Atmosphere & Energy

Ottawa adds $400M to climate fund, begins phasing out coal

Seeking to burnish Canada’s environmental reputation before world leaders gather in Toronto, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced on Wednesday a $400-million contribution to an international climate change fund and plans to phase out coal-burning electricity at home.

Mr. Prentice said the $400-million investment represents “Canada’s fair share” of a $10-billion (U.S.) per year fund to help poor countries combat climate change. The “fast start fund” was negotiated at the Copenhagen climate-change conference in December as a $30-billion, three-year effort that will grow in future years.

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Digby Quarry

On November 19, 2002, the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Sierra Club of Canada and the Partnership for the Sustainable Development of Digby Neck and Islands Society called on Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Labour, David Morse, to issue an immediate stop work order and revoke the permit for a massive basalt quarry on Digby Neck until a number of critical issues are addressed.

The quarry company, Nova Stone Exporters, has told its Community Liaison Committee it plans to build a 600 foot pier, to allow large ships to carry the crushed stone to the USA. This clearly indicates that their long-range plans call for a much larger quarry than the 3.9 hectares (approximately 10 acres) that have been approved.... Read more »

Oil firm and environmentalists clash over oilsands

An environmental group is accusing French oil giant Total of “stonewalling” its attempts to question the firm’s plans for a proposed oilsands project in northern Alberta.

Currently in the approval process, Total’s $9-billion Joslyn North Mine near Fort McMurray has been delayed several times because of regulatory delays and labour shortages.

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The Canadian Environmental Agency granted the Sierra Club $20,000 to review Total’s environmental impact assessment, and the ERCB also gave the Sierra Club official intervener status to enable it to pose questions about the project, says Muxlow.

But in a letter to the province’s energy regulator, Total’s lawyers contend questions submitted by the Sierra Club to a joint review panel about the proposed Joslyn oilsands mine are “argumentative” and “have no relevance.”

Aluminum industry getting greener

Quebec's aluminum companies said yesterday they're well on their way to meeting their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Representatives of the major aluminum companies and Environment Minister Line Beauchamp held a news conference outdoors in the Old Port yesterday to announce that they are on track to meet targets set in 2007, cutting the equivalent of 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from 2008 to 2012. They will be verified by external auditors.

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John Bennett, the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, commended aluminum companies for their efforts, but said the technology to save electricity has been around for several years.
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Tar Sands Giant Total stonewalls public inquiry into Tar Sands plans

OTTAWA – One week after French tar sands giant Total blocked local residents from testifying at a tar sands upgrader hearing northeast of Edmonton, the corporation is now trying to limit what questions third party intervenors can ask with regards to their plans for a new tar sands mine. Total has objected to the right for Sierra Club Canada, an official intervenor in Total’s upcoming Jocelyn mine hearing, to ask several questions including questions about the impacts of tar sands development on First Nation and Metis communities, that were deemed by Total to be unrelated to the issues at hand.
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