Net Zero: MPs hold emergency debate on BC and climate change

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Welcome to Net Zero, your daily news bulletin on clean energy and Canadian resource policy.

The head

On Wednesday evening, the House of Commons convened for an emergency debate regarding flooding in British Columbia and how the country can better prepare to deal with the effects of climate change in the future. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured British Columbians that the government would support them, but also stressed the need for the country to take aggressive climate action.

“We know this is not an isolated case. If the last year has shown us anything, it is the impacts of climate change that are here sooner than expected and they are devastating,” Trudeau told the House.

Trudeau also referenced the floods now occurring in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, pledging to put the “full power of government” behind intensified climate action.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair explained how new investments will be needed to prevent similar climate disasters from happening in the future.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Island Green MP Elizabeth May said flooding in British Columbia has caused her husband to shelter climate refugees on his farm for the second time this year. The Canadian Press has more on the debate.

Internationally

A lobbyist working for Exxon Mobil questioned the urgency of the climate crisis during a Nov. 9 panel hosted by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

“Is this an inevitable catastrophic risk? Not in my mind. But there is a risk,” said Erik Oswald, vice chairman and registered lobbyist at Exxon. The Washington Post has this story.

Remaining in the United States, the Biden administration has approved a new wind project off Rhode Island. The South Fork offshore wind project is expected to be operational in 2023. Reuters has more.

Italian energy giant Enel has announced plans to increase spending to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Back in the United States, President Joe Biden’s decision to release 50 million barrels of oil from the country’s strategic reserve is being hailed by climate activists and environmentalists. The Associated Press has more details.

As of 10:06 a.m. Thursday morning, West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$78.10 and Brent Crude at US$82.08.

In Canada

On Wednesday, Senator Rosa Galvez introduced a motion in the Senate that calls for an immediate and ambitious response to climate change.

“It is undeniable that we are in a state of climate emergency,” Galvez said in a statement. “Every region of the country is being affected by climate change, especially British Columbia, which is going through a catastrophic year of extremes, from wildfires and record heat waves to current floods and landslides.” iPolitics has the whole story.

In Alberta, an environmental coalition is threatening to sue Premier Jason Kenney for defamation if he doesn’t back down from his claims that a public inquiry found the group spread false information about the province’s oil and gas industry . The Canadian Press has others from the West.

British Columbia plans to invest in major upgrades to the province’s highway network to make roads more resilient to the effects of climate change. Reuters has more.

Finally, RCMP raids and court orders will not stop the blockade of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, according to Hereditary Chief Wet’suwet’en Woos. CBC Radio’s Carol Off had a chat with Chief Woos, which you can find here.

The Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$59.53 and Western Canadian Select was trading at US$55.50 as of 10:06 a.m. this morning.

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