7. All states shall swiftly adopt maximally stringent efficiency standards for cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft.

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Rapporteur: Liz Couture

Efficiency standards refer to the fuel efficiency standards as legislated by countries that produce fossil fuel burning vehicles. Of course the most stringent policy possible is 100% efficiency, or vehicles that emit zero emissions. This is not an easy policy to enact in law, as it takes time for transition. The longer term ideal goal, then, is to achieve zero emission vehicles over the next three decades, by 2050 by all the countries of the world.

It is easier and cheaper to redesign or convert some vehicles (and their associated infrastructure) than others, and so the maximum stringency level of efficiency possible will vary between manufacturing of cars, buses, trains, ships, and airplanes.

The urgency with which to get to maximum standards, indeed zero emissions, cannot be overstated.

For purposes of discussion, assume that the following current transportation vehicles for living, working, and playing are the most threatening to planetary health, not only because of the excess greenhouse gas emissions due to widespread use, but also because of increased anticipated demand:

  • Commute – car, train, mass transit bus, small plane
  • Business – car, train, truck, airplane, commercial cargo ships
  • Pleasure – car, train, mobile home, airplane, passenger cruise ship

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Footnotes for this article can be seen at the Footnotes 2 page on this website (link will open in a new page).

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An interesting article about the prevalence of heavy fuel usage in the Arctic. Heavy fuel is a dirty fuel that causes lots of pollution. Heavy fuel poses a risk regardless of whether it is burned for energy or being transported. This is particularly challenging and concerning within the context of sensitive Arctic ecosystem and environments. Additionally colder temperatures in the environment and water cause fuel to break down slower and results in longer impacts on ecosystems. There are ongoing calls – by countries such as Canada and the Scandinavian nations – to prohibit the use of heavy fuel as a fuel source in the Arctic. Though, these proposals will not prevent heavy fuel from being shipped as cargo through the Arctic.

Title: Heavy fuel oil and the Arctic — are they compatible?
Author: Mortensen, Niels Bjørn
Publications: Lloyd’s List: Maritime Intelligence (Informa)
Date: 1 July 2017
Notes: Lloyd’s List is a long-time newspaper and publication which publishes on maritime and naval matters.

Article Excerpt:

“Whether carried or burned, heavy fuel oil is a particular threat in Arctic waters

In March 2017, Arctic sea ice hit a new record — the lowest amount of winter ice since satellite records began 38 years ago.

As Arctic waters open up, most likely due to human use of fossil fuels, vessels powered by heavy fuel oil are likely to divert to Arctic waters in search of shorter journey times. This will mean more burning of marine fuels and black carbon emissions, accelerating further melting. More open water means further absorption of the sun’s warmth and heating of the Arctic Ocean — a vicious cycle.

s a former navigator I have sailed on ships in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. In 1979 I was second officer on the first ship to east Greenland that season and we arrived at Angmagssalik around July 1 after spending a day navigating very heavy multi-year ice. Later that year, I was in the Thule (Qaanaaq) district in northwest Greenland, which opened up for ship traffic only in early August.

Much later, around 1998, I got involved in the International Maritime Organization’s work on drafting the Polar Code. The first draft was brought to the IMO by Canada, but it needed quite some work in order to appear as an IMO document. The first version was adopted in 2002 as a set of voluntary guidelines, whereas the present version, which entered into force on January 1 this year, is a mandatory IMO Code under both the Solas and the Marpol Conventions.

Looking again at this year’s ice chart, it appears that the areas I visited back in 1979 will be open to ship traffic much earlier and the navigable window will be much longer.

Is that good? Well, from a purely navigational view, an ice-free Arctic for half of the year would be convenient. Many tonne-miles would be saved and thereby less fuel burned on a global basis, which arguably could have a mitigating effect of shipping on climate change and even delay the 2°C temperature increase scenario by several weeks. But overall, is this significantly beneficial compared with the negative side-effects of global warming, and the potential impacts of burning heavy fuel oil in the Arctic?

Rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice and the Arctic glaciers is predicted to have negative global effects. Melting of glaciers will result in rising sea levels globally, threatening the existence of many island states. Many large cities will also need to invest in expensive climate change mitigation enterprises, such as increasing the height and extent of dykes and barriers. Two obvious examples are New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and New York/New Jersey during hurricane Sandy. Rising sea levels and a likely increase in frequency and violence of hurricanes is a toxic mix for low-lying cities and countries.

Massive melting of ice in the Arctic might also, according to some scientists, force the Gulf Stream to take a more southerly course, which will result in a much colder northern Europe. So even in a global warming scenario, there might be regions that will experience colder weather and climate.

HFO is a dirty and polluting fossil fuel that powers ships around the world. Around 75% of marine fuel currently carried in the Arctic is HFO, over half by vessels flagged to non-Arctic states — countries that have little if any connection to the Arctic. Combined with an increase in Arctic state-flagged vessels targeting previously non-accessible resources, this will greatly increase the risk of an HFO spill.

If HFO is spilled in the colder waters of the Arctic, it breaks down even more slowly than in warmer waters, with long-term devastating effects on both livelihoods and ecosystems.

HFO is a larger source of high emissions of harmful air pollutants — such as sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, including black carbon — than alternative fuels such as distillate and liquid natural gas. When emitted and deposited on Arctic snow or ice, the climate warming effect of black carbon is five times more than when emitted at lower latitudes, such as in the tropics.

Mitigating risks

Canada along with Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway and the US have now proposed, in time for next week’s 71st meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, that work begins on mitigating the risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in the Arctic. The European Parliament has broadly supported this move by adopting its resolution calling for a ban on the use of HFO in Arctic waters.

Meanwhile, Danish Shipping (the association of Danish shipowners) and Arctic expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten, among others, have called for regulation banning the use of HFO in the Arctic.

The submission from Canada et al is a request for a new output from the IMO, hence there are no concrete text amendments proposed. However, it is already embedded in Marpol Annex I that carriage of Heavy Grade Oil in the Antarctic, ie south of latitude 60 S, is prohibited. Heavy Grade Oil is defined as oil with a density greater than 900 kg/m3 or a viscosity (at 50°C) of 180 centistokes (cSt) or above. Thus, drafting of the relevant text to introduce a similar ban in the Arctic would be the least of the challenges.

It is noteworthy that the proposal will cover only the carriage of HFO as fuel, not as cargo. There are huge known oil reserves in the region, not least in the Russian Arctic, and a possible ban of transporting this at sea would presently not be feasible. Oil transported as cargo will most certainly be carried on board double-hulled tankers, whereas the requirement to double side skin protection of fuel tanks has taken effect only for ships built after January 1 this year.

It is also interesting that Canada et al in the submission do not use the damaging effects of Black Carbon as part of the rationale for a ban.
In October 2016, the IMO at MEPC 70 decided that from January 1, 2020, all ships operating outside Emission Control Areas must not burn fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.5% (by mass). When that rule was adopted in 2008, it was believed that such future fuel oil would be distillate, either marine gas oil or marine diesel oil.

One could then suggest that the problem of carriage of HFO in the Arctic would resolve itself by 2020.

Well, if only the world were so simple.

In connection with the 0.1% sulphur limit in ECAs in 2015, the world saw a number of new fuels that did not fall under the traditional definition of distillate fuel. It is expected that the 2020 global cap of 0.5% sulphur limit will see the introduction of many new fuels. Some of these are expected to be based on de-sulphurised HFO derived from sweet crude, others might be blends of HFO with low-sulphur products. It could even be new oil products that the world has not yet seen.

It should thus be evident that a carriage ban only on HFO as fuel might not solve the potential problem. Whether the definitions of Heavy Grade Oil, as used for the Antarctic, will suffice is not for this author to judge. It would be recommended to involve refinery and bunker experts to ensure a robust definition of a fuel ban in the Arctic.

At this July’s MEPC meeting, IMO member states must not only support the action proposed by Canada and others to mitigate the risks of HFO use in the Arctic, they must commit to any measures taken by the IMO to reduce these risks — including a ban.”

