Environmental Protection

Ocean research funding announced

The federal government has committed $4.5 million over five years for research Fisheries & Oceans Minister Joyce Murray expects will give a clearer picture of how the marine ecosystem is changing and how to sustainably manage resources. Among other things, the project will study currents, marine safety and incident response, and how noise from shipping and other anthropogenic sources affects marine life. [node:read-more:link]

Decomissioned aircraft carrier scuttled

The Brazilian navy scuttled a decommissioned aircraft carrier, which it acquired from France in 2000, in a five-kilometres deep area of the Atlantic 350 kilometres off Brazil’s east coast February 3. The navy had said two days earlier that it had little choice despite a last-minute legal challenge because the ship was at risk of sinking. [node:read-more:link]

Marine protected area approved

The federal and B.C. governments, in cooperation with 15 coastal First Nations, have officially endorsed a planned network of marine protected areas along the Pacific Coast. Announced February 5, the agreement would protect the waters from the north end of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. [node:read-more:link]

Decomissioned carrier to be sunk

A former French aircraft carrier from the 1960s acquired by Brazil in 2000 is to be scuttled in a remote five-kilometre deep area of the Atlantic. The Brazilian navy said February 1 that the ship is at risk of sinking, so it has little choice despite a last-minute legal challenge. [node:read-more:link]

Europe trashing lax waste disposal

The European Parliament is supporting tighter rules on shipments of waste outside the bloc and cracking down on waste-related crime. “Our ambitious position in the coming negotiations with member states has just been endorsed by a broad majority,” says Danish MEP Pernille Weiss. “We have to turn waste into resources in the common market and thus take better care of our environment and our competitiveness.” [node:read-more:link]

Net-zero emissions goals unrealistic

Canada must scale up deployment of domestic “clean technology” if it hopes to meet its 2030 emissions targets, according to a report released today by Deloitte Canada. “There's been incredible analysis and activity,” says DC partner Karen Hamberg, who advises on industrial-scale clean technology. “One piece that's always been missing is the degree to which made-in-Canada clean technology is going to be part of our solutions.” [node:read-more:link]

Ozone layer on the rebound

The World Meteorological Society said today that the planet’s ozone layer should recover fully within decades as chemicals which have depleted it are phased out, thanks to a protocol adopted in Montreal in 1989. The UN agency said the protective layer should rebound to 1980 levels by 2040 for most of the world, but the timeline for polar areas is longer. [node:read-more:link]

Keystone pipeline running again

TC Energy said December 29 that it had restarted its Keystone pipeline’s extension and that it is now operational to all U.S. delivery points. The line which handles 622,000 barrels of Alberta crude daily had been shut down for three weeks after 14,000 barrels was spilled in Kansas but the Calgary-based company now says “additional risk-mitigation measures, including reduced operating pressures” are in place. [node:read-more:link]

Canada pushing ahead with EV agenda

Draft regulations confirmed today by Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault are designed to ensure that at least 20 per cent of all new automobiles and trucks sold in Canada in 2026 will be electric. The mandate would rise to at least 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035. Pure electric and hybrids accounted for 7.2 per cent of new vehicles sales in Canada in the first six months of 2022 and 5.2 per cent for 2021 as a whole. [node:read-more:link]

New anti-plastics regulations in effect

A federal ban on the manufacture of import of a range of single-use plastics products promised in 2019 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into effect today, setting the stage for a ban on their use in 12 months. It applies to grocery bags, cutlery, takeout food containers and straws, and a similar initiative against six-pack beverage rings takes effect six months hence. [node:read-more:link]

New global biodiversity target

Delegates from 188 countries to the UN’s 15th global biodiversity conference, in Montreal, agreed today on the need to support the long-term survival of the natural. However, the short-lived jubilation was followed by expressions of disappointment from some African countries which said their concerns were sidelined and from other critics who said the deal enables signatories to delay critical conservation decisions. [node:read-more:link]

EU agrees on carbon cutting

European Union negotiators agreed December 18 to overhaul the bloc’s carbon market by, among other things, accelerating emissions reductions, notably in the transportation and construction sectors, as well as phasing out support for the petroleum industry. “The agreement . . . will allow us to meet climate objectives within the main sectors of the economy, while making sure the most vulnerable citizens and micro-enterprises are effectively supported in the climate transition,” said Czech Environment Minister Marian Jurecka. [node:read-more:link]

Single-use plastics on way out

The federal government’s crackdown on single-use plastics begins December 20 with a ban on checkout bags, cutlery and stir sticks as well as some food containers and drinking straws. To be followed by a ban on six-pack plastic rings on beverages in June, they are elements of a 2030 “zero plastic waste” effort to address Canadians’ unenviable global record of producing 36 tonnes of trash annually. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian pipeline spill in U.S.

Authorities in Kansas are cleaning up what’s described as the largest U.S. crude spill in nearly a decade after a leak last week in the Canadian-owned Keystone pipeline which has a daily throughput of 622,000 barrels of Alberta crude oil to southern refineries. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous conservation effort funded

The federal government will spend up to $800 million to support four major indigenous-led conservation projects covering nearly a million square kilometres in the North and along the B.C. coast. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement alongside Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and indigenous as a UN conference on biodiversity began in Montreal. [node:read-more:link]


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