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A Legal Toolbox to Defend BC from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline & amp; Tankers Project June 2017

A Legal Toolbox to Defend BC from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline & Tankers Project

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project, BC Government
Author(s):

Jessica Clogg, Eugene Kung, Gavin Smith, Andrew Gage

Summary:

The historic NDP/Green alliance in British Columbia has committed to “Immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast, and the transportation of raw bitumen through our province.”

In light of this commitment, many people have been asking: “What can BC do about Kinder Morgan?”

In our opinion, the relevant question is not: “Does BC have tools to stand up to Kinder Morgan?” Rather, it is: “What are the best tools for BC to stand up to Kinder Morgan?”

This brief outlines concrete legal options that a new government could use with respect to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project.

Publication Date:

June 2017

Full text:
 A Legal Toolbox to Defend BC from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline & Tankers Project
The historic NDP/Green alliance in British Columbia, which is poised to form BC’s next provincial
government, has committed to:
Immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of
the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast, and the
transportation of raw bitumen through our province.
In light of this commitment, many people have been asking: “What can BC do about Kinder
Morgan?”
This question raises important issues that in many ways eclipse a single pipeline and tanker
project: global climate change, Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and Canadian federalism, to
name a few.
In our opinion, the relevant question is not: “Does BC have tools to stand up to Kinder Morgan?”
Rather, it is: “What are the best tools for BC to stand up to Kinder Morgan?”
This brief outlines concrete legal options that a new government could use with respect to Kinder
Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project. It is not a laundry list – while there are
many tools available, we have focused here on what we believe are the best tools that are:
a) available immediately; and
b) in our view the most likely to withstand legal and political challenges.
2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus, at 2.c.
Photo: BC NDP
LEGAL BACKGROUND
1) The Province of British Columbia has the constitutional authority to:
• conduct its own studies and assessment(s) of projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline
and tankers project, even if the process requirements imposed have the potential to
result in a “no”; and,
• attach conditions related to areas of provincial authority that go beyond those imposed
by the federal government in its approval of the project.
2
2) The Province of British Columbia also has a constitutional and moral obligation to fulfill its
duties to consult and accommodate potentially affected First Nations before issuing provincial
approvals and permits required for the Trans Mountain project.
3
3) Furthermore, the Province of British Columbia: (i) cannot authorize an unjustifiable
infringement of Aboriginal title or rights; and (ii) must, where a claim is particularly strong take
steps to preserve the underlying Aboriginal interest pending final resolution of the claim.
• In this context, proceeding with the BC approval – which was granted in January 2017 –
could make BC vulnerable to further legal challenges.
4) The Province can set aside existing provincial approvals and prohibit future provincial approvals
until additional process steps and/or conditions – related to areas of provincial authority – are
fulfilled. Such legal steps can, in our opinion, be taken without offending constitutional provisions
related to the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments.
• This is particularly relevant because of the high-profile problems with the federal
National Energy Board (NEB) process, and the federal Crown’s failure to meet its
constitutional duties to First Nations, as set out in 10 legal challenges brought by First
Nations to the federal approval and NEB recommendation.
5) An outright final rejection or prohibition of the Trans Mountain project by the provincial
government could result in a legal challenge by the federal government on division of powers
grounds,
which would then take many years to resolve in the courts.
• However, we note that if multiple legal challenges
to the federal approval of the Trans Mountain project by First Nations and others are successful in setting the federal
approval aside, then the operational conflict between the federal and provincial decisions
would be removed. This would eliminate one basis for a potential legal challenge by the
federal government.
• The potential of a future legal challenge, which may not occur, should not discourage BC
from taking principled steps to safeguard matters squarely within provincial jurisdiction
(such as drinking water, health and safety, provincial lands and resources etc.), and to
meet its own constitutional duties to First Nations.
Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34 at paras 51-56, 71-74.
In R v. Sparrow [1990] 1 SCR 1075, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that section 35 is a limit on both federal and provincial
powers. More recently, Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources), [2014] 2 SCR 447 and
Coastal First Nations, supra have confirmed that a province must satisfy the duty to consult First Nations.
See Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 at para 91.
See:
See e.g., Canadian Western Bank v. Alberta, 2007 SCC 22;
British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Lafarge Canada Inc., [2007] 2 S.C.R.86, 2007 SCC 23, Coastal First Nations, supra.
See:
LEGAL TOOLBOX
The provincial government has the authority and obligation to meet its duties to First Nations,
and to protect the interests of British Columbians from this risky project. Below we have set out
four high-potential legal approaches for doing so. They are not mutually exclusive and in some
cases may be mutually enforcing.
Regardless of which legal approach is used, we recommend that the provincial government:
