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

Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th prime minister, died at the age of 84 last week.

The Blue Tory will be remembered as the country’s greenest prime minister, for an environmental track record that still resonates today as the world grapples with biodiversity loss and climate challenges.

Bill Pristanski, who served in senior roles in the Mulroney administration, cited several major environmental achievements from that time, including the acid rain agreement. He also praised the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international deal to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer, a part of the Earth’s atmosphere that protects humans and other life from ultraviolet radiation.

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

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U.S. President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sign the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 13, 1991.Barry Thumma/The Associated Press

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Alberta’s moratorium: Alberta banning renewables on prime land, declaring no-build zones for wind turbines. But, Danielle Smith’s new renewable energy restrictions won’t end industry in the province
  2. Analysis: Complaint from Capital Power shows tension around Ottawa’s plans to back carbon capture
  3. Photo essay: Life lessons from winter camping in the Canadian Shield
  4. Urban affairs: Toronto considers joining urban trend of converting public parking to housing
  5. CANDU reactors: AtkinsRéalis tries to rally Canadians around a new nuclear future
  6. Electric vehicles: EVs north of 60: Yukon a leader despite cold, remote location
  7. Restoration: Adaptive reuse or build-from-scratch? Experts say repurposing new buildings brings many benefits
  8. From The Narwhal: Chronic wasting disease threatens First Nations food security

A deeper dive

Green governance from Report on Business Magazine

For this week’s deeper dive, a collection of ROB magazine stories about the road to net zero for business.

Companies in the early stage of the net zero journey should read the most recent ROB magazine for a guide on how to get started.

“Yes, the transition to a no-carbon world is going to be painful. And absolutely, it’s going to be expensive,” writes Dawn Calleja in her editor’s note. “But what’s the alternative? What we need right now – what we needed two decades ago – isn’t more magical thinking. It’s bold leadership from corporations, yes, but also from governments and regulators. Industry needs guardrails.”

The magazine is focusing on leadership, highlighting Sustainalytics’ analysis of companies that are making progress in terms of disclosing key management indicators around the low-carbon transition and their climate investment plans.

“It’s far from perfect,” Calleja writes. “But we wanted to be both constructive and instructive: What are companies doing right, and where do they need to improve?”

Check out these stories from the magazine:

  • Why good governance is greener: Fresh eyes on corporate boards tend to see environmental risks and opportunities in a new light
  • Tipping point: Canada’s financial sector is lagging when it comes to real climate action. How do we catch up before it’s too late?
  • Road to net zero ranking: A ranking of 30 Canadian companies with strong management leading them on the Road to Net Zero
  • The Transition Rating: Introducing the Morningstar Sustainalytics Low-Carbon Transition Rating, a guide to understanding how Canadian companies are managing the shift to a net zero future
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Illustration by Dushan Milic

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Kevin Yin: The anti-natural-gas camp is targeting the wrong problem

Duane Bratt: With Alberta renewables ban, business common sense goes out the window

Gus Carlson: Apple’s failed electric-vehicle move shows arrogance remains its core competency

Green Investing

Western miners hope superior ESG credentials can revive their fortunes amid devastating nickel crash

Nickel was one of the hottest commodities on the planet as recently as 2022. Analysts and mining executives then predicted blue-sky fundamentals for the critical mineral, based on the belief that demand for the electric car battery input would far outstrip global supply. But after a short-lived trading frenzy drove nickel to a record high in March, 2022, the commodity went into a steep decline. In the last year alone, nickel has tumbled almost 30 per cent to around US$17,500 a tonne.

To satisfy ESG-conscious investors, Canadian and Australia mining companies must meet a much higher bar than China or Indonesia. That includes electrifying their mining vehicle fleets, using carbon capture technology and adopting as many renewable energy sources as possible, steps that improve the impact on the environment, but which also often drive up costs.

Making waves

Pivot Green is once again accepting applications to the Canadian Youth Climate Action Award in partnership with the Small Change Fund. Their focus is to support young Canadians working together with other generations on positive, impactful ideas and actions that help address the climate anxiety and challenges of our times.

Applications for the 2024 award are now open. Deadline for applications is April 2, 2024.

Pivot Green connects and celebrates people, businesses and communities with stories and ideas to inspire restorative climate action and social justice.

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

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Conservation biologists Kristine Ulvund and Craig Jackson from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and park rangers Olaf Bratland and Harald Normann Andersen, from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate, release a young Arctic fox into the wild at Hardangervidda National Park near Geilo, Norway, on Feb. 8, 2024. As part of a state-sponsored program to restore Arctic foxes, Norway has been feeding the population for nearly 20 years.CRAIG JACKSON/Reuters

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