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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:

  1. Solutions: A rancher and an environmentalist are teaming up to save the disappearing Prairie grasslands
  2. Hydrogen: A Canadian hydrogen dynasty believes its moment has finally come. Can it happen here?
  3. Pipelines: How Trans Mountain CEO Dawn Farrell quietly took control of Canada’s most-controversial pipeline
  4. Nuclear energy: Advisers to nuclear regulator bolster industry position on deteriorating pressure tubes
  5. Weather: Canada’s dramatic summer weather has altered the fall colours this year, researchers say
  6. Religion: Pope Francis’s historic synod marks potential watershed as women’s equality, climate change take centre stage
  7. 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.

-Ryan


What else you missed

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People walk near the Lac-aux-Castors at Mont-Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on October 05, 2023. Environment Canada said that this year's heat, 27.9 degrees celsius, beat the previous record of 27.0 celsiusANDREJ IVANOV/AFP/Getty Images


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


Green Investing

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.


Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Nathan Collett improving government policy.

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Nathan CollettHandout

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.

- Nathan

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

Open this photo in gallery:

Fungus samples are seen on display inside the Fungarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, west London, on October 6, 2023. The Fungarium was founded in 1879 and holds an estimated 380,000 specimens from the UK, which are designated as the British National Collection of fungi. Millions of undescribed plants and fungi species may already be under threat from extinction, researchers at London's Kew Gardens said on Tuesday, calling for urgent action to protect them.HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP/Getty Images


Guides and Explainers


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