#FirstNations-ledpipeline; #CalvinHelin; #northernAlberta; #BritishColumbia; #indigenousrights; #KinderMorganCanada; #TransMountain; #EagleSpiritpipeline; #greenhousegasemissions
Alberta, Sep 21 (Canadian-Media): First Nations-led proposed Eagle Spirit pipeline stretching through northern Alberta and British Columbia (B.C.) would protect Indigenous rights and be a world environmental leader by unlocking Canada’s vast oil and gas reserves, media reports said.
Eagle Spirit Pipelind/Facebook
First Nations people who had earlier been protesting against proposed pipelines and accusing Ottawa's failure to properly consult with First Nations, were suddenly supportive.
All 35 First Nations were supportive of the pipeline along the proposed route for the 1,500-km Eagle Spirit pipeline, said Calvin Helin, a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation and CEO and president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings.
Eagle Spirit pipeline first emerged about five years ago as an alternative to Northern Gateway, which was then opposed by First Nations on the grounds that environmental protection and benefits were insufficient.
Under the new proposal, First Nations would become the major equity holders, share in the profits and control the environmental model.
“They have a model that will bring a standard that is higher than the current proposed ocean protection plan by the federal government.”
Eagle Spirit is raising capital and plans to apply for federal regulatory approval next year.
The projected cost is about $12 billion, compared to about $6.5 billion for the Northern Gateway and $9.3 billion for Trans Mountain.
The pipeline would cut more than 100 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the “current practice of extracting oil,” said Helin on the north coast near Prince Rupert where the proposed pipeline would terminate.
But a federal legislation passed by the House of Commons earlier this year to ban tankers carrying crude oil from loading or unloading at ports along the ecologically sensitive northern coast of British Columbia was a big hurdle for Eagle Spirit.
The bill is now being considered by the Senate.
“This is something that has been done without consultation and is being challenged by the First Nations and they will quash it,” said Helin.
Helin says the proposed port for Eagle Spirit is much safer than the one that was part of the Northern Gateway plan.
The pipeline route also runs much further north through Alberta and B.C.
In 2016 Northern Gateway was cancelled by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
And last month federal appeal court overturned approval of the Trans Mountain project as it properly consult First Nations.
The Trudeau government is pressing forward with plans to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion after Kinder Morgan Canada decided not to move forward with the expansion.
The government announced Friday to review the marine impact of oil tanker traffic related to that development , which has yet to be decided by the court.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TransMountainpipeline; #RachelNotley; #Alberta; #Ottawa; #FederalCourtofAppeal; #Indigenous; #BillMorneau; #DominicLeBlanc; #pan-Canadianclimateplan
Ottawa, Sep 2 (Canadian-Media): Construction on Trans Mountain pipeline halted after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced this week that she was pulling Alberta out of the Federal climate deal, media reports said.
Trans Mountain pipeline/Facebook
Ottawa's implementation of its pan-Canadian climate plan -- which would include a price on carbon pollution of $20 a tonne in 2019 and rising to $50 in 2022 -- for the time being had been shattered.
Notley said that Alberta, one of the strongest supporters of the federal climate change plan, would not rejoin it until the federal government takes some bold action and Alberta gets fair value for its resources.
Federal Court of Appeal also cancelled construction permits for the pipeline, this week, saying that consultations with Indigenous peoples were inadequate.
"The court laid out a series of concerns, but also laid out a path that may allow us to remedy or to fix the particular failings that the court identified, so that's the work we're doing," said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.
In spite of Canada's commitment of finding a collaborative way forward with the provinces to tackle environmental issues, LeBlanc said, Canada wants only major energy projects with proper reviews and environmental protections in place to go forward.
