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

Fall is the season when “real-life sea monsters” are most likely to be seen. Newfoundland’s giant squid sprang onto the world stage in October of 1873. They even made headlines in The Daily Globe, an early incarnation of The Globe and Mail.

When giant squid wash up on Newfoundland’s shores, they become the stuff of local legend – and mystify scientists who want to know why their carcasses keep coming here.

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

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Photo of Derwin Roberts and the 12-foot-long giant squid he found in Badger Bay in 2004 at the Sperm Whale Pavilion at Triton, Newfoundland on August 14, 2023.Johnny C.Y. Lam/The Globe and Mail

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Carbon tax: Trudeau softens federal carbon tax policy after backlash from Atlantic Canada. Premiers demand more carbon-pricing carve-outs after Trudeau climbdown
  2. Independent business: Farms, small businesses hope federal changes to carbon pricing fix disproportionate costs, industry groups say
  3. Conservation: New federal initiative will buy up private land around 10 national parks for conservation efforts
  4. Sustainable finance: Canada Growth Fund makes its first investment – a Calgary-based geothermal energy company
  5. Justice: Ontario asks court to deny Ottawa use of environmental law to make decisions on Highway 413, Ontario Place
  6. Renewable transition: Changes to Alberta renewables could take up to three years to implement, says minister
  7. Forests: B.C. Premier David Eby announces $300-million fund to conserve biodiversity and old-growth forests
  8. Energy: Demand for fossil fuels to peak this decade, International Energy Agency says
  9. Athletics: On your mark, get set, check the air quality. Marathon race organizers adjust to new climate reality
  10. On the ground with The Narwhal: How Nipissing First Nation is healing environmental damage

A deeper dive

A new economic model has taken root in B.C.

Deep in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, Gitga’at guide Marven Robinson pulls a single strand of pale, shimmering hair from the bark of a silver fir. It is evidence that an elusive Spirit bear had fancied a tree rub here.

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Marven Robinson, a Gitga'at Spirit bear guide, pulls a Spirit Bear hair from a rub tree, deep in the Great Bear Rainforest.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin/The Globe and Mail

The breathtaking coastal ecosystem has become a hub for regenerative travel and non-invasive, culturally sensitive scientific research. Both promise to safeguard the biodiversity of the region – and benefit its local communities – as the effects of climate change take hold.

It wasn’t a short trip for the tour group. After meeting at a small airport in in Terrace, B.C., they drove toward Kitimat, headed toward more than 6.4 million hectares of protected temperate rainforest on the Pacific Coast. Finally, they boarded a catamaran and sailed into the rugged landscape with Maple Leaf Adventures. They spent 10 hours waiting in vain to see the rare white black bears by a river.

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Maple Leaf Adventures' naturalist Marlo Shaw looks onward toward the beaches of Campania Island.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin/The Globe and Mail

The spirit bears are one of the big draws for visitors. Indigenous communities had initially tried to minimize coverage of the bears for generations, for fear that colonizers would trophy hunt them into extinction

This summer, the B.C. government renewed and expanded shared stewardship of the region with First Nations. Robinson believes that the decision to finally embrace public interest in the spirit bear, and the subsequent tourism interest, saved his homeland from irreparable harm when the now quashed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project was at their doorstep.

All writing and photography by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin, check out the full story.

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William Keating, 27, a Gitga'at spirit bear guide, radio's Marven Robinson for an update on whether bears were spotted further downriver.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin/The Globe and Mail

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Claire Cameron: The floods of September, a poem about climate change

Andrew Leach: The perils of promising a costless energy transition

Daina Lawrence: Nuclear energy’s role in the climate change era remains uncertain

The editorial board: Why Canada needs better carbon taxes

Green Investing

Canadian companies swept up in new climate disclosure rules in Europe

Europe has ushered in a new era of sustainability reporting for companies, imposing new requirements to provide details about their impact on the climate and other environmental and social factors under rules that many Canadian corporations will have to adopt.

Despite pushback from members of the European parliament opposed to increasing environmental, social and governance burdens, the body approved the rules that will eventually be adopted by nearly 50,000 companies. An estimated 10,000 corporations from outside the continent, many based in Canada, will have to report if they have met certain criteria.

Photo of the week

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Some pumpkin farmers in the western United States, particularly wholesalers in places such as Colorado and New Mexico, are feeling the pinching effects of drought. Farmers have had to rely on dwindling water for irrigation while battling wacky weather to get their crops planted on time. Some have cut back on other crops they grow because pumpkins bring in the most money, while others have described lower yields of smaller gourds. Alan Mazzotti surveys one of his pumpkin fields on Oct. 26, 2023, in Hudson, Colo.Brittany Peterson/The Associated Press

Guides and Explainers

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