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Air

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The exponential growth of both on and off-shore wind energy is truly an environmental good news story of the past 25 years. It is estimated that there is no less than 600 gigawatts of wind energy capacity currently installed worldwide and the European Commission, in their long-term de-carbonization strategy to 2050, estimates that wind alone could provide 50% of the EU’s electricity demand by 2050. But with as much as 6 million tons of…

The aviation industry has been hard-hit by the recent pandemic. In many, though not all countries, environmental performance conditions have been placed upon bailouts of various aviation stakeholders. For instance, in Canada, airlines and others receiving federal relief funds must both report and plan on climate change and related sustainability performance and initiatives. With aviation’s recovery in the spotlight, the industry needs to show progress on some environmental metrics, including waste, which will invariably lead…

On March 30, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), on behalf of the Department of Transportation, finalized the long-signaled rule establishing new carbon dioxide and fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles.  Per the final rule, carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emission standards and corporate average fuel economy (“CAFE”) standards for light-duty vehicles will now increase in stringency at 1.5 percent per year over the course of model…

The aviation industry, broadly understood, has long been the source of substantial waste management challenges, both for the host airports themselves and for the communities in which they are situated. It is only very recently that much attention has been paid to addressing these aviation waste practices and, to date, no meaningful integrated strategy, capturing all aviation waste materials across the supply chain, has emerged. And yet, with recent seismic shifts in air travel demand,…

Marisa Martin and Alexandra Carranza’s article, “Encouraging Private Investments in REDD+ in the Post-2020 Paris Agreement World” has been published in IETA Insights Quarterly Report: Greenhouse Gas Market Report, No. 3, 2018. The article (pages 13-16), discusses how Peru is approaching nesting projects, the challenges ahead, and how the country can open the door for increased private sector capital. To read the article in its entirety, click HERE.

On September 21, 2016, Brazil ratified the Paris Agreement executed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the objective to promote greenhouse gases reduction as well as to avoid the increase of the global average temperature, among others. In such context, parties have committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions, which in the case of Brazil corresponds to a reduction of 37% of the 2005…

The recent decision of the Austrian Federal Administration Court (W109 2000179-1/291E) reading in climate change considerations relating to proposed expansion of Vienna’s international airport under the Austrian Environmental Impact Assessment Act (the “Vienna Airport Case”) should not appear unusual or unique to the environmental and constitutional law of Austria.   In fact, Canadians will recognize the decision as part of a broader transition from project-specific EAs to assessments incorporating international environmental considerations such as climate change.…

At first glance, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s new fuels strategy paper Canada: Fueling A Lower Carbon Future, would seem to only affirm what has been clear for months – lifecycle carbon intensity fuels standards will supplement minimum designated renewable fuel additive (think ethanol) “mandate” standards. Ambitious Plans for CFS In November 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) clearly signaled its preference for a lifecycle-based low carbon fuel methodology for its clean fuel standard (CFS).   The…

The Ontario Cap and Trade regime is finally here, with its (complex) allocations, offsets and auction mechanisms.  Ontario large emitters (25,000+ CO2e tonnes per year) will have already immersed themselves in Cap and Trade, perhaps in conjunction with the linked Quebec or California schemes, or the international programs.  (A “practice” auction was held for large emitters earlier this year). Who Are Small Regulated Emitters? But what about the relatively small emitters (circa 10-25,000 CO2e…

The Province of Ontario has just issued draft policy on renewable fuel standards,  Developing a modern renewable fuel standard for gasoline in Ontario (“RFS Policy”) which may well create the dynamic conditions for innovation in the fuels sector that are long overdue. Performance is 5% GHG Emissions Reductions The RFS Policy sets a “performance-based” standard for renewable fuels without any particular allegiance to any particular renewable fuel additive, such as RFS stalwart ethanol.   The current provincial…