Latest posts in Climate & Clean Energy
The federal government's latest commitment to provide $2 billion over four years to support the Canadian clean technology sector and invest $31.5 million in municipal environmental projects demonstrates an understanding of three important facts about tackling climate change:
- Cities and small-scale renewable energy projects are critical to a larger strategy to drive down emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Canada's clean tech sector represents not only an incredible opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, it is also the key to building a stable, 21st century economy for Canada and providing good jobs for Canadians that are not won and lost on commodity prices.
- Natural assets have clear advantages over those constructed by people. They are cheaper to operate and maintain, provide ecosystem services, do not depreciate and have a carbon advantage. But they are not accounted for in municipal budgets, leaving them prone to deterioration.
"Did I hear correctly?"
Sitting in the office of Agora Energiewende, a Berlin-based energy think tank, I thought I heard its director, Patrick Graichen, say that from 1990 to 2014 Germany's GDP expanded by about 40 per cent while its greenhouse gas emissions dropped 26 per cent.
"Yes, that is correct."
Graichen didn't seem especially impressed. He said from 1990 to 2000 the country enjoyed a "windfall" emissions drop simply by closing outdated and dirty East German factories. But I was astonished. One of the world's great industrial powers grew its economy while reducing carbon output.Continue reading »
Reactions around the world to the Paris UN climate agreement last week ranged from cheers to comments decrying the focus on promises and lack of action. The same can be said about reactions to China's commitment to the Paris Agreement.Continue reading »
The goal of the UN negotiations in Paris is to agree on ways countries can co-operate to fight climate change. Some of the major issues being discussed are human rights, the role of indigenous knowledge in evaluating affects, how rich countries can assist poorer countries, accelerating clean energy and what threshold should be considered the limit of allowable temperature rise (1.5 C or 2 C) to keep communities safe.Continue reading »