Stories by Jane Kearns

Expert Voices

Canada's clean tech industry on the rise after decades of investment

A wind turbine outside Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A wind turbine outside Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto. Photo: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

Canada has emerged as a clean technology leader, with 12 firms on the Global Cleantech 100 list. The list, published by industry monitor Cleantech Group, identifies firms most likely to make a significant environmental and economic impact in the next 5–10 years.

Why it matters: Businesses are facing increasing pressure to reduce their environmental footprint and mitigate risks tied to extreme weather events. Clean tech helps traditional industries operate more efficiently, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed a growing population more effectively by creating sustainable construction materials, purifying contaminated water, turning plastics into specialty chemicals, making farming more efficient, and improving energy efficiency in buildings.

Expert Voices

As U.S. looks to coal, Canada sets sights on renewables

Workers install solar panels on the roof of an Ikea
Workers install solar panels on the roof of an Ikea near Toronto. Photo: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

President Trump campaigned on promises to boost coal jobs and is following through — most recently with a leaked memo directing the Department of Energy to throw a “lifeline” to the struggling coal and nuclear industries.

Why it matters: While the global renewable energy market surges, the coal industry remains on life support. From 2016 to 2018, the number of new coal plants dropped by 73%. Although Trump claims that investing in coal over clean energy will boost the job market, the hard truth is that a significant number of U.S. coal jobs cannot feasibly return.

Expert Voices

EPA emissions rollback a hit to climate, innovation

Hybrid Range Rover model and charging station at car show
The Land Rover plug-in hybrid Range Rover Sport at the AutoMobility LA show in November 2017. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last week his intention to scrap Obama-era plans to increase emissions standards. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the higher standards were projected to save over 2 million barrels of oil per day, and to cut $1 trillion in fuel costs and 5 billion metric tons of emissions by 2030.

Why it matters: Abandoning the standards increase means the U.S. will fall behind the rest of the world in transportation innovation just as China moves forward with tighter standards, leaving American companies excluded from the world's largest automobile market.