Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
The European Union released its most ambitious plan yet to fight climate change, looking to turn green goals into concrete direction during the current decade, and in doing so leading the way for the world’s other big economies. The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, outlined how the bloc’s 27 countries can achieve their collective goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030.
Among the policies featured in the plan includes a program that would see three billion trees planted across the EU by 2030 and an updated target for the bloc to acquire 40 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by the end of the decade.
“Europe was the first continent to declare to be climate neutral in 2050, and now we are the very first ones to put a concrete road map on the table,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
The climate plan also gives EU member states binding targets to boost energy efficiency, with the aim of renovating three per cent of every country’s public buildings each year. Additionally, new goals have been set regarding reduced emissions from cars, as the EU is now aiming to reduce emission levels by 55 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035, which “will consign the internal combustion engine to history,” according to Reuters.
Denmark’s Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said the new climate change plan would signal to the rest of the world that “it is possible to both set ambitious goals and introduce the concrete necessary measures to reach them.” The Guardian has more details.
After a dispute between the two countries contributed to rising oil prices around the world, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reached a compromise over OPEC+ policy, in a move that should unlock a deal to supply more crude to a tight oil market and cool soaring prices.
However, despite an agreement being reached between the two nations, OPEC+ has yet to make a final decision about the production deal, as it is not immediately clear if other countries would also adjust their baselines to align with the recent compromise.
Brent oil prices fell on the news by as much as $1 per barrel towards $75 per barrel after Reuters reported the two major OPEC producers had agreed to a deal.
Meanwhile, Indigenous and environmental groups opposed to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline have asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s decision that affirmed the approvals granted by independent regulators that allowed construction on the project to begin last December.
The White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, the Sierra Club and Honor the Earth petitioned the state’s highest court to hear the case, as protests continue along the route in northern Minnesota. The Associated Press has more.
Recent data has determined that the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, but widespread fires, hotter temperatures, and droughts mean the southeastern Amazon has recently become a source of CO2.
“The positive feedback, where deforestation and climate change drive a release of carbon from the remaining forest that reinforces additional warming and more carbon loss is what scientists have feared would happen,” said Simon Lewis from University College London. “Now we have good evidence this is happening. The south-east Amazon sink-to-source story is yet another stark warning that climate impacts are accelerating.” The Guardian also has this story.
On Thursday morning at 8:46 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$72.00 and Brent Crude was going for US$73.73.
A new pool from the oilpatch worker-led organization, Iron & Earth, in partnership with Abacus Data, found that a majority of Canadians working in fossil fuels are interested in switching to jobs in the net-zero economy, but are worried about being left behind. According to the poll results, around ninety per cent of workers surveyed believe they could transition to at least one type of net-zero technology with 12 months or less of training.
“It is definitely a little terrifying to be close to the end of your career, thinking about retirement, and all of a sudden, the entire world around you is going to be changing, and you’re told that the thing you were doing before is no longer needed or wanted,” said Stephen Buhler, an Edmonton-based machinist who has worked in oil and gas for over 12 years The National Observer has the full story.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Quebec’s Gaspe region on Wednesday and announced a $25 million investment to expand a nearby wind turbine plant that produces blades destined for markets in the United States and Europe. The project will be completed in partnership with the Quebec government and plant owner LM Wind Power, a Danish subsidiary of General Electric, to produce 107-metre-long blades that, according to the federal government, would be the largest in the world.
“We have the skills, expertise and resources here in Canada to be leaders in clean technologies. And our government will continue to take real actions to develop our industrial advantage when it comes to renewable energy,” Trudeau told a gathering at the plant in Gaspe, about 700 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. The Canadian Press has more.
Finally, work is progressing on the University of Prince Edward Island’s new Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation in St. Peters Bay, P.E.I. The multi-million facility will be the university’s first satellite campus outside of Charlottetown.
UPEI officials call St. Peters Bay an ideal place for climate change research because of the nearby wetlands, beach dunes and farm fields. In keeping with a focus on climate change, the energy-efficient building will have a potential for a near-zero carbon footprint. The building is expected to be completed by the end of the year. CBC News has that story.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$58.22 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$59.83 this morning at 8:47 a.m.