Jul 30, 2015

Canada resource officials discuss recession at Energy and Mines Ministers Conference

Canada
Admin
3 min
Canada is a rich source of many resources, not least of which is petroleum—as both the fifth largest oil producing country and the fifth larges...

Canada is a rich source of many resources, not least of which is petroleum—as both the fifth largest oil producing country and the fifth largest producer of natural gas in the world, with a wealth of oil fields, it’s a country of sincere and significant interest to the resources industry. As political leaders of that industry, Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial energy and mines ministers traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, this month to discuss the state of the industry and plans for the future at the 72nd Annual Energy and Mine Ministers’ Conference (EMMC).

Canada’s resources industry may be robust, but it is also in a state of flux at the moment due to economic downturn. This downturn was a major topic of discussion during this year’s EMMC, and following the event this discussion was detailed in a brief titled Weathering the Storm. The tackles the downturn and brings to the forefront three topics for mining executives and government officials to consider as they work together to set the industry up for future success.  

According to the brief, the three priority issues to address are:

1. Improving the regulatory process and clarifying the duty to consult

2. Addressing the costs of operating in remote and northern Canada

3. Helping junior companies weather the economic downturn

These are all critical issues facing Canada’s resources industry, especially as it weathers the economic downturn. As the brief states, the industry is facing multiple issues including a declining trend in commodity prices and a volatile and unpredictable global economy. While the industry is still booming and supporting its communities at the moment, this may not be the case in the future unless the industry works together. As David Ramsay—Northwest Territories Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment—explained to publication Northern Miner, it’s going to take a lot of work to keep smaller prospects afloat and keep interest and investments coming in:

"I think we really have to get as creative as we can if we're going to attract natural resource investment. In a time of downturn we have to be especially aggressive and get after it or else things will get pretty scary. For us the key areas include ongoing investment in our workforce and more infrastructure projects. […] It's really important we establish a concrete strategy to help out the junior industry and fuel exploration. The reality is that money is scarce in both mining and energy right now. It's a scary environment and we have to find a way to get money to junior mining companies so they can come in and find that needle in the haystack.”

 

Officials also discussed topics like community relationships, especially heavier involvement of First Nations communities with development projects moving forward, and an imperative to create “a more responsible” oil and gas industry. As the years progress, all of these issues will become more and more vital to keeping Canada’s top resource provider status alive. For more insight, check out the full event brief here.

[SOURCE: Northern Miner]

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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

climatechange
Energy
Netzero
UK
Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
     
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
     
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
     
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
     
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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