Report Makes the Case for Shifting Subsidides from Oil and Gas to Renewable Energy to Crete Jobs and Address Climate Change

More Bang for our Buck from Blue Green Canada is a report describing the job creation potential of investing the $1.3 billion in federal subsidies, now given to the oil and gas sector, in renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transit. The results show that six to eight times more jobs could be created:18,000-20,000 jobs in clean energy sectors vs. 2,300 jobs in oil and gas. The report questions the current pace of expansion of the oil sands industry and calls for a plan to transition to clean energy. The global job market in renewable energy is growing, and the report documents the fact that approximately 5 million people were employed in the sector worldwide last year.

 

 

LINKS: 

More Bang for our Buck: How Canada Can Create More Energy Jobs and Less Pollution, full Report:

http://bluegreencanada.ca/sites/default/files/resources/More%20Bang%20for%20Buck%20Nov%202012%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf

Doha Convention Update and Emissions Gap Report

DOHA CONVENTION UPDATE & EMISSIONS GAP REPORT

The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place from 26 November to 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. The Doha Summit faced a number of significant challenges, as this year marks the end of the first phase and the need to extend the Kyoto Protocol before it lapses at the end of the year. According to a summary compiled by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, some of the key decisions include: the adoption of an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol establishing a second round of binding greenhouse gas emission targets for Europe, Australia and a handful of other developed countries; finalized decisions under a parallel negotiating track launched in 2007 in Bali that produced new mechanisms on finance, review, adaptation and technology, as well as voluntary emission pledges from 94 countries; the beginning of a new phase in which all the major issues will be negotiated within a single track called the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action; the Durban Platform calls for an outcome with legal force “applicable to all” starting in 2020.

Related to the Doha Convention, The Emissions Gap Report 2012 has been released, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Climate Foundation. The report includes an update on global GHG emissions estimates, an estimate of emissions consistent with the 2° C target in 2020, 2030 and 2050, as well as a look at progress being made in certain parts of the world leading to substantial emissions reductions, and how successful initiatives can be scaled up.

LINKS:

For a background paper on Canada at Doha by Clare Demerse and P.J. Partington, from Pembina Institute released on November 26, see: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2394

A helpful summary of G8+5 Country Climate Change Positions by Climatico can be found at:

http://www.climaticoanalysis.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/11/Summary-of-G8+5-Climate-Change-Positions.pdf 

A summary of the outcomes of the Doha Conventions written by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions the can be found at: http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/c2es-cop-18-summary.pdf

The Emissions Gap Report 2012, is at: http://www.unep.org/pdf/2012gapreport.pdf

Emissions Gap summary and accompanying documents available from:

http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgap2012/ 

Governments Urged to be More Aggressive on Climate Change

Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided, was released by the World Bank on November 19. The report, prepared for the bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Climate Analytics, says global mean temperatures are now about 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels and are set to be 4°Celsius warmer by end of this century. The report warns the world is on track to a “4°C world” which will be marked by extreme heat-waves and life-threatening sea level rise. Adverse effects of global warming will be most damaging to the world’s poorest regions, and likely to undermine development efforts and goals. The World Bank suggests governments must be more aggressive in tackling climate change if the worst effects are to be avoided.

 

LINKS:

Northern Gateway Pipeline Hearings Ongoing

A new study, Potential Economic Impact of a Tanker Spill on Ocean- Based Industries in British Columbia, looks at the potential economic impact of a tanker spill on B.C.’s ocean-based industries. Ocean-based industries are vitally important to the coastal communities of northern B.C., where 30% of the local population has some form of employment linked to the industry. The authors consider the potential economic costs of a hydrocarbon spill from a tanker along the proposed shipping routes, something that has not previously been quantified. Three scenarios, including no impact, medium impact and high impact are calculated in the report. The findings show how a medium impact spill would mean that 30%, 16% and 33% of the projected output value, employment and contribution to GDP of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project could be lost to the spill. In the case of a higher impact spill, the percentages of the projected benefits from the Enbridge Northern Gateway project that could be lost to the spill are 49%, 52% and 70%, respectively. The results take into account the market-based value of four ocean-based industries and do not account for clean up, litigation and other cultural, social and environmental damages.

