Climate change & energy policy

Five lessons from BC’s horrific wildfire season

Oct 7, 2021
In British Columbia, climate change is no longer something abstract for the future. The late June heat dome event—that claimed 500-600 lives—and the wildfires that followed confirm that climate change is a clear and present danger that’s not going away any time soon. As of September 28, some 867,000 hectares of land had burned, making… View Article
Smoke stack

For climate’s sake, Canada Pension Plan needs to take a serious look at its investments

Sep 10, 2021
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) manages the pensions of 20 million Canadians. In a recent Corporate Mapping Project report, we found that the CPP has increased the number of shares it owns in fossil fuel companies since Canada signed the Paris Agreement five years ago. The CPP’s total fossil fuel investments across its entire portfolio… View Article

CPP oil investments on the rise

Aug 12, 2021
From unprecedented droughts to deadly heat waves, climate change is making the present—and all of our futures—less secure. The dream of a tranquil retirement is already being interrupted by nightmares such as the wildfires raging across BC and Alberta this summer.  Sadly, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which was designed to enhance our retirement security,… View Article

Canada’s road to zero carbon emissions full of dangerous distractions

Jun 28, 2021
Net zero is increasingly used regarding emissions reduction targets. But what does it really mean?  With the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12) Canada is joining many nations in setting a target of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Unfortunately, this conversation promises to be a dangerous distraction for Canadian policy makers,… View Article

Canada’s Carbon Conundrum and the Difficult Path Forward

Jun 7, 2021
Since the first oil well was drilled in 1859 humans have been on a roll. Global population has increased more than six-fold and energy use per capita has grown more than nine-fold. Accompanying this explosive growth in energy use was unprecedented economic expansion—since 1965 global GDP has grown 6.8-fold and per capita GDP has increased… View Article

“Big five” Canadian banks provide big money to fossil fuel industry

Apr 29, 2021
Instead of playing a crucial role to help Canada achieve its Paris Agreement targets, Canada’s “Big Five” banks are actually hindering Canada’s progress on climate change. The Big Five  banks—RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC—are among the most powerful corporate entities in Canada, certainly among the largest and most profitable. They‘ve been called a… View Article

The Deregulation Zombie Rises Again in Texas

Mar 3, 2021
Forced to use unprecedented amounts of electricity to heat their homes and stop their water pipes from freezing during the recent cold snap, Texas citizens found that their utilities were only adding to their misery. Hourly prices for electricity literally skyrocketed. Prices spiked from $34 to $9,000 per megawatt hour in a few days due… View Article

Fracking in BC’s northeast

Feb 23, 2021
Last summer I got out of Vancouver and toured northern BC. While the trip was mostly for pleasure, my inner economist could not resist some industrial tourism and visits to resource towns and major industrial sites that are the heart and soul of BC’s resource economy. Forestry dominates near Prince George, fishing at Prince Rupert,… View Article

Time for zero carbon housing and buildings in BC

Jan 21, 2021
BC needs a lot of new affordable housing and any build out should ensure that it meets the highest standards for energy efficiency, including zero-carbon operations. Residential, commercial and institutional buildings produce 11% of BC’s GHG emissions, mainly from burning natural gas for heating and hot water. Updated building codes are needed to make the… View Article