Canada, in the meantime, is moving forward with plans to purchase the pipeline, said Bill Morneau, Federal Finance Minister, adding "tackling climate change is something that our government has been committed to doing since we took office."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#WatersideWorkers'FederationofAustralia, #WorldWaterWeekinStockholm; #TheValuingRiversreport; #JeffOpperman; #StuartOrr
Ottawa, Aug 29 (Canadian-Media): A Waterside Workers' Federation of Australia (WWF) report published this week in time with the opening of World Water Week in Stockholm, Australia highlights that healthy rivers are capable of mitigating flooding disasters, media reports said.
The Valuing Rivers report released in time with the opening of World Water Week in Stockholm this week also warned that the ecosystem services and other critical benefits of rivers could be lost by considering rivers as only sources of water and power.
World Water Week in Stockhome/Facebook
A new framework for safeguarding rivers from growing pressure from dam development, climate change, and increasing demand for water to irrigate farms and fuel hydropower plants is also provided in this report.
The new framework gives guidelines for societies to measure, value, and promote rivers’ diverse benefits and offers solutions to support better decisions and management.
The potential role of new technologies -- such as artificial intelligence, remote sensing, and blockchain -- are also provided by the report which offer a number of methods to improve measurement water and river systems.
Improvements in methods for valuing water, quantifying ecosystem services, and evaluating tradeoffs also provide new opportunities.
Apart from their cultural and religious values, the report shows that healthy rivers, particularly free-flowing rivers, provide a range of benefits to people across the planet such as 2 billion people rely directly on rivers for their drinking water; 500 million people live on deltas that can only be sustained by sediment from rivers; 25 percent of the world’s food production depends on irrigation from rivers; At least 12 million tonnes of freshwater fish are caught each year, providing food and livelihoods for tens of millions of people.
The report said that services like freshwater fisheries to natural flood protection for cities and sediment flows that keep the world’s deltas above rising seas that directly benefit hundreds of millions of people could be lost if low priority to these sevices are given by decision makers until the crisis occur.
“Rivers are not just pipes for delivering water, and we don’t have to accept the loss of rivers’ diverse benefits as the unavoidable collateral damage of development,” said Jeff Opperman, WWF global lead freshwater scientist and author of the report. “Emerging innovations, alongside existing solutions, now allow us to reconcile sustainable economic growth with healthy rivers.”
The report shows how a short-sighted approach has proven costly across the globe and could result in even greater economic losses in the future.
Already, 19 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from watersheds with very high water risk.
Most of the world’s great deltas, continued the report, including the Ganges, Indus, Mekong, Nile and Yangtze, are sinking and shrinking.
“Collapsing fisheries and disappearing deltas are just two examples of the collateral damage caused by our failure to value rivers for all their diverse benefits, not just the water flowing down them,” said Stuart Orr, WWF freshwater practice lead. “We need to urgently transform the way we value and manage our rivers, or we risk undermining economies and global efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals.”
Finally, the report recommends governments, companies and financial institutions should ensure best decisions are taken for effective water-management institutions and governance for sustainable progress.
“This is not a zero-sum game: communities, companies and governments can, and must, help plot a better course that helps secure water for all while maintaining these critical lifelines for people and nature,” said Opperman.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
The Federal Court of Appeal will release its long-awaited ruling on challenges to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion on Thursday, and the survival of killer whales is among the many questions the court must address. The case is one of the most important legal decisions to date for a project that would nearly triple the capacity of an existing pipeline, and that Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted will go ahead. The court has heard a combined challenge – 16 cases involving 31 parties questioning the National Energy Board’s approval of the project – all consolidated into one ruling.
First Nations have contended in court that they were not properly consulted and Vancouver and Burnaby have raised safety and pollution concerns, but environmental groups have focused on endangered orcas (for subscribers). from global mail
Federal Court of Appeal quashes construction approvals for Trans Mountain, leaving project in limbo
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2018 8:56 AM ET | Last Updated: 4 minutes ago
Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project sit on rail cars at a stockpile site in Kamloops, B.C. On Thursday, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed Ottawa's approvals to build the expansion project. (Dennis Owen/Reuters)
In a stunning blow, the Federal Court of Appeal has quashed the government's approvals to build the Trans Mountain expansion project — a major victory for Indigenous groups and environmentalists opposed to the $7.4-billion project.
