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Recent news coverage about IISD
Natural gas is a dying commodity, and Canada needs to stop supporting it
If governments around the world maintain the status quo in terms of energy policies, we’ll see peak global demand for coal, oil and gas before 2030 – and clean technologies will play a much stronger role. That's according to the latest analysis from the International Energy Agency, which recently released its annual World Energy Outlook, or WEO, report. For Canada, the IEA research confirms it's time for governments to heed the signals and end public support to the fossil fuel industry. This includes eliminating subsidies for liquefied natural gas expansion across the country.
Small lakes, big studies: what Ontario's experimental lakes area teaches the world about water
Deep in northwestern Ontario is a collection of 58 small, pristine lakes where, for the past half century, scientists worried about water have gathered to take their laboratory outside. This is the world's largest outdoor experimental freshwater research facility, allowing scientists to develop invaluable long-term data about the effects of pollutants, clean-up processes and climate change on a finite resource.
How Rishi Sunak’s new oil and gas plans will affect energy bills and net zero
The King's Speech is set to include a bill that will allow new licences for oil and gas projects to be awarded annually. Rishi Sunak claims new licences for drilling in the North Sea will improve our energy security, while still allowing Britain to meet its net zero ambitions. But campaigners argue that encouraging new oil and gas exploration sends out a bad message to the world and will contribute to global warming.
How energy transition affects jobs
Concrete analysis of job impacts is needed to inform efforts for a just transition. Now, a study finds that decarbonizing US electricity generation will create jobs, but with uneven distribution among states, industrial sectors and skill needs.
Hackathon encourages collaboration, communication
On Oct. 23, the International Institute for Sustainable Development's Experimental Lakes Area launched its 2023 Hackathon at the University of Winnipeg, an exercise in environmental problem-solving for students and "nerds" of all technical expertise, which runs until Nov. 6. Teams of hackers, working virtually, will attempt to resolve problems related to the geographical scale of research, guideline limitations, and more—but each issue always circles back to improving freshwater lab work and monitoring across the country.
Freedom from fossil fuels? Canada's energy-security future hinges on continued growth of renewables
It's often stated that Canada's abundant oil and gas reserves provide energy security. Yet recent geopolitical turmoil–such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine–has tested this notion, causing oil and gas prices to surge, fuelling inflation and making Canadians' lives more costly. Increasingly, especially given climate change's existential threat, it's apparent Canada's energy-security future involves moving beyond oil and gas.
Climate adaptation initiatives launched in Binga
The adoption of nature-based solutions for adaptation against climate change is seen as one of the steps to enhancing sustainability and food security. World Wildlife Fund Zimbabwe has come up with a Climate Adaptation and Protected Areas initiative where it is working with Binga and Hwange Rural District Councils, government departments, traditional leaders and local communities to promote natural solutions to strengthening climate resilience and protecting biodiversity.
New legal tool can help governments get food systems back on track
The IISD Model Contract Clauses for Responsible Investment in Agriculture offer agricultural investment negotiators, state lawyers, and policy-makers a series of user-friendly, customizable contract provisions to help them design responsible and effective agricultural investment contracts. Such contracts help supplement gaps in domestic laws, not replace them, to get food systems back on track.
World Bank grants South Africa $1bn energy loan
The World Bank has granted South Africa a $1bn Development Policy Loan to help the nation transition to low-carbon energy and promote long-term energy security.
A climate mandate for Manitoba
With the arrival of a fresh government in Manitoba, there is an opportunity for the province to rejuvenate its efforts on climate change. With ministers set to receive their mandates, we ask: what would an ambitious climate plan look like for Manitoba? While the NDP ran on a campaign to improve health care and affordability—and Manitobans replied resoundingly—we must not lose sight of essential investments to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Our health and wealth are directly linked to our natural environment that is put at risk by the climate crisis.
