Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced on Monday the federal government will take over the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed Highway 413 project in Ontario. His announcement comes in response to the pleas of several environmental groups for the federal government to do so. Highway 413, which is also known as the GTA West corridor, would span 59 kilometres to the west of Toronto.
“The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and other federal departments have identified clear areas of federal concern related to this project. My decision is based on their finding that this project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally listed species at risk, and the uncertainty that officials have brought to my attention around whether those effects can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms,” said Wilkinson in a statement on Monday.
Ontario’s Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney questioned Wilkinson’s decision, saying “the GTA West project is already subject to a robust provincial individual environmental assessment, which is among the most stringent assessment processes on record,”
On the other hand, environmental groups hope the move will ultimately kill the project altogether.
“With the federal EA (being considered) now, and with all these local governments coming out against the highway, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the province to cancel the project,” said Gideon Forman, climate change and transportation policy analyst for the Suzuki Foundations. “And that’s what we hope they will do.” The Globe and Mail has more.
A report from the Climate Action Tracker has found that the new climate targets set by the U.S. and other nations will result in a global temperature increase of about 2.4 C by the end of the century. The new value represents a 0.2 C improvement from the previous forecast, but remains well above the Paris climate agreement goal of a maximum hike of 1.5 C, the Guardian reports.
Houston-based natural gas company ConocoPhillips has announced it will divest from Canada’s Cenovus Energy Inc.. The announcement comes just four years after the two companies came to a $17.7 billion asset sale agreement. BNN Bloomberg has more.
Elsewhere, the European Commission announced it has approved US$480.12 million worth of Danish state aid for the construction of renewable energy projects, writes Reuters.
“This Danish scheme will contribute to substantial reductions in greenhouse emissions, supporting the objectives of the Green Deal,” the commissioner in charge of competition, Margrethe Vestager, said.
Meanwhile, in an effort to ensure that 30 per cent of its energy comes from renewable sources by 2030, Israel has been testing solar panels in its agricultural fields.
“In a small country like Israel that is also an energy and food island, we need to be very efficient in our utilization of land,” said Yossi Abramowitz, one of the founders of Israel’s solar industry. “Agro-voltaic is very promising.” Bloomberg News has this story.
And Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm, Saudi Aramco has announced its profits increased by 30 per cent in the first-quarter of the year, compared to the previous year, according to the Associated Press.
On Tuesday morning at 10:14 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$65.30s and Brent Crude was going for US$68.39.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr., announced on Tuesday that the federal government has approved the $632 million NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) 2023 North Corridor System Expansion Project in northwestern Alberta. The project will add 81 kilometres of additional pipeline and create $307 million in labour income.
In other news, Soprema, a French manufacturer, and Honeywell, an American business company, are arguing the Canadian government has been undermining the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that calls for the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a harmful class of greenhouse gases.
The federal government is being accused of granting exemptions to DuPont, an American chemical company, by allowing it “to continue producing and importing thermal insulation products that use HFCs.”
In response, both the federal government and DuPont say because the HFC agreement took effect Jan. 1, DuPont received an exemption in order to give the company additional time to comply. The National Post has the latest.
Finally, Suncor Energy Inc. had a better first-quarter this year compared to last year, posting net earnings of $821 million or 54 cents per share in 2021’s first-quarter, the Canadian Press reports.
The Calgary headquartered company continues to grapple with the future of Terra Nova FPSO, the offshore Newfoundland oilfield. In fact, Suncor has announced it is putting together contingency plans, “including decommissioning and abandonment.”
“I hope we do not get to a point in the coming months where we are decommissioning the Terra Nova FPSO,” Charlene Johnson, chief executive officer of the province’s oil and gas industries association, better known as Noia, said in a statement Monday. More from CBC News.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$52.58 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$51.64 this morning at 10:14 a.m.
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