CLIMATE ACTIONS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

Awarded for the best climate action and Innovative Politics in Europe.

ClimateArena in Ii.

Ii’s Innovative Low-Carbon Public Services won in 2017 the European Commission’s RegioStars Awards category in Energy Union: climate change. Ii was especially appreciated for innovativeness and for engaging the citizens. Also in 2017 the Nordic Council of Ministers identified Ii as one of the best Bioeconomy cases in the Nordic Region.

In November 2019, Municipality of Ii won the Innovation in Politics Awards / Ecology for encouraging everyone to take climate actions. Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZAEfI4RPz0

EUROPE’S GREENEST TOWN?

How has a small place in northern Finland managed to become Europe’s most eco-friendly town? Ii has slashed its CO2 emissions by 80% and is producing 10 times more renewable energy than it consumes. This community project could be an inspiration for us all – but such rapid change is not without opposition. Watch BBC News Channel: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cgm1

See more videoclips about our climate actions:

Climate Arena is the nation’s leading climate festival which invites everybody to participate in a common dialogue to find solutions and tackle the climate change together. Artists, scientists, celebrities, political leaders, citizens and business citizens all share the same stage to discuss the one thing that needs everyone’s actions, the climate change.  For two days in August the stages are filled with performances and panel discussions to engage the whole society and to have some festival fun. Welcome to Climate Arena!

SIGNIFICANT RESULTS IN REDUCING CO2 EMISSIONS

All energy produced in Ii is renewable: hydro, geothermal and wind power as well as bio-based fuels. Ii produces ten times more renewable electricity (water, wind and solar power) than it uses annually. One of Finland’s largest wind farms is located by the sea shores of Ii.

Municipality of Ii has set an ambitious goal to reduce 80 percent of carbon emissions by the year 2020, which is over 30 years faster than the EU climate target. Ii has managed to cut down oil consumption by 89% from 2010 level. Energy, heat and water data are collected in real-time from all public buildings.

Cost savings of renewable energy and energy efficiency investments are more than 0,5 M€ per year and as the payback time has been around six years. Tax revenue income from wind power is 1M euros per year.

MUNICIPALITIES AS PIONEERS AND CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT

Ii is part of Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) -project that brings residents, experts and companies together to create and carry out solutions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Significant renewable energy implications are being activated in the area producing new business opportunities and competence to entire Northern Finland. Ii is also part of Finnish Sustainable Communities (FISU) and CircWaste network.

With us innovative ideas are easily tested, measured, adjusted and piloted, which opens new opportunities for the companies working e.g. on energy storage development, solar and bioenergy or sustainable transportation systems.

Regional development company Micropolis ltd boosts green and sustainable growth. The expertise covers environmental engineering and profitability calculations, service design, business incubatoring and enhancing circular economy solutions. Significant renewable energy implications are being activated with the assistance of EU funding programs producing new business opportunities and competence in the Arctic region.

Municipality owned property company Iilaakso ltd let and develop industrial facilities and business premises for all size companies. As an active supporter of green innovations, Iilaakso is a piloting premise in a 5G trial system for future IoT services as well as next generation energy measurement systems.

LOOKING FOR INNOVATIVE GREEN PARTNER?

Please contact Ms. Leena Vuotovesi, CEO of Micropolis ltd
Tel. +358 40751 4318, leena.vuotovesi@micropolis.fi

SOURCE

Can a massive new oilsands mine be reconciled with Trudeau’s ‘net-zero’ promise?

The prime minister’s painstaking efforts to chart a middle path on climate are about to be tested again

Opponents of the Teck Frontier mine project say it will damage wetlands and harm Indigenous communities. (Julie Prejet/CBC)

The political complexity of the challenge facing Justin Trudeau as the federal cabinet prepares to make a decision on Teck Frontier — a proposed large new oilsands mine in northern Alberta — is underlined by the categorical statements of the project’s loudest proponents and opponents.

“If this project does not proceed, it would be a clear indication that there is no way forward for this country’s largest natural resource,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared in a speech in Ottawa in December.

A day later, the Canadian environmentalist Tzeporah Berman wrote in The Guardian that “approving Teck Resources’ Frontier mine would effectively signal Canada’s abandonment of its international climate goals.”

In the past, Trudeau has chosen to pursue a middle path between such polarized opinions on climate change and resource development — approving a new pipeline to the West Coast while also implementing a national price on carbon, then buying that pipeline while committing the tax revenue from the project to clean technology.

But Trudeau now has a stated destination for whatever path he chooses: a Canada with net-zero emissions by 2050.

Whatever else Teck Frontier represents, it stands as a starting point for a necessary and overdue conversation about what the next 30 years could, or should, look like.

Map showing the location of the Ronald Lake Bison Range in relation to the Teck Resources Oilsands Frontier mine. (CBC News Graphics)

The Teck Resources Limited Frontier Oil Sands Mine would be located approximately 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alberta and would operate from 2026 to 2066. If completed, the project would employ 7,000 people during construction and 2,500 people to operate the mine, while contributing $70 billion in tax revenue to federal, provincial and municipal governments.

It also would produce 4.1 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. And the Pembina Institute estimates that, when all activity related to the mine is taken into account, emissions from the project will amount to six megatonnes annually.

Still, a joint review panel found in July 2019 that the project was in the public interest — though that was before Trudeau made a commitment to achieving net-zero by 2050.

While Kenney presents Teck Frontier as a referendum on the future of the oilsands, Teck’s own CEO has conceded that the project’s fate depends on more than the federal cabinet’s decision.

Could Teck make money?

For Teck Frontier to be viable, the price of oil will need to be close to $75 per barrel. The current price for West Texas Intermediate is $52.

If project is approved and does become economically viable, there will still be those emissions to contend with.

Teck Frontier’s emissions, on their own, are unlikely to thwart Canada’s quest to achieve net-zero in 2050. So it might be equally simplistic to frame the project as a referendum on this country’s ability to meet that target.

But four megatonnes is a lot for a single facility — particularly when the goal is to push emissions close enough to nothing to allow Canada to compensate for the remaining emissions with some combination of carbon capture technology and land-use changes (like planting more trees).

“Do we really want to be squandering a limited carbon budget that could be reserved for energy efficient buildings, transportation and other parts of the economy on one project?” said Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network.

One could also ask whether any single project should be asked to bear that much responsibility for a national target.

A difficult moment

For both sides of this debate, Teck Frontier speaks to bigger questions. Albertans are frustrated and worried about what the future holds for their province’s primary industry. But if Canada is to contribute meaningfully to the global fight against climate change, it must deal with the emissions from our oil and gas industry — a sector that is projected to account for 199 megatonnes and 34 per cent of Canada’s total emissions in 2030.

Last fall’s election was defined by those forces — by restive voters on the Prairies who oppose Trudeau’s government, and by the two-thirds of voters who cast ballots for parties that promised significant action to combat climate change. Four months after that election is a particularly difficult moment to contemplate approving or rejecting such a project.

If there is a middle path here, it might resemble a proposal made by the Pembina Institute in 2018. In a submission to the review panel, Pembina recommended that the project be required to match “best-in-class” efficiency standards and that it reduce its emissions by half between 2026 and 2050.

Could Teck Frontier be pushed further to achieve something closer to net-zero by 2050?

Approval with conditions?

Amarjeet Sohi, the former federal minister of natural resources, recently suggested that Teck Frontier’s approval should be linked to a legislated limit on oilsands emissions and a plan from Alberta to help Canada get to net-zero by 2050.

Trudeau could approve the project, with such conditions or demands, and then let the market decide Teck Frontier’s fate.

Despite a great deal of noise over the last four years, the Liberals effectively found a successful middle path on Trans Mountain: a majority of Canadians and British Columbians support the pipeline, according to opinion surveys, and the Liberals were re-elected with a plurality of seats last fall. Walking that middle path on Trans Mountain may have prevented an even deeper schism from emerging.

