#CatherineMcKenna; #KarenMcCrimmon; #Budget2019; #publicsafety; #emergencypreparedness; #zero-emissionvehicles; #environment; #climatechange; #marineconservation; #HighArcticBasin; #OceansProtectionPlan; #carbonpollution; #ClimateActionIncentive
Ottawa, Mar 29 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made today jointly by Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Karen McCrimmon, Member of Parliament for Kanata—Carleton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness highlighting how investments in Budget 2019 would make it easier and more affordable for Canadians to choose zero-emission vehicles, media reports said.
“Since 2015, our Government has been taking bold action to ensure that Canadians can benefit from...the biggest drop in carbon pollution in the history of Canada’s emissions reporting...well-paying jobs in the clean economy...and will help Canadian communities in the ongoing fight against the devastating effects of climate change and pollution,” said McKenna.
Through Budget 2019 government is investmenting more than $180 billion over 12 years to build infrastructure in communities across the country to protect Canada’s environment—while also helping create new jobs and make life more affordable for Canadians, help more people find a home, find and keep good jobs, retire with confidence, and get affordable prescription drugs when they need them.
In Budget 2019, the Government proposes to protect Canadian families and the environment by: lowering Canadians’ energy costs by increased energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings; and creating new incentives for people and businesses to purchase zero-emission vehicles and building cleaner and healthier communities through a major municipal infrastructure top-up investment.
This will not only promote clean affordable electric future including in rural and remote communities; helping coal workers and communities on new opportunities through skills training and business diversification as Canada moves to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030.
Working with provinces and territories, the government has already approved more than 33,000 infrastructure projects supported by federal investments of approximately $19.9 billion such as cleaning up abandoned mines in Canada’s North and explore the potential creation of a marine conservation area in the High Arctic Basin.
Through $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan and investments in public transit and green infrastructure, the Government is making significant progress in transitioning to a cleaner economy.
Eligible residents of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan can now claim Climate Action Incentive payments for their family, through their 2018 personal income tax returns.
Without immediate action, climate change will reduce Canada’s quality of life and collective prosperity. Encouraging clean technology development and adoption will help Canadian businesses remain competitive in the global low-carbon economy.
#Indigenous; #TransMountainpipeline; #BillMorneau; #CalvinBruneau; #IronCoalition; #FirstNations; #Métis; #TonyAlexis; #RonQuintal; #FederalCourtofAppeal; #TheNationalEnergyBoard; #environmentalimpacts; #climatechange;
Alberta, Mar 28 (Canadian-Media): A discuss on Indigenous ownership of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project was held during the meeting of Bill Morneau, Federal Finance Minister with Chief Calvin Bruneau and other leaders from Iron Coalition, on Wednesday, media reports said.
Bill Morneau (Ctre)/Facebook Calvin Bruneau/Facebook
'Part of reconciliation is to have First Nations ownership, especially in energy projects,' said Bruneau when Iron Coalition expressed optimism about its chances of one day owning the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.
Iron Coalition is an Alberta Indigenous group co-chaired by Alexis, Chief Calvin Bruneau of the Papaschase First Nation in Edmonton, and Ron Quintal, president of the Fort McKay Métis, had support from different First Nations and Métis throughout the province.
Although Morneau made it clear that his focus was on moving the project forward and not on selling the pipeline, Bruneau felt optimistic about his ownership and told Morneau his group's intention was to have a large of an equity stake.
"Dialogue is started and we know that when things do proceed then we can look at further discussion down the road."
The proposed Trans Mountain expansion pipeline -- which intended to ship oilsands crude from Edmonton (Alberta) to the Vancouver (British Columbia) area for export -- had been stalled after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in late August as it needed to have more consultation with First Nations.
The National Energy Board was also instructed to explore the potential environmental impacts from increased marine shipping. Members of Parliament (MPS0 in Ottawa also needed to finally decide on the NEB's revised report
Along the pipeline route, many First Nations have signed benefit agreements to support the project, while others have resisted and tried to stop progress through protests and legal challenges.
First Nations opposed to the proposed pipeline project want to protect their land and waterways and have concerns about a potential oil spill, including the impact on salmon and other marine life. They also worry about how the project will contribute to climate change.
"Here, we're also concerned about the environment as well," Bruneau said. "We have to have those discussions with those nations ... to meet with them, see if we can ease some of their concerns and figure a way to work this all through."
The economic benefits of the proposed pipeline must also be considered, said Bruneau, since exporting more oil will help many of the First Nations in Western Canada that have oil production on their land.
"What we want to do is, over the next couple of years, be meeting with these groups and look at trying to unite and form one big coalition," said Bruneau.
"Part of reconciliation is to have First Nation's ownership, especially in energy projects, because that really hasn't been something that's been there before."
#MaryamMonsef; #TropicalCycloneIdai; #SouthernAfrica; #Mozambique, #Malawi; #Zimbabwe; #UnitedNations, #RedCross; #humanitarian
Ottawa, Mar 24 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made yesterday by Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality that Canada will provide initial funding of up to $3.5 million in emergency assistance to support humanitarian organizations responding to the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa, media reports said.
Canada has also made a donation of humanitarian relief stocks, including tarpaulins, shelter kits, mosquito nets and blankets, to help respond to the immediate needs of the people affected by the cyclone.
The cyclone, which hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on March 15, 2019, has caused significant devastation to communities, destroying homes and infrastructure.
Many communities remain cut off by flooding, without communications or electricity and hundreds of people have been killed and many more remain missing.