a) Add further processes and conditions related to matters within provincial jurisdiction;
b) Prohibit the issuance of any provincial approvals or permits to Trans Mountain, and
include a provision that any such approvals (i.e., that may have already been issued) are
without effect until the processes and conditions have been satisfied; and,
c) Establish a requirement, with reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, that the proponent demonstrate to the Province’s satisfaction
that every First Nation whose territory is potentially impacted by the Trans Mountain
project, including by the risks of spills or malfunctions from either pipelines or tankers,
has provided its free, prior and informed consent for the project (FPIC).
Approach 1:
Cabinet order under section 7 of the Environment and Land Use Act encompassing points a-c above Section 7 of the
Environment and Land Use Act empowers Cabinet to make any order considered “necessary or advisable respecting the environment or land use.” Such an order applies despite any other Act, and a Minister, ministry or agent of the Crown specified in the order may not exercise its power under any other Act or regulation except in accordance with the order.
• Action: Make a Cabinet order establishing additional conditions and processes, beyond
those currently set out in Trans Mountain’s environmental assessment certificate, which
must be satisfied before relevant provincial permits can be granted.
• Effect: This approach does not depend on overturning the existing environmental
assessment certificate per se, but could suspend it until further conditions are met
and processes occur. A condition requiring FPIC from potentially impacted nations
is particularly relevant, as it aligns with commitments also made by the federal
government.
Approach 2:
Court order setting aside the provincial environmental assessment certificate
This approach would involve reviewing the current legal challenges to BC’s Trans Mountain
approval, and issuing new instructions to Crown counsel, on the basis that the former government
did not meet its constitutional duty to consult and accommodate, cannot justify potential
infringements of Aboriginal title and rights from the project, and must take steps to preserve
underlying Aboriginal interests while claims are resolved.
• Action: Instruct counsel for British Columbia in Squamish Nation v British Columbia
(Minister of Environment) to review the application filed and relief sought by the
Squamish Nation, in light of the position of the new government. If the Province of
BC concludes that the previous government did not fulfill its constitutional duties,
then consider seeking a court order based on points of agreement with the Squamish
Nation. Relief sought by Squamish includes overturning the provincial environmental
assessment certificate on the basis that the Province did not meet its duty to consult and
accommodate, and prohibiting further permitting or approvals until the duty is met.
• Effect: Trans Mountain would likely oppose such an order, potentially requiring the
parties to present arguments to a judge before a decision is made. However, given that
consultation and accommodation is an issue between the Crown and First Nations, if
the provincial Crown and the Squamish Nation agree that the environmental assessment
certificate should be set aside, this would provide a highly compelling basis for the Court
to make such an order.
This option has the potential to judicially set aside Trans Mountain’s existing provincial approval,
and could result in a judicial prohibition on issuance of further provincial permits or approvals.
Even if pursuing this option does not immediately overturn the Trans Mountain approval (because
the court wishes to hear argument from Trans Mountain first), it would swiftly signal the new
government’s intention to take seriously the provincial Crown’s constitutional obligations to First
Nations impacted by the project.
In our view, this would greatly increase the likelihood that the environmental assessment
certificate would be set aside by the Court following argument. This approach would open up
opportunities for BC to engage meaningfully with First Nations, undertake additional review
processes and make a new decision on the environmental assessment certificate with additional conditions, if required.
Approach 3:
Order under section 31 of the BC Environmental Assessment Act to vary provisions of the Act as they apply to the Trans Mountain project.  This approach would involve using an existing variation provision in the Environmental Assessment
Act.
to enable changes to Trans Mountain’s environmental assessment certificate by order.
• Action: Make an order under section 31 of the
Environmental Assessment Act, which allows the Minister to order a variation of one or more provisions of the
Environmental Assessment Act or its regulations “in respect of a specified reviewable project” if “there
is or will be an emergency or other circumstance that warrants or will warrant the variation” and “the variation is in the public interest.”
8
Supreme Court of British Columbia Registry Number S-173649.
• Effect: There are a number of different ways this provision could be employed. For
example, the Minister could order a variation of section 37(2) of the Act, which could
broaden the scope of reasons for which the Minister may (by order) amend, suspend
or cancel the Trans Mountain environmental assessment certificate. This would, for
instance, enable the Minister to make further orders adding conditions to the Trans
Mountain certificate as per points a-c above (or even suspending or canceling the
certificate). As another example, the Minister could order a variation of sections 18
and 37 of the Act to enable the Minister to order that the certificate be amended to
significantly shorten its expiry date. Such orders could be made under the existing
Environmental Assessment Act without the need to introduce legislation.
Approach 4:
After existing permits have been altered, suspended or expired, collaboratively develop the
details of further processes and conditions that must be met before provincial permits can be
granted to Trans Mountain
• Existing assessment and review processes in BC are not up to the task of fully assessing
potential impacts on areas of provincial concern from the Trans Mountain project, nor
can they ensure that the Crown’s duties to First Nations met. Both the NDP and Green