The ‘United We Roll’ convoy of semi-trucks prepares to leave Red Deer, Alta. Feb. 14, 2019 – on its way to Ottawa to draw attention to a lack of support for the energy sector. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

But finding a happy medium might be harder now. Environmentalists, in particular, might be less willing to accept any compromise that involves expanding oilsands operations. And Trudeau’s minority government is contending with parties on its left that are pushing for more aggressive action to reduce emissions.

Whatever the federal cabinet decides, there is a need now to start talking about what 2050 might look like and how the country might get there. Ideally, that discussion would have started months — even years — before Teck Frontier went to the cabinet for a decision.

Questions about the long-term future of Canada’s emissions and Alberta’s resource-based economy have loomed in the background of all discussions about climate change and resource development over the last five years. But those questions are now increasingly unavoidable.

Though the goal of net-zero by 2050 was only introduced by Trudeau during the fall campaign, it’s not a number picked at random. Net-zero is in line with the aim of limiting further global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and thus minimizing the damage to life on this planet. Sweden, the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand have written a target of net-zero into their domestic laws.

The future of the oil and gas industry, and all those who work in and around it, is key to Canada’s shot at net-zero. Outright rejection of Teck Frontier would accelerate the need for answers — particularly regarding the “just transition” the federal government has promised to people whose livelihoods depend on the fossil fuel industries. But any decision will require an explanation.

Federal and provincial politicians have been edging up to these questions about Canada’s energy future for years. But a decision on Teck Frontier is an invitation to start explaining how the next 30 years could play out. SOURCE

 

‘We Don’t Know a Planet Like This’: CO2 Levels Hit 415 PPM for First Time in 3 Million+ Years

It’s time the Prince Edward County Council declared a climate emergency. Not to do so is inexcusable. It’s time to put pressure on our councillors. Write today!

“How is this not breaking news on all channels all over the world?”


It’s a “climate emergency.” Environmental campaigners stand on top of a DLR train at Canary Wharf Underground Station during the third day of a coordinated protest by the Extinction Rebellion group on April 17, 2019 in London, England. More than 100 arrests have been made, with demonstrations blocking a number of locations across the capital. (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Atmospheric levels of carbon registered 415 parts per million over the weekend at one of the world’s key measuring stations, a concentration level researchers say has not existed in more than 3 million years – before the dawn of human history.

Taken at the Mauno Loa Observatory in Hawaii by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the measure continues the upward trend of atmospheric carbon concentration that lies at the heart of the global warming and climate crisis:

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus, a journalist who covers the climate crisis for Grist, contextualized the latest readings in a tweet that was shared widely on Sunday:

This is the first time in human history our planet’s atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2. Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago. We don’t know a planet like this.

One person responded to the Holthaus tweet by asking, “How is this not breaking news on all channels all over the world?” MORE

RELATED:

Climate crisis: CO2 levels rise to highest point since evolution of humans
Life As We Know It: Plant and animal species are disappearing faster than at any time in recorded history. We know who is to blame.

 

 

US Fracked Gas Imports to EU Could ‘Take World Far Beyond Safe Climate Limits’, Campaigners Warn

 

To reduce emissions we have to electrify everything. National policies will help, of course, but you can act on an individual level, as this piece in the New York Times explains –options you can take to protect your family’s health.

Port of Rotterdam

Environmental activists representing more than 200 organisations have called on the EU and the US to put an end to a booming transatlantic trade in fracked gas or face “taking the world far beyond safe climate limits”.

In an open letter to the EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, campaigners warn that the continued use and import of fracked gas “torpedoes critical climate targets and violates basic human rights”.

The statement comes after the US Department of Energy announced that Perry would be attending the first EU-US Energy Council High-Level Forum in Brussels on Thursday.

Critics are concerned the high-level energy meeting, titled “Towards large-scale US Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports to the EU’s gas market”, will pave the way for fracked gas to become a key part of a new transatlantic trade agreement between the EU and the US.

European Commission data shows that EU imports of LNG from the US increased 181 percent between July 2018, when President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector, and March this year.

The rapidly growing US natural gas export market has benefitted from a push in large-scale fracking projects which led to an increase in LNG production. US gas now represents around 12 percent of the EU’s total LNG imports. MORE