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

This month’s issue of Report on Business Magazine’s editor’s note is titled Zero excuses for half measures on global warming. Inside the issue, our own Jeffrey Jones delivers a pointed call to action. The edition contains a call for progress on Canada’s net zero commitments as part of global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – a goal that is quickly becoming unreachable.

Check out our entire package on how to get Canada on track to meet its net zero targets, Net Zero Hour: Clean energy’s future can, and must, be now.

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

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NetZeroThe Globe and Mail

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. First Nations rights: Indigenous groups file lawsuit saying they have a say over what happens on their lands, including resource projects
  2. Drought: Excessive heat from climate change is key factor in Horn of Africa drought, scientists find
  3. Tech: Canadian companies cover new ground with Earth-observation technology
  4. Greenbelt: Documents reveal hospital proposal in Ontario’s Greenbelt
  5. Funding: The ambitious Canadian science projects getting $1.4-billion in funding from Ottawa
  6. Flooding: Canada should do more to integrate nature-based solutions to reduce flood damage, says study
  7. Pollution: Alberta Energy Regulator CEO offers few details on Kearl leak in testimony to committee; First Nations call to clean up tailings. Now, B.C. pension fund is targeting Imperial Oil by voting against two directors for re-election
  8. Energy transition: South Africa’s energy minister attacks Canadian-funded climate project at former coal station
  9. Film: Activists inspired by How to Blow Up a Pipeline film may ‘turn to sabotage,’ Alberta energy watchdog warns
  10. Analysis from The Narwhal: Farmers want to restore Ontario’s natural landscapes, but we can’t do it alone

A deeper dive

Ottawa’s vision for electricity’s future is about to clash with Ontario’s

Adam Radwanski is a climate change columnist for The Globe.

Only a couple of years ago, the future of Canada’s power grids was barely on the political radar – something I realized when researching a feature on how this country would meet demand that’s expected to at least double as we electrify transportation, buildings and industry.

So it’s encouraging to now see Ottawa attempting to show national leadership – first by announcing billions of dollars in subsidies for non-emitting electricity sources, and next with a new regulation that will make it either illegal or extremely expensive to use polluting forms of power generation starting in 2035.

But for reasons I reported in my recent analysis, it’s also extraordinarily difficult for a federal government with little experience in electricity policy to craft these measures in a way that fits different power systems in every province and territory.

Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken with around the electricity sector is enthusiastic about the new refundable tax credits that will be available. They also tend to be somewhat confused, because of apparent overlap between some of those credits and unclear conditions attached to them.

But the new rules – the Clean Electricity Regulations – are where things get really difficult.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and his department are trying to nail a complicated formula in which they prevent future use of unabated natural gas, except in situations where not using it would lead to power shortages. And it has to be reasonably one-size-fits-all, despite some provinces currently having much greater fossil-fuel reliance than others.

We’re going to get some answers about how they’ve struck this balance pretty quickly. The final draft of the regulations is nearly ready. But probably even sooner, we’re going to see the results of an attempt by Ontario to procure a lot of new natural-gas generation. As I reported this week, that process has been significantly affected by the coming federal rules – possibly resulting both in less new gas investment than would otherwise be the case, and in the province granting worryingly favourable conditions to private companies so they’ll risk building any new gas at all.

It could look like validation of Ottawa’s bold intervention – the idea of which is to make any new fossil-fuel investment­ financially unviable compared with renewables.

Or it could look like a federal-provincial collision causing the effort to go off track, before it’s even really begun.

Either way, it will set the tone for a new era in Canadian electricity policy.

- Adam

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Gary Mason: The uncomfortable truth about Canada’s climate commitments: They won’t be met

Editorial: Alberta’s oil-rich future and a pivotal election

Lawrence Herman: Climate subsidies like Canada’s $13-billion for Volkswagen herald new trade wars

George Athanassakos: ESG investing. The good, the bad and the ugly, or just the bad and the ugly?

William O’Connell: Think government is inefficient? That is exactly why we need to pay civil servants more

Green Investing

Bank of Canada begins disclosing climate-related risks

The Bank of Canada began disclosing climate-related risks to its operations and balance sheet this week – a move intended to inspire other financial institutions to raise their game on climate-related disclosure. The report, published alongside its annual report, details the bank’s own greenhouse gas emissions and looks at how vulnerable its operations are to natural disasters. It also attempts to quantify how exposed its balance sheet and pension plan are to climate-related risks – both physical threats, such as fires and floods, and risks tied to changing regulations and consumer demand.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Christine Mettler helping to make green infrastructure.

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Christine MettlerHandout

I’m Christine Mettler, 37, the director of Green Infrastructure at Green Communities Canada.

I’ve been working on Living Cities Canada, a program that aims to create equitable, abundant and thriving green infrastructure in cities and towns across the country. We are excited to work with local environmental groups across Canada to create new, community-led green infrastructure sites where they are needed the most.

I worked in partnership with the University of Toronto to create the recently published Living Cities Framework – a document designed to provide decision-makers practical knowledge to advance green infrastructure in their communities. The framework contains strategies and case studies from North America and Europe to support local governments in bypassing barriers that prevent the uptake of green infrastructure.

My work focuses on using green infrastructure to integrate services the natural environment provides into how we develop and grow our communities. What’s magical about green infrastructure is, not only does it deliver services like stormwater management, but it also makes our cities more resilient to climate change, and more beautiful, healthy places to live.

- Christine

Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at to tell us about them.

Photo of the week

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A long-tailed macaque walks along the edge of a fence in Japakeh in Indonesia's Aceh province on April 29, 2023.CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images

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