What Trudeau’s Win Means for Canada’s Climate Policy
Trudeau's Liberal Party did not win a majority of seats in Canada's House of Commons, but it did win enough seats to form a government, The New York Times reported. According to the most recent live results from CBC News, Trudeau's Liberals control 157 seats, the opposition Conservative Party controls 121, the Bloc Québécois controls 32, the New Democratic Party (NDP) controls 24, and the Green Party controls three.
"Thank you, Canada, for putting your trust in our team and for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction," Trudeau tweeted after the election was called. "Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians."
Thank you, Canada, for putting your trust in our team and for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction. Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 22, 2019
Trudeau will not choose permanent coalition partners, but will reach out to smaller parties to pass individual pieces of legislation, The Guardian explained. This will likely make the left-wing NDP an important ally on issues like health care and climate policy. Ahead of the election, Pembina Institute Director of Policy Isabelle Turcotte told Climate Home News that such a scenario could "see the potential for some pretty big moves on climate."
Immediately after the election, Greenpeace Canada moved to activate that potential by asking Canadians to spam Trudeau by phone, email and social media and demand he announce a "climate emergency response plan" within 48 hours. That plan would include zeroing out emissions before 2050, setting interim targets for 2025 and 2030, providing good jobs to all Canadians, ending fossil fuel subsidies and projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and putting indigenous rights before the interests of extractive industries.
.@JustinTrudeau, congrats on being re-elected Prime Minister. Now let’s get to work!— Greenpeace Canada (@GreenpeaceCA) October 22, 2019
We’re in a ⚠️#ClimateEmergency⚠️and you need to #ActLikeIt! We need an ambitious climate response plan...for yesterday.
You have 48 hrs to respond: https://t.co/SaOcLGLctF #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/jFKRHEDdeY
During his first term, Trudeau had a mixed record on environmental issues, as The Guardian explained. He instituted a carbon tax, but also purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline and approved its expansion one day after Canada declared a climate emergency.
However, his pre-election platform upped his climate ambition and called for net zero emissions by 2050, with legally-binding five-year targets along the way. The Conservative Party, on the other hand, wanted to repeal the carbon tax and focus on funding technological solutions with green bonds.
Climate was a top-three issue for nearly 30 percent of Canadians this election, Global News reported. Despite this, the Green Party did not see a major uptick in votes, though it did have its best election yet.
University of British Columbia political science professor Kathryn Harrison said this was probably because the Liberal Party and the NDP also campaigned on climate.
"I think in part they stole the Greens' thunder," Harrison told Global News.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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