Recent news coverage about IISD
What happens to Canada after oil demand peaks?
What will the energy transition mean for Canada's oil and gas sectors, which have long been a powerhouse of the country's economy? Aaron Cosbey, a senior associate and economist at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, lays out what he sees happening to demand for fossil fuels in the next decade, and how the country can navigate the transition to minimize economic disruption.
Can the cotton industry protect its workforce in a changing climate?
Cotton is ubiquitous in human lives, with approximately half of all textiles made of the material, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development. But the sector's sustainability issues stand to be exacerbated by increased risk to extreme heat, drought, floods and wildfires already being caused by climate change, Forum for the Future warned in a 2021 report. Besides cutting yields, it will also affect the well-being of those involved in the supply chain.
Don’t write off the Just Energy Transition Partnership just yet
When it was announced at COP26 in 2021, South Africa's Just Energy Transition Partnership seemed to offer an answer to a weighty question: how can we not only usher in large-scale renewables investment into developing countries, but also rapidly wind down their coal sectors? However, in the nearly two years since the JETP was announced, critics have taken issue with everything from the way the JETP packages are funded to the pace at which they are being rolled out.
Alberta and Canada are talking about claiming emissions reduction credits for exporting fossil fuels
Alberta and Ottawa are searching for ways to claim credit for potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions in countries that swap their coal-fired power plants with Canadian gas, documents obtained by Canada's National Observer reveal. Energy discussions between Canada's largest oil-producing province and the federal government are taking place over the next year. A draft text of the working group's terms of reference shows the two sides, which are usually at odds over climate policy, are teaming up to explore how to use Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to the fossil fuel sector's advantage.
Integrating Sustainability Standards in South–South Trade Policies Can Improve Producers' Livelihoods in Developing Countries, New Report Shows
Trade between developing countries and regions—known as "South–South trade"—is growing rapidly. In the past couple of decades, its value has grown almost tenfold, from USD 600 billion in 1995 to USD 5.3 trillion in 2021. A new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development explores how governments in developing countries are using voluntary sustainability standards in their trade policies to ensure this growth benefits small-scale producers, communities, and the environment.
Sustainability Initiatives Falling Short for Sugar Cane Farmers in Developing Countries
Sugar cane is considered one of the most valuable agricultural commodities in the world and provides livelihoods for more than 100 million people in 120 countries. But many sugar cane farmers in developing countries live in poverty—and initiatives aimed at supporting them are falling short of their potential. A new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development explores recent market trends in the sugar cane sector, what these trends mean for producers in developing countries, and what voluntary sustainability standards, governments, and private sector actors can do to improve farmers' incomes.
How the G20 Declaration Sets the Pace for Enhanced Climate Action at COP28 in December
The G20 summit in New Delhi has set the pace for enhanced climate action at COP28, as it refreshed its resolve to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as per the Paris Agreement. The high-profile event ended with a soft commitment from the world's largest emitters to triple their renewable energy capacity by 2030.
New Report Finds Carbon Capture And Storage Far Too Expensive
A new report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be very expensive in Canada. According to the report, which focuses on carbon capture in the context of Canada's oil and gas industry, the climate solution’s persistently high costs are rooted in the "high design complexity and the need for customization."
G20 Summit Agreement Fails To Strengthen Coal Phase-Down Even As Data Show High Per Capita Coal Emissions
As world leaders gather in New Delhi for the Group of 20 (G20) Summit–with 19 member countries and the European Union–data show that a majority of the group still has very high per capita coal power emissions. At the summit, countries agreed to "pursue further efforts" to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius, agreeing to "encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally" but the G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration included no new commitment on phasedown of coal power or on phasing down all fossil fuels.
G20 aims to triple renewable energy capacity; no mention of fossil-fuel phase-out
G20 countries on Saturday said they will aim to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 and expedite efforts to phase down coal power in line with national circumstances but did not commit to a phase-out of all polluting fossil fuels, including oil and gas.