EU climate divisions give foretaste of fight looming at COP28
A hard-won deal on the European Union's negotiating stance for this year's U.N. climate talks has revealed regional rifts that anticipate global tensions at the COP28 summit. Diplomats from the 27 EU countries spent weeks debating their COP28 position before their climate ministers agreed on Monday to push for deals to phase out CO2-emitting fossil fuels, triple production of renewable energy and halt the building of coal power plants.
Ukraine's green transition to freedom
The green transition is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Ukraine, however, not only has to decarbonize, but must do so amidst a war. Despite it, the country is already rebuilding and discussions about greening the economy are vivid.
Developed nations may face scrutiny over unfulfilled climate commitments at COP28: UN report
Acknowledgement that historical emissions of developed countries have depleted the carbon budget and that they failed to fulfil their pre-2020 commitments could be included in the outcome of the first-ever global stocktake. Pre-2020 commitments of developed countries refer to emission reduction pledges they made before the Paris Agreement under the Kyoto Protocol and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. Initiated in Glasgow in 2021, the first-ever global stocktake will conclude at the annual climate talks (COP28) in Dubai in December.
Consider more than just the environment when examining climate-resilient infrastructure, say experts
Ensuring Canada's infrastructure is more resilient in the face of increasing climate disasters will require reframing the issue beyond the readily apparent environmental impacts, according to an expert at a national climate adaptation research centre.
Lake Superior's shipwrecks aren't immune to invasive species in the Great Lakes
Beneath the cold blue waters of Lake Superior lie hundreds of shipwrecks, which serve as underwater time capsules of travel, trade and turbulence dating back more than a century. While the fate of these structures is largely subject to the hands of time, new foes have crept on board: zebra and quagga mussels. These invasive species have stirred up concern among archaeologists, historians and divers, who are reporting increased cases of the mussels coating wrecks across the Great Lakes, causing accelerated deterioration.
Montreal hosts global climate adaptation conference amid unseasonable heat
This year Montreal saw many extreme climate events: deep freezes, an ice storm, tornado warnings, torrential rain, flooding, forest fires up north, and extreme heat. The first week of October is bringing more heat to the city with temperatures of up to 32 degrees with the humidex. This is all happening as the city is hosting the largest global conference on adaptation to climate change. Over 1,500 global experts in climate change adaptation, along with politicians and citizens, are at the Palais des congrès this week for the seventh edition of the Adaptation Futures conference.
What the world would look like without fossil fuels
In any given year, the world produces staggering quantities of fossil fuels. Roughly 36.5 billion barrels of oil. Over 8 billion metric tons of coal. The United States alone extracts and processes over 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas. When those fossil fuels are burned, planet-warming gases are released. But what would happen if the world did suddenly stop extracting fossil fuels? And what does that mean for attempts to phase out something humanity has depended on for centuries?
Can a $20 billion bet wean Indonesia off coal?
Less than a year after it was announced, a $20-billion bet to wean Indonesia off coal is mired in controversies over financing and the construction of new plants to power industry. The Just Energy Transition Partnership for Indonesia was unveiled last November and follows a model first trialed in South Africa, with rich countries pledging funds for the developing world's energy transition.
Experts concerned over EU due diligence law's impact on Global South
Experts have welcomed the proposed EU law to hold companies accountable for adverse impacts along their entire value chain, but have also raised concerns about the negative impacts the new due diligence rules could have on economies of the Global South. The proposed corporate sustainability due diligence directive seeks to ensure that large EU companies and businesses operating in the EU identify, prevent, and mitigate their adverse impacts on human rights and the environment throughout their value chain. But the law has also raised concerns over the unintended consequences it could cause to economies in the global south.
Canada, a giant oil producer, urges others to end fossil fuel subsidies
Canada is pushing the United States and other major economies to follow through on pledges to phase out "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies, which have soared despite the growing threat of climate change. Such subsidies hit records last year, according to several watchdog groups, including one that estimated that major world economies—members of the G-20 cooperation forum—surpassed $1 trillion in subsidies for the first time in 2022. That’s a fourfold increase over subsidy levels in 2010, the year after G-20 nations agreed to phase out support for fossil fuels.