amid a tornado of messages predicting the end of the world, it’s no wonder that people are scrambling to find someone to blame. And predictably, big business makes an outsized climate catastrophe target.

Practically speaking, stakeholder expectations around safety, environmental management, decarbonisation and corporate responsibility have become increasingly difficult to navigate.

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To get to net-zero, we will need to make mining ‘nature-positive’, says mining council chief – by Oliver Balch (Reuters – January 27, 2023)

January 27 – The field of sustainable business is littered with apparent oxymorons: “clean coal”, “ethical tobacco”, “responsible gambling”, and now, the latest in this illustrious list, “nature-positive mining”.

That’s right. An industry that revolves around “breaking ground” to extract natural resources is anxious to position itself as a defender of the natural environment. It sounds like poppycock, but could it just be possible?

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