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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners went deep to see our planet’s inner beauty. From the ocean’s depths to your own backyard, the Earth is home to many mysterious creatures. The contest honours those who go the extra mile to show us how they live, and the fragility and beauty of our planet.
The work is on display at the Natural History Museum in London, virtually and in person, from Oct. 14 to July 3. The photos will also be at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto from Nov. 12 to April 23.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- First Nations: B.C. Indigenous conservation plan gets private backing to protect, restore and support self-sufficiency initiatives
- Reuse: Aiming for zero-waste includes repurposing store fixtures – displays, lighting and shelving
- Explainer: Nuclear energy is making a comeback. What’s happening in Canada and abroad
- Food: This farmer-turned-biologist wants to put Quebec’s truffles on the culinary map
- Energy: Western powers must co-operate to develop business case for energy transition, German ex-minister says
- From The Narwhal: ‘Nature has no borders’. Why Americans are worried about Canadian mines
A deeper dive
More than just fish: why Chinook salmon indicate a loss of culture and connection
Declining salmon populations mean more than simply lost fishing opportunities or food insecurity in Yukon and Alaskan communities where groceries aren’t widely available or are prohibitively expensive. For First Nations the loss goes deeper than the wallet or freezer, but also culturally and spiritually.
The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, whose traditional territory includes the Dawson City region, are only one of many First Nations in Yukon and Alaska which have traditionally relied on the Yukon River chinook. They have resorted to using frozen chum salmon instead of Yukon River chinook at their annual fish camp, which is intended to teach traditional skills to youth. Chum salmon have seen similar population declines.
“Many First Nations have relied on chinook salmon for millennia, and it’s really difficult to live without traditional foods,” said Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph.
The current leading theory doesn’t have to do with what’s happening in the river, but in the Bering Sea, where the salmon spend up to five years of their lives.
“In the past several years, we’ve seen an increase in the temperature of the Bering Sea, and the latest hypothesis is that it’s doing multiple things to the ecosystem there,” says Marc Ross, manager of Treaties, Fisheries and Salmon Enhancement for the Yukon River with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Freelance writer Lori Fox wrote about what is happening with salmon, and about the loss that leaves “a hole in people’s hearts.”
What else you missed
- G7 finance leaders pledge to intensify climate efforts despite war challenges; G20 watchdog tells climate standard setters not to hardwire differences
- Canadian arenas adapting and improving to combat temperature fluctuations caused by climate change
- Manitoba premier says Ottawa needs to have leeway on carbon pricing
- Ontario wine producers seek solutions to extreme weather threats
- P.E.I. residents turned away from lines for Red Cross Fiona payments
- Stink bug thrives in British Columbia’s warm October
- B.C. drought benefits some farmers, extending harvest and reducing rot
- Drought and moths push the trees of Vancouver’s Stanley Park to the brink
- New Zealand’s proposal to tax cow burps as part of its climate change plan angers farmers
Opinion and analysis
Michael Bernstein, Dale Beugin, Blake Shaffer: Canada should try to profit from the U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy
First person series: I thought a leaf blower was the answer - but I looked ridiculous
The editorial board: Oil sands companies are finally putting in real money to cut emissions. And the Liberals are suddenly talking nice about oil and gas
Inquiry launched into RBC’s green advertising
Canada’s Competition Bureau has opened an inquiry into whether Royal Bank of Canada made misleading statements about its actions to fight climate change after the watchdog received an application from a group of concerned citizens backed by environmental groups. In a letter dated Sept. 29, it is seeking “to determine the facts relating to allegations that RBC has contravened the [Competition] Act by making false or misleading environmental representations.”
The probe stems from a complaint first lodged in April by six individual applicants that alleges RBC’s claims it supports the principles of the Paris Agreement and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is false, and that the company is currently working against those goals by providing billions of dollars in financing to the oil and gas industry, and says the bank “lacks a credible plan” to reach its stated goals.
- Ottawa asks banks to help clarify carbon-price rebate deposits
- New climate for risk disclosures supports better investment decisions
- ‘Green’ funds warned of hazardous grey areas
- Rivian shares skid after EV maker recalls nearly all its vehicles
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa doing climate informed law.
My name is Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa (40) located in Washington. By trade, I’m a lawyer, and now a sustainability director at Coeuraj: a Canadian-owned consultancy that advises global business and governance and brings together diverse stakeholders to design inclusive and resilient solutions for the greatest systemic challenges of our time.
The climate challenges we face require nuanced and more intersectional examination and action. As a lawyer, I’ve been inspired by the collective action I’ve seen taken so far. I’m also closely watching how policy, legislation, and the courts are evolving with the times. For example, the revocation of Shell’s oil and gas exploration rights in South Africa as a result of corruption related to licensing issues is an example of the scrutiny associated with natural resourcing rights.
This case not only demonstrates how society is using the legal system for climate justice, but also the collective steps we’re taking toward change. While there remains a lot of work to be done, I’m hopeful for the progress that we’ll continue to see.
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
Guides and Explainers
- Want to learn to invest sustainably? We have a class for that: Green Investing 101 newsletter course for the climate-conscious investor. Not sure you need help? Take our quiz to challenge your knowledge.
- We've rounded up our reporters' content to help you learn about what a carbon tax is, what happened at COP 26, and just generally how Canada will change because of climate change.
- We have ways to make your travelling more sustainable and if you like to read, here are books to help the environmentalist in you grow, as well as a downloadable e-book of Micro Skills - Little Steps to Big Change.
Catch up on Globe Climate
- The environmental cost of electrification
- Storm surge is why Hurricane Fiona hit so hard, and it will get worse
- Why getting women and girls in the fishing boat is good for the environment
- Is Canada’s largest farmland owner an optimist or pessimist?