CLIMATE CHANGE Jan 15, 2021

CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

QUOTABLES:

Canada has shown impressive leadership, both at home and abroad, on clean and equitable energy transitions.


IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol
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2021 Tied for the Sixth-Warmest Year on Record

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Vancouver King Tides could worsen with climate change

Former Minister of Environment & Parks, and former Minister Responsible for Climate Change Office, Shannon Phillips,

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Canada’s bold policies and support for innovation can underpin a successful energy transition, new IEA policy review says

Canada has embarked on an ambitious transformation of its energy system, and clear policy signals will be important to expand energy sector investments in clean and sustainable energy sources, according to a policy review by the International Energy Agency.

Since the IEA’s last in-depth review in 2015, Canada has made a series of international and domestic climate change commitments, notably setting a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2030 and a commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

To support those climate and energy targets, governments in Canada have in recent years worked on a number of policy measures, including an ambitious carbon-pricing system, a clean fuels standard, a commitment to phase out unabated coal-fired electricity by 2030, nuclear plant extensions, methane regulations in the oil and gas sector, energy efficiency programmes and measures to decarbonise the transport sector.

“Canada has shown impressive leadership, both at home and abroad, on clean and equitable energy transitions,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, who is launching the report today with Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Canada’s wealth of clean electricity and its innovative spirit can help drive a secure and affordable transformation of its energy system and help realise its ambitious goals. Equally important, Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions – of both carbon dioxide and methane – from its oil and gas production can help ensure its continued place as a reliable supplier of energy to the world.”

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Alberta researcher says province’s energy transition has already begun

Alberta has been a major energy producer for decades but what will the future of energy in the province look like?

Solar, wind, nuclear and hydrogen — these are set to be the core pillars of energy diversification efforts in Alberta.

West of Centre had Alberta energy experts weigh in on what the transition could look like for the province that still ranks traditional oil and gas as its No. 1 industry.

Guest host Jim Brown talked to Jennifer Winter, University of Calgary economics professor and scientific director of the energy and environmental policy research division at The School of Public Policy, Emma Graney, an energy reporter from the Globe and Mail, and Sara Hastings-Simon, a University of Calgary assistant professor who researches sustainable energy development. 

Question: What do you think 2022 is going to bring when it comes to this discussion of clean energy and diversification? 

Hastings-Simon: I think we’re going to see a lot of things happening and continue to happen as far as faster adoption of electric vehicles, more corporate procurement, renewable energy contracts being signed. 

Hopefully people are going to acknowledge that this transition is really happening and there’s going to be more discussion about how Alberta can best adapt to it and what we need to be doing in the face of all this change. 

Winter: We’re starting 2022 with another pretty severe wave of COVID fueled by Omicron. Part of me wonders if all our attention, like the past two years, is just really going to be sucked up by more COVID and other policy issues will just be on the back burner as we try and cope. 

GraneyCOVID makes everything so unpredictable. We saw that in 2020, we saw that in even last year, although oil prices did rise. It was just this undercurrent of what on earth is going to happen next week. 

Power purchase agreements between corporate and renewables, I can see that becoming an even greater trend. It certainly made its way into the Alberta economy and down in southern Alberta. The carbon capture tax credit, I think, is definitely something that we’re going to have to keep our eye on and something I’m expecting to influence the energy playing field in 2022. 

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How efficient is your house? Map project plans to publish ratings for all Calgary, Edmonton homes

$400K pilot project aims to combat climate change by arming consumers with data

Albertans living in Calgary and Edmonton will soon be able to see how efficient their neighbours’ homes are.

An Alberta environmental charity and a software company plan to rate the energy efficiency of every single-family home in both cities and publish the ratings online this fall.

The aim of the pilot is to combat climate change by encouraging Albertans to make energy upgrades to their homes.

“Studies have shown that the first three-to-five years after purchase is the most likely time to do upgrades and renovations, so by partnering with realtors in Calgary and Edmonton, we’re hoping to put this information into the hands of realtors and their clients,” said Jessica Lajoie, a program specialist for the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation.

The pilot project, which has a budget of about $400,000, would build on the City of Edmonton’s home energy map, which shows the energy efficiency of a fraction of the city’s homes.

That map shows only homes with EnerGuide labels — official ratings given to energy-audited homes — but the pilot would assess residential energy efficiency on a much wider scale.

“We’re going to set a score for every single house in Edmonton and Calgary right off the bat,” said James Riley, the CEO and founder of Lightspark, a Vancouver software company making a six-figure in-kind contribution to the project.

The company will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to generate the ratings. 

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