Every two weeks, Mike Moffatt, Senior Director at SPI, explores five things to watch in the green economy in a segment for Smart Prosperity: The Podcast. Click here to listen to this week's episode.


On top of all the additional news, research, and analysis covered in the podcast, here are five (other) things happening in the green economy this week:


1) At least 190 people are dead and more than a thousand missing after extreme flooding hit Western Europe over the weekend. The flooding has also caused an estimated over two billion dollars in physical damage, including the destruction of entire neighbourhoods. The extreme weather event is in line with scientific projections of the impacts of climate change.


2) Just one day prior to the catastrophic flooding, Europe ratcheted up its climate change ambition, with a new target to cut emissions by 55% below 1990 levels over the next 10 years. The new plan expands Europe’s carbon price to include air travel, and proposes the world’s first-ever carbon border tax.


3) China has officially launched the world’s largest carbon pricing system. The system applies a carbon price to more than 2000 power plants emitting 4 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. Experts warn that the price being set will be too low to be effective – at 50 yuan per tonne, it’s 75% lower than Canada’s carbon price and 85% lower than recommended by the International Monetary Fund.


4) Israel has announced its plans to extend its tax on plastic bags, which reduced their use by 80%, to other single-use plastics. The country is the second biggest per-capita consumer of single-use plastics in the world and has joined countries like Canada in committing to reduce plastic pollution.


5) Canada’s green bond market hit record levels last quarter, with investors buying 4.9 billion dollars’ worth of bonds for projects like renewable energy and clean technology adoption. While the pandemic has stalled the global green bond market, Canada is on pace to beat its previous record set in 2019.


Listen to the full segment, and plenty of other great content, in today's new episode of Smart Prosperity: The Podcast. Our podcast provides fresh takes on the current affairs, politics, research and business of the clean economy. New episodes posted every two weeks.