Investing in Canada’s Clean Future: Financial Innovation to Drive the Low Carbon Transition

solar panels

Image source: National Observer

Global carbon dioxide emissions have significant contributions from the electricity and heat generation sector. In 2011, this sector accounted for over 40 per cent of global emissions. Shifting power generation from fossil fuels to renewable energy can have a powerful role in reducing emissions. The IEA forecast for the share of renewable energy in global power generation has grown over the last decade. But limitations to profitable clean energy projects exist due to high upfront costs and a lack of accessible financing.

CoPower is a clean energy finance and crowd investment company that matches clean energy firms with investors by selling retail green bonds. Jonathan Frank, director of clean energy projects at CoPower, spoke about creative financing solutions to support the growth of Canada’s clean energy industries at the SOCAAR Seminar on July 5th. Continue reading

Global and urban measurements of greenhouse gases

The flow of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, and land is known as the Carbon Cycle. The cycle is influenced by changes in carbon sources and sinks: fossil fuel burning; land use changes; plant respiration and photosynthesis; ocean uptake and release. Carbon sources and sinks can be quantified and monitored for long term trends from atmospheric measurements of carbon dioxide.

Dr. Debra Wunch, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment & Department of Physics, presented the global and urban measurements of greenhouse gases at the October 5th SOCAAR Seminar.
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Are lower levels of CO2 but higher black carbon emissions worth the climate trade-off of fuel-efficient engines?

The adoption of fuel efficient engines like the spark ignition gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine has gained popularity recently because of increasing regulations on CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. In 2011, the United States Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards tightened to reduce CO2 emissions. Between 2009 and 2015 sales of new vehicles with GDI engines have increased from five to 46 per cent in the United States, as an alternative to the traditional port fuel injection (PFI). It’s projected that by 2020 over 50 per cent of vehicles will be equipped with GDI engines.

New research from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering show how GDI engines may emit lower levels of CO2 but more black carbon, a climate-warming pollutant. Continue reading