Canada’s assistance will be provided through experienced United Nations, Red Cross and non-governmental organization partners and will focus on meeting the immediate food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and protection needs of households displaced by flooding or otherwise impacted by the storm.
“Canada is providing life-saving humanitarian assistance as Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe...will help meet the immediate needs of vulnerable communities in all three countries,” said Monsef.
#federalcarbontax; #Ontario; #DougFord, #ErnieHardeman, #RodPhillips, #GreenhouseGasPollutionPricingAct
Ottawa, Mar (Canadian-Media): Ontario government is fighting the imposition of a job-killing federal carbon tax on fuels to would be effective in April, afflicting the agricultural sector, to prevent rise in cost of food across Ontario, media reports said.
The federal carbon tax on fuels which would be effective in April will cost a typical household $258 per year in 2019 and will rise to $648 by 2022.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, were present at Veldale Farms yesterday with farmers and agribusiness representatives restate Ontario's support for Ontario farmers and agri-food businesses and fighting the federal carbon tax to keep Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
Doug Ford/Facebook Ernie Harderman/Facebook Rod Phillips/Facebook
Concerned about the negative economical impact on greenhouse sector due to the 20 percent of propane and natural gas not exempted from the tax, Stakeholders across the agri-food sector in Ontario also said carbon tax will not help the environment or reduce emissions.
"Our Environment Plan...serves as proof that you can both oppose a carbon tax and continue to do more to fight climate change, you don't have to choose," concluded Phillips. "Ontario deserves a healthy environment and a healthy economy."
Through the efforts of individuals and industry, Ontario is already most of the way to this target, with the province's emissions down 22 percent since 2005 and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the federal government's Paris commitments.
"Ontario's farmers and agribusiness leaders have told us that a carbon tax will increase the cost of doing business, from heating fuels to transportation costs of shipping products to market...When costs go up, consumers often pay the price...I am standing up for our farmers and agribusinesses — to protect the sector, our economy and Ontario jobs," said Hardeman.
Being part of a coalition of provinces that pledged to fight the federal government’s carbon tax, Ontario is also joined by Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba to challenge federal government's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Ontario’s case challenging the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax will be heard by the Court of Appeal from April 15 to 18, 2019.
A survey of business owners in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick revealed that 87 percent of Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses opposed this federal carbon tax plan.
If we want a shot at transitioning to renewable energy, we’ll need one crucial thing: technologies that can convert electricity from wind and sun into a chemical fuel for storage and vice versa. Commercial devices that do this exist, but most are costly and perform only half of the equation. Now, researchers have created lab-scale gadgets that do both jobs. If larger versions work as well, they would help make it possible—or at least more affordable—to run the world on renewables.
The market for such technologies has grown along with renewables: In 2007, solar and wind provided just 0.8% of all power in the United States; in 2017, that number was 8%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But the demand for electricity often doesn’t match the supply from solar and wind. In sunny California, for example, solar panels regularly produce more power than needed in the middle of the day, but none at night, after most workers and students return home.
Some utilities are beginning to install massive banks of batteries in hopes of storing excess energy and evening out the balance sheet. But batteries are costly and store only enough energy to back up the grid for a few hours at most. Another option is to store the energy by converting it into hydrogen fuel. Devices called electrolyzers do this by using electricity—ideally from solar and wind power—to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas, a carbon-free fuel. A second set of devices called fuel cells can then convert that hydrogen back to electricity to power cars, trucks, and buses, or to feed it to the grid.
But commercial electrolyzers and fuel cells use different catalysts to speed up the two reactions, meaning a single device can’t do both jobs. To get around this, researchers have been experimenting with a newer type of fuel cell, called a proton conducting fuel cell (PCFC), which can make fuel or convert it back into electricity using just one set of catalysts.PCFCs consist of two electrodes separated by a membrane that allows protons across. At the first electrode, known as the air electrode, steam and electricity are fed into a ceramic catalyst, which splits the steam’s water molecules into positively charged hydrogen ions (protons), electrons, and oxygen molecules. The electrons travel through an external wire to the second electrode—the fuel electrode—where they meet up with the protons that crossed through the membrane. There, a nickel-based catalyst stitches them together to make hydrogen gas (H2). In previous PCFCs, the nickel catalysts performed well, but the ceramic catalysts were inefficient, using less than 70% of the electricity to split the water molecules. Much of the energy was lost as heat.
Now, two research teams have made key strides in improving this efficiency. They both focused on making improvements to the air electrode, because the nickel-based fuel electrode did a good enough job. In January, researchers led by chemist Sossina Haile at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, reported in Energy & Environmental Science that they came up with a fuel electrode made from a ceramic alloy containing six elements that harnessed 76% of its electricityto split water molecules. And in today’s issue of Nature Energy, Ryan O’Hayre, a chemist at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, reports that his team has done one better. Their ceramic alloy electrode, made up of five elements, harnesses as much as 98% of the energy it’s fed to split water.
When both teams run their setups in reverse, the fuel electrode splits H2 molecules into protons and electrons. The electrons travel through an external wire to the air electrode—providing electricity to power devices. When they reach the electrode, they combine with oxygen from the air and protons that crossed back over the membrane to produce water.
The O’Hayre group’s latest work is “impressive,” Haile says. “The electricity you are putting in is making H2 and not heating up your system. They did a really good job with that.” Still, she cautions, both her new device and the one from the O’Hayre lab are small laboratory demonstrations. For the technology to have a societal impact, researchers will need to scale up the button-size devices, a process that typically reduces performance. If engineers can make that happen, the cost of storing renewable energy could drop precipitously, helping utilities do away with their dependence on fossil fuels.