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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, some economists – and environmentalists – have turned their attention to the price of natural gas, which is on the upswing. Russia supplies about 40 per cent of Europe’s imported gas, and while pipeline deliveries have so far been exempt from sanctions or countersanctions, that may not last.
In particular, the conflict is bringing attention to the Nord Stream 2, the long-contested pipeline that will funnel Russian gas directly from the country to Germany, bypassing Ukraine entirely. Ukraine has long opposed the pipeline’s construction; environmentalists have been critical of it, too, saying it will intensify Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels, when more attention ought to be paid to the development of renewable energy projects.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- B.C. budget: The government of British Columbia has pledged to support residents who were forced from their homes by climate-related fires and floods, and has promised to increase its capacity to forecast — and prevent — such disasters in the future.
- Chrystia Freeland’s economic goals: In an exclusive interview, the deputy prime minister discussed her plans for Canada’s green transition.
- Worsening wildfires: A new UN report says that catastrophic wildfires will continue to increase in intensity and frequency, and calls for a shift towards investments in prevention.
- Green homes: In its latest push on green homes, Ottawa is now requiring homeowners to undergo an energy audit before they sell.
- On the ground with The Narwhal: Saskatchewan’s historic fur-trading community of Île-à-la-Crosse is meeting government resistance in its attempts at creating an Indigenous protected area.
A deeper dive
How climate change will change Canada
Sierra Bein is the author of Globe Climate. For this week’s deeper dive she highlights resilience storytelling after the latest IPCC report.
Climate change will change Canada. Our country will look and feel like a different place because of the impacts of a warming planet, and increasing emissions.
But it can’t just be about waiting for governments to come up with answers. It mean empowering the public to start making choices, to start stirring inspiration for redesign and innovation.
In a group effort to imagine what a more climate-resilient Canada could look like, environment reporter Kathryn Blaze Baum, food reporter Ann Hui, climate policy columnist Adam Radwanski and science reporter Ivan Semeniuk cast a look to the future together. Read their full findings here.
Their reporting is part of a continued effort for The Globe’s No Safe Place series, a 2022 plan to focus on the issues, ideas and solutions related to climate adaptation in the wake of a string of climate-related disasters in Western Canada.
The urgency of how we prepare for a future of adaptation was further highlighted on Monday when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on the impact of rising global temperatures.
The latest UN report offers the most comprehensive review yet of how the impact of climate change has found a disconnect in countries’ lack of preparedness to cope with the threats posed by a failure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
According to the report, the world needs to accelerate its efforts to both prepare for and limit climate change or face progressively deteriorating living conditions for millions of people.
Semeniuk also looked at the report, and shared some key messages in a story this morning. One of the highlights he shared is that the need for action to build climate resilience is more urgent than previously thought, yet around the world, most efforts to adapt to climate change still remain in the planning stage.
What else you missed
- According to the IEA, methane emissions coming from global energy sector are 70% higher than officially reported.
- A new organization, the Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuels, aims to spur sustainable jet fuel growth in Canada.
- British Columbia’s Environment Minister George Heyman says the province can no longer wait to flight climate change.
- People flee to rooftops as ‘weather bomb’ submerges Australian towns on the east coast
Opinion and analysis
Barry Smit: Like the horse and buggy, the fossil fuel era will wind down
The Globe’s editorial board: On climate change, are the Conservatives about to make the same mistakes again?
For the Globe’s second-annual Changemakers package, we put out a call for nominations for emerging business leaders who are finding pragmatic solutions to the world’s most intractable problems, from income inequality to climate change. The result is a list of 50 innovators and entrepreneurs who combine advocacy with strong business acumens as they look forward to a more sustainable and equitable environmental and economic future. Read the full list here.
- Also: A list of the top sustainable ETF funds for yield-seeking investors
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Dianne Mitchinson, who is helping to identify carbon-capturing rocks.
My name is Dianne Mitchinson. I am a geologist working with CarbMin Lab at the University of British Columbia, using remote-sensing data to help locate rocks capable of capturing carbon. I’m a creative person who enjoys being surrounded by friends sharing ideas and perspectives. I love my work which draws on many scientific disciplines to tackle a problem creatively together.
We will need a substantial supply of critical minerals like copper, nickel and cobalt as the world embraces renewable energy solutions. In some instances, these metals are hosted by rocks that can naturally sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Analysis of remote-sensing data allows me to scan large geographic areas to identify these rocks and to estimate their volumes. With this knowledge, there is an opportunity for companies to prioritize sites for mining to extract battery metals while simultaneously sequestering as much, or more, carbon than it emits.
It has been encouraging to see more and more mining companies reaching out and exploring their options to reduce their environmental impacts, demonstrating their commitment to mining critical metals responsibly as we move to electrify the economy.
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
Catch up on Globe Climate
- Beijing proved you don’t need winter to host an Olympic Winter Games
- How does flood risk affect your home’s value?
- Machine-made snow at the Olympics and the future of winter sport
- Inside the fight to save one of Europe’s last wild rivers