In the decision released Thursday, and written by Justice Eleanor Dawson, the court found the National Energy Board's assessment of the project was so flawed that it should not have been relied on by the federal cabinet when it gave final approval to proceed in November 2016.
The certificate approving construction and operation of the project has been nullified, leaving the project in legal limbo until the energy regulator and the government reassess their approvals to satisfy the court's demands.
In effect, the court has halted construction of the 1,150-kilometre project indefinitely.
Now, the Liberal government is the owner of a proposed pipeline project that could be subject to years of further review.
In its initial study of the project, the NEB found that the pipeline would not cause significant adverse environmental impacts.
But the court has determined that conclusion is bogus because it did not assess the impacts of marine shipping — increased tanker traffic that would result from the expanded pipeline — on the environment and southern resident killer whales in the waters around the line's shipping terminal.
The appellate court also found that the federal government did not adequately, or meaningfully, consult with Indigenous people and hear out there concerns after the NEB issued its report recommending that cabinet approve the project.
The court has ordered the federal government redo its Phase 3 consultation.
"Only after that consultation is completed and any accommodation made can the project be put before the Governor in Council (cabinet) for approval," the decision reads.
"The duty to consult was not adequately discharged in this case."
Thus, the court is ordering cabinet to direct the NEB to reconsider its approval of the project and remedy some of the concerns raised by the court before cabinet can give the final go-ahead for construction.
Ottawa, Aug 29 (Canadian-Media): Companies operating in areas with water stress have an urgent responsibility to track their impacts, to make informed decisions that trigger meaningful action and the cornerstone of effective water management is to know one’s impacts.
As a response to the water crisis and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), together with leading experts in water stewardship, has developed a standard to help companies understand how they interact with water, and the impacts of these interactions on the environment and the communities.
The updated standard, GRI 303: Water and Effluents 2018, has an emphasis on water stewardship, aimed at actively managing the impacts within the context of the watersheds companies are operating in. The standard has a basis in the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6: ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.
“The lack of access to freshwater affects more than 40 per cent of the global population. In a world where some companies’ GDPs exceed that of whole countries, the business world is expected to rise to the challenge and do its part in addressing these. The aim of the revised water standard is to help companies report what matters, and where it matters, by using credible, context-based metrics,” said Bastian Buck, chief of standards at GRI.
The standard also addresses the investor perspective by introducing disclosures that will make available much-needed information to assess companies’ exposure to water risks.
The revised standard helps companies better understand their impacts on freshwater resources, particularly in areas where water stress is already high. It emphasizes collecting information on water use—from withdrawal to consumption and discharge, the associated impacts, and how they are addressed across the value chain. Supply chain impacts, for example, have so far been consistently underreported.
Companies are also expected to disclose how water is managed as a shared resource and how impacts are managed at a local level. The amount of water withdrawn and consumed by an organization and the quality of its discharges can impact the functioning of ecosystems—impacts, that can have wider social and economic consequences for local communities.
A modular approach ensures timely and relevant reporting standards
After releasing the GRI Standards in 2016, the standard on water and effluents is the first, alongside GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety, to be updated. The project working group for the standard included representatives from leading organizations in water stewardship, such as the World Resources Institute, the WWF, and the Pacific Institute. Included were also members from the mining, beverage and textile industries; specialists from responsible investing (UN PRI); as well as representatives from CDP and SASB to ensure alignment and reduce reporting burden.
“As the most used sustainability reporting framework, we see it as our responsibility to create credible and robust standards so that companies can measure and report their impacts on the people and society in a meaningful way. This information feeds into internal processes and informs decision-making—accelerating action towards sustainable development,” Buck concluded.
To train and inform reporters and other water professionals, GRI is organizing two live webinars on 19 September to present the new standard and answer questions from attendees.
