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P.J. Partington — April 17, 2014

Every year, industrialized countries publish their national inventories of carbon pollution. Canada’s vast and detailed report, meticulously assembled by Environment Canada, gives us a thorough picture of where our greenhouse gas emissions come from, and how they have changed since 1990. We check in on three key stories in the 2014 inventory report. Read more...

P.J. Partington — April 17, 2014

Oilsands emission performance doesn’t have to stay stuck in neutral. The roadmap to lower emissions intensity in oilsands is becoming apparent. But for that to become a reality, we need a policy framework that makes sure the cleanest technologies are also the smartest investment. Read more...

P.J. Partington — April 16, 2014

Proponents of oilsands expansion often repeat that missions per barrel have been reduced by 26 per cent between 1990 and 2011. The message implies that things are getting better all the time. Given the scale of oilsands expansion planned for the coming decades, it’s worth venturing past the talking point to better understand these emissions intensity improvements and whether or not they will continue. Read more...

Guest Blogger — March 31, 2014

The Pembina Institute, Arctic Energy Alliance, and Dehcho First Nations teamed up to organize a Dehcho Community Renewable Energy Forum last month in Fort Providence, NWT, to provide opportunities to hear from technical experts about biomass and solar energy options, as well as from communities about the challenges and the lessons they’ve learned when it comes to renewable energy projects. Read more...

Erin Flanagan — March 4, 2014

Last month, scientists from Environment Canada released a study citing research that estimated the rate at which tailings water is likely seeping from one lake (and into groundwater systems hydraulically connected to the Athabasca River). The research cited determined that rate to be 6.5 million litres per day. We discuss the study research in the context of oilsands expansion and how governments should respond to this information. Read more...

Guest Blogger — March 4, 2014

Any single weather event can be dismissed as usual weather variability. Although we must be prudent not to attribute every extreme — or indeed any particular one — to climate change, recent extreme events may indicate a new normal. The clustering and persistence of recent extremes around the world is a wake-up call to the power of nature and the threat of climate change. Read more...

Ed Whittingham — Feb. 24, 2014

This year, the Pembina Institute will again be joining Scotiabank’s EcoLiving Awards judging panel. Be sure to encourage energy efficiency innovators you know to submit an application by March 15! Read more...

Matt Horne — Feb. 20, 2014

Tuesday’s B.C. budget unveiled the first substantive information on the province’s promised liquefied natural gas tax. While the budget did provide some welcome clarity, many questions remain unanswered — most importantly how much money will be collected from a given amount of exported LNG. Here’s a look at some of the province’s bigger fiscal pieces that will apply to the LNG supply chain in B.C. if any projects do proceed. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Feb. 20, 2014

It’s high time that we stopped thinking of downtown and the suburbs as enemies. In reality, they have more in common than ever before. Read more...

Eugene Mohareb — Feb. 13, 2014

The Government of Alberta has promised to make energy efficiency a priority. One of the key areas where improvements can be made is the energy efficiency in Alberta’s buildings. Read more...

Erin Flanagan — Feb. 6, 2014

Pembina has published a new report about the potential climate impacts associated with the proposed Energy East pipeline. Our research shows that producing the crude required to fill the pipeline would significantly increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and make it even more difficult to meet our climate targets. Read more...

P.J. Partington — Jan. 15, 2014

The federal government quietly released a new emissions report over the holidays. It projects a significant and sustained rise in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions unless we dramatically improve our climate policies. This post explores some of the other significant stories found in that report, particularly at the provincial level. Read more...

Matt Horne — Jan. 10, 2014

If you’re like me, you worry that British Columbia’s government is rushing its pursuit of liquefied natural gas development without taking the time to think through and manage the consequences, both social and environmental. The province’s new LNG awareness quiz doesn’t ease those concerns. Read more...

P.J. Partington — Jan. 10, 2014

Think Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions look bad today? Unfortunately, 2030 doesn’t look any rosier. In October, Environment Canada published projections estimating that current policies will see Canada miss the Harper government’s 2020 emissions target by 122 million tonnes. Now a new report offers us a glimpse of where Canada’s emissions are headed after 2020, adding projections for the next decade. Read more...

Clare Demerse — Jan. 7, 2014

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any slower, Ottawa has yet another rationale for delaying greenhouse gas regulations for oil and gas companies. Worryingly, this one comes straight from the top. Read more...

Tim Weis — Dec. 19, 2013

Ontario’s electricity system is often maligned, and more often misunderstood. Providing a multi-billion dollar essential service that employs thousands of people in competing industries is a tall order — doubly so when you’re trying to keep pollution levels and prices down. As we head into a new year, it’s important to take a step back and acknowledge some important gains the province has made so far. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Dec. 18, 2013

Last week, the premier’s advisory panel on transit investment proposed a strategy to raise funds for transit expansion while minimizing the burden on taxpayers. The panel’s strategy includes a gas tax, which became a lightning rod in the subsequent discussion. However, the cost of inaction far exceeds to costs of a gas tax, which would pay for a regional rapid transit network and alleviate congestion. Read more...

Cherise Burda — Dec. 12, 2013

Today, the premier’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel proposed a transit funding strategy that represents a consensus on how to raise new dollars. It passed the tests set by thirteen panel members representing diverse interests — including labour, business, developers and drivers — and is a well-thought-out proposal that deserves serious consideration from the broader public. Read more...

Andrew Read — Nov. 15, 2013

Next week, an important piece of legislation will continue through its third reading in the Alberta legislature. Bill 31, the protecting Alberta’s environment act, would establish the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) to obtain relevant scientific data and information regarding the condition of the environment in Alberta.

While the bill is essential to establish an independent monitoring agency — a goal we support — the proposed legislation has some basic flaws. Even more concerning, the government has been surprisingly closed-minded in responding to amendments proposed in the legislature that would enhance the bill. Read more...

P.J. Partington — Nov. 14, 2013

Earlier this year, Natural Resources Canada commissioned a study to evaluate aspects of the European Union’s Fuel Quality Directive. Canada has been lobbying very aggressively against the FQD, since fuels derived from natural bitumen (oilsands) would be assigned a higher carbon intensity value than those derived from conventional crudes.

The report was released on Wednesday but, despite the government's rhetoric, it offers nothing to discredit the directive. Rather, its findings seem to generally reinforce the defensibility of the Commission’s proposed approach. Read more...

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