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

Some people love them – others love to hate them. But the cackling black birds that fly in flocks around our cities are as smart as they are scrappy. Need a reminder to love the urban nature? Read about how murder of crows in Burnaby proves more inspiring than ominous.

In our backyards, off our balconies and out in our parks, we see the natural world everywhere – we need only take the time to look. Wild in the City highlights the biodiversity that exists in and around our cities by showcasing a subject from nature each month – it could be a bird, a tree, a river, a stream or a prairie meadow. Do you have a story to tell? Get in touch at globeclimate@globeandmail.com.

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


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Petronas Canada is teaming up with Japan-based Itochu Corp. to explore the feasibility of building a new, US$1.3-billion facility just outside Edmonton that would produce low-carbon ammonia, a source of hydrogen fuel, for export to Asian markets.
  2. Not in my backyard: On Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, discontent over Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline and its politics
  3. How sustainable can a hotel stay be? The new 1 Hotel in Toronto is trying to set a standard
  4. From The Narwhal: Seven years after Mount Polley disaster, B.C. faces another mining boom — and regulations still fall short
  5. Decolonizing the birds: Birdwatchers look for more inclusive titles for species with naturalists’ names

Yousif Attia out for a bird walk in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park on June 24, 2021.Alia Youssef/The Globe and Mail


A deeper dive

Humans are, beyond any reasonable scientific doubt, the primary cause of climate change, UN reports says

Ivan Semeniuk is The Globe’s science reporter. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about recent findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Scientists from around the world have issued their most comprehensive and strongly worded report yet on the causes and consequences of global warming. The report is part of the latest assessment from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and it represents the best available knowledge about the planet’s current state and future trajectory in response to increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses.

Among the report’s key findings is a recognition that the pace of climate change is accelerating with the average global temperature now expected to reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within the next 20 years

Like the last such assessment, produced in 2013, the new report demonstrates that climate change is not a hypothetical future problem but a real-world phenomenon that is readily apparent and accelerating in every region of the globe.

What is different about this latest iteration, which the authors emphasized in their opening statement for policy-makers, is that humans can now be identified, unequivocally, as the primary cause of climate change. The growing certainty is the product of all the data that has accumulated over the last eight years as the magnitude of climate change has grown as well as the increasing power of computer models to capture the extent to which human activity, primarily through the release of fossil fuel emissions, are influencing climate.

The report, which is focused on the physical basis for climate change, will serve as a common factual reference for representatives in international climate talks set for November. Other parts of the assessments, including a separate report on climate impacts and another on mitigation strategies are set for release in early 2022.

- Ivan

A motorist watches from a pullout on the Trans-Canada Highway as a wildfire burns on the side of a mountain in Lytton, B.C., Thursday, July 1, 2021.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

The Editorial Board: The fading fortunes of Canada’s liquefied natural gas exports


Green Investing

Hydrostor Inc. has received $10-million from the federal government’s BDC Capital to advance four compressed-air energy storage projects it is looking to develop in Canada, the United States and Australia. Hydrostor technology allows utilities to add more wind and solar power onto their grids by smoothing out intermittent generation. The money will be used for such items as engineering studies, permitting and community consultation.

Also:

Biden sets goal of making half of U.S. auto industry electric by 2030

Exxon considers pledging net-zero carbon emissions by 2050: report


Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Nidhi Nidhi doing environmental justice training.

Nidhi NidhiHandout

My name is Nidhi Nidhi (she/her) I am at the University of Guelph pursuing a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. I am an International student and since I have arrived in Canada from Dubai, I have become incredibly involved in the U of G community. Along with volunteering at various campus organizations, I currently work as a sustainability ambassador co-ordinator, where I help with various environmental and sustainability-focused projects. I recently co-founded my podcast, Crisis Unfolded, which seeks to raise awareness of environmental and sustainability issues.

I recently organized a virtual environmental justice training, which explored the injustices faced by marginalized communities and identified steps we as a campus community can take to create more inclusive ethical spaces in the environmental movement. I believe that education is essential to create a sustainable world. Being part of an incredible institution and team, I want to bring meaningful climate justice conversations to the decision-making table. As climate change is not just an environmental issue but also an issue of racial and social justice, we need our climate action to be done through a lens of anti-racism, equity and accessibility

- Nidhi

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

Birds fly over a man taking photos of the exposed riverbed of the Old Parana River, a tributary of the Parana River during a drought in Rosario, Argentina, Thursday, July 29, 2021.Victor Caivano/The Associated Press


Catch up on Globe Climate

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