An interesting article regarding the role of ship emissions and ship-related pollution in public health. European health agencies spend approximately €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) each year on serious diseases connected to ship emissions and ship-related pollution. These are mostly heart and lung diseases. Furthermore, this annual €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) expense does not include environmental damage.

Additionally of note: “the NGO Transport & Environment said, “Marine fuel is 2,700 times dirtier than road diesel and €35 billion of fuel tax is paid yearly in Europe for road transport, while shipping uses tax-free fuel.”

Given that shipping accounts for over one fifth of global fuel consumption, the fact that its emissions are not more strictly regulated is cause for concern.”

Title: Pollution from ships kills thousands each year
Author: White, Samuel
Date: 10 June 2015
News Agency: EURACTIV
Link: https://www.euractiv.com/section/science-policymaking/news/pollution-from-ships-kills-thousands-each-year/

Article Excerpt:

Shipping emissions are an invisible killer that cause lung cancer and heart disease, a new study has found, but researchers say the 60,000 deaths they cause each year could be significantly cut by exhaust filtration devices.

The University of Rostock and the German environmental research centre Helmholzzentrum Munich have established a firm link between shipping exhaust emissions and serious diseases, that cost European health services €58 billion annually.

Conventional ship engines that burn heavy fuel oil or diesel fuel emit high concentrations of harmful substances including heavy metals, hydrocarbons and sulphur, as well as carcinogenic particulate matter (PM).

People in coastal areas are particularly at risk, researchers said. Up to half of PM-related air pollution in coastal areas, rivers and ports comes from ship emissions, according to the study.

Lief Miller, the CEO of conservation NGO NABU, said, “The results are frightening and confirm our worst fears. Emissions from ships cause serious lung and heart diseases.”

Fine particle emissions have been linked to increased health risks for decades. Although substantial efforts have been made to reduce the sulphur and diesel soot emissions from cars and lorries, no comparable efforts have been made for the shipping sector.

The NGO Transport & Environment said, “Marine fuel is 2,700 times dirtier than road diesel and €35 billion of fuel tax is paid yearly in Europe for road transport, while shipping uses tax-free fuel.”

Given that shipping accounts for over one fifth of global fuel consumption, the fact that its emissions are not more strictly regulated is cause for concern.

Improving air quality through exhaust filtration

For the researchers, legislation enforcing particle filtration and PM limits in shipping is the “next logical target for improving air quality worldwide, particularly in coastal regions and harbour cities”.

Dietmar Oeliger, NABU’s transport expert, said, “We really underline the recommendation of the scientists to urgently switch to low sulphur fuels together with effective emission abatement techniques.”

The most effective method of cleaning up emissions from shipping is to combine PM filters with low-sulphur fuels, a measure that has long been in place on the roads.

Other options include converting ships’ engines to run on gas or retrofitting them with exhaust gas cleaning systems known as “scrubbers”.

Controlling sulphur emissions

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has capped the sulphur content of shipping fuel at 3.5%. By 2020, the IMO will limit sulphur content in ship’s fuel to 0.5% worldwide.

In many of Europe’s coastal waters the limit is 1%, and as of January 2015, the limit in the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) of the North and the Baltic Seas is just 0.1%.

According to Transport & Environment, the health benefits from the implementation of the new stricter SECAs are projected to be worth up to €23 billion.

But these limits are not strictly enforced, and the options available for reducing sulphur and PM emissions remain too expensive for the majority of ship operators.

As well as severe health risks to humans, sulphur causes acid rain and leads to a host of environmental problems including soil and water quality degradation and damage to biodiversity.

“We need meaningful measures to incentivise the uptake of cleaner marine fuels as a stepping stone towards cleaning up the sector,” said Sotiris Raptis, clean shipping officer at Transport & Environment.

An interesting article about the role of the shipping industry.

