Edition for 30 March 2020

Top Stories

Big Oil’s interest in renewable energy investments expected to waver: report (CityNews Toronto)

  • “In a US$60 per barrel oil price environment, most companies were generating strong cash flow and could afford to think about carbon mitigation strategies,” said Valentina Kretzschmar, vice-president, corporate analysis, at Wood Mackenzie.
  • And companies that haven’t yet engaged in carbon reduction strategies are likely to put the issue on the back burner.
  • Earlier this week, Calgary-based oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. announced it would cut its 2020 capital budget by 26 per cent or $1.5 billion in response to lower global oil prices linked to a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  • Two previously approved projects were put on hold for as much as two years: A $1.4-billion plan to install two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant in northern Alberta that would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a $300-million wind power plant in southern Alberta.

Aberdeen: teetering between its high-carbon past and a green future (Guardian)

  • As the UK moves towards a net-zero carbon future many have questioned whether there can still be a place for the UK’s ageing oil industry.
  • “If you were to ask a dyed-in-the-wool Aberdonian who has worked in the oil industry for the last 20, 30 years whether they are interested in climate action they would probably only go along with it as long as it didn’t impact their livelihoods,” the North Sea veteran says.
  • Next, use this abundant clean energy to run electrolyser machines which siphon off the carbon from hydrocarbon gas to produce clean-burning hydrogen for transport fuels and industry.

This Is What Climate Change Looks Like in an Era of Covid-19 (Gizmodo)

  • In a sign of what could come elsewhere in a world experiencing the dual crises of a pandemic and climate change, government support has been slow to roll in despite some community members losing everything.
  • What’s happening in the Ecuadorian Amazon right now is a bellwether for other places and not just on the climate front.
  • That’s because climate change isn’t letting up just because there’s a global pandemic.

Coal mining allowed under Sydney water reservoir for first time in 20 years (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • “Our strong environmental performance has been confirmed by the Independent Expert Panel on Mining in the Catchment’s recent report that found the Metropolitan mine, 'displays no evidence of a connected fracture regime to surface,'” she said.
  • Environmental groups were angry the nod was given even before Parliament got to debate a petition carrying 10,000-plus signatures opposed to the expansion.

Newborn endangered sea turtles throng Brazil's deserted beaches (Guardian)

  • Herbert Andrade, an environmental official in Paulista, told journalists 291 turtles had now been born on the town’s shoreline this year – 87 green sea turtles and 204 hawksbill sea turtles – with locals often turning out to witness the spectacle.
  • Câmara said he hoped the coronavirus restrictions could eventually be relaxed in his state, which is home to about nine million of Brazil’s 209 million citizens. But for now, they are essential.

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