Blog posts

Environmental Law Centre speaks about Bill C-9

Environmental Law Centre Executive Director Cindy Chiasson appeared on CBC Radio's The Current to talk about the significant changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act that are buried in the federal government's omnibus budget bill, Bill C-9.

Listen to the interview on the CBC website.

Let the sun shine in

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released two new roadmaps — Solar Photovoltaic Power & Concentrating Solar Power — suggesting that solar power could provide up to 25% of global electricity production by 2050. The Pembina Institute's Tim Weis blogs about the findings and the policy shifts required to fully realize solar power's potential.

Canada trailing pack in race for clean energy future

The Pembina Institute's Clare Demerse gives us the highlights of the new report, Measuring Up: Benchmarking Canada’s Competitiveness in a Low-Carbon World,  from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE).

Canada ranks just behind the U.S. and finishes ahead of Italy and Russia. France, Germany and the U.K. take the top three spots. So while our government is adamant that we must harmonize Canada's climate policies with the U.S., there are actually much better role models among our G8 peers.

Link to the post on the Pembina Climate Change website.

The geography of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions

The Pembina Institute's PJ Partington has crunched the numbers and come up with some interesting insights regarding the discrepancy between Alberta's contribution to GHG emissions and to economic growth.

What jumps out right away is that Alberta is responsible for over half (52 per cent) of Canada's emissions growth since 1990, despite being responsible for only 18 per cent of GDP growth and 19 per cent of the growth in population. Combined with Saskatchewan, the two provinces account for an astonishing 74 per cent of national GHG growth, but only 20 per cent of Canada's GDP growth and 19 per cent of population growth.

Link to the post on the Pembina website

Gulf spill exploited to paint oil sands green

In the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has joined Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to beat the drum for the oil sands. Prentice recently portrayed the oil sands as a less environmentally risky alternative to offshore drilling. The Pembina Institute's Danielle Droitsch takes Minister Prentice and Premier Stelmach to task for "using their positions to sell the oil sands" rather than acting "as stewards to province's resources, ensuring responsible development of the oil sands and proper regulation of oil sands operators." She concludes:

The Gulf oil spill is not an opportunity to claim the oil sands are something they're not - safer, cleaner or more secure. The spill should serve as a grave reminder of what can happen if oil is not developed responsibly. Moreover, the spill should set in motion a cleaner, carbon-free energy future, where we don't depend on risky, environmentally damaging fossil fuels at all.

Link to posting on the Oil Sands Watch website.

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

The Pembina Institute's PJ Partington gives us the highlights of the letter in defence of climate research from 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Science. The letter was published in the May 7, 2010 issue of the journal Science. You can read the full text of the letter here.

Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.

Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights debated for first time

A reminder that Bill C-469, An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, gets it Second reading (first time debated) in the House of Commons today. According to the Environmental Law Centre, the Private Members' Bill, introduced by Edmonton—Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, would:

…provide Canadians with access to environmental information, substantive environmental rights and rights to appeal federal decisions that might harm the environment.

You can watch the "action" on ParlVU. According to the projected order of business, Bill C-469 will be debated around 3:30pm MDT.

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