August is generally the month that news forgets. But like everything else 2020 has thrown us thus far, this August is proving a million times more chaotic than usual, from tragedy in Lebanon to a collapsing ice shelf (RIP Milne) to a vice-presidential pick in the U.S. Huge systemic shifts are also happening in big energy, where over the course of a few weeks the world’s largest oil companies have taken major writedowns and committed to sweeping change. None has done so more dramatically than BP, which this week committed to ambitious investments in green energy as it transitions to a low-carbon company. The good news? Investors liked the move, and BP's stock price jumped 7%.

Across the board, we’re seeing rising interest in renewables, and sweeping commitments to huge energy shifts in both the U.S. and Europe. Presidential contender Joe Biden promises A Green New Deal Minus the Crazy, while a mammoth electrification effort called Rewiring America intends to decarbonize the United States by 2035. All this has Canadians wondering if we’re falling behind. Not investing in the green economy will leave us economically vulnerable, as we miss out on huge energy opportunities.

Writing in the Globe and Mail last month Adam Radwanski worried that Canada was squandering its chances to go big on fighting climate change through economic recovery packages. This week, Rick Smith took the argument further in Corporate Knights, writing that our incrementalism would be our ruin. “This is a case where modest Canadian incrementalism simply isn’t going to cut it. We need to be bold. And green.”  We couldn’t agree more.

reduce, reuse, remask

While high usage of PPE means we’re effectively fighting the virus and bringing infection numbers down, it also means we’re creating a plastic disaster. Did you know:

  • An estimated 194 billion disposable masks are being used every month.

  • Most single-use PPE is made of materials that take approximately 450 years to break down.

  • Even when disposed of properly, PPE cannot be recycled because it is considered medical waste.

We know that reusable masks are perfectly safe for individuals who are not high-risk, so find your perfect design now! (Kidding, don't wear a cabbage mask, please.)

mocking chicken

KFC is the latest fast food emporium to launch a plant-based offering. And it debuted to greasy, sold-out fanfare, thanks to the viral media frenzy. Have you tried it? Would you try it? It has, of course, inspired the usual false debate wherein people scream about it not being healthy...despite no one claiming that it is supposed to be. It’s fake fried chicken, after all! Fortunately, KFC has a sense of humour about it:

Tweet about KFC's plant-based offerings.

climate lingo: ESG

 ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. It’s a set of overarching criteria for evaluating a company’s operations, encompassing everything from climate change to labour practices. It’s a standard by which investors can measure a company’s commitment to sustainability and positive social impact. Increasingly, money is flowing to ESG assets. Writes Emily Chasan in Bloomberg

UBS this week said it saw flows to ESG funds and pandemic bonds of more than $71 billion in the second quarter, bringing its ESG assets under management to $1 trillion for the first time. Citing Morningstar data, the firm found that 56% of sustainable funds outperformed their peers in the second quarter. Sustainable investors will likely keep the wind at their backs as governments push green stimulus, the Swiss bank's analysts said.

cool things we're reading

screengrab of a news articleThe Most Important Climate Change Policy That No One’s Talking About is a piece written by our very own Michael Bernstein. In it, Michael argues that people need to see that they’re getting a carbon tax rebate in a much more concrete way. Most Canadians STILL don’t know that they get a sizeable (and growing) rebate, one that amounts to more than they pay in carbon tax. By encouraging the government to make the carbon tax rebate a direct deposit, we hope that Canadians will see this money more clearly...and spend it on really great energy efficiency improvements, of course! Examples from other programs delivered in this manner, like the Canada Child Benefit, show that Canadians do indeed tend to spend monies allocated for specific types of purchases on those things when the intended goal of a disbursement is clearly conveyed.

elephant encounters

Covid may be keeping you close to home, but that’s no reason not to get up close and personal with a herd of elephants. Check out this National Geographic video about the elephants of the Okavango Delta.

Elephants walking across a watery landscape.

parting words

"There were just over 2,000 electric trucks on U.S. roads at the end of 2019. This stock is expected to grow to over 54,000 by 2025."  Big electric trucks are coming! (Hope they don't look exactly like this?)

Rendering of an EV truck

About FPF

Fair Path Forward is a project of Clean Prosperity. At Clean Prosperity we work to educate the public about ways we can address climate change that are affordable and even create jobs.  We focus much of our time on carbon pricing because it’s one of the quickest and fairest ways of bringing down carbon emissions and challenging the climate crisis. 
Learn more
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