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Shell, two CEOs, two cultural shifts: Green transition to business-as-usual

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New vison, clean tech acquisitions and fossil fuel divestments Under the leadership of Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, 2014 to 2022, it really seemed that Shell was taking climate change seriously.  In 2017, Ben van Beurden purported that the “biggest challenge” for the company was to acquire public acceptance.  He asserted “If we are not careful, broader public support for the sector will wane.” Perhaps, the most astonishing component of the new orientation was the Ben van Beurden plan to divest...

Fossil fuel euphoria to meltdown: EU energy crisis to transition

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The European Union (EU) target for an energy transition and energy independence is 2027.  EU just-in-time fossil fuel substitutes from countries other than Russia has got liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil exporters and importers euphoric.  These latter stakeholders are in for a big surprise.  The EU REPowerEU strategy may see gas demand peak in 2023, declining 29% to 52% by 2030 or, at the very least, no LNG import growth.  Somber news for oil exporters to the old...

Ukraine green reconstruction: Global model opportunity

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Many stakeholders from Ukraine, the European Union and around the globe, including just-in-time working groups, international financing institutions and the private sector, are currently engaged in "Made in Ukraine" green reconstruction agenda.  The challenges are colossal. Half of Ukraine’s power generation infrastructure has been destroyed or badly damaged.  It makes little sense to reconstruct a tangled web of centralized energy distribution networks.  Rather the emerging consensus among key players is for decentralized area-specific clean energy solutions that can be built...

Perfect storm for the green economy and fossil fuels alike

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Investments in clean tech deployment in 2022, US$1.1 trillion, were for the first time ever, equivalent to that spent on fossil fuel production.  The...

Electric vehicles and equipment for mining decarbonization

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As with most environmental solutions, electric mining equipment (EME) offers opportunities for reducing capital and operating expenditures, while providing a host of solutions to...

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Critical minerals: Global and Canadian portraits

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Global developments in a nutshell For the rest of this century, most of the world’s needs for critical minerals can be accommodated from mined resources in democratic countries and 95% recycling of battery content.  China and the European Union have policies in place to optimize electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling. Australia towers above the rest as a source of half of global lithium resources. Canada and the U.S. provide financial support for advancing critical minerals activities. Howbeit, China’s critical mineral importation practices are...

Big Oil, renewables, electric vehicles + clean tech: Fossil fuel windfalls

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Prior to the Russian barbaric invasion in Ukraine, announcements made by the oil and gas majors seemed to imply they were engaged in energy diversification.  This diversification has been typically presented as that of increasing the proportion of their assets in clean technologies while reducing the exploitation of fossil fuel reserves. Now, with the oil and gas companies earning windfall profits linked to the Ukraine war, inflation and European urgent short-term requirements for fossil fuel sources substitutes, the real truth...

Canada’s indecent descent on climate since 2021 fed election

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The Canadian federal election of September 20, 2021 brought the Liberals back to power, once again as a minority government.  As with previous elections, the Liberal election campaign leading up to voting day, placed a major emphasis on addressing climate change.  Though the Liberals failed to deliver on previous emission reduction targets, this time things appeared to be different in that a former climate activist, Steven Guilbeault, was appointed the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Canada. What has...

China: Largest emitter to green gamechanger, but…

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China is several years ahead of other developed countries on the migration to a green economy, in clean technology production capacity, massive market penetration and green investments. China already has an extraordinary global green export potential. China leads in renewables, electric vehicles and battery production, incrementally regulating plastic solutions, high-speed rail, private clean tech investment, government environmental support and green bonds.  China’s concurrent climate actions are gamechangers destined to have huge global competition impacts on energy, economic, transportation, industrial...

Electric vehicle battery recycling: Competing with mined materials

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The environmental footprint of an electric vehicle represents a sectorial industrial revolution, including the first lifecycle end of an EV battery.  With existing technologies, 95% of an EV battery can be recycled for inclusion in a new EV battery and/or energy storage.  The remaining 5% can be handled by third party recyclers.  Because the price of mined lithium is rising exponentially, recycled EV battery materials are set to compete with mined content.  With high recycled content, the emissions of...

Canada’s 2030 climate plan: Designed to fail

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Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) was made public March 29, 2022.  Since the country's oil and gas sector with methane included, plus transportation components, together, represent about half of Canadian emissions, one would have thought these sectors would be objects of strong climate initiatives.  Yet, for these sectors, the ERP appears to be the product of accommodation of industry lobbies.  The action items stupendously lack integrity and are weak.  As such, the ERP like all previous government emission...