Opinion: ‘Dr Copper’ has a worrying message about the energy transition – by Daniel Yergin (Financial Times – July 13, 2022)


The writer chaired the new S&P Global study ‘The Future of Copper: Will the looming supply gap short-circuit the energy transition?’

As countries try to figure out how to meet their targets for net zero emissions, minerals have become a big target of concern. Several governments and international organisations have expressed alarm about whether there will be sufficient supply to meet the needs of, as the International Energy Agency puts it, moving “from a fuel-intensive to a mineral-intensive energy system”.

There has been much discussion of the lithium and cobalt needed for electric vehicle batteries. But less attention has been given to copper, though it is the foundation for the energy transition, indeed the “metal of electrification”. A new report focuses on this key role.

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EU lawmakers back gas, nuclear energy as sustainable – by Samuel Petrequin and Raf Casert (Associated Press – July 6, 2022)


BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers voted Wednesday to include natural gas and nuclear in the bloc’s list of sustainable activities, backing a proposal from the EU’s executive arm that has been drawing fierce criticism from environment groups and now looks set to trigger legal challenges.

As the EU wants to set the best global standards in the fight against climate change, the decision could tarnish the bloc’s image and question the region’s commitment to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

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OPINION: Natural gas and nuclear power are now considered green investments in the EU. Will Canada follow suit? – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – July 7, 2022)


The European Union Parliament has declared that nuclear power and natural gas can be labelled as green for investment purposes, alongside wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

Environmental activists are not at all pleased, saying including the two energy sources in the EU’s green “taxonomy” will only hamper the fight against climate change. Now the focus turns to other countries, including Canada, hard at work on standards for investments that fit with their own low-carbon transitions.

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Teck Resources to start emissions-capture pilot at B.C. smelter in 2023 – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 29, 2022)


Company is looking to implement the technology in time to meet its 2030 emissions targets

Teck Resources Ltd. will attempt to capture carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from its lead, zinc and silver smelter in Trail, B.C. by the middle of 2023, an early step in its pledge to reduce emissions by a third by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2050.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is an emerging technology that sequesters CO2 emissions from industrial sites before they are released into the atmosphere, and instead permanently stores them underground. Already, captured CO2 can be used for enhanced oil recovery and in the future, companies hope to develop technology to repurpose the gas into new products such as jet fuel.

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Mining Industry Warns Energy Transition Isn’t Sustainable – by Irina Slav (Oil Price.com – July 03, 2022)


The energy transition has been set by politicians as the only way forward for human civilization. Not every country on the planet is on board with it, but those that are have the loudest voices. And even amid the fossil fuel crunch that is beginning to cripple economies, the transition remains a goal.

It is no secret that the transition—at the scale its architects and most fervent proponents envisage it—would require massive amounts of metals and minerals. What does not get talked about so much is that most of these metals and minerals are already in short supply. And this is only the start of the transition problems.

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Research priority #1: cheaper green fuels – by Bjorn Lomborg (Financial Post – June 29, 2022)


Innovation in green energy has been neglected for three decades

For three decades, climate campaigners have fought to make fossil fuels so expensive people would be forced to abandon them. Their dream is becoming reality: energy prices are spiralling out of control and will soon get even worse. Yet we are no closer to solving climate change.

Energy costs increased 26 per cent across industrialized economies last year and will rise globally by another 50 per cent this year. While western governments are blaming Russia’s war on Ukraine, prices were already rising because of climate policies designed to choke fossil fuel investment.

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In energy-strapped Europe, coal gets a Greek encore – by Derek Gatopoulos (Associated Press/Toronto Star – June 25, 2022)


KOZANI, Greece (AP) — At Greece’s largest coal mine, controlled explosions and the roar of giant excavators scooping up blasted rock have once again become routine. Coal production has been ramped up at the site near the northern Greek city of Kozani as the war in Ukraine forced many European nations to rethink their energy supplies.

Coal, long treated as a legacy fuel in Europe, is now helping the continent safeguard its power supply and cope with the dramatic rise in natural gas prices caused by the war.

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Junk Science Week: Net Zero Edition — Vaclav Smil: Why net-zero 2050 really won’t work – by Vaclav Smil (Financial Post – June 21, 2022)


Complete decarbonization of the global economy is only conceivable at the cost of unthinkable economic retreat

How will we deal with unfolding climate change? There is now a widespread consensus that we need to do something to prevent many highly undesirable consequences. But what kind of action, what sort of behavioural transformation would work best?