Party have recognized the deficiencies in the current BC environmental assessment
(EA) process and have pledged to fix them. New legislation will ultimately be required
to ensure that things are done right in reviewing not just the Trans Mountain project
but future proposed developments. A new BC environmental assessment of the Trans
Mountain project, if required, should ideally occur under the revitalized EA process,
following the enactment of new EA legislation.
• Impacts on health, safety and drinking water have not been fully assessed in relation
to the Trans Mountain project to date. To do so, one option would be to pass a law
requiring an additional in-depth process reviewing impacts of the Kinder Morgan project
on community health and safety before any relevant provincial permits can be granted.
This approach could enable a detailed and in-depth review of Trans Mountain outside of
the current environmental assessment process.
• In general, we recommend that the time be taken to “get it right” in relation to the way
in which proposed projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, and the
cumulative effects of multiple human activities, are assessed in future in BC. However,
flexible tools such as those discussed above (e.g., under the Environment and Land Use Act) or the Public Inquiries Act could be used to design special review processes in the short term. West Coast has been deeply engaged in all four environmental law review processes currently ongoing at the federal level: environmental assessment law and processes, National Energy
Board, Navigation Protection Act, andFisheries Act. We look forward to contributing to similar BC
processes to strengthen our environmental laws and decision-making processes.
A note regarding BC’s protected areas and the Trans Mountain project.
We note that, to accommodate Kinder Morgan, the provincial government has already removed
land from Finn Creek Provincial Park and weakened protective designations for Finn Creek and
Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Areas in order to allow the granting of park use permits for
construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
9
There are indications that Trans Mountain may be seeking to have lands removed from the North Thompson River and Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Parks as well.
10
Parks are important and receive a very high level of legal protection under BC law. Indeed, the Park Act does not allow the government to approve industrial development within the boundaries of a Class A or C provincial park.
11
To the extent that Trans Mountain may request that the BC government pass legislation removing further land from provincial parks to accommodate its pipeline, the Province has no legislative obligation to do so.
12
The federal government arguably has the legal power to authorize the taking up of Crown land in a provincial park by Trans Mountain under s. 77 of the National Energy Board Act, but such an action needs to be authorized by the federal Cabinet.
13
Thus, if Trans Mountain seeks to have further land legislatively removed from provincial parks and BC does not change its existing laws to allow it, federal Cabinet would need to address the protected status of the lands explicitly and
would presumably have an obligation to consult impacted Indigenous nations before doing so.
Conclusion
It’s time for BC to hit the ‘pause’ button on Kinder Morgan, uphold its obligations to Indigenous
peoples, and properly assess the project’s impacts – before it’s too late. The legal approaches laid
out here are, in our view, the most reasonable, logical and moral options to ensure that Trans
Mountain does not jeopardize the environment, Indigenous rights and public health.
Prepared by:
Jessica Clogg, Eugene Kung, Gavin Smith & Andrew Gage
West Coast Environmental Law Association
Lands were removed from Finn Creek Provincial Park by amending the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act , through Bill 25 of 2016, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act 2016. Through Order in Council 216/2017 (March 6, 2017), the lands removed were then made subject to an order under the Environment and Land Use Act that provides that the lands will be managed as park-land, subject to the powers of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to approve the construction and operation of the Trans Mountain. Pipeline through a future park use permit. At the same time, in order in Council 117/2017, the government amended an existing Environment and Land Use Act Order related to Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area to make similar provision for the future issuance of a park use permit to Trans Mountain.
10
Carol Linnitt, “Kinder Morgan asks B.C. to Remove Land from Provincial Parks to Make Way for Trans Mountain Pipeline Con-
struction” (September 11, 2014),  eSmog Canada, online: <https://www.desmog.ca/2014/09/11/kinder-morgan-asks-b-c-remove-
land-provincial-parks-make-way-trans-mountain-pipeline-construction >.
11
Park Use Permits are required for activities within a park:
Park Act , R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 344, ss. 8 -9. In relation to Class A and C
parks, Park Use Permits to disturb natural resources may only be issued where the Minister finds that it is “necessary for the preser
-vation or maintenance of the recreational values of the park involved” (s. 9).
12
Note that the approaches set out above would position the provincial government to refuse, for the time being at least, park
use permits for the pipeline until further processes and conditions are addressed. Ideally, the provincial government would also
permanently restore removed lands to Finn Creek Provincial Park by legislation, and make an order restoring the pre-existing level
of protection to Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area by removing the ability to grant park use permits to Trans Mountain. How-
ever, this may more directly raise constitutional issues similar to those discussed in Burnaby (City) v. Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC,  2015 BCSC 2140 in which Burnaby unsuccessfully sought to restrict pipeline related activities in a local protected area.
13
National Energy Board Act
, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-7, s. 77, requires Cabinet to authorize the taking up of Crown land.


