Policies & Economics
This document responds to September 2015 “Climate Change and Fiduciary Duties of Pension Fund Trustees in Canada” by lawyers Murray Gold and Adrian Scotchmer of Koskie Minsky LLP, issued by SHARE - Shareholder Association for Research and Education. Since the advent of climate change activism in the early 1990’s, some investment fund managers became concerned with the impact of investment in terms of ethical/environmental issues related to climate change. However, Anthropogenic Global Warming science theories of the 1990’s have weakened as there had been 15 years of a ‘hiatus’ in global warming despite a significant rise in CO2. Natural forces are more influential. Today, institutional investors are swaying public policy in Alberta and Canada toward implementing wind and solar farms that are unsuited to this latitude and climate, and that will irresponsibly damage our economy, as is the case in Ontario.
This report challenges the claims of the recent SHARE 1 document: “Taking Climate On Board – Are Canadian energy and utilities company boards equipped to address climate change?” which is founded on the premise that “…in a post-Paris world, the legal and financial risk associated with climate change must be a board-level issue.” The naïve world-view that climate can by controlled by politicians is dangerous to the safe, reliable and profitable operation of energy and utility companies and destructive to the Canadian economy. Climate changes naturally and CO2 emissions are not the main driver of recent climate changes.
EDC Associates Ltd. published a multi-client study of the potential impact on Alberta’s electricity market of Alberta’s climate plan. Some key conclusions of the study are;
1. The cumulative cost of electricity from 2017 to 2030 is expected to increase by $3.3 to $5.9 billion depending on policy choices.
2. Replacing coal with natural gas generation reduces CO2 emission by 10 Mt/yr compare to the business as usual case. Incentive payments of $20.1 billion to subsidize 7200 MW of renewable energy along with new natural gas plants will reduce CO2 emissions by 16.5 Mt/yr.
3. The CO2 reduction from 7200 MW of renewable capacity will costs $325/tCO2 of renewable energy incentive payments. Including the increased cost of the electricity, the CO2 reduction costs could increase to $420/tCO2. This is 21 times the carbon price in 2017. If renewables achieve a capacity factor of 33%, 7200 MW of new renewable capacity will result in 26% of Alberta’s electricity being generated by renewables by 2030, which will be mainly wind power.
4. The cost of new electrical capacity with 7200 MW renewables is $30.7 billion.
Shuttering Ontario’s coal-fired power plants had very little effect on reducing air pollution, helped fuel skyrocketing energy costs, and should serve as a lesson to policymakers across the country, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute. In Toronto and Hamilton, the reduction in fine particulates was statistically insignificant. In fact, had the province completed its modernization of the coal-fired plants, instead of shutting them down, fine particulate reductions of the same size could have been achieved at a much lower cost. In 2005, all electricity power generation—including coal—comprised just 0.7 per cent of fine particulate emissions in Ontario.
A critical review of the claims of accelerated Phase-out Coal Activists. Affordable energy is an Alberta Advantage, one we have enjoyed for years, thanks to an abundant, high quality coal supply (which Albertans own), willing investors, responsible industry and ever-improving, sensible air quality regulations and mitigation techniques. We challenge the claims of the Alberta government and anti-coal activist advisors like the Pembina Institute and their recent report “Breathing in the Benefits.” Will we face the dire consequences of energy poverty, industrial collapse, and burdensome taxes as we have seen in Ontario, the UK, and the EU?