#CityofToronto, #JohnTory, #CarlyleCoutinho, #EnwaveEnergyCorporation, #Enwave, #TransformTOClimateActionStrategy
Toronto, May 1 (Canadian-Media): A partnership between the City of Toronto and private energy provider Enwave Energy Corporation (Enwave) have been established to facilitate advancement of the objectives of the City's TransformTO Climate Action Strategy, media reports said.
The City and Enwave have decided co-develop, through this partnership, low-carbon thermal energy networks in Toronto.
Low-carbon thermal energy networks reportedly use energy from renewable sources, such as heat recovery, geo-exchange and solar thermal, to heat and cool multiple buildings in an area.
"This public-private partnership is an innovative approach to achieving scale and momentum," said Mayor John Tory. "Along with delivering cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions, the projects will generate investments in our economy, provide employment and improve our resilience."
John Tory/Facebook page
Low-carbon thermal energy networks have been identified by the City's TransformTO Climate Action Strategy as a key source to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.
An 80 percent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, based by on 1990 levels have been targetted by this strategy.
Homes and buildings generate about half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today.
“Our customers, the City and Torontonians will all benefit from a continued reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is why we are proud to collaborate with the City under an innovative structure to drive value on multiple levels,” said Carlyle Coutinho, President and Chief Operating Officer, Enwave Canada.
Enwave, owned by Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners, has assets in Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Windsor, London and Charlottetown.
Enwave, together with its affiliates, is a fully integrated, sustainable energy services provider and operates intelligent thermal energy systems that generate, store, distribute and share energy in its different forms across all of its communities.
#Ottawa, #TheliberalPartyofCanada, #Liberals, #Ontario, #Quebec, #Alberta, #BritishColumbia, #B.C., #CatherineMcKenna, #EdFast, #carbonpricing, #EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada, #Conservativeoppositionleaders,
Ottawa, May 1 (Canadian-Media): The liberal Party of Canada (Liberals) had pointed out strong economic growth in the four largest provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia (B.C.), which had all adopted some form of carbon pricing, media reports said.
In its report, the Environment and Climate Change Canada provided the impact and cost of the federal carbon pricing legislation that is currently working its way through Parliament as part of the 2018 budget bill.
“Our analysis confirms that carbon pricing works, and that it is critical to any credible plan to fight climate change,” Ontario's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said in an interview on Monday. “It’s cost-effective, and, also it creates the incentive to choose cleaner solutions … which not only saves you money, but it also creates good jobs here in Canada.”
The analysis of Environment Canada also concluded if Ottawa imposes a carbon price on provinces and territories without their own carbon tax or have not met federal standards, it would cost the Canadian economy $2-billion or less than 0.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2022,
Finding supporting evidence in the analysis of the carbon-pricing plan Monday, the liberal government had concluded that the federal and provincial levies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 megatonnes by 2022, the equivalent of shutting down more than 20 coal-fired power plants.
But the above analysis excluded the economic impact of carbon pricing in provinces that have implemented their own plans.
Conservative opposition leaders in both Ontario and Alberta had pledged to scrap the provincial carbon levy if they win power in elections to be held in June in Ontario and next spring in Alberta.
The levy “is going to cost the average Canadian family a lot of money, and there is no guarantee that this tax is going to achieve the purpose for which it is established – which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Ed Fast had told the reporters Monday.
The Parliamentary Budget Office last week estimated that a $50 a tonne levy in all provinces would cost the economy $10-billion in lost GDP by 2022, though that figure could be dramatically reduced if provinces and the federal government returned the carbon-levy revenue to households and
businesses through other tax cuts.
Both federal and provincial governments are relying on a mix of carbon pricing, subsidies and regulations to meet their targets.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada, Denmark, #Netherlands, #Toxecology, #EnvironmentalConsultingLtd, #Sweden, #California, #TonyBernardo, #CanadianEnvironmentalProtectionAct, #MarkJohnson
Ottawa, Apr 29 (Canadian-Media): According to two studies released recently by Environment and Climate Change Canada linked the lead contamination in environment to discarded bullets, sinkers, jigs, media reports said.
