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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

Welcome to our first edition of 2022!

One thing you missed as we were wrapping up the year, was our collection of Difference Makers, which highlighted some of the people working to make Canada a better place in 2022. For the series, I wrote about Sarah Lazarovic and her MVP newsletter, bringing a hopeful tone to crucial climate-change discussions. I think we could all use a little hope this year, yes?

Also: You deserve a distraction today. If you haven’t taken our test yet, The Globe’s 2021 science quiz is like a booster for your brain – no appointment required.

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.


Noteworthy reporting:

  1. Energy: Canada has committed to halt financing to the oil and gas industry. To understand what that really means, watch for the fine print; Oil patch sees carbon capture tax credit as the future. Opponents say it’s an unnecessary lifeline
  2. Arts: Canadian fashion retailers leading the way in sustainability, and pandemic realities push the style sector to examine ways to refashion a broken system.
  3. Wildlife: Here’s why more coyotes are adapting to urban areas in Canada; Hummingbirds in B.C. fight for life as canaries in a cold snap
  4. Housing: Catastrophic flooding has further exacerbated housing crises in B.C.’s Southern Interior; Smart home devices helping scientists get inside deadly B.C. heat wave
  5. From The Narwhal: On Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, the Kenhté:ke Seed Sanctuary preserves not just plants, but culture and language, too

A deeper dive

Why Ottawa needs to deliver on climate adaptation

Ryan MacDonald is senior editor of climate environment and resources at The Globe and Mail. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about Canada’s need to plan adaptation.

Heat, fires, floods. It’s difficult to comprehend the cascading series of climate-related disasters that the residents of Western Canada have endured over the last year and continue to live through.

With each disaster comes its own series of devastating impacts – and some lessons:

What all of this points to is a striking need to develop new climate adaptation ideas. (Climate change adaptation is about adjusting policies and actions to reduce the negative impact of climate change.)

At the Globe, we are taking this challenge seriously. Over the next year, we plan to focus on the issues, ideas and solutions related to climate adaptation. And it starts today.

The clock is now ticking for Canada to get ready for future emergencies and to develop solutions. The federal government has promised that by the end of this year, it will release Canada’s first ever National Adaptation Strategy.

As the Globe’s Adam Radwanski reports today, the government faces a difficult balancing act. Ottawa is trying to produce a comprehensive long-term climate resiliency strategy, but it also needs to meet the urgency of the moment, with specific plans to address immediate risks.

Adam argues that this effort should have started sooner. He’s right.

But his piece makes another important point: We can’t wait for perfectly mapped-out strategy – Canada needs to get started and learn from our mistakes.

-Ryan

Illustration by the globe and mail


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

Heather Short: I resigned from my tenured climate educator role. Students deserve action, not lectures about a dismal future

The road ahead, Jason Tchir: Separating promises from reality when it comes to autonomous vehicle, EV progress in 2021

Jim Leech and Sean Cleary: Canada’s next big step in sustainable finance - let’s get disclosure right

Alex Bozikovic: Quebec’s International Garden Festival confronts climate change

Terry Teegee and Josh Laughren: Stronger Fisheries Act regulations should be an urgent priority for Ottawa


Green Investing

New ESG obligations loom large for Canadian finance

It was a year of talk in sustainable finance in 2021. Now comes the action, writes Jeffrey Jones. The stage has been set for some key environmental, social and governance milestones.

In 2022, the new measures will be put into play to give investors and the general public a clearer indication of how committed the financial world is to living up to its grand green pronouncements. Canada’s major pension funds, regulators, and our big banks will all get moving on promises made.


Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Jeremy Pittman doing research on nature-based solutions for climate change in Canadian agriculture.

Jeremy Pittman, Assistant Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloocc Jennifer Veitch/Handout

Hi, I’m Jeremy Pittman, 40, from Waterloo, Ont., and I’m an assistant professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. My research focuses on nature-based solutions to climate change in Canadian agriculture.

In 2021, the federal government put a concerted focus on nature-based solutions within Canada as part of our climate change strategy, with an intent of expanding this further in 2022. These actions help us tackle a societal challenge by sustainably managing, or restoring natural and modified ecosystems.

This is incredibly exciting for a few reasons. First, it means we can address climate change by leveraging nature as a tool, without needing to create new technology. Second, it incorporates biodiversity protection, which some climate change initiatives unfortunately do not. Finally, it allows us to highlight and enhance some of the good work that’s already being done, specifically within the agriculture sector. Canadian beef farmers and cattle ranchers have long played a role in avoiding the continued loss of grasslands in Canada, which is one of the most effective nature-based solutions in Canada’s toolkit.

- Jeremy

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

People sit on bench looking at a natural arch and the chalk cliffs in Etretat on January 4, 2022.SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP/Getty Images


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