For those who ignore the energetic and material imperatives of our world, those who prefer mantras of green solutions to understanding how we have come to this point, the prescription is easy: just decarbonize — switch from burning fossil carbon to converting inexhaustible flows of renewable energies.

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Internal DND study calls green technology minerals 21st-century ‘oil weapon’ – by Chris Arsenault and Philippe Le Billon (CBC News Business – June 20, 2022)


Skyrocketing demand for copper, lithium and rare earths sparks geopolitical race, worrying environmentalists

Minerals needed to power the green transition from fossil fuels could become “the 21st-century version of the ‘oil weapon,'” warns an internal study commissioned by Canada’s Department of National Defence.

There is widespread agreement among scientists that drastic cuts in fossil fuel consumption are needed to stave off catastrophic climate change — and a transition to electric cars, wind and solar power form key pillars of this shift.

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World cannot allow Russia, China to dominate critical minerals market: Wilkinson – by Mia Rabson (Victoria Timines Colonist/Canadian Press – June 16, 2022)


OTTAWA — The strategic mistake made in allowing Russia to have global dominance in oil and gas cannot be repeated as the world looks to massively ramp up production of critical minerals, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson asserted this week.

Demand for critical minerals and metals — such as lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and copper — is exploding as demand climbs for everything from smartphones and laptops to wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars.

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OPINION: So much for the electric vehicle revolution. You cannot make the machines without the metals that power them – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – May 13, 2022)


Any successful politician is adept at finding the one bit of good news floating in the ocean of despair, then gushing about it to try to drown our worries.

So it is with U.S. President Joe Biden. A few weeks ago, when the war in Ukraine was propelling gasoline and diesel prices ever higher – regular gas hit a record average of US$4.43 a gallon on Friday – he suggested that painful pump prices will speed the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), fear not. Voila – no more hard decisions about filling your SUV or feeding your kids.

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Sudbury election file: City has key role in critical minerals, Green candidate says -by Staff (Sudbury Star – April 30, 2022)


The Ford government “kneecapped” Laurentian University and its ability to conduct mining research and development when it was needed the most, the Green Party’s Sudbury candidate says.

Referring to a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, David Robinson said the world must cut emissions to fight climate change. A key part of that is the need for critical minerals for such things as batteries used in electric vehicles.

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The next global mental-health crisis is about climate change – by Britt Wray (Toronto Star – April 28, 2022)


COVID created a second, mental-health pandemic. The one sparked by climate change will be worse. And already young people are the ones hit hardest

In the summer of 2019 — Australia’s infamous Black Summer—I texted with my friend Catherine, who lives in Sydney, from my comfortable home in Toronto. Her country was engulfed in bushfires. Over that summer more than 12 million acres burned and an estimated 3 billion animals were killed or displaced, and many of us watched it unfold in real time with a deep sense of horror.

Catherine and I sent messages back and forth on WhatsApp as 2019 turned into 2020 and the flames did not subside. What I remember most from that time is the mixed feeling of despair and “survivor guilt.”

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U.S. Energy Secretary touts continental alliance to thwart ‘petro-dictators’ – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – April 26, 2022)


The United States backs a continental approach to clean energy that would see the U.S. and Canada working together on critical minerals and other resources to bolster security against threats such as the war in Ukraine, says U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

“One thousand per cent,” Ms. Granholm said when asked if she envisioned a dual-nation, continental approach to energy concerns, including securing minerals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles.

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Why does Ottawa’s ‘Green Bond’ program exclude nuclear, one of the cleanest of all energy sources? – by Tim Armstrong (Toronto Star – April 23, 2022)


So far, the federal government hasn’t explained why nuclear energy has been excluded from its recent ‘Green Bonds,’ loans to expand sources of clean energy in Canada

The federal budget, recognizing the urgent need to fight climate change, includes new, positive incentives for the development of clean energy.

But the nuclear energy leadership, labour, and management alike, raise serious questions as to the budget’s failure to remove the sector’s exclusion of the right to apply for funding under the government’s $5 billion Green Bond Framework (GBF).

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