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Digital Policy Salon: Carbon Tariffs and Mass Transit Today

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Carbon Tariffs and Mass Transit Today
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #47 • View online
Welcome to the 47th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
This summer, record-breaking heatwaves have accompanied a host of projects to help mitigate climate change. Our policy updates this week bring you news of fresh ideas for reducing carbon emissions across the EU and North America. These include a controversial plan to tax companies on their high-carbon imports, and a positive spotlight on Canada’s carbon capture and storage industry.
Meanwhile, we’re highlighting a favourite piece from the archives: an interview with a “digital afterlife” researcher who considers what it means to mourn—and deal with privacy considerations after death—in an online setting. In our featured policy brief, experts across Canada weigh in on mass transit’s future in a post-COVID world. Meanwhile, “what we’re reading” takes on a type of transit for very few passengers—private space travel. Finally, check out our featured tweet for a great experiential learning opportunity in Calgary.
- Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
United States government signs executive order to promote competition in the American economy
The President of the United States signed an executive order that reaffirms its commitment to promoting competition and establishes a whole-of-government approach to competition policy in the US economy. The order is comprised of 72 initiatives across 12 federal agencies.
Initiatives pertaining to the digital economy seek to: make broadband internet more affordable; restore net neutrality; invoke greater scrutiny of mergers by dominant internet platforms with particular attention to data and user privacy; generate greater competition in internet marketplaces; and establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data.
Climate policy space active amid country-wide forest fires and record-breaking heat waves
The European Union proposed new climate legislation last week, including a first-of-its-kind carbon adjustment and a new goal of reducing net emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The “carbon border adjustment mechanism” would require companies that import high-carbon products to the EU to pay for the carbon emitted while manufacturing their products. Earlier this year, the federal government announced its intention to begin consultations on the use of a similar mechanism in Canada.
Shell Canada proposes major carbon capture project; Canada cited as global leader in carbon capture
Shell Canada announced last week that the company is considering building a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project near Edmonton. The project would create up to 2,000 jobs and could store up to 300 million tonnes of CO2. According to a report by Wood Mackenzie, and as reported by CBC, while “Canada accounts for only 1.9% of the global CO2e emissions, the country currently holds 14% of the global operating CCUS capacity.”
Conservationists are using technology in interesting ways to better protect endangered species
The Ocean Tracking Network and Dalhousie University are using a fleet of underwater robots to monitor endangered right whales and prevent them from being hit by ships. The robots use a hydrophone to listen to the calls of right whales, identify where they are, and report their locations.
Researchers from the University of Michigan attached 2 by 4-millimeter micro-computers to snails and leaves in Tahiti. The micro-computers, which collect solar data, helped determine where local species of snails were sleeping and how this may have helped them avoid extinction following the introduction of an invasive species. - Mairead Matthews
Special Events
Join Us Today for a Virtual Panel Discussion on Technology-Driven Rural Development
Your Virtual Fingerprint: Digital IDs in a Data-Driven Economy
Your Virtual Fingerprint: Digital IDs in a Data-Driven Economy
Interviews in the Field
Your Digital Afterlife: An Interview with Carl Öhman
What We're Reading
What Jeff Bezos, New Shepard, and Blue Origin mean for space tourism
Research Visualized
For over a year, Google has been releasing “COVID-19 Community Mobility Trends” data. The data won’t surprise many: around March of 2020, people stopped going just about everywhere except for their own residential spaces. Still, despite increasing vaccination rates and gradual re-opening plans across the country, we’re now experiencing 2nd annual events in a pandemic-ravaged world: as this chart displays well, it’s becoming possible to compare this year to last year. For most of the mobility data above, we’re just beginning to return to levels not seen for at least a year, and still well below that of 2019. Finally, if you’re particularly interested in the purple “Transit Station” line, check out our report Smart Mobility in the Future City. For an interactive version of the chart, visit Our World in Data. - Khiran O'Neill
Our Research
Smart Mobility in the Future City
Twitter Highlights
Calgary Economic Dev
Applications are open for #EDGEUP 2.0. The experiential-based program will train displaced energy professionals for careers in tech. Thank you to our partners @fsc_ccf_en @ICTC_CTIC @UCalgaryContEd @sait @mountroyal4u @BowValley @riipen. Apply ➤ #yyctech
Talk to Us 💬
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Subscribe to ICTC’s flagship newsletter here.
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