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One year ago British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy that included a commitment to “transform the market for energy efficiency and lead the way to ‘net-zero’ buildings.” With the release of a 2014 Annual Progress Summary, it’s a good time to ask how B.C. has fared in keeping this promise.
Sept. 18, 2014 B.C. communities call for provincial cooperation on energy efficient buildings Five resolutions at UBCM's 2014 convention aim to increase the tools available to local governments
Six years after signing the Climate Action Charter, communities in B.C. continue to develop and pilot policies to improve energy efficiency in buildings, despite significant jurisdictional roadblocks.
Five resolutions at UBCM’s 2014 convention aim to resolve these challenges and help communities continue to lead on energy efficiency.
Aug. 9, 2014 Canada has a bright future in green energy, success stories show Green Energy Futures now at Pembina.org
Pembina's Green Energy Futures episodes are now featured at Pembin.org
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.
Feb. 13, 2014 Improving Energy Efficiency in Alberta’s Buildings
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.
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?
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.
In the debate over which combination of revenue tools would best support the expansion of transit in the Toronto region, an unexpected option has emerged as a top pick. Travis Allan and Cherise Burda take a closer look at the development charge and its potential to fund transit and improve urban planning at the same time.
March 18, 2013 Q&A: How the Board of Trade’s transit funding proposal would drive the Toronto region in the right direction
Earlier today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade released its bold proposal to address gridlock and expand transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The benefit of the four tools proposed by the Board is that they can be spread among the tax base, be kept relatively low for each tool, such as for a regional sales tax and fuel tax, and not hit one sector or user group hard.
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.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Though originally written as a social criticism of the period leading up to the French Revolution, Charles Dickens’ words seem an equally appropriate characterization of the past year for energy and environment issues in Canada.
Last week I testified at the joint review panel hearings into Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in Prince George, B.C. It was my second time in front of the panel presenting research, on behalf of the environmental group ForestEthics Advocacy, that the Pembina Institute had conducted on the proposed pipeline and tanker project.
Oct. 26, 2012 Reflections on my internship at the Pembina Institute
This summer I had the fortune of working as the Climate Action Stories Intern at the Pembina Institute’s Vancouver office. It's never an easy task to summarize a great experience, but it's certainly worth a try.
Oct. 22, 2012 Snubbing the pump: How Canadian drivers can save money on fuel and reduce their environmental impact
Just minutes into the second U.S. presidential debate, the focus turned to gas prices and the role the government should or could play in keeping the price of fuel low. President Obama promised he would increase all forms of American energy production to “make sure that you’re not paying as much for gas.”
We know that British Columbia’s electricity is primarily fossil fuel-free and electric vehicles are now available in Canada (with several provinces offering rebates), but if we were in an electric car and had to “fill up the tank” what would we do?
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.
This week Toronto City Council meets to decide on whether or not to accept the recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel regarding transit on Sheppard Avenue East. The panel, which released its report on Friday, concluded that light rail transit (LRT) was the better option for Sheppard Avenue, not just because it is most cost effective, but for a variety of other benefits.
Toronto City Council meets today to make a decision on the fate of the 2009 memorandum of agreement for the city’s former light rail plan. As councillors debate, we addressed some questions that have been circulating about the various transit options on the table for Toronto.
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.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford claims on his Facebook page that the Pembina Institute’s 2011 analysis of Toronto transit options support his case for a Sheppard Subway. Although we are pleased to see that the Mayor appreciates our work, some of his points require clarification.
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.
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.
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.
Road pricing in Toronto could be right on the money, says Cherise Burda in response to a recent article in the Toronto Star citing public displeasure with the idea. It just needs some thoughtful politicians to make tough but informed decisions that provide commuters with choices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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