Title: UN Will Force Shipping to Clean Up its Act
Author: Laramée de Tannenberg, Valéry
Publication: Euractiv
Date: 26 October 2016
Link: https://www.euractiv.com/section/transport/news/un-will-force-shipping-to-clean-up-its-act/
Notes: See additionally Samuel White’s EURACTIV article on premature deaths from pollution from ships.

Article Excerpt:

The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is pondering measures to cut shipping pollution and bring emissions into line with the Paris Agreement. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Like commercial aviation, marine transport slipped through the cracks in the Paris Agreement. Responsible for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, commercial shipping is also a major source of local air pollution.

But the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC) has begun to take local and global impact of shipping pollution seriously; it was on the agenda for the committee’s 70th meeting in London this week.

The UN organisation is considering enforcing stricter regulations on large ships. Under the proposals, the owners of the tens of thousands of ships with a displacement greater than 5,000 tonnes would be obliged to measure their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and to declare the results to the IMO and the ships’ countries of registration. This is a first step.

At its meeting in April this year, MPEC also agreed on the need for marine transport to take account of the Paris Agreement. The IMO plans to adopt binding measures to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint, and could lay out its timetable this week.

Cutting Sulphur Emissions:

The 171 members of the IMO will also have to agree on a date for the entry into force of the new rules on the reduced sulphur content of fuels. Adopted in 1997, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) placed a limit of 0.5% on the sulphur content of shipping fuel, which will come into force in 2020.

60,000 premature deaths per year

Existing rules limit the sulphur content of shipping fuel to 3.5%, making marine transport the biggest emitter of sulphur oxides in the world. Exceptions can be found in the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) of North America and Northern Europen where the mlimit is 0.1%.

In 1999, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University estimated that between 5% and 30% of the concentration of airborne sulphates in coastal regions was down to commercial shipping. These particles are harmful to marine and land environments, as well as to human health.

Later research by the University of Delaware attributed more than 60,000 premature deaths per year in Europe and Asia to this pollution, and predicted that that figure would rise by 40% by 2012.

Opposition from refiners

But refiners of shipping fuel have spoken out against the mandatory sulphur reduction. At least, if it comes into force so soon.

Cutting sulphur content would require big changes to machinery and investments in the billions of dollars. According to the consultancy CE Delft, the success of the reduced sulphur convention will depend on the ability of the refiners to provide low-sulphur fuel from 2020. If not, the oil companies and some shipping companies plan to push the entry into force of Annex VI of the MARPOL convention back to 2025.

One interesting detail: the Cook Islands pushed hard to strengthen the Paris Agreement, but are one of the fiercest opponents of binding emissions limits on maritime transport.

CBC published this interesting article yesterday (15 February 2020) of the Canadian impacts of Russia’s $300 billion investment in the Arctic – specifically within the realm of gas and oil. These investments would encourage development of and increased traffic in Northern sea routes. There is hope that this could assist with economic bolstering and potential development of remote Northern communities along the Northern Sea Route. What impacts these activities will have on locals – including Indigenous (Chukchi, Nenets, etc.) peoples – has yet to be fully determined. However, there is international concern that gas and oil drilling in this ecologically sensitive region could result in long-term, environmental damage – such as through leaks or spills.

On a related topic: it is important to note that the Soviet Union formerly used the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, and areas around Novaya Zemlya as a nuclear waste dump. These areas abut and/or intersect the Northern Sea Route. I am hoping that some of these $300 billion in investments could go towards cleaning up these sites. Former President Boris Yeltsin’s science advisor first reported on the state of the Kara Sea nuclear waste dump in 1993 – though according to recent media articles – little has been done in subsequent decades to clean-up and contain the nuclear waste, move it to a more appropriate and secure location, and remediate the contaminated environments. Interestingly, several gas and oil companies proposed drilling the Kara Sea due to its large gas and oil reserves – but shifted plans about 5 years ago. Multiple agencies – including environmental groups – indicated concern of drilling activities in close proximity to a nuclear waste dump. In recent years, Russia additionally has developed floating nuclear reactors which can be moved along the Northern Sea Route to supply power to remote regions – with a particular focus on resource extraction activities.