 

 

LINKS:

The report Potential Economic Impact of a Tanker Spill on Ocean Based Industries in British Columbia, by Ngaio Hotte and U. Rashid Sumaila of the Fisheries Centre, UBC can be found at: http://www.fisheries.ubc.ca/publications/potential-economic-impact-tanker-spill-ocean-based-industries-british-columbia

 

A summary of the issues from the Globe and Mail can be found at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/enbridge-opponents-spar-over-pipelines-risks/article6221920/

The full schedule of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel hearings, with links to transcripts, can be accessed at: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/hrng-eng.html

Climate Change and New Organizational Landscapes

The journal of Organization Studies has released a special issue for November 2012 titled Climate Change and the Emergence of New Organizational Landscapes, by Guest editors Bettina B. F. Wittneben, Chukwumerije Okereke, Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee and David L. Levy. The editors state in their introductory article: “Given the urgency of the problem and the need for a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy, there is a pressing need for organization scholars to develop a better understanding of apathy and inertia in the face of the current crisis and to identify paths toward transformative change.” The issue includes such articles as “Hippies on the Third Floor: Climate Change, Narrative Identity and the Micro-Politics of Corporate Environmentalism” by Christopher Wright, Daniel Nyberg, and David Grant of the University of Sydney, Australia.

 

 

LINK:

Organization Studies, (November 2012) v. 33 #11 is available at the Sage website: http://oss.sagepub.com/content/current

New Tools for Employment Counsellors Focus on Green Jobs

A report, titled Emerging Green Jobs in Canada released in summer, 2012 provides insight into the changing labour market and its potential for entry-level employment in the green economy. The report consists of a two-part literature review on the green economy and specifically on the renewable energy and energy conservation sectors and the skills needed to secure entry-level positions for job seekers. It includes tools for employment counsellors and job developers, including an inventory of training programs and employers, an online and interactive map of renewable energy and energy conservation projects across Canada, and case studies on five successful green jobs training programs. The report was published by the Green Skills Network with the support of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

 

Also useful to employment counsellors are two new profiles added to the Green Careers series by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September 2012: Careers in Environmental Remediation (#8) and Geothermal Energy (#9). Both reports follow the template of this Career Guide series by defining and describing the work, identifying the major occupations, and providing job descriptions, current labour force statistics and wage information, and training requirements for each occupation. Also from the summer 2012 issue of the BLS Occupational Outlook Quarterly, an article titled Electric Vehicle Careers: On the Road to Change.

LINKS:

Emerging Green Jobs in Canada Report, released in Summer 2012: http://ceric.ca/files/PDFs/Emerging%20Green%20Jobs%20in%20Canada.pdf

 

Green Skills Network Website: http://www.firstwork.org/wp/2010/06/green-skills-network-main/

 

US BLS Career Guide #8, Environmental Remediation:

Career Guide #9, Geothermal Energy: http://www.bls.gov/green/geothermal_energy/geothermal.pdf

 

The article Electric Vehicle Careers: On the Road to Change is available at: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2012/summer/art02.pdf

The Green Budget Coalition Releases Recommendations for 2013

The Green Budget Coalition’s Recommendations for Budget 2013 was released in November, with the following “feature recommendations” for the federal budget: 1) Subsidy Reform in the Extractive Industries; 2) National Conservation Plan: Securing Canada’s Natural Advantage for Future Generations; 3) Strengthening Canada’s Environmental Law and Science Capacity; and 4) Green Infrastructure in First Nations Communities. Regarding the reform of extractive industries such as oil and gas, the Coalition proposes three changes: enable the Canadian Exploration Expenses (CEE) subsidy only for unsuccessful exploration; remove the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA) for the mining sector; and do not renew the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) for flow-through shares. The report includes a table, which costs each recommendation; for example, the subsidy reforms, they estimate, would combine to produce a savings of approximately $345 million per year. The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) was founded in 1999, and brings together sixteen leading Canadian environmental and conservation organizations.

 

LINKS:

Recommendations for Budget 2013 is available at: http://www.cela.ca/sites/cela.ca/files/876GBCRecommendationsBudget2013.pdf

Archive of past annual recommendations is at: http://www.cela.ca/collections/justice/green-budget-coalition

