Coal survives in a market full of change and consolidation

By R. Bruce Striegler

Centred on a theme of “A Sustainable Future: Coal and the Environment”, the 2017 conference of the Coal Association of Canada, held in Vancouver in late September, heard keynote speaker Ernie Thrasher say, “I was here in June last year, and I think most of us were sitting here praying we were at the bottom of the price curve, and there were presentations about the demise of the U.S. coal industry. One of the topics was how there were no U.S. coal mines that could survive in an $84 (per tonne) coking coal market and the debate was whether anyone could survive.” Thrasher outlined how many of those companies in the U.S. and Canada were undergoing financial restructuring, and how capital markets were closed to the coal industry, with large mining companies having decided that coal was not the place to be. With more than 40 years in the coal industry, Thrasher is the founder of XCoal, the largest exporter of U.S. coal to Asia, and has held various positions in mine operations and mine management, as well as marketing.

Continue reading

Shipping lobby groups slammed for ‘blocking global progress’ on emissions reduction

By Gavin van Marle

The shipping industry was accused of blocking international efforts to curb pollution and greenhouse gas levels rising globally on a level unseen in other industries. InfluenceMap is an environmental watchdog that assesses, “ranks and communicates the extent to which corporations are lobbying climate and energy policy worldwide”. In a report, it claims shipping’s lobby groups – principally identifying the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and World Shipping Council (WSC) – have penetrated the UN’s International Maritime Organization and shaped its regulations to keep the industry free of environmental regulations agreed at the Paris climate talks.

Continue reading

Shipping lobbies hit back at claims they don’t support emissions reduction

By Alexander Whiteman

Shipping lobby groups have fought back against claims they are obstructing efforts to fight climate change. The World Shipping Council (WSC) has rejected a report by InfluenceMap that claimed it, Bimco and the International Chamber of Shipping had “aggressively” lobbied against climate regulations. WSC said the Corporate Capture of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) study “seriously misrepresents” its approach to reducing carbon emissions in the shipping sector. “Contrary to InfluenceMap’s assertions, WSC has offered concrete proposals for both short- and long-term carbon reductions,” it said. “In April, WSC co-sponsored submittal MEPC 71/7/4, which proposed three core approaches to reducing CO2 emissions (including research, reviews, and emission reductions).”

Continue reading

Port environmental activities include a wide array of protection and prevention programs

By R. Bruce Striegler

Increasingly, ports across the world are taking on the issues of environmental stewardship and looking at sustainability as key to their futures. Port of Prince Rupert became the first west coast port to join the Green Marine environmental program in 2010. Green Marine is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative aimed at advancing environmental excellence in the marine industry, throughout North America. The certification program emphasizes voluntary improvement of environmental performance in key areas identified by the marine industry which include water and land pollution prevention – cargo residues and oily waters, to control greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. The program takes into account community impacts such as noise, dust, light and odours as well as controlling aquatic invasive species. Participants evaluate their performance against guidelines and criteria provided by Green Marine; the results are published annually and verified by an independent third party.

Continue reading

OPINION – Carbon math explained! Is Canada making a serious effort to meet its obligations?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

The other day I stumbled across an article in The Economist that represented the first comprehensive, and yet simple explanation of the relationship between carbon in the atmosphere, and global warming.

Scientists and green supporters have explained to us during the past decade or so that global temperature increases must be kept well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, if we wish to avoid the more egregious consequences of climate change. Accordingly, the 2015 Paris Agreement requires that signatories to the Agreement implement programmes to reduce national carbon emissions to levels that are thought to result in global temperatures to be kept in check, and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, compared to the 0.9°C temperature rise that has taken place since 1870.

Continue reading

Doing more with less: Intensity of U.S. energy use in manufacturing continues its decline

The energy intensity of U.S. manufacturing continued to decrease, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS). From 2010 to 2014, manufacturing fuel consumption rose 4.7 per cent, while real gross output increased at 9.6 per cent—or more than twice that rate—resulting in a 4.4 per cent decrease in energy intensity.

Continue reading

Implementation of shore power for cruise ships, wintering vessels reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Cruise ships that sail to Montreal and vessels that winter in the port can now connect to shore power as part of an $11-million project that is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,800 tonnes per year.

In the first green initiative of its kind in Quebec, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) completed its two-pronged shore power project in August. In Phase 1, the MPA set up four power supply stations at Berths 25, 27, 29 and M2 for vessels that winter at the port. In Phase 2, it introduced shower power for cruise ships as part of the modernization of Alexandra Pier and the new cruise terminal.

Continue reading

MPA earns top marks in Green Marine’s 2016 Performance Report

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) earned the highest average among 36 member port authorities throughout North America in Green Marine’s 2016 Performance Report.

Green Marine is the voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry. The MPA is a founding member of initiative.

The self-evaluation covered the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016. The MPA achieved top marks in all but one of the performance categories in 2016, thereby continuing its tradition of staying in the top tier of port authorities contributing to sustainable development. It earned a score of 5 (excellence and leadership), the highest ranking possible, in the areas of greenhouse gases and air pollutants; spill prevention; community impacts; and environmental leadership.

Continue reading

Finland: breaking ice and leading international scientific cooperation in the Arctic

K. Joseph Spears

In true “can do” Finnish fashion, Finland combined celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its independence and its chairmanship of the Arctic Council by organizing an international arctic research expedition (Arctic 100) to increase international cooperation and strengthen understanding of the Arctic region. The Arctic 100 expedition was conducted from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica. Nordica sailed through the Northwest Passage this past summer departing Vancouver on July 5, steaming 10,000 nautical miles and arriving in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29, 2017, 24 days later. It broke the record for the fastest Northwest Passage crossing by one day.

Continue reading

Page 1 of 2612345...1020...Last »