THIS WEEK

Last year was the fifth-hottest on record, but at least Canada doubled its electric cars, plus a delicious-sounding 'toxic soup'

CARBON PRICING

On carbon tax, Ontarians trust economists over Ford

When Ontario Premier Doug Ford claimed two weeks ago that “the risk of a carbon tax recession is very, very real,” he may have overestimated the influence it would have. Economists were quick to disagree with him—and it turns out a majority of Ontarians do too.

In collaboration with Abacus data, Clean Energy Canada polled Canadians to find out if they bought Ford’s (very unsubstantiated) recession claim. Overall, 63% of Ontarians believed that Premier Ford was overstating the impact of carbon pricing. But when told that many economists strongly disagreed, 73% rejected Premier Ford’s contention.

As our executive director Merran Smith put it, “These results suggest that most Canadians believe evidence and expertise are essential—not optional—for good policy.”

Bring facts back into fashion

And on the subject of listening to expertise, a great new op-ed in the Globe and Mail debunks some of the pretty dubious carbon pricing rhetoric being bandied about. As the article rightly states, “Canadians need a real debate about climate policy.”


The New Green Deals arrives

The hotly anticipated, and (literally) in-vogue, Green New Deal (Or GND as it has been dubbed) has been introduced by two democratic members of congress in the U.S. The “GND resolution,” which was unveiled on Thursday, has ambitions to tackle the climate crisis and economic injustice in one fell swoop.


The fifth hottest year

It goes without saying that the more these headlines roll in, the more shocked we should be. I mean, we just lived through the five hottest years on record. Two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2100. And we’re still bickering about carbon pricing?


Climate change serving up toxic wildfire soup

The smoke from wildfires is a “chemical soup” according to a University of Alberta professor. The delightful ingredients list includes a range of carcinogens as well as mercury, carbon monoxide, and methane. The particles can get trapped in our lungs and cause “all kinds of problems".


On the bright side...

Even if our forests burn, at least the sun will go on shining—hopefully on a proposed new 156-acre solar production facility on the site of an old tailings pond in Calgary. It will also shine on a new solar farm in Fort Chipewyan in Alberta, after a solar energy company formed by First Nations and Métis announced plans to build the “largest off-grid solar and storage project in Canada” with the help of carbon tax revenues.


More good news: 90% more EVs!

As this report by Electric Mobility Canada so aptly says, “it would be an understatement to say that 2018 was a good year for EV sales.” Sales of electric cars are up 125%, and there are now 93,091 EVs cruising Canada’s roads—90% more than a year ago. Still, despite that growth, Canada lags behind a number of nations in terms of EV adoption—we’ll need the right policies to keep up. 


“Peaks to Prairies” goes electric

Those 93,091 EVs will soon be able take a “Peaks to Prairies” road trip across Alberta using a network of 20 fast-charging stations between Medicine Hat and Crowsnest Pass. The new network, which is 60% funded by carbon tax revenues, hopes to boost southern Alberta’s tourism industry and “connect Alberta to the future of transportation.”


One way B.C. profits from the clean shift

Whether it’s for batteries, wind turbines, or solar power, clean energy needs copper, and B.C. has plenty of it. Several prominent mining figures at the Mineral Exploration Roundup conference last week acknowledged that B.C.’s copper mining industry is well-positioned to capitalize.  


A still inconvenient truth

Here’s one to see you through your morning coffee break. At least for now, demand for oil is rising. ExxonMobil is planning to extract 25% more oil in 2025 than 2017, a reminder that we can’t rely solely on private sector efforts to fight climate change in the decades ahead—“muscular government action is needed.” Or as I call it, leadership.

Clean Energy Review is sponsored in part by Genus Capital Management, a leading provider of fossil-fuel-free investments. 
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