Lake lessons from East Africa
On a sweaty Friday afternoon, a few hours delayed, and with one suitcase fewer than when I set off, I finally landed down in the 'Peg after a 20-hour journey from my homeland of Kenya. For years, I had been aching to visit the province of 100,000 lakes. While, lamentably, I won’t be able to visit them all on this trip, seeing Lake Winnipeg in person was an unbridled delight, as was jumping in an SUV and heading over to another famed freshwater must-see of the region—the IISD Experimental Lakes Area.
CCS Can't Compete with Renewables, Won't Deliver by 2030, Report Finds
Carbon capture and storage may have an important role to play in hard-to-decarbonize sectors like iron and steel, but won't pay off for oil and gas companies without continuing government subsidies, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) concludes in an analysis released this week.
Report finds carbon capture's 'stubbornly high' prices are likely here to stay
Canada's oil and gas industry says costly technology it plans to use to reduce its climate footprint requires more investments from the federal government. If governments lend a hand now, the industry maintains the technology will become more affordable over time as more projects proceed, but a new analysis casts doubt on that claim. "Carbon capture and storage is expensive, and the costs are not likely to come down in the timeframe needed to meet our climate targets," said Laura Cameron, one of the report's three authors and a policy adviser for the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
Carbon capture projects are too costly, have ‘questionable’ benefits, report finds
Technology the oil industry is counting on to reduce emissions–carbon capture and storage–is too expensive and difficult to deploy quickly enough to help Canada meet its climate commitments, a global environmental think tank says. Relying on carbon capture and storage to cut greenhouse gases from oil and gas production will mean large public subsidies for projects that are unable to compete on costs against expanding renewable energy sources, rendering the benefits "questionable," the International Institute for Sustainable Development said in a report released Thursday.
The world is waiting for the G20 to firm up its stance on climate change
Up until recently, it was hyperbolic to say that climate change would burn up the world, but it’s actually happening today. The string of wildfires in Hawaii, Spain, Canada and Greece this year has destroyed entire settlements, but climate change is not merely about wildfires. It is also the primary reason behind the torrential rainfall and landslides in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Beijing’s worst flooding in 140 years and strangely enough, August 2023 was India’s driest August for 122 years despite the monsoons. The pattern is clear: Under the business-as-usual attitude, we have the makings of a serious challenge to organized life under runaway climate change. It will disturb sowing patterns, diminish crop yields, upend livelihoods and destabilize human development indicators. Excessive human-induced CO2 emissions are squarely responsible.
Building a Net-Zero World: How U.S. Finance Can Strengthen Clean Energy Manufacturing Abroad
The world needs to rapidly expand and diversify clean energy supply chains to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and mitigate dangerous climate impacts. While some sectors, such as solar photovoltaic manufacturing, are on track to hit their 2030 targets, there are major shortfalls in the production of many other clean energy products.
UN unveils plastic treaty "zero draft"
The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) has released the "zero draft" of its legally-binding treaty to tackle plastic waste, including options to restrict virgin plastic production and mandate recycled content requirements. The zero draft will be debated by participating states at the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) in November.
Solar Feeders Promise to Fulfil Solar Targets in Agriculture
Several Indian states like Maharashtra are pushing hard for increased solarization of their agricultural feeders to allow consistent power to its farmers during daytime. Some states like Bihar which don’t have any operational off-grid solar pump scheme have also planned to jump onto the bandwagon.
Study reveals G20 nations increased fossil fuel investments in 2022, defying climate goals
Amid the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi, where global leaders are poised to deliberate on critical topics including climate change, a study reveals a conflicting trend. Attending countries had substantially increased financial support for fossil fuels in 2022, which is in glaring contradiction to achieving the climate objectives set by the Paris Agreement, claims the study. Conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the study found that G20 member countries extended an all-time high of $1.4 trillion in public funds to bolster the fossil fuel industry in 2022.
Can carbon capture solve the climate crisis?
In its Climate Change 2023 synthesis report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mentions the "use of CCS in remaining fossil fuel systems" as one of the major changes we need to make to achieve net zero in our energy systems. While it was first conceived as a way to reduce carbon emissions as early as the 1970s, investments in carbon capture and storage have seen a sharp uptick lately. But does carbon capture and storage simply give us a get-out-of-jail card to keep emitting?