First item that came in is from Voters Taking Action on Climate Change:
Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) announced Monday it will likely scrap plans to tow open, football field-long coal barges down the Fraser River and across the windy Strait of Georgia to Texada Island — all as part of its plan to help big US companies get their thermal coal to Asia.
This is a win for everyone who cares about the Fraser and the Strait and pushed back on this proposal. Savour the victory — but only for a moment, because with this good news comes some bad…
FSD still plans to export coal from Surrey, but rather than a “barge loading facility,” it now wants to build a full-fledged coal port on the Fraser River, right across from downtown New West. Worse still, we’re concerned once the Massey Tunnel is removed even larger coal ships will come up the Fraser.
Then this showed up in the InBox from the Pembina Institute:
… what exactly are stranded assets? HSBC has released a new report that provides a concise definition. “Stranded assets are those that lose value or turn into liabilities before the end of their expected economic life. In the context of fossil fuels, this means those that will not be burned – they remain stranded in the ground.”
This is becoming a hot topic. There has been a growing dialogue about the risk of stranded assets related to climate change and carbon regulation over the last few years. During 2014 in particular, it reached mainstream discussion with experts ranging from the World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim to former Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, issuing warnings about this risk.
The Pembina Institute has also been tracking this issue. Last November we helped organize a cross-Canadatour for James Leaton of Carbon Tracker — one of the leading voices in highlighting the financial risk of stranded assets. A Day of Learning organized with RBC, NEI and Suncor also helped raise the level of dialogue on this issue in Canada.
Lots more connections here:
We could be spending billions on a new bridge to facilitate an expanded coal port whose product becomes a stranded asset – a bridge that puts new pressure for development on agricultural land, much of which is below sea level, while at the same time voting down transit expansion, much of which is zero emission. This is not a pretty scenario, but more than possible.