True or Not True: Canada is Falling Behind in Addressing GHG Emissions?
Measuring in absolutes does not do justice to the nuances of our country’s size, economic structure, and population density, all critical elements in understanding how we compare in energy production and use. Nor does it consider the consequences of starting with different base years when calibrating emissions or the age of the existing capital stock in the electricity sector and other parts of the economy.
The Energy Evolution and LNG
All evolution happens in stages. This is also true for energy use. There has never been an energy revolution — a sudden, complete, and fundamental switch from one thing to another — just gradual change as humans incrementally transition to higher-density energy forms.
Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections (2016)
An update on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions has just been released. How do we fare?
We're Better Off When We're All Better Off
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight a few points that showcase women’s progress and the need to continue with policies that aim to grow talent.
Global Energy Profile in 2040
Surprise! Not. The 2016 IEA World Energy Outlook shows continued growth in global energy demand, although slowing over time largely because of improved energy efficiency and energy intensity in many countries.
Tapping into a "Motherload" of Opportunity
Women, particularly in the child-rearing years of 20-49 years, are less active than their male peers in the workforce. This particular group of sub-optimally engaged women exemplify “missed opportunity."
To Pipeline or Not to Pipeline
As a major player in the global energy sector with a large and diverse endowment of natural resources, Canada must find ways to get our energy and other products to market. This is a task we are failing to do.
The International Energy Agency on Canada
Every year the International Energy Agency reviews the energy sectors of five OECD countries. The second report for Canada, Energy Policies of IEA Countries Canada 2015 Review, was recently published, drawing on data up to 2013. Overall, the IEA’s analysis provides a valuable summary of the history, context, opportunities and challenges around energy production and use in Canada, including the impacts of changing global oil prices.
Putting the BC Carbon Price in Perspective
British Columbia’s carbon price as of 2016 is the highest in North America by a wide margin, given its attributes and broad application across most of the province’s economy.
Canada's Energy Future (as of 2016)
On January 27, 2016, the National Energy Board (NEB) released its forecast of Canada’s energy supply and demand. The top line conclusion is that Canada will continue to produce oil and natural gas and remain a net exporter of fossil fuels.
Alberta Announces a New Approach to Managing Greenhouse Gases
Our high level summary of the Alberta government’s just announced framework for addressing greenhouse gas emissions.
An Updated Look at the Future of Energy
Ahead of the climate change conference in Paris next month, the International Energy Agency has just released the World Energy Outlook 2015. The data, projections and analysis in this well regarded annual publication provide an excellent foundation to ponder the future of global energy supply and demand.
The Myth and Reality of a Clean Economy and Jobs
Clean Energy Canada (CEC) recently released a report which purports to show the BC economy will continue to thrive if the province’s carbon tax is steadily ramped up and a long list of additional regulations and other measures are introduced to further reduce carbon emissions in the province.
Growth in the Economy = Women
Women make up half of the world’s population. Looking ahead, this means half of the potential global labour force consists of women. Potential is the key word. There are many barriers to full labour force participation by women, notably in emerging economies, but also to some extent in the advanced economies too. But suppose parity is possible. It could add a total of between $12 trillion and $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025. Over a 10 year period beginning in 2015, this would be equal to between $1.2 trillion and $2.8 trillion per year. Importantly, this “extra” economic growth would be on top of baseline forecast growth rates, which have been rather subdued of late.
Is the Price Right? A Comparison of Carbon Pricing
There is no real mystery to understanding what a carbon tax is – an amount deemed to be the value, or cost, of a tonne of carbon dioxide, which is a by-product of burning fossil fuel. In BC, policy makers have decided that the cost is CDN$30/tonne carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is then translated into an amount per unit of fuel. The tax is applied broadly to all fossil fuel combustion in the province and, in practice, covers a large majority of the fossil fuels consumed by businesses and households.
A Look at Families with Children and Two Incomes
Between 1976 and 2014 the absolute number of families in Canada with a child under age 16 declined by 15% but the number of couple families with at least one child under 16 stayed the same at 2.8 million. However, over the same period the number of two working-person families with at least one child under the age of 16 almost doubled and they now represent 69% of couple families. As a result, there are now 1.0 million more Canadian families with both parents in the labour market.
A Brief Look at the Environmental Goods and Services Sector in British Columbia
There are substantial challenges with establishing a coherent measure of the environmental goods and services (EGS) sector, not only in terms of definitions but also as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product, trade and employment in British Columbia.
For the most part there has always been an EGS sector. Its contribution to the economic activity is already embedded within the system of national accounts (SNA) used by statistical agencies in Canada and other countries. Two examples are water and wastewater treatment, whose contribution to economic activity is already counted as part of utilities or infrastructure spending. Other examples include technologies designed to improve vehicle fuel efficiency or to reduce emissions from power generation; these are captured in the existing data on manufacturing and utilities production and spending. Activities such as consulting and engineering services and hazardous waste management are also included in the SNA.
Women in Small Sized Business in BC
Small businesses make up ~98% of businesses in Canada and provide more than 50% of the private sector payroll. The figures are very similar for British Columbia. It is not a large leap to discover that small businesses support a significant number of jobs and contribute a great deal to our GDP – about 26% in the case of BC.
The Intersection of Environmental Policy and Economic Growth
The argument often goes: increased environmental regulation makes for a better society and facilitates economic growth. Some in the business community may disagree. To date there have been academic studies in support of both sides of the discussion but the answer has remained elusive. There is no doubt that much environmental regulation helps shape the conduct of individuals and firms by creating limits and articulating responsibility for actions and performance. But a proliferation of poorly designed and badly implemented regulations may have negative consequences for the economy, deterring investment and undercutting the competitive position of affected firms in trade-exposed industry sectors.