Climate Change

Gas and nuclear “green” options in EU

Despite objections from some members of its environment and economy committees, the European Parliament has backed an EU move to label investments in natural gas and nuclear power generation as climate-friendly. This sets the stage for legislative approval by gthe parliament unless 20 of the 27 member states oppose it. [node:read-more:link]

Brazil loses record rainforest area

New satellite imagery from Brazil’s space research institute shows that a record area of the country’s rainforests, some 3,750 km2, was lost in the first half of 2022, the worst deforestation since the institute began its monitoring program. Destruction of the world’s largest rainforest has surged since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and weakened environmental protections. [node:read-more:link]

Atlantic premiers excited by energy plan

The prospect of a $5-billion Atlantic Loop to transmit Quebec hydroelectricity to the four Atlantic provinces is putting pressure on the federal government to approve it quickly due to the construction time frame. “We need to make sure we have clarity from the federal government on their timelines and, of course, their financial commitment,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said after talks with his New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island counterparts. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. emissions agenda undermined

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has lost some of its ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as the Supreme Court upheld a challenge by 19 mostly Republican-governed states, led by major coal producer West Virginia, which said the EPA lacked authority to limit emissions state-wide. [node:read-more:link]

Severe derecho storm sweeps Ontario and Quebec

A rare "Derecho" storm extended roughly 1,000km from the Michigan border to Quebec City leaving fatalities and much damage in its wake, toppling trees and power lines, overturning cars, cutting electricity, and tossing debris through windows. At least nine deaths have been attributed to the storm, mostly from falling trees. [node:read-more:link]

Consistent climate modelling recommended

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment report, published last August, weighted its prediction modelling according to how it reproduced other evidence. Now there’s a call for the rest of the scientific community to do likewise so that there is useful consistency on how the phenomenon should be addressed. [node:read-more:link]

EVs driving power grid demands

The Canadian Climate Institute says an increase in electric vehicles sales, among other factors behind generally higher power demands, requires upgrades to the country’s electricity grids to meet rapidly growing demand for power. Otherwise, it warns in a May 4 report, the consequences could range from brownouts to failure to meet the government’s emissions-reduction targets. [node:read-more:link]

Arctic development challenged in court

Environmental activists are taking Norway to the European Court of Human Rights in what is considered a potential international test case of how much of the Arctic’s natural resources can be exploited. Seven other countries, including Canada, have interests in the region but since it is mostly marine, there is no international Antarctic-style environmental treaty protecting it from economic development. [node:read-more:link]

More tropical forest lost

Logging and wildfires resulted in the loss of some 11.1 million hectares of tropical forest last year, resulting in increased global carbon emissions, says the Washington-based World Resources Institute. While the loss was less severe than in 2020, the WRI says deforestation, some of it deliberate, continues at an alarming rate. [node:read-more:link]

Singh unhappy with environmental record

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who has a three-year parliamentary peace pact with the Liberals, said April 27 that it doesn’t extend to the government’s “failure” to meet its own targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. “Under the Liberals, every single target that's been set has failed to be met,” he said. They're not taking this seriously.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian emissions goals unrealistic?

The federal government’s emissions reduction target may be unattainable, says its own Commissioner of the Environment & Sustainable Development. Jerry DeMarco said April 26 that he is particularly concerned about the role hydrogen will play in the energy mix. “Canada needs to be more upfront and transparent about their assumptions for what is quite an optimistic view,” he said. “They need to be realistic.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian GHG emissions fell in 2020

Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 declined by 8.9 per cent to 672 megatonnes from 738Mt in 2019, according to the latest annual federal government report to the UN. The current government goal is to reduce emissions by 40-45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 with a view to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. [node:read-more:link]

The global impacts of Russia's invasion

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a short-term spike in prices, prompting governments to rethink their energy plans, which could have profound impacts on issues ranging from a burgeoning food crisis to global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Potential solutions all come with potential repercussions that could play out over the coming years or even decades. [node:read-more:link]


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