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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
Could smaller, more sustainable cod fishing make a comeback?
Nearly 30 years into the moratorium, conservationists and industry are at odds over Ottawa’s latest plan to bring devastated fish stocks back to health – and some are rediscovering traditional methods they think might be the answer for the fish of choice for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
Newfoundlanders like fisherman Kimberly Orren look cautiously for ways to rebuild.
Now, let’s get you caught up on other news.
Catch up on Carbon Tax news:
- The big news: Canada’s carbon pricing is constitutional, Supreme Court rules. We rounded up politicians, business leaders and environmental groups reactions, though experts have voiced mixed feelings.
- Canada’s carbon pricing explained: How much is it and how does it work? What you need to know.
- The provinces: Saskatchewan and Alberta are mulling over new consumer carbon-pricing regimes, including fuel charges. Meanwhile, B.C. is the first province to set emission-reduction targets for major sectors of their economy.
- Analysis: Some see the ruling as a win for federalism and the fight against climate change. In some ways, the win is seen as belonging to Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. But the undebatable winners are the Liberals, against an already-weakening political opposition to carbon taxes. And now that the legal fight over carbon pricing is over, the political one needs to end, too. Dear Conservatives: Embrace the carbon tax, and make it your own.
A deeper dive
Can you be a capitalist and save the world at the same time?
Ryan MacDonald is a senior editor at The Globe heading the climate, environment and resources team
Early on in the pandemic, I remember talking to a colleague at The Globe about the notion of the state: the idea that in an unfolding crisis it was reassuring to know that the state had your back – and that if there was ever a time for government intervention, this was it.
The need for government action came flooding back during my conversation with Tariq Fancy, the former BlackRock chief investment officer who wrote in The Globe of his disenchantment with the world of ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing.
For Fancy, a Canadian who grew up in Toronto, there is an obvious connection between the COVD-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and government action. When the pandemic hit, we didn’t rely on markets to save lives, we needed swift and sweeping government action. Yet, according to Fancy, the idea of markets being a force to solve the climate crisis has become an illusion propped up by business leaders – that the free market will somehow correct itself and the climate crisis without government action.
Fancy’s words reminded me of another Canadian who has worked on Wall Street and who is taking a swipe at capitalism: Mark Carney.
As the Globe’s Konrad Yakabuski writes, Carney’s new book Value(s): Building a Better World for All calls for nothing short of a reordering of society to ensure markets answer to citizens rather than the other way around. Climate change is an example of another crisis that is being driven by the fealty by governments toward markets.
For Carney, the burden of addressing the coming challenges around climate is shared between business and government. But, he stresses, political leaders need to understand what’s needed.
We will get an idea of how well governments in Canada and the United States understand the challenges in the coming days and weeks – with a federal budget on April 19 and a U.S recovery plan that bets big on clean energy.
- What else you missed
- A $60-million penalty for Teck Coal underscores the urgent need for B.C. to adopt stricter coal-mining regulations in line with American states downstream of the valley where four large projects have been proposed, according to the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre and a binational coalition of environmental groups.
- A new tool that measures the environmental quality of any urban street in Canada illustrates the neighbourhoods in the country that have poor environment scores, neighbourhoods that are often home to racialized communities.
- President Joe Biden is including rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration.
- Nova Scotia environmental groups are saying their hopes in the new Liberal Premier have been shaken by his government’s about-face on legislation aimed at protecting biodiversity.
- The world’s wind power industry is falling far short of installing the capacity needed to limit global warming, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council showed.
- A report from Oceans North says communities in northern Canada face serious risk if their long-standing waste management problems are not addressed.
Opinion and analysis
Deborah Yedlin: Failure is not an option for Canada’s next generation of energy leaders.
Konrad Yakabuski: Mark Carney takes a swipe at capitalism, for its own good
Alberta “energy war room’s” ESG campaign
What’s known as Alberta’s energy war room will lead an advertising effort to promote the province’s environmental, social and governance standards, but some in the energy sector worry that the office’s combative history won’t bode well for success in the campaign about ESG leadership.
As the officially named Canadian Energy Centre prepares to lead an ESG marketing campaign, long-time Calgary energy economist Peter Tertzakian says “there is a lot of trust-building that has to happen.”
Chief executive officer Tom Olsen says the CEC has been promoting ESG efforts in the energy sector since its inception. But Simon Dyer, deputy executive director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, doesn’t think that work is particularly new or innovative.
Each week, The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week, we’re highlighting the work of Danial Hadizadeh doing solar energy design.
My name is Danial Hadizadeh. I’m a 38-year old living in Toronto with my family. I have always been fascinated with creative inventions. My teen entrepreneurship voyage took flight when, inspired by Da Vinci, I started building devices that fly by flapping wings, known as ornithopters. From my early days in construction, I was inspired to find ways to make buildings more sustainable without sacrificing esthetics. I started GCAT GROUP, a construction material company that led to other service companies including Artisana and Cladify, each working to optimize construction today.
In December, 2020, after getting an MBA from Harvard Business School, I launched my current company, Mitrex, in Canada. We develop vertically integrated solar construction materials for high-rise residential and commercial buildings, hospitals and agricultural facilities. Our technology allows architects and developers to harness solar energy at the same cost as non-sustainable materials.
I envision a world where energy is generated by every surface facing the sun. As urban centres continue to grow, construction has a vital role in creating sustainable cities. Mitrex is finding ways to make this happen.
Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com to tell us about them.
Photo of the week
Catch up on Globe Climate
- Environmental work is for all ages
- Canada hits the ground running in hydrogen race
- Why the world should see opportunity in carbon capture
- Change makers said something needs to be done. They’re doing it.