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Indigenous, Green Groups Warn Banks Against Kinder Morgan Loans

 

 

Kinder-Morgan-Burnaby-Mountain-protest-Mark-Klotzflickr-sized-down

The Energy Mix by News Outlet Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs @UBCIC

June 13, 2017

More than two dozen Indigenous and environmental organizations have written to 28 major lenders to U.S.-based Kinder Morgan Inc., warning them against the “ethical, reputational, and financial risk” of underwriting a project that contributes to climate change and “Indigenous rights abuses,” and raising the spectre of confrontations like last year’s fight over the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, West Coast Environmental Law, Oil Change International, Greenpeace Canada, and 350.org are among the groups calling on financial institutions to back away from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would reroute and triple the capacity of the Texas company’s existing Alberta-to-B.C. diluted bitumen conduit.

Among banks that underwrote the Kinder Morgan Canada IPO, and who received the letter, are Bank of America, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Banks that have offered Kinder Morgan current or past credit facilities included BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Crédit Agricole, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Wells Fargo.

“With financing [for Trans Mountain] apparently being finalized shortly, we urge your institutions to heed the lessons learned from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and decline any additional involvement with Kinder Morgan that would facilitate financing of its pipeline expansion. In particular, we urge you not to arrange or participate in Kinder Morgan’s planned C$5.5 billion Credit Facility,” the groups’ letter read. “[B]anks that choose to participate in the new credit facilities, and banks acting as underwriters in the recent Kinder Morgan Canada IPO, will be priority targets for Indigenous, environmental, and community groups.”

