If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Globe Climate and all Globe newsletters here.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
The relationship Indigenous communities and wildlife conservation groups have with bears diverges from many preconceived Western notions. And having long learned how to co-exist with the big mammals, they have different ideas when it comes to safety.
Listen to this episode of The Decibel, joined by staff reporter Joy SpearChief-Morris, who breaks down bear misconceptions and tells us how to respect the animals when you encounter them.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Solutions: A rancher and an environmentalist are teaming up to save the disappearing Prairie grasslands
- Hydrogen: A Canadian hydrogen dynasty believes its moment has finally come. Can it happen here?
- Pipelines: How Trans Mountain CEO Dawn Farrell quietly took control of Canada’s most-controversial pipeline
- Nuclear energy: Advisers to nuclear regulator bolster industry position on deteriorating pressure tubes
- Weather: Canada’s dramatic summer weather has altered the fall colours this year, researchers say
- Religion: Pope Francis’s historic synod marks potential watershed as women’s equality, climate change take centre stage
- In-depth with The Narwhal: What will it take to make traditional foods thrive again?
A deeper dive
Making sure our emission-reducing investments are safe
Ryan MacDonald is senior editor of climate, environment and resources. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about climate financing.
Can Canada be prudent and ambitious about financing climate change solutions at the same time?
That’s the key question emerging after a months-long third-party investigation into Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which was triggered by a series of investigative reports from The Globe’s Jeffrey Jones.
Ottawa has suspended SDTC, its main federal funding agency for early stage green technology, from granting money after its investigation uncovered evidence of conflict-of-interest breaches and lax governance involving the organization’s chief executive and board members.
With roughly $1.5-billion of taxpayer money on the line, questions of conflict and governance should be paramount. Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he’s taking the findings seriously.
He certainly should be.
Here’s why: There are still billions of dollars in funding that have yet to be spent on climate-related programs and funds. In its budget in March, Ottawa announced $20.9-billion over five years, the majority of which will go to new investment tax credits for clean electricity, clean hydrogen and clean technology manufacturing. It also expanded eligibility for tax credits for clean technology adoption and carbon capture, utilization and storage.
What has followed is a kaleidoscope of programs – including the $8-billion Net Zero Accelerator initiative and the $15-billion Canada Growth Fund – but little in the way of implementation. All the while, the United States is continuing to forge ahead with billions in tax credits and subsidies through its Inflation Reduction Act. It could be said that Canada’s cleantech economy is suffering from too many recommendations and not enough action.
So why is it important to be both prudent and ambitious with these investments?
We need the investment. We need to reduce emissions. And, yes, we need to ensure that those investments in reducing emissions are protected.
As Chris Bataille, a research fellow at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, argues today, once we have shown it can be done here, Canada will become a source of service exports to help the world to do the same.
Getting it right means showing the world that Canada’s funding agencies and its companies are ambitious – and accountable.
What else you missed
- Countries pledge to raise $12-billion to fund coral reef protection
- B.C. NDP introduces disaster bill as legislature starts with four official parties
- Post-tropical storm Philippe will be no Lee, but accumulating weather damage makes Nova Scotia vulnerable
- Alberta CEOs in Ottawa to find common ground on energy, climate and economy
- Parts of Quebec were under rainfall warning, localized flooding on some Montreal streets
- Forty-one per cent of Earth’s amphibians deemed threatened with extinction, assessment finds
- Canadian municipalities looking to become ‘spongier’ to catch and absorb rainwater, build climate resilience
- Brazil’s government expels non-Indigenous people from two native territories in the Amazon
- Developed nations pledge $9.3-billion to global climate fund at gathering in Germany
- Study finds more people moving into high flood zones, increasing risk of water disasters
- September sizzled to records and was so much warmer than average that scientists call it ‘mind-blowing’
- Deaths rise to 47 after an icy flood swept through India’s Himalayan northeast
Opinion and analysis
Wolfgang Alschner: On the green transition, Canada’s trade policy is between a rock and a hard place
Christopher Pollon: The case for leaving gold in the ground
Quebec-based H2O Innovation will go private under new ownership
H2O Innovation, a water technology and services company based in Quebec City, announced last week that it has agreed to be bought by New York private equity company Ember Infrastructure Management for $4.25 a share in cash. The transaction values the company at $395-million on an equity basis. Ember invests in businesses that have solutions to reduce carbon intensity and increase climate resilience.
- Why more investors are seeing fixed income through a green-tinted lens
- IMF says private sector needs to shoulder most of climate investment burden
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Nathan Collett improving government policy.
Hi, I’m Nathan Collett, 23, and my job at the Privy Council Office in Ottawa involves improving government policy through a better understanding of the relationship between people and public institutions.
My team is called the Impact and Innovation Unit, and we focus on using new ideas to find creative responses to big challenges, such as climate change. One of our most exciting projects is the Program of Applied Research on Climate Action. We have collected data about how Canadians think and feel about climate change and are now working to help people make changes in their lives that can seem confusing or overwhelming. Our research often starts by understanding potential obstacles. Regarding new technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, for example, we address misplaced concerns about cost, range and cold-weather performance.
It is becoming apparent to me that we must start learning to collaborate on an unprecedented scale. I hope that we come out of this challenge with more trust in our public institutions, and more faith in each other. I am inspired by the promise of a more sustainable future. Greener urban spaces, the possibilities of electrification and improving building technologies could all radically improve human lives.
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: the 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 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
- Big-wave surfers of Nazaré are helping restore the kelp forest
- Studying the start of the solar system may teach us about Earth’s future
- To prevent food insecurity, we should look to the ancient past
- Young farmers help each other embrace new techniques to lower emissions