Environment and Climate Change Canada/Facebook
"Most lead used in ammunition is lost to the environment," says one of the two reports, commissioned from Toxecology - Environmental Consulting Ltd.
"The popularity of shooting sports has grown over the past 5 years and this trend is expected to continue, hence increased uses and releases of lead via ammunition are expected over the next 10 years."
Lead ammunition had been banned by Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden and California is in the process of doing so.
Use of lead in fishing gear had also been curbed by some jurisdictions.
Canadian government, over many years, had reportedly removed lead in gasoline, paints and food cans which, subsequently had led to the significant drop in levels of lead found in the air and in blood samples.
In March, the Liberal government had tabled gun-control legislation – Bill C-71 – which was opposed by gun groups.
"The only purpose of this is to set up more anti-gun obstacles," Tony Bernardo, head of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, said in an interview. "That's what it's designed to do."
Lead-free ammunition is available, but it's reportedly more expensive than the traditional product.
The authors of the study also warned that gun owners will oppose any move to replace the lead in ammunition with other metals, such as steel.
Use of lead ammunition by hunters shooting migratory waterfowl had been banned since the 1990s.
But several previous attempts by the federal government to eliminate the highly toxic metal from all ammunition have failed, largely because of opposition from gun owners.
Tony Bernardo, head of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, describing a federal government report on lead in ammunition. Both Toxecology reports were commissioned in 2016 to update government estimates of the amount of lead entering the environment from hunting and fishing.
Canadian Shooting Sports Association/Facebook
"We will draw on the studies' findings, along with feedback received from stakeholders, including provinces, territories and Indigenous groups, to develop an approach to encourage lead-free ammunition and sinkers and jigs in Canada," Mark Johnson, spokesman for Environment and Climate Change Canada said
The department recently sent out emails and letters to more than 1,500 stakeholders, including hunters and anglers, asking for feedback by June 1.
#Canada, #America, #China, #Halifax, #RecyclingCostIncrease, #DavidBiderman, #SolidWasteAssociationofNorthAmerica
Ottawa, Apr 01 (IBNS): China's decision last year to crack down on foreign waste is likely to increase in future for Canadian and American municipalities for their recyclable material after, media reports said.
China, the world's largest manufacturer had been reluctant in accepting imported material due to significant increase in generation of its own recyclables compared to 10 years back, David Biderman, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America reportedly said.
China also had been reportedly complaining of the poor quality material that it had been receiving.
"There's a lot of garbage mixed up, occasionally, with those bales of plastic, paper and metal that are going over to China," Biderman told CBC News during an interview in his office in Silver Spring, Md.
"And so China is interested in stopping it from becoming the dumping ground for Western material."
But Canadian and American companies were more concerned because Chinese companies had stopped accepting foreign recycling materials many months before China's ban to accept recyclable materials was not effective till Dec. 31, 2017.
Chinese companies had still reportedly been accepting some paper, but as of Mar 1, China insisted on cleaner materials with a contamination rate of no more than 0.5 percent.
Biderman said that this change will come at a cost and added, "It's possible to do, but it takes a serious investment. It increases the cost, and I think ultimately, Canadians and Americans are likely to pay more for recycling in the future as a result of this activity."
In the meantime, recyclable materials some North American companies this year were reportedly being sent to Asia at lower prices which resulted in a loss to Canadian municipalities.
Some Canadian cities not knowing where to send their recyclables had reportedly started stockpiling added flattened cardboard and crushed plastic.
But plastics such as plastic shopping bags, bread bags and the wrapping on toilet paper had been posing major problem,
Colchester County, Nova Scotia which had earlier been sending 100 percent of its film plastics, amounting to around 600 tonnes per year to China, had been forced to stockpile 450 tonnes and to store hundreds of bales of it outside.