Some commenters, along with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, have cast the standoff between the pipeline’s supporters and opponents as a constitutional showdown over whether the national government has the power to ensure its decisions (such as pipeline approvals) are respected. “We can’t be a country that says one of its two functional coastlines is only going to do what the people who live right beside it want to do,” Notley said late last month,

But the latest letter should remind Notley and other observers that there is a third order of government in Canada, with stature equal to the provincial or federal Crown: Indigenous governments. And many of those—not only along the B.C. coast—are firmly opposed to the American company’s pipeline.

“Mark my words,” UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told Notley. “Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will never see the light of day. We do not accept the unscrupulous liability of dirty oil coming through any pipeline system to benefit some Texans or multinational interests at the expense of our inherent responsibilities to our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

“As banks consider financing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion tar sands pipeline, they should know that the over 120 First Nations and Tribes that have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion will not let this project happen,” added Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. “Indigenous and allied resistance to the pipeline will not be limited to B.C. either—it will be all over Turtle Island, and will also target the banks that chose to ignore our opposition.”

“The existing Trans Mountain pipeline,” a UBCIC release adds, “has sprung 82 recorded spills, including four major spills since Kinder Morgan bought the pipeline in 2005. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project would not only triple Trans Mountain’s capacity—transporting an additional 590,000 barrels of crude oil each day—it would lock in expanded production of one of the most carbon-intensive oils, Alberta tar sands oil.”

See article here……….


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Naomi Klein: Behind the Curtain of Trump’s Chaotic Horror Show Is an Effective, Destructive ‘Shock-Creation Machine’

 

Ignore the narrative that Trump is a bumbling idiot: Very bad things are happening, with more to come.

AlterNet by By Celisa Calacal 

June 13, 2017

Shocking, abnormal, unprecedented: These are just some of the words used to describe the Trump presidency since he took office. And with each new statement, tweet or piece of legislation from the Trump administration, many people feel that these antics are unlike anything we’ve seen before.

But author and journalist Naomi Klein disagrees: We have seen this before.

Speaking to a crowded hall June 12 at the Cooper Union in New York City, Klein, whose new book is titled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Needdiscussed the events contributing to Trump’s rise, the future of the progressive movement and the “shocks” left in the wake of Trump’s policies.

Much of Klein’s talk centered around the theory she presents in her 2008 book The Shock Doctrine, but she also differentiated Trump’s policies as a different form of shock. While most media coverage of the White House portrays his administration as a chaotic mess, Klein argued that the media ends up missing the more diabolical policy movements behind the curtain that are “shock-creation machines”—such as the removal of Dodd-Frank and Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.

“This narrative has emerged that he’s this bumbling idiot, that it’s all chaos,” she said. “And meanwhile, behind the scenes, getting very little media attention is a methodical, very organized redistribution of wealth from lower and middle incomes to the 1 percent of the 1 percent.”

The Rebranding of Trump—How We Got Here

In an analysis that has largely been missing in mainstream media, Klein connected much of Trump’s success to the way he brands himself. Drawing from common marketing practices, she discussed how Trump’s new business model involves the selling and leasing of his name to almost every product imaginable—a corporate model she calls the “hollow brand.” Klein’s analysis of hollow brand marketing builds upon the analysis in her 1999 book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.

Beginning in the late-1980s, Klein pointed out, companies began to shift away from their traditional model of creating products and establishing a brand around those products. The new trend in the marketing industry was to sell an idea.

“The product is the marketing tool. Branding is a very colonial process,” she said. “And essentially what they’re selling is group identity.”

Trump, Klein argued, capitalizes on this marketing technique as he built a brand centered on his name while quietly outsourcing the production of his products to developing countries. Klein took a moment to call out similar practices by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who has branded himself a progressive climate leader despite his anti-environmental policies in supporting tar sands pipelines.

“I’m a dual Canadian and American citizen, so I feel it’s my responsibility to tell you that Justin Trudeau is a hollow brand,” she said, to loud cheers from the audience.

The danger in this practice lies in the facade that companies are actually fulfilling consumers’ needs.

“They’re not selling anything that meets the need,” Klein said. “They’re selling the promise of meeting the need, which is fantastic for capitalism.”