Title: What Russia’s $300B investment in Arctic oil and gas means for Canada
Author: John Last
Date: 15 February 2020
News Agency: CBC News / CBC North
Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/russian-arctic-oil-and-gas-explained-1.5462754

Article Excerpt:

“Last month, the Russian government pushed through new legislation creating $300 billion in new incentives for new ports, factories, and oil and gas developments on the shores and in the waters of the Arctic ocean.

The incentives are part of a broader plan to more than double maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route, on Russia’s northern coast — and give a boost to state energy companies like Gazprom, Lukoil, and Rosneft.

But analysts say their immediate impact will be increased exploration and development for offshore oil and natural gas.

With Canadian and U.S. offshore oil developments still on ice, here’s what Russia’s big spending could mean for the Arctic — and Canadians.

How is the money being spent?

Russia’s government is offering tax incentives for offshore oil and gas developments, including a reduced five per cent production tax for the first 15 years for all oil and gas developments.

Projects in the east Arctic, closer to Canada’s Beaufort Sea, receive an even greater incentive — no extraction tax for the first 12 years of operation.

Russia may be borrowing a page from Canada’s book in drafting the policy. Doug Matthews, a Canadian energy writer and analyst, said the incentive package sounds “rather like our old national energy program in the … Beaufort [Sea] back in the ’70s and ’80s.”

What new projects are getting the go-ahead?

Russia’s minister of the Far East and Arctic, Alexander Kozlov, said in a press release that those incentives are resulting in three new massive offshore oil projects.

Currently, there is only one producing offshore oil platform in Russian waters — the Prirazlomnaya platform, located in the Pechora Sea.

Russia’s state oil companies are also expected to massively intensify their onshore Arctic operations.

Rosneft’s Vostok Oil project, billed as the “biggest in global oil,” will involve the construction of a seaport, two airports, 800 km of new pipelines, and 15 new towns in the Vankor region.

“The project is expected to become the stepping stone for large scale development of Arctic oil,” said Nikita Kapustin, an energy researcher with the state-funded Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in an email.

Developments in the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas — nearer to Alaska — are “more distant prospects,” Kapustin said.

But massive incentives for Arctic ports and pipelines could make exploiting those regions more feasible in the future.

What could the environmental impacts be?

Simon Boxall, an oceans scientist at the University of Southampton, said sending more goods via the Northern Sea Route could actually have a positive environmental impact.

“You’re knocking thousands of miles off of that route, and that of course saves energy, it saves fuel, it saves pollution,” he said.

The problem, Boxall says, comes with what those ships are carrying. Any spilled oil degrades slowly in cold Arctic waters, and is easily trapped beneath ice.

Boxall is optimistic that moderate spills from Russia’s offshore oil projects could be contained to “a fairly small locality,” and would be unlikely to affect Canadian shores.

But Tony Walker, an assistant professor at the School of Resource & Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, disagrees.

“Any petroleum products released into surface water could easily get to the Northwest Territories in just a matter of days,” he said.

“Basically, it’s everybody’s problem.”

Walker says most Arctic nations have limited capacity to perform cleanups in the region. Russia’s fleet is mostly based in Murmansk, near its western border, he says, and is mostly decommissioned anyway.

“So it would really be virtually impossible,” he said.

How could this affect oil and gas prices?

Despite enabling access to more than 37 billion barrels of oil — equivalent to about a fifth of Canada’s total remaining reserves — analysts say the effect on prices should be negligible.

“The main intention of Arctic oil is to replace production of some of the more mature Russian fields,” said Kapustin.

“I don’t see much of an effect on price,” said Matthews.

The primary market for Russia’s Arctic oil and gas is China. Canada’s market share there is so small, Matthews says, it’s unlikely to make a difference.

Could Canadian businesses benefit?

Since U.S. and EU sanctions were put in place in 2014, international oil companies have been reluctant to co-invest in Arctic oil projects. Sanctions prohibit collaboration on offshore oil projects with Russia’s biggest companies.

Canadian businesses also might not have the expertise needed any longer, according to Matthews.

