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Net Zero: Alberta planning for multiple carbon storage hubs

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said the province is keen to move forward on several carbon storage hubs, where an operator will sequester both their own and third-party emissions. Savage said the provincial government plans to move forward “very, very quickly” on its next carbon sequestration hub in the Cold Lake region that will serve oil sands producers.

Alberta is currently accepting proposals to operate an underground carbon storage hub serving the Alberta Industrial Heartland (AIH) zone near Edmonton, and Savage said the process to select an operator for another hub near Cold Lake will come “on the heels” of that.

“We are going to need to move on Cold Lake very, very quickly after Heartland,” Savage said. “It’s a hub that will give certainty to oil sands and heavy oil production.”

Savage added that there has also been “tremendous interest” in a hub in the Grand Prairie region, where a lot of natural gas processing takes place.

Alberta plans to select the AIH sequestration hub operators by the end of March, but that it will likely take a couple of years for projects to start operating. Reuters has more details.

Internationally

The World Economic Forum (WEF) urged cities to invest in nature, which it claims can be used for municipal economic development.

“Nature can be the backbone of urban development,” said Akanksha Khatri, WEF’s head of nature and biodiversity, in a statement. “By recognizing cities as living systems, we can support conditions for the health of people, planet and economy in urban areas.” Reuters also has that story.

International brands are calling for a global pact to cut plastic production. Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, and Walmart are among the more than 70 signatories to a joint statement released on Monday.

Scotland’s largest-ever auction for offshore wind farm permits is expected to raise up to $1.4 billion. Crown Estate Scotland, which is running the auction, expects the wind farms to create tens of thousands of jobs and double the amount of electricity generated in Scottish waters. The Guardian has that story.

Meanwhile, after surging fuel prices inspired some of the most deadly protests in Kazakhstani history, two members of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s family have resigned from leadership positions in the state’s oil and gas shipping companies. Reuters has more.

On Monday morning at 10:33 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$83.87 and Brent Crude was going for US$86.07.

In Canada

New modelling from the Bank of Canada suggests that Canada’s financial sector could be exposed to significant economic shocks from the transition to lower emissions.

“All scenarios showed that as we globally transition to net zero, some sectors will be significantly impacted, and the economy as a whole will undergo significant structural changes,” said Toni Gravelle, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada. The Canadian Press has more details.

Canada’s largest oilsands companies have formed the Oil Sands Alliance, a new advocacy group, in an effort to advance the sustainable development and operation of their industry. Among the participating organizations includes Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, and ConocoPhillips. It is not clear the extent in which the organization will engage in political lobbying. The Canadian Press has more on that story.

In B.C., experts are describing storm damage in Vancouver as a climate change “wake-up call.” High winds and extreme tides during a storm last week battered the popular Stanley Park Seawall, transforming sections into rubble.

“Our coastal infrastructure is designed assuming that the sea is stable,” said John Clague, an earth sciences professor at Simon Fraser University. “When you begin to elevate that surface, it begins to cause problems.” CTV News has more.

Finally, New Westminster, B.C., is implementing an ambitious program to plant thousands of trees as a climate change mitigation tool. The city hopes to bring its tree canopy cover from 18 per cent to 27 per cent by planting 11,800 trees by 2030. CBC News has more from B.C.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$69.51 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$68.57 this morning at 10:34 a.m.

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