See article here……

 


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Paris abstention reduces U.S. to a ‘Footnote to climate action.’: McKenna

The Energy Mix by

NEWS OUTLET NDTV @NDTV

The Trump administration’s abstentions at two recent energy and environment gatherings have reduced the country to a “footnote” in international climate negotiations, Canadian Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna told a European news outlet last week.

G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_

G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_

“The U.S. is now left as a footnote to climate action and that’s very sad,” McKenna told Reuters, following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in Bologna, Italy. During the meeting, delegations from six questions made it clear to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that American renunciation of the Paris agreement won’t deter the rest of the G7 from taking climate action—and that there is no scope for the U.S. to renegotiate the agreement or dictate amendments, Donald Trump’s fulminations notwithstanding. In a 20-minute side meeting with Pruitt, McKenna reportedly reinforced the reality that reopening the historic global deal is not in the cards.

The climate-denying EPA administrator left the summit after the opening statements, and the junior U.S. diplomats he left behind declined to join senior peers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in endorsing summit statements on climate change and international development banks. Italy’s environment minister, Gian Luca Galletti, called the Paris accord “irreversible, non-negotiable, and the only instrument possible to combat climate change,” adding that other G7 countries hoped to continue “constructive dialogue” with the U.S. within the “Paris parameters”.

“The unprecedented split is another clear signal that the rest of the world is forging ahead with the actions needed to meet the climate crisis,” despite Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, observed Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Together with the pledges made by a growing coalition of U.S. mayors, governors, business leaders, and others to meet America’s Paris commitments without him, the meeting highlights…Trump’s increasing isolation on climate and clean energy issues, both at home and abroad.”

As the G7 ministers’ final statement makes clear, Meyer added, “there is no appetite to ‘renegotiate’ the Paris agreement, and the drive towards a global economy based on clean, renewable energy will continue full speed ahead,” despite Trump’s and Pruitt’s efforts to slow it down.

In a literal footnote to the communique, the U.S. delegation said the country “will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment.” In a separate statement, the EPA insisted Pruitt’s attendance had “reset the climate change discussion” at the G7 meeting.

In a second communiqué at the end of the event, reported by the UN Climate Action Programme, the United States did endorse—although without commitments—the G7 ministers’ collective call on members to increase financing for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to address “resource efficiency, marine litter, [and] green jobs,” while pointedly abstaining from its call for climate action.

In Beijing, meanwhile, where the annual Clean Energy Ministerial convened, the message “from the heads of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency, and numerous other speakers was clear and forceful,” report Merran Smith and Dan Woynillowicz, executive director and policy director at Clean Energy Canada: “The transition to clean energy is irreversible.”

Electric vehicle, energy storage, and photovoltaic and wind generation technologies are all developing along tracks that Smith and Woynillowicz call “2DS-compatible”—meaning they’re in line with a scenario to achieve the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. But energy efficiency, and private corporate investment in the low-carbon transition, both lag behind what is called for to hit the target.

See article here…….


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CAPP touts more pipelines, fossil production despite prospects for falling demand

“CAPP’s analysis always points to the dire need for new pipeline capacity, regardless of what’s happened with new pipeline development and tar sands/oil sands cancellations.”

The Energy Mix by

While forecasts pile up predicting a drop-off in demand for fossil transportation and heating fuels, Canada’s oil and gas producers see nothing but open throttles ahead for crude extracted from high-carbon bitumen and delivered to world markets by more pipelines.

In its 2017 Crude Oil Forecast, Markets and Transportation report, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) predicts that “Canada will need more pipelines built through to 2030 to transport an additional 1.3 million barrels per day of oilsands production to markets across North America and around the world,” according to industry monitor JWN Energy.

Existing lines, with a capacity of four million barrels per day, handle Canada’s existing petroleum production of 3.85 million barrels with room to spare. But with the expansion in output it envisions, the fossil lobby group forecasts that pipelines “will need to move more than 5.5 million barrels per day” by 2030. That growth “will exceed existing pipeline transportation capacity,” JWN writes, “highlighting the urgent need for pipelines heading east, west, and south.”

