Is the TMEX pipeline a future stranded asset?

The US and Canada, rely heavily on fossil fuel production and exports. But the surging market penetration of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency improvements, and climate emission policies will substantially reduce the global demand for fossil fuels.

As the demand for fossil fuels declines and the price of oil falls, the impact on the oil industry in the US and Canada is severe–curtailing production and stranding their assets. The oil sands are exceptionally vulnerable, and the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the Canadian government looks like a colossal mistake.

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Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico more than 5700

A recent review of the additional mortality in Puerto Rico associated with the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 has sharply revised the numbers upwards–by almost two orders of magnitude. Most deaths occurred after the hurricane had passed–and are due to the failure of health care systems because of power outages, water shortages, and communication black-outs.

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Renewables outshine natural gas

A new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows that new natural gas-fired power plants cannot compete with clean energy systems that combine renewable energy with energy storage, efficiency improvements, and demand management. Smart energy storage systems are the key to fully unlocking the potential of intermittent renewable energy.

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More bang for the buck? Oil trains and pipelines

The oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, happened five years ago. As pipeline capacity tightens, oil companies are choosing trains to move their petroleum products. Flammable and volatile, these cargoes are an enormous risk for communities situated along the tracks. But building more pipelines is not the solution. The modern world is going electric–powered by renewable energy. Fossil fuels are the also-rans.

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Climate change and air pollution–two sides of the same coin

The World Health Organisation estimates that 9 out 10 people worldwide are breathing polluted air–pollution that kills 7 million people a year. Fossil fuels are almost entirely to blame for this global health disaster. Worldwide action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and check global warming will also immensely improve air quality. It’s two sides of the same coin.

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Talanoa dialogue and the climate story

The Talanoa Dialogue, to be held next week in Bonn, Germany, is the first formal review of progress under the 2015 Paris Agreement. But we already know that emissions of greenhouse gases have continued to rise–and with them global warming. It’s time for action–not words. Forceful action on renewable energy, electric vehicles, and improving energy efficiency can cut emissions by over 50% by 2030. If we stop telling stories and get a move on.

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Is the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the national interest?

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Extension Pipeline (TMEP) will run side by side with an existing pipeline for nearly 1000 km from northern Alberta to the west coast of Canada. Together the twin pipelines will carry 890,000 barrels of oil a day of petroleum products including heavy crude oil. Leaks and spills from a pipeline of this size and length are inevitable.

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The disaster files – 2017

2017 was not a record a year for disasters. Not in terms of fatalities at least. The devastating hurricanes that flattened so many Caribbean islands and caused massive damage in the US thankfully caused far fewer deaths than many other disasters in the recent record. But the impact on many small Caribbean islands was catastrophic. The numbers show that the 51 Small Island Developing States are hugely vulnerable to climate change.

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