Redwater decision is progress, but environmental liabilities run deep

Climate and Energy

by Simon Dyer, Chris Ragan & Blake Shaffer The Supreme Court of Canada last week overturned the Court of Appeal of Alberta’s decision in the closely-watched Redwater legal case. The court’s ruling ensures environmental cleanup costs will get priority over creditors when companies go bankrupt. The Redwater decision reinforces the polluter-pay principle, which is reassuring for […]

Going ahead with the city-wide organics collection program also offers significant benefits.

Wasted efficiency: Saskatoon is moving in the wrong direction on waste management

Livable Cities

Saskatoon is backpedalling on smart waste policy. Bold initiatives were approved in 2018 to reduce landfilled waste and save money, but Council seems to be hitting the brakes. Ignoring Saskatoon’s waste management problem isn’t going to make it go away, however. In fact, further delay will just cost the city—and its residents—more. Problem on the […]

Alberta’s oil patch: risks vs. costs

Cleanup liabilities in Alberta’s oil patch: Risks vs. costs

Climate and Energy

Last week, a news story broke with an eye-grabbing headline: Cleaning up Alberta’s oil patch could cost $260 billion. This figure massively exceeded the provincial regulator’s official estimate of $58 billion. Reading a little further down revealed some key details. First, the $260 billion was — according to the Alberta Energy Regulator — a worst-case scenario. Second, […]

To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need carbon pricing

Climate and Energy Pollution

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, affirming that humanity has about a decade to hold global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees C. Hours later, William Nordhaus became a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for economics. His work was some of the first to describe how our climate and economy […]

Pricing risk to the environment works best when it’s fair

Pollution

Our latest report Responsible Risk explains how putting a price on risk to the environment can make disasters less likely. The report shows how we can use economic tools to strengthen companies’ incentives to manage environmental risks posed by their operations. In this blog, I’ll discuss why when it comes to risk pricing, one size […]

A missing piece in the oil transport debate

Climate and Energy

Concerns about the environmental risks from oil transport are a key aspect of the debates about energy infrastructure in Canada. Pipelines pose risks of spills and so do tankers. At the same time, the recent five-year anniversary of the tragic Lac-Mégantic derailment reminded us of the risks that come with transport by rail. Our new […]

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