“Increased pipeline capacity to reach more Canadians and new, growing markets around the world will ensure Canada remains globally competitive,” CAPP asserts. But its expectations may be built on (tar-free) sand. A growing number of mainstream media outlets are reporting that oil’s day is done, and that the sun may go down much sooner than oil’s producers might like to believe.

“This is What the Demise of Oil Looks Like,” Bloomberg headlined a collection of forecasts showing how the influence of increasing energy efficiency, technology change, electric vehicles, and fuel-switching to renewable energy at plummeting prices will erode the International Energy Agency’s forecast that oil demand will rise more than 10% by 2040. CAPP, for its part, assumes that demand for some of the world’s most expensive—as well as highest-carbon—oil will grow by more than 34% a decade earlier.

Last year, an independent analysis based on CAPP’s own data from its 2015 Crude Oil Forecast demonstrated that Canada does not, in fact, need any new pipeline capacity.

Oil Change International was downright sanguine in its on-the-spot analysis of the CAPP release. “This ritual happens every June, and presumably CAPP hopes no one will actually compare the consistency of what it says each year,” writes Senior Campaign Adviser Greg Muttitt.

But after doing precisely that analysis, Oil Changes comes back with two observations: CAPP’s analysis always points to the dire need for new pipeline capacity, regardless of what’s happened with new pipeline development and tar sands/oil sands cancellations. And this year, a close look shows shifting numbers and assumptions that call the whole release into question.

“In reality, there’s enough pipeline space for all the [new production] projects that are currently being built; you only need new pipelines if you’re planning a massive expansion, and ignoring the Paris Agreement,” Muttitt concludes. “We’ve now closely followed six iterations of the CAPP graph of pipelines. And it’s fair to say they’ve got progressively more far-fetched over the years. But that’s what alternative facts are all about.”

See article here……


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UN Climate Secretary opens door for Cities, States to join Paris accord

United Nations Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa has opened a possible pathway for U.S. cities and states to join the Paris Agreement as full participants.

Durban, South Africa climate summit, 2012

Energy Mix by

NEWS OUTLET GRIST @GRIST
United Nations Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa has opened a possible pathway for U.S. cities and states to join the Paris Agreement as full participants.
The possibility had provided a ray of hope during informal discussions at COP 22 in Marrakech, but receded in the weeks following the conference. Now Espinosa has rekindled the conversation, though the details are still far from firm.
“This is obviously important, because cities like New York and states like California that intend to pursue the same direction—of reducing emissions very ambitiously—will have a voice and will be able to sign agreements inside the international convention on climate change,” Espinosa told G7 environment ministers during their meeting in Bologna.
California Governor Jerry Brown has already moved to position himself as an alternative American climate leader on the international stage, recently signing energy and climate partnerships with China and Germany. And on Monday, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that “we will meet the Paris standards in the United States,” despite White House hostility to the pact.
Yesterday, Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama reinforced the point by appointing Brown Special Envoy for States and Regions for the COP23 Presidency, and announcing that Fiji would be the first Small Island Developing State to endorse the California-led Under2 Coalition.
But the UN climate process is always a place where the granular details make the difference, and the details behind Espinosa’s statement are not yet entirely clear. “It’s a little bit early to know what exactly is meant” by the UN diplomat’s comment, said Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo.
In the end, “it could refer to subnational representatives, like governors, receiving credentials to attend climate talks and participate in discussions, rather than state or municipal governments literally signing on,” Grist reports.


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No-take sanctuaries proven to be most effective way to resuscitate and protect ocean life