But there was a great concern of degradation of collected material lying outside, which could make the material unfit for recycling,
In that case, Wamboldt said, burying of collected recyclable material reportedly in a landfill was the only option left.
"We certainly don't want to be putting material in the landfill," he was quoted to state.
Colchester would have to get a special permit from Nova Scotia where it was illegal to dump plastics in a landfill.
Halifax, which had been shipping 80 percent of its recyclables to China, had reportedly requested and received permit, and has since found new markets for its material
These challenges have resulted in British Columbia (B.C.)'s model -- of getting the plastics processed in the province, and having producers to pay -- gaining popularity.
"Retailers, manufacturers, quick-service restaurants and others actually have to pay for the packaging they put in the residential system, so they pay fees to Recycle BC, and we use that to run a province-wide system," explained Allen Langdon, managing director of Recycle BC.
B.C. which had reportedly found new markets for its paper, had to suffer much revenue loss.
Recycle BC had reportedly been receiving roughly $80 a tonne for mixed paper as opposed to the present market price of zero.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#ClimateChange, #JulieGelfand, #emissionstargets, #CatherineMcKenna, #CatherineAbreu,
#Pan-CanadianFrameworkonCleanGrowthandClimateChange, #Ontario, #Alberta, #Manitoba, #saskatchewan, #Canada
Ottawa, Mar 28 (Canadian-Media): The joint audit, conducted by federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces, reported that Canada's climate goals and emissions targets were unlikely to be met, media reports said.
The audit report considered climate change planning and emissions reduction progress between November 2016 and March 2018 and reported that Canada lacked clarity and consistency in its work on climate change and reportedly will require a concerted effort across all levels of government and that the country's work is far from being done.
According to a new audit released Tuesday, assessments to adapt to the risks posed by climate change by Ottawa and other provinces had been haphazard, inconsistent and lacking in detail, with no timeline for action and no funding.
'We are absolutely committed to [2030 target],' says federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and added that while many governments have high-level goals to cut emissions, few have detailed plans to actually reach those goals, such as timelines, funding or expected results from specific actions.
Canada was nearly 200 million tonnes short of that goal in of 2015 when full statistics was reportedly available.
This is reportedly equivalent of the emissions produced by about 44 million cars each year, twice the number of vehicles registered in Canada.
McKenna recognized the latest review of Canada's climate change policies as an important recognition of climate change's priority in government business.
But she said the audit, as Gelfand herself noted did not actually take into account the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change which was released only in December 2016 after the audit's scope was already established and falls short of reaching the 2030 goals.
Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network also said this audit looked at what progress was made to meet Canada's existing targets to bring emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
McKenna said the plan addresses many of the concerns in the audit, outlining how certain policies will achieve specific emissions cuts.
"The previous government did nothing for a decade but we're 100 per cent committed to our target," McKenna said. "Hard things are hard. We have a plan and we're already seeing measurable results."
The pan-Canadian framework reportedly required every province to put a price on pollution by the start of next year.
The four biggest provinces already have one. Manitoba will add a $25-a-tonne carbon tax in September and every other province will either have to establish their own price or have a federal price imposed as of next Jan. 1.
Although Ontario and Alberta both have a carbon price plan in place, but they fear that coming provincial elections could bring to power premiers who would probably put an end to carbon pricing.
Saskatchewan, who has not joined the framework, reportedly had said it will sue if the federal government tries to impose a carbon price.
McKenna said the clean technology sector is developing in response to climate change and is creating an enormous economic opportunity and if action on climate change was not taken, it would reportedly cost the government a lot of money later on.
"It is disappointing when you have politicians pretending that there is no cost to climate change," she said. "Right now the cost to the federal government is in the billions of dollars to deal with the impacts of climate change, whether it's floods, whether it's forest fires, a melting Arctic. We need to be taking action."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)