“We were really the leaders back in the ’70s and ’80s for technology for Arctic exploration,” Matthews explained. But “when the oil industry in the Beaufort [Sea] shut down in the mid-’80s … we really lost that technological edge.”

Canada’s recent investment in pipelines means some Canadian companies have built expertise in their construction, including in cold-weather environments.

But Matthews and other analysts say Russia is more likely to look to the East for expertise and investment — to Japan and China, and to India, which Kapustin said has already invested in the Vostok Oil project.”

Did you know that beet juice brine can be used to melt ice on roads in an ecologically friendly manner?

Calgary has undertaken this initiative to use a more ecologically friendly way (than salt) to melt ice on winter roads. Other municipalities are exploring similar options too.

The CBC explored this subject in a Calgary-focused article.

Title: Beet brine again used to keep Calgary streets clear of snow and ice
Author: Dave Dormer
News Agency: CBC News
Date: 17 November 2018
Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-beet-brine-snow-ice-control-1.4909615

Quite an interesting initiative from Sweden.

“Sweden launches inquiry on how to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and phase-out fossil fuels” – Green Car Congress [25 December 2019]

“The Government of Sweden has launched a study to offer proposals on how to implement a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, and the timeline for the phase-out of fossil fuels. The final report is to be presented by 1 February 2021.

Sven Hunhammar will chair the inquiry. Hunhammar holds a Master’s degree in engineering and a doctorate in natural resource management. He is Director of Sustainability and Environment at the Swedish Transport Administration, and has previously worked at the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Transport Analysis and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

The inquiry is to:

Analyze the conditions for introducing a national ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars—and how to exempt vehicles that run on renewable fuels and electric hybrid vehicles from such a ban;

Analyze how to bring about an EU-wide ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and the phasing out of fossil fuels in the EU;

Make the necessary legislative proposals, albeit not in the area of taxation, where the inquiry may only analyse measures and conduct impact analyses; and

Propose a year by which fossil fuels should be phased out in Sweden, and the measures needed for this to happen in the most cost-effective manner possible.

The inquiry’s terms of reference are based on point 31 of the January Agreement, the policy agreement between the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Center Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party.”

Link: https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/12/20191225-sweden.html

It seems to me that Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and those of like-mind have such a strong sense of free-flow dilbit-oil revenue entitlement that they cannot see or really care about its serious environmental consequences.

They, including PM Justin Trudeau, appear recklessly blind to the significantly increased risk caused by the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to B.C.’s far-more valuable (at least to us) tourism, food and sports fishing industries—not to mention pristine natural environments and ecosystems themselves—in the case of a major oil spill, which many academics believe is inevitable.

How much more does Kenney actually believe Trudeau’s Liberal government can realistically do to more hastily complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project—that is, without the police state and/or armed forces getting brutally involved?
What more could he realistically do, considering the fact aboriginal title rights must be observed, along with general populace constitutional and charter rights?

Would the large number of project protesters—including those of many aboriginal nations—actually be expected to drop their undoubtedly strong moral and ethical convictions simply because some government tells them so?

Indeed, the federal government used the very same National Energy Board as did the Harper Conservatives to now twice approve (many call it rubber stamping) the pipeline project, while failing to consider the threats the greatly increased oil tanker traffic will pose to B.C.’s tourist-attracting waters and the life within it, including the endangered Southern Resident Orca whale.

Also, let’s not forget that the governing Liberals early this year gave the increasingly outdated dirty-energy fossil fuel sector 12 times the subsidization allocated to clean renewable energy innovative technologies.

Electric cars will become cheaper than combustion-engine cars by about 2024. This is enabled largely by the declining costs of the batteries for EVs. Until recently, a mid-size electric car’s battery accounted for over half of the vehicle’s total cost. By 2025 it will account for only 1/4 of the cost.

Airlines consume about 87 billion gallons of fuel per year. Very little of it has been sustainable, and price is one of the reasons. Even if it could be produced in sufficient quantity, biofuels cost now about $16 a gallon, as compared to $2.50 for conventional fuel. But considerable work is being done to develop sustainable fuel for planes and it may be achieved within a few years.