Only 3.5 percent of the ocean is under some type of protection, and less than 2 percent is in no-take marine reserves. Despite the recent increase in large MPAs worldwide, we are still short of the United Nations target of 10 percent of the ocean. So we have a lot of work to do.
Ocean Views Posted by David Maxwell Braun of National Geographic Society  June 13, 2017
New analysis of previous studies shows that biomass of whole fish assemblages in marine reserves is, on average, 670 percent greater than in adjacent unprotected areas, and 343 percent greater than in 15 partially-protected marine protected areas (MPAs), according to an essay published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. Marine reserves also help restore the complexity of ecosystems through a chain of ecological effects (trophic cascades) once the abundance of large animals recovers sufficiently, say the authors, Enric Sala, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, and Sylvaine Giakoumi, Universite Cote d’Azur, in their opinion essay Food for Thought: No-take marine reserves are the most effective protected areas in the ocean. (Download a PDF)
There are significant additional benefits from a rigorous protection of portions of the ocean. “Marine reserves may not be immune to the effects of climate change, but to date, reserves with complex ecosystems are more resilient than unprotected areas. Although marine reserves were conceived to protect ecosystems within their boundaries, they have also been shown to enhance local fisheries and create jobs and new incomes through ecotourism,” Sala and Giakoumi say in their essay.
National Geographic Voices interviewed Sala about the role of MPAs as an essential tool for reversing the global degradation of ocean life, and how that then enhances local fisheries and creates jobs and new incomes through ecotourism. Read on to learn more about the importance of protecting the oceans and what you can do to help.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer and ecologist, Enric Sala.

 

 

What is the purpose and most significant finding of this new analysis?

We show that no-take marine reserves where fishing is prohibited have, on average, almost seven times more fish biomass (the total weight of fish per square mile) than unprotected areas nearby. But we also found that “marine protected areas” (MPAs) that allow fishing within their boundaries are not able to even double fish biomass. While these partially protected areas are useful for managing use conflicts, it is no-take reserves that are the most efficient in bringing back marine life and protecting ecosystems.

What are marine reserves designed to do, and how do they provide more than what they were initially designed for, as stated in the paper?

Marine reserves were initially designed to protect marine life within their boundaries, but over time we’ve discovered that they produce so many fish and other animals, that some of them spill over the reserve’s boundaries. That helps the local fishermen who now can catch more outside the reserve boundaries. And when the fish come back, the divers come in, bringing in more revenue and helping to create more jobs than fishing.

How successful are the reserves?

Reserves can be very successful, as shown in our research. As an example, there is a little marine reserve on the Costa Brava in the Mediterranean, the Medes Islands, that is only 1 square kilometer in size. But it contains one of the largest abundances of large fish in the Mediterranean, which attracts thousands of divers from all over Europe. That square kilometer brings in 12 million Euros per year through ecotourism.

Should artisanal or traditional fishing be allowed in marine reserves?

Marine reserves should be closed to fishing, so that they can bring marine life back and preserve it. Traditional fishing should be carried out in a sustainable way, but outside the reserves. Research shows that artisanal fishing does better next to reserves anyway.

What are the most significant challenges in proclaiming marine reserves and enforcing their protection?

Biggest challenge is opposition from the fishing industry, mainly because either they are not aware of the benefits of reserves to fishing, or because they opt for short-term economic gain at the expense of the resource they exploit. But I’ve met fishermen who were against reserves initially, but who now want more reserves, because they’re better off because of them.

How much of the ocean do you believe should still be set aside for marine reserves? Are there any specific areas that should be given high priority?

A study indicated that, on average, about 40 percentof the ocean should be protected to achieve ecological protection but also sustainability of fisheries. I think that we should protect half of the ocean, which according to another study would allow to catch the same amount of fish in the other half, fishing less.

It also should be made clear that protected should mean truly protected. No-take reserves are protected areas. MPAs that allow fishing, in my opinion, should not be called protected areas, but “managed areas”. And these managed areas should not count in the global tally of how much of the ocean is protected. Calling an area that allows fishing a “marine protected area” is like calling a timber concession (no matter how well managed) a “protected forest.”

How much of the ocean is protected now?

Only 3.5 percent of the ocean is under some type of protection, and less than 2 percent is in no-take marine reserves. Despite the recent increase in large MPAs worldwide, we are still short of the United Nations target of 10 percent of the ocean. So we have a lot of work to do.

What ultimately can the public do to help conserve the oceans?

Avoid single-use plastic such as straws and plastic bags, and eat less meat and more vegetables. And of course, if you eat fish, eat only fish that have a label of sustainability.

What is your current/next research project?

We continue to survey the most pristine places in the ocean and work to inspire leaders to protect them in large marine reserves. For updates on the project please see pristineseas.org

See article here……