To Fight Climate Change – Canada and California are Teaming up Again

We can’t deny that the world’s climate is changing fast. The ice in Antarctica is melting, animals are going thirsty, plants are dying and heat is becoming deadly. With these circumstances happening, countries around the world are now taking their steps to make our world cleaner by using renewable energy with the Paris climate deal, and while President Trump does not fully support this deal, California and other western states are banding together to reduce carbon emissions and save hundreds of millions of dollars — and now a Canadian province will join them.

British Columbia’s main electric utility said Tuesday it will join the Energy Imbalance Market, a California-led program that makes it easier for utilities to trade electricity across state lines. The energy-sharing program has allowed solar and wind farms across the West to boost production, displacing planet-warming fossil fuels. The initiative also has saved western utility customers $174 million since 2014, according to the California Independent System Operator, which runs the imbalance market.

Right now, California utilities rely on climate-polluting natural gas to support renewable energy, firing up gas plants when solar farms shut down in the evening. BC Hydro joining the imbalance market won’t solve that problem — far from it — but its hydro plants could help California save a little more afternoon solar power for use at night.

President of the California Independent System Operator, Stephen Berberich said “”I get my inspiration from Germany. I watch how they’re operating with Norway in particular, and using that Norway hydro fleet to help Germany integrate their renewables.”

The western energy-sharing program isn’t the first time California and Canada have worked together to fight climate change. Since 2014, the Canadian province of Quebec has participated in the Golden State’s cap-and-trade system, a market-based program that forces climate polluters to pay for their emissions. Ontario joined earlier this year, and has been selling pollution permits at joint auctions with California and Quebec.

As the California grid operator announced its partnership with BC Hydro on Tuesday, Trump still hadn’t taken a position on the Paris climate accord, the historic agreement struck by nearly 200 countries in 2015. The president promised on the campaign trail to “cancel” the international climate deal, but so far he’s delayed a decision on whether to leave or remain.

Whatever Trump decides on Paris, his administration is already undermining U.S. efforts to fight climate change. Scott Pruitt, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency, is working to kill the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would reduce planet-warming emissions from power plants. And the budget proposal released by the White House last week would decimate spending on clean energy research and climate science.

Whatever Trump decides on Paris, his administration is already undermining U.S. efforts to fight climate change. Scott Pruitt, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency, is working to kill the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would reduce planet-warming emissions from power plants. And the budget proposal released by the White House last week would decimate spending on clean energy research and climate science.

Trump has exacerbated those fears. California Gov. Jerry Brown’s western grid plan would require approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which should soon be controlled by Trump appointees. Critics say FERC could use that process to undermine California’s climate policies, forcing the state to import dirty power from other parts of the West.

Author: Darvin Tocmo

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *