2020 has been a year like no other in the political economy of energy and climate change. As the new year broke, wildfires spiked by higher temperatures scorched Australia. In Canada, a different fire took hold as a BC gas pipeline sparked a cross-country Indigenous-led uprising. By mid-March, economies around the world were shutting down …
There is growing momentum for a low-carbon reboot of our high-carbon economy as we emerge from a pandemic-induced shutdown. Since business-as-usual has been so disrupted, the timing for a major leap has never been better. Earlier this year, the Australian wildfires provided humanity’s latest wake-up call. Many are nervous about what this summer could bring …
Protests around BC and the rest of the country have put Indigenous issues front and centre in discussions of Canadian politics and energy policy. Approved by the BC government, TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline would run through Wet’suwet’en territory and the company argues it is in the broader “public interest” because of “substantial benefits to First …
The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) inquiry into gas prices delivered its bombshell final report on August 30. Among its key findings: at least 13 cents per litre of the higher gas prices at the pump over the past couple years is “unexplained” relative to what one would expect from a functioning competitive market. This is …
The federal government is seeking to use a clause in the Paris Agreement on climate change to get emissions credits for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asian countries. This plan is nonsensical for a number of reasons, but at its heart is the “big lie” that LNG will help to reduce global emissions. …
Canada has an uneasy history when it comes to fossil fuels and climate change. Our leaders have been great at setting far-off targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) or carbon emissions, then failing to meet them. As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, Canada committed to a 30-per-cent reduction in carbon emissions …
The BC government’s new fiscal framework for LNG is fundamentally at odds with the province’s CleanBC climate plan. Details in the government agreement with LNG Canada show that BC is subsidizing fossil fuel production at a time when we need to keep it in the ground. The BC government made four major concessions in the …
Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. Now, Alberta’s Premier-elect Jason Kenney is threatening to “turn off the taps” to push prices even higher because, it is alleged, BC is causing them to lose billions of dollars in oil revenues by opposing the Trans Mountain …
LNG Canada’s final investment decision to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat is a triumph of short-term politics over long-term responsibility to act on climate change. Exaggerated numbers have been used to sell the project to the public, while risks have been downplayed. The politics of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have a certain logic …
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, an economics professor of mine used to say back in the late 1980s. Concerned about the federal government’s inability to reign in fiscal deficits, hell back then was hitting a “financial wall” where the markets would no longer lend or would only do so at catastrophically …
The BC government recently released three “intentions papers” on climate policy—transportation, buildings and industry—all wrapped in the term “clean growth.” In fact, the term “clean” appears more than 70 times in just the introduction to the exercise, Towards a Clean Growth Future in BC. Clean growth is not a commonly used term, nor is it …
Now that we are in a sunny lull between the end of flooding season and the start of fire season, it’s time we had a talk about fossil fuels and climate change in BC. The BC government deserves praise for standing up to Alberta and the federal government over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX), …