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We must be close to a turning point in investing in the environment, because the budget tabled today couldn't do much less.
At last week's convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, John Yap, B.C.'s Minister of State for Climate Action, announced that the provincial government is developing new offset guidelines to help local governments meet their carbon neutral commitments. While all the details have yet to be hammered out, initial indications are that these guidelines may see substandard offset projects being counted toward carbon neutrality. Now is the time to ensure that these guidelines adhere to the highest possible standards, or we risk losing the integrity of B.C.'s carbon neutral commitment.
Many people talk a good line when it comes to taking action on climate change. But this week Dawson Creek, a city of 12,000 people in northern B.C., has decided to put its money where its mouth is.
Oct. 21, 2010 B.C.'s carbon tax at work: how businesses and families can capitalize on the green economy
You've heard talk of the "green economy," but what does it really mean? Sometimes it's hard to put your finger on it. That's why we're releasing a series of fact sheets that help to paint a picture of what the green economy looks like for British Columbians.
Sept. 20, 2013 B.C.’s Climate Action Charter deserves national recognition
We’ve always known that British Columbia has great ideas when it comes to taking action on climate change, but it’s nice to know that other people are paying attention.
Time and time again, municipal governments have shown leadership and innovation on climate action. We know that they can and must play an important role in advancing our climate targets. But are we helping them to lead?
While yesterday's U.S. mid-term elections didn't do much to improve the short-term prospects of U.S. federal action on climate change, California offered some refreshingly positive news that should be a boon for state and provincial action in both countries.
If you show up at the landfill with a truck full of garbage, you have to pay to dump it. But if you pump pollution into the atmosphere, most Canadian jurisdictions provide a free dumping ground.
While leadership at all political levels is critical to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, cities and towns are often the places where the rubber hits the road on climate action.
If you're buying a new home in Alberta, there's a good chance that very same home wouldn't be allowed on the market in Ontario.
March 28, 2013 Driving forward with electric vehicles in British Columbia
On Tuesday morning the government of British Columbia extended their Clean Energy Vehicles program. This means for at least the next year, residents of B.C. will continue to receive an incentive of up to $5,000 when purchasing an electric vehicle. Here are five more ideas for British Columbia to support the transition to more electric transportation.
Eight local governments have called on the province to consider improving energy efficiency and renewable energy standards for homes and buildings in a letter to the B.C. government.
Jan. 18, 2010 Federal Spending on Wind Farms a Smart Investment
A new wind farm approved recently for east-central Alberta will not only be the province's largest, but will also be one of the last to benefit from federal support through the depleted ecoENERGY for Renewable Power program.
July 5, 2011 Geothermal Energy: A no-brainer for Canada?
Geothermal energy generates about 10,000 megawatts of the world's electricity, enough to power 10 million homes. But in a world on fire, Sarah McLachlan and the folks at the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association would like to see this number increase dramatically.
Recently, Calgary City Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of adopting its first citywide greenhouse gas plan. The plan aims to reduce the city’s emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, below 2005 levels and I’m thrilled to say that the Pembina Institute’s community services consulting group helped to write it.
At a time when higher-level governments seem unable or unwilling to make progress toward sustainable economies, cities and municipalities are pushing the envelope on reneweble energy.
When President Obama came to Ottawa last year, one of the few items that was agreed upon was to engage in a so-called "Clean Energy Dialogue". Looking at the budgets that the governments on both sides of the border have released since then, it appears as though our American friends have a lot more to talk about.
Oct. 18, 2010 Landowners' Guide to Wind Energy
This Pembina Institute has produced the Landowners' Guide to Wind Energy in Alberta to help landowners learn about and get involved with wind energy.
This week, a new provincial regulation came into effect that will make it easier for some families to install solar hot water systems in B.C.
Dec. 21, 2009 Nova Scota FIT to Go Renewable
I just got back from Halifax, Nova Scotia where I participated in the 4th and final public consultation on renewable energy. The new government has set an ambitious goal of achieving 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2015.
May 21, 2010 Potential of solar power dramatically underestimated
In just over ten years' time, it could be cheaper to put a solar panel on your roof than to buy electricity from the grid. Not only that, but solar power could produce enough electricity to meet one-quarter of global demand by 2050, according to a new road map published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). But it won't happen by accident.
June 8, 2010 Proposed ethanol regulations have uncertain benefits
A few weeks ago, the Government of Canada released draft regulations that would require gasoline to contain five per cent ethanol, on average, starting in September this year. The main reason for doing this, it stated, is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and Canadians' impact on the climate. As any good energy and environmental policy organization should do, we took our own look at the climate implications of these regulations.
We've got good news! The local governments that sent a joint letter to the province calling for greener building standards have received a very positive response from Naomi Yamamoto, the minister of state for building code renewal.
Sept. 10, 2013 Setting the record straight on Pembina’s consulting work
Judging from the many conversations that unfolded on Twitter over the past few days, there appears to be a lot of confusion around how fee-for-service consulting works and why an organization like the Pembina Institute is committed to producing some of the best sustainability consulting services in the business. As our clients know, our consulting work is one of various approaches that support our mandate — to lead Canada’s transition to a clean energy future.
Dec. 8, 2010 Sex, drugs and . . . cap-and-trade?
British Columbia's proposed cap-and-trade system isn't likely to ever compete with the political drama that has gripped B.C. for the last month, but it is one of the not-so-sexy policy issues that will need to be sorted out once the turmoil subsides.
A new kind of loan program is waiting for approval from Vancouver city council today. If approved, some homeowners could have an new, affordable way to make their homes more energy efficient.
A recent article in the Vancouver Sun raised questions about the costs and merits of a city-run pilot program to encourage homeowners to invest in energy efficiency, describing the program as having “bombed.” The program did have much lower uptake than expected; however, judging its success on this factor alone misses the bigger picture.
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