Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
France’s Council of State, the country’s top administrative court, gave the government nine months to take “all the necessary steps” to meet its climate change objectives or face possible sanctions. The court said that France was currently set to miss its goal of cutting emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
If the government doesn’t comply with the Council’s timeline and slash emissions in accordance with 2030 EU targets and the Paris Climate Agreement, the court has the authority to set fines.
Environmental groups are celebrating the ruling, which many experts are considering to be historic.
“The noose is tightening on the government,” tweeted the Affaire du Siecle (Case of the Century) campaign group, which includes Oxfam France and Greenpeace France.
The case was originally brought to the court by the city of Grande-Synthe in northern France, along with environmental NGOs. Grande-Synthe is built on reclaimed land and local officials say it risks being inundated by rising sea levels caused by global warming.
“For the first time in France, the judiciary forces the state to act for climate,” said Damien Carême, the former mayor of Grande-Synthe.
This ruling forces France to follow governments in the Netherlands and Germany that have similarly been pushed to take more radical steps to combat climate change because of court verdicts. Politico has the full story.
OPEC delayed its ministerial meeting until Friday to hold more talks on oil output policy, after the United Arab Emirates blocked a plan for an immediate easing of cuts and their extension to the end of 2022. The UAE objected to the proposal made by Moscow and Riyadh to extend the duration of cuts until the end of 2022 to avoid a new glut next year.
The UAE, which has ambitious oil output growth targets, took issue with the idea because it wanted OPEC to change the baseline for cuts — a level of initial output from which reductions are calculated. A higher baseline means a lower actual cut. Reuters has this story.
The World Bank said the global economy faces annual losses of $2.7 trillion by 2030 if ecological tipping points are reached and countries fail to invest in protecting and restoring nature. This finding was a result of the bank’s first “Economic Case for Nature” report, which looked at how many economies rely on biodiversity and how they would cope if certain services provided by nature collapsed.
“It’s not just about biodiversity – it’s about the economy. The moment to act is now,” said report co-author and lead environmental economist at the World Bank Gianni Ruta.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s parliament has passed a bill that transforms nearly every aspect of the nation’s oil and gas industry, putting a project that has been in development for two decades one step closer to presidential sign-off. The bill includes a string of changes sought by the country’s oil companies, including amended royalties and fiscal terms for oil and gas production.
Industry experts say the bill’s final approval is essential to attracting a shrinking pool of capital for fossil fuel development. Reuters has more details.
On Friday morning at 8:55 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$75.16 and Brent Crude was going for US$75.73.
The Cameco Corporation has reported that a forest fire is burning in the vicinity of the company’s Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan. Cameco said it has evacuated 230 workers from the mine, but that 80 people remain at the site to ensure the facility is in a safe state.
Production at the mine has been temporarily suspended because of the fire. Cameco said that there is a plan to keep workers there safe, should the wildfire threat continue to grow, and a number of precautions have already been implemented. The company said it’s working closely with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency on site.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which regulates the mine, tweeted that it is monitoring the situation and will provide updates. CBC News has the story.
Two men working on the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline have been arrested in Minnesota as part of a sex-trafficking sting operation. Minnesota’s human trafficking task force conducted the operation last week, placing an ad on a sex advertisement website. The agency said in a news release that six suspects were arrested as they arrived at an arranged meeting place with the intention of committing a sex crime, and charges are pending.
“Upon learning of their arrests, the employment of these two individuals was immediately terminated. Enbridge and our contractors have zero tolerance for illegal and exploitative actions. That is why we are joining with our contractors and unions to denounce the illegal and exploitive actions of those who participate in sex trafficking,” Enbridge said in a release on Monday.
Finally, one Newfoundland and Labrador couple is reusing wood byproducts as firewood for Labrador’s north coast. Zena Sheppard and Max Kinden formed Titjaluk Logistics to repurpose wood along the Nunatsiavut coast. The pair are purchasing smaller byproduct wood too thin to use as lumber from local sawmills on the Northern Peninsula, which they then split and dry to get it wood-stove ready and send it up by boat to Labrador.
For now, with the support of the Nunatsiavut Government and Natural Resources Canada, they’re primarily sending wood to Hopedale and Nain, as both communities lie north of the tree line in Nunatsiavut. CBC News has the full story.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$58.62 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$60.33 this morning at 8:56 a.m.