Economics

As a practical matter, the democratic uproar needed to build whatever alternative economy [Naomi] Klein and the Pope have in mind is far greater than the upswell of the Climate Capitalism I’m proposing, which harnesses financial markets in the climate fight. Reengaging our political system to reform financial institutions like the World Bank, motivate the […]

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Amanda Harvey-Sánchez — who played a key role in the first Toronto350.org / UofT350.org divestment campaign — has written a detailed timeline of the campaign at the University of Toronto. This kind of effort is especially valuable given the limits on institutional memory in the campus fossil fuel divestment (CFFD) movement. In part that’s because […]

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The Trudeau government’s latest climate change announcement is a plan to cut emissions by 40% by 2030. The plan also aims to cut oil and gas sector emissions from 191 megatonnes to 110 megatonnes, though the government says it won’t reduce production “not driven by declines in global demand.” Whether out of political calculation, the […]

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The Trudeau Liberals have made a supply and confidence agreement with Jagmeet Singh’s NDP. According to the CBC, the climate-related elements are: “A commitment to phasing out federal government support for the fossil fuel sector — including funding from Crown corporations — starting in 2022. A commitment to finding new ‘ways to further accelerate the […]

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Carleton University has announced that they are following their neighbours at the University of Ottawa and committing to divesting their direct holdings in the fossil fuel industry.

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From a social movement perspective, one of the most interesting things about 350.org’s fossil fuel divestment campaign is how they have proliferated the strategy among (often newly formed) independent groups. One mechanism has been written documents. Bill McKibben told me that reading the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2011 report “Unburnable Carbon: Are the World’s Financial Markets […]

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Theoretically, nuclear fission could play a big role in providing energy-rich lifestyles to people around the world without climate change. At the same time, there are severe economic, social, and political headwinds to even maintaining existing capacity, much less building more. Now, I fear that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will add further causes for concern. […]

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I have rarely seen such a concise and numerically-backed summary of Canada’s climate change policy outcomes than this one from Steve Easterbrook’s blog in 2016: Several things jump out at me from this chart. First, the complete failure to implement policies that would have allowed us to meet any of these targets. The dip in […]

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A group from Singapore called Students for a Fossil Free Future has a new report: “Fossil-Fuelled Universities: A Call for Universities to End Links with the Fossil Fuel Industry.” There is also a summary. They found linkages between the fossil fuel industry and universities in terms of endowments; board members; donations; professorships and fellowships; scholarships, […]

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Next week, the Toronto city council is considering a proposal to adopt a net zero target by 2040. I have written to my city councillor and the mayor supporting the idea as better than nothing, but also explaining why net zero promises risk prolonging rather than curtailing fossil fuel use: Councillor Mike Colle and Mayor […]

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