We need to continue developing alternative sources of energy if we are to be economically strong…even Saudi Arabia knows that…. https://electrek.co/2019/10/14/green-energy-more-electricity-than-fossil-fuels-first-time-uk/

I have seen on social media over the past few days that Canadian politicians (and the media) are travelling around the country for the upcoming federal election. Recent posts indicate a campaign outreach to Iqaluit, Nunavut. I wonder – what are the climate change and emissions impact from all the private chartered transportation for media and politicians on cross country campaigns? Is there a way to optimize this to limit impacts on the climate and environment? This applies to both Canadian and international contexts.

Green party leader Elizabeth May recently said that sometimes she will “feel like, ‘When did the media decide they want to beat up on us [Greens]?’”

Could it have something to do with her party’s platform promise, if elected, to kill the Trans Mountain dilbit pipeline expansion project? …

According to then-publisher of Postmedia’s National Post, Douglas Kelly: “From its inception, the National Post has been one of the country’s leading voices on the importance of energy to Canada’s business competitiveness internationally and our economic well-being in general. We will work with CAPP [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers] to amplify our energy mandate and to be a part of the solution to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. The National Post will undertake to leverage all means editorially, technically and creatively to further this critical conversation.”

Also, during a Postmedia presentation it was stated: “Postmedia and CAPP will bring energy to the forefront of our national conversation. Together, we will engage executives, the business community and the Canadian public to underscore the ways in which the energy sector powers Canada.” [Excerpted from Politically Incorrect, a 2017 book written by Rafe Mair, the late popular and well-respected B.C. lawyer, politician, journalist and radio host.]

More recently, though, Postmedia newspaper empire acquired a lobbying firm with close ties to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in order to participate in the latter’s government’s new $30 million PR “war room” in promoting the interests of Canada’s fossil fuel industry. But the newspaper giant’s apparent bedding with the powerful industry is not news (albeit it’s little known amongst the general population).

Electric cars may have potential to mitigate environmental impacts – but where is the infrastructure re: charging stations, etc.? In Toronto – a homeowner owned an electric car and tried to charge the battery while it was parked on the street in front of their home. Municipal bylaw indicated this is not allowed – due to the hazard of someone tripping over the cord running over the sidewalk – city officials indicated this would additionally be a violation of multiple building and electrical codes. There was discussion to bury the cable under the sidewalk – which was ultimately not allowed either. There is potential for a city/private partnership with charging infrastructure being installed on adjacent utilities poles – but the question arises from accessibility, safety, as well as both short and long term maintenance. This is an issue to look into in urban areas where many homes pre-date the common construction of garages or alternatives to on-street parking.

Here is a CBC Link to the article in relation to that: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/electric-vehicles-blocked-1.4368014

Fuel Cell Trucks: Solution to Heavy Duty Transport Emissions?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks
Article by Nicolas Pocard | May. 17, 2018

How many trucks do you see on the road on any given day? Likely, quite a few. Heavy duty transport is a crucial element in moving the products we all rely on.

And this transport volume is showing no signs of slowing down. As the global economies further entwine, we are increasingly dependent on the movement of goods via trucks. ….. .

There is a term — the “California effect” — that describes the greater power of California than that of Trump. He is trying to relax the standards of efficiency for cars, but California is holding the line on their tough standards. And because they account for so many car owners, the car companies stick to the California standards instead of Trump’s preferred ones. But I read that Trump is trying to force them to go along with the federal law. Where does that fight stand at the moment? I haven’t seen any reference to it in the paper lately.

This is an electric vehicle, but some say that we’ll need cars for a while yet that fill up at the gas pump — but what they put into the tank may not be gasoline but alcohol made from carbon dioxide, drawn from the atmosphere or from sea water.

Here’s another proposal that I cannot appraise. It sounds awfully challenging — we’d need to create several million islands covered with solar panels to do it. How feasible is that, compared to other means of obtaining sustainable fuel? https://www.intelligentliving.co/floating-solar-islands/