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

We keep talking about it: COP26 is the landmark United Nations conference, where participants will attempt to set a course for collective action to combat climate change. There was a lot that Canada had to sort out before attending (but, so did everyone else). But soon, at the end of the month, more than 120 heads of state will be at the event.

Do you have questions leading up the conference? What do you want covered while we’re there? let us know! E-mail us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com with your questions.

Also: catch up on our event on sustainable farming practices and the sector’s response to the climate crisis

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


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Analysis: The sustainability sector has a problem with lack of diversity
  2. Politics: Trudeau should build a cabinet better suited to the climate fight
  3. Energy: Tourmaline CEO Mike Rose is building an oil company for a post-oil era
  4. Ahead of COP26: IEA signals $1-trillion transition bonanza ahead of summit; B.C. and Ottawa are playing different notes on climate ahead of UN conference; Xi Jinping’s snub of attendance raises concerns China may refuse new climate targets
  5. Explainer from The Narwhal: Why tensions are escalating on Wet’suwet’en territory over the Coastal GasLink pipeline

A deeper dive

Have you heard of Wataynikaneyap Power?

Wendy Stueck is a national correspondent for The Globe and Mail, based in Vancouver. For this week’s deeper dive, she talks about an Indigenous-led power line deal.

For most people living in Canada, electricity is something to take for granted.

You flip a switch, the light comes on. You think about starting a new business – a bakery, say, or a convenience store – and while you may weigh the costs and logistics of your potential power bill, you probably don’t have to wonder if you’ll have access to reliable electricity.

That’s not the case for many First Nations communities in Canada that rely on diesel power, including 17 communities that are in line to be connected to the provincial power grid through Wataynikaneyap Power.

Currently, those communities rely on diesel fuel, which is trucked in over ice roads or arrives by air. The diesel systems in many communities are at or over capacity, restricting economic growth. Spills are a concern; so are power outages.

Getting remote communities off diesel is a priority for the Ontario and federal governments and aligns with environment and climate change programs, including the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Wataynikaneyap, a 51-49 partnership between 24 First Nations and Fortis Energy Inc. and other private investors, highlights the potential for Indigenous peoples to be part of an emerging, cleaner energy sector.

In B.C., for example, the Fort Nelson First Nation is working on a geothermal project it hopes will generate power for its residents and allow it to sell the excess to the provincial power grid. Emma Graney wrote about that here.

Corporate partnerships can help such ventures become reality. In teaming up with Fortis, for example, the Wataynikaneyap communities sought a partner with technical, regulatory and financial experience. It’s taken more than a decade to come together, but the ‘line that brings light’ is getting closer to turning on.

To read more about inside the Indigenous-led power line deal that put 17 First Nations on the grid, check out the full story.

- Wendy

CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, Margaret Kenequanash, sits for a portrait at her home in Thunder Bay, Ontario.David Jackson/The Globe and Mail


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

Kent Roach: The Fairy Creek injunction battle needs to consider harm to environmental and Indigenous rights

Elizabeth Renzetti: Common ground climate chat is the hot air we need

Kelly Cryderman: Alberta’s finances riding high on oil and gas prices – more a reminder of volatility than cause for celebration


Green Investing

Big banks join Carney’s net-zero banking alliance

Canada’s six largest banks are joining a global alliance, led by former central bank governor Mark Carney, that commits them to net-zero emissions targets tied to their lending. As signatories, banks commit to reaching net zero in their lending and investment portfolios by 2050 but also to setting intermediate targets by 2030 or sooner.

  • National Bank of Canada CEO Louis Vachon cautioned the fight against climate change could be inflationary, as it will require massive investments in lowering carbon emissions and is likely to drive some energy prices higher.
  • Royal Bank of Canada chief executive officer Dave McKay made a similar point. “Climate’s having an impact on supply chains,” he said, citing its effects on agricultural crops, such as canola in Canada and rubber in Thailand.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Ran Goel doing urban farming.

Ran Goel, CEO and Founder of Fresh City in TorontoHandout

My name is Ran Goel, and I’m the CEO and founder of Fresh City in Toronto. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, I decided to leave my Wall Street law firm in pursuit of more meaningful work. After noticing the terrible way our food is grown, combined with the shaky foundation our economic systems are built on, I started to look for a sustainable solution. It was this line of questioning that led me to explore the world of urban farming here in Canada and eventually to start Fresh City.

I believe that a better world is possible through food. We have expanded our urban farm concept and we now run Canada’s largest commercial city farm where we grow organically all year long. We’re hoping to show Canadians that big-box grocers aren’t the only way; that by supporting farmers and sustainable ecosystems you’re doing what’s best for the planet, your community and your health.

Simple swaps such as choosing pasture-raised beef or eating seasonally as much as possible make a big impact. Voting with your wallet by purchasing from grocers who are committed to transparent sourcing of organic and sustainable food directly supports the future of our environment.

- Ran

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.


Photos of the week: Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards

The intimate touch from Canadian Shane Kalyn is the Winner in the category “Behaviour: Birds”. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens’ breeding season. Shane lay on the frozen ground using the muted light to capture the detail of the ravens’ iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together.Shane Kalyn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year


Catch up on Globe Climate

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