Canada’s Climate Change Policy Ranks Worst in the OECD Countries

The Climate Change Performance Index for 2013 was released this month at the Doha climate talks. The report compares the top 58 CO2 emitting nations in the world- the countries listed being responsible for 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The Index compares emissions trends, emissions levels and climate policies, and Canada ranked last overall. Published by Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network Europe, the Climate Change Performance Index for 2013 full report, as well as links to tables and maps can be found at:

http://germanwatch.org/en/5698

Sustainable Energy for All: the Business Opportunity

The UN Global Compact and Accenture have released 19 sectoral reports within the theme of Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity. The reports identify priority activities and challenges for businesses to support the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. The reports are based on research and interviews with more than 70 companies and cover 19 industries. Key priority areas for action identified include: improving energy efficiency in operations; increasing the use of renewable energy; reusing waste streams; and increasing in stakeholder engagement and advocacy. The full report, Sustainable Energy for All: the Business Opportunity is available at: http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Sustainable-Energy-for-All-The-Business-Opportunity.pdf#zoom=50 with individual industry reports available from: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/Environment/Environment_Guidance_Material/sefa_industry_focused_reports.html

Jobs in U.S. Solar Industry Increasing

The Solar Foundation released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census report, which found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2% employment growth rate over the past 12 months. 86% of the nearly 14,000 new solar workers added since August 2011 represent new jobs, rather than existing positions that have added solar responsibilities. The report, produced by The Solar Foundation and in partnership with BW Research and Cornell University, was released on November 14th, 2012, at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference in Albany, NY. National Solar Jobs Census Report is available at: http://thesolarfoundation.org/sites/thesolarfoundation.org/files/TSF%20Solar%20Jobs%20Census%202012%20Final.pdf

Ontario Weakening its Push to Reduce GHG Emissions?

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner released a report titled A Question of Commitment, on December 4th, the 2012 edition of his annual review of the government’s Climate Change Action Plan. The report points out the weakening of policies meant to reduce GHG’s in the province, including the Green Commercial Vehicle Program cancellation despite achieving reductions that were 350% higher than expected; cuts to the Electric Vehicle Programs; High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes delayed; and the absence of a plan to join the Western Climate Initiatives’ emissions trading program. The report, A Question of Commitment, can be found at: http://www.eco.on.ca/index.php/en_US/pubs/greenhouse-gas-reports/2012-greenhouse-gas

Global Coal Risk Assessment Report Released

Global Coal Risk Assessment: Data Analysis and Market Research, a working paper by Ailun Yang and Yiyun Cui, was released by the World Resources Institute on November 20. Using estimates from the International Energy Agency, the report states that global coal consumption reached 7,238 million tonnes in 2010. Original research by the authors shows that 1,199 new coal-fired plants with a total installed capacity of 1,401,268 MW are being proposed globally, in 59 countries. China (with 363 proposed new coal plants) and India (with 455) together account for 76% of the proposed new coal power capacities. Canada ranks 13th in current consumption and has no proposed coal projects; the U.S. has 36. See summary at:

Full Report at:http://pdf.wri.org/global_coal_risk_assessment.pdf

 

Comprehensive Assessment on Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability in Europe Released

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently published a report on Climate Change, Impacts and Vulnerability in Europe 2012. This report assesses observed and projected climate change and associated impacts on ecosystems, society and human health in Europe based on more than 40 indicators. Compiled by about 100 authors and contributors, it is the most comprehensive assessment on climate change impacts in Europe so far. Read the press release in all official EEA languages at: http://www.eea.europa.eu/pressroom/newsreleases/climate-change-evident-across-europe
The full Report is available at:

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/climate-impacts-and-vulnerability-2012/

Stewarding the Green Agenda – the Role of Union in the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy and the Green Skills Agenda

Stewarding the Green Agenda provides recommendations for the trade union role in the transition to a low carbon economy and the green skills agenda, and describes how trade unions in the U.K. are currently leading or ‘stewarding’ the transition through dialogue and advocacy with government. The report was commissioned by the TUC’s Unionlearn and conducted by Capacity Global. Stewarding the Green Skills Agenda can be found at:

Jobs, Groth and Warmer Homes: Economic Stimulus of Investing in Energy Efficiency Evaluated in the UK

A report released in the UK in October, 2012 explains the potential benefits of spending carbon tax revenues on improving energy efficiency in fuel poor households to create a “triple win” of warmer homes, greater energy efficiency and economic growth. The study suggests if the carbon revenue is reinvested in such a program, it could create up to 71,000 jobs by 2015 and up to 130,000 jobs by 2027. Jobs, Growth and Warmer Homes: Evaluating the Economic Stimulus of Investing in Energy Efficiency Measures in Fuel Poor Homes. Final Report for Consumer Focus by Cambridge Econometrics can be found at:  http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/files/2012/11/Jobs-growth-and-warmer-homes-November-2012.pdf