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

We are approaching the end of 2022. We’ve had adaptation promises, resiliency strategies, a completed COP27 in Egypt and now COP15 is winding down here in Canada. We’ve got a lot to reflect on in this past year of climate change commitments both nationally and globally.

After this edition, the climate newsletter will start a pause in publication until after the new year.

Thanks as always for reading our stories and clicking through this newsletter. Check for us in your inbox in 2023!

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

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Rising sea levels: Climate change threatens to drown Egyptian city of Alexandria, destroy key farmland
  2. Space: NASA launches mission to measure Earth’s surface water – with help from Canada
  3. Refugees: As UN budgets stretch thin, African refugee camps grow desperate. Climate change is adding pressure to the crisis.
  4. Oil and Gas: LNG coalition faces uncertain future after leader quits and proposals wane; meanwhile, oil sands coalition to start exploratory drilling for carbon-capture project
  5. Adaptation: Priorities of national climate adaptation strategy don’t match risks, expert report finds
  6. Innovation: Fusion breakthrough could be climate, energy game-changer. Read this explainer to learn more.
  7. Inspiration: Why the world should be watching Germany as it re-engineers its industrial and climate future
  8. From The Narwhal: Two First Nations say Ontario is ignoring their expertise on endangered Lake Superior caribou
  9. Wildlife: To save Africa’s penguins from extreme weather and heat, conservationists get creative

Penguins enjoy their hour of forced "swim time" in the south pool at SANCOB, Cape Town South Africa. Part of the rehabilitation process for injured sea birds is to ensure that they start swimming as soon as possible after surgery/medical care so that they can be released into the wild as soon as possible.Karin Schermbrucker/The Globe and Mail

A deeper dive

Another notch on the COP belt

Sierra Bein is author of Globe Climate. For this week’s deeper dive, she catches you up on our COP reporting.

Today is the last day of COP15, the United Nations biodiversity conference in Montreal, and Globe science reporter Ivan Semeniuk is there to write about the action taking place.

In the early hours of the day, delegates reached a historic agreement to boost prospects for the long-term survival of the natural world and everyone who depends on it. The newly adopted global framework would guide conservation efforts through the end of the decade with the aim of seeing species and ecosystems recovering in all regions by mid-century.

Included in the adopted framework is the requirement that countries work to conserve 30 per cent of the planet by 2030. The “30-by-30″ target is one that Canada, among several other countries, has pushed for at the talks.

Globe climate policy columnist, Adam Radwanski also went to Montreal to provide a little extra analysis.

For example, he writes, we already knew it was a strange for China to host the biodiversity summit in Montreal at the end of a year in which its relationship with Canada has grown increasingly tense. However, the country seemingly played a constructive leadership role in the process. And there might be cause for some optimism about the place it will occupy in international environmental relations going forward – Beijing could help build bridges over divides that perpetually threaten to derail global environmental progress.

On Canada’s end, not only did Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault step into a weird situation and rather artfully manage to take a co-leadership role, he also led by example with a series of new Canadian commitments that put pressure on other countries to step up, and successfully pushed for some key components (especially Indigenous rights) to be included in the agreement

The talks for a global biodiversity framework hit a speed bump early last week when when more than 60 nations from the Global south walked out over concerns that pledges from rich countries to fund conservation were too small and too vague. Compared with earlier drafts, the framework’s overarching goal now looks to the year 2050 as the point by which all ecosystems should be maintained, enhanced or restored.

As talks turned toward finance, estimates of how much money is needed vary widely. Most of the money set aside for implementing the framework would flow from the developed nations of the north to those of the global south, where the greatest amount of biodiversity remains.

There remains a lot of work, and COP15 promises alone are not enough to fix nature by 2050. But ending the conference with some serious commitments, and renewed optimism on global co-operation aren’t a the worst place to end the year off.

Canadian Minister of the Environment and climate change Steven Guilbeault and other delegates listens to COP President Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu (unseen) at a plenary meeting during COP15 in Montreal, on Dec. 19, 2022.LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Marsha Lederman: For your consideration, 2022′s word of the year: Emergency

Alexander Wooley: Savour the sea. Before we go to space, let’s explore the alien expanse we have right here on Earth

Justine Hunter, analysis: Yes and no: Premier David Eby’s climate leadership is a muddle

Obituary, by Paul Wilson: Czech-Canadian scientist Josef Svoboda helped uncover secrets of the Arctic

Green Investing

Five responsible investing trends to expect in 2023

What forces will shape responsible investing (RI) in 2023? A recent report by the Responsible Investment Association says “RI is entrenched in Canada,” with $3-trillion in assets under management. Factoring in ESG performance and goals has become a “fundamental tool” in the decision making of Canadian investors, the report says. Trends such as green bonds, diversified sustainable investing and new perspectives on greenwashing are all on the list, check it out here.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Tony Wang doing creative climate action.

Tony WangHandout

My name is Tony Wang, I’m 23 years old, and I’m from Hamilton, which is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas.

I’ve spent the past few years as the Creative Director of My Media, a creative agency that works exclusively with organizations trying to make the world a more just and habitable place. Our mission statement is broad by design: it’s the reason I got to invent a fake donut shop to teach people about the social solidarity economy, help Greenpeace Canada make fun of Elon Musk, and produce a docuseries on young Canadian climate leaders — all in the span of a year.

The amount of people dedicating their careers to meaningful climate action is staggering, and my biggest takeaway from working with folks like that is just how much people actually, genuinely care. Our brains are wired to focus on the negatives, but if you tune into the positives, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

- Tony

Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at to tell us about them.

Photo of the week

This photograph taken on December 18, 2022, shows a deer treading through the frosty countryside near Reims, northeastern France.FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP/Getty Images

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