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globe climate newsletter

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

The world is changing and reshaping lives of people everywhere. Bold ideas and challenging conversations are going to be needed more than ever.

That’s why Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield hosted a five-part series, Elevate Endeavour featuring some special guests and leaders at the forefront of change to bring viewers new, compelling ideas to build a better Earth.

In addition to the videos series, The Globe will be hosting a livestream with Mr. Hadfield to talk about climate change, environment and making the world a better place. We’re catching up with him on Facebook on Nov. 26. Send in your questions for Canada’s favourite astronaut.

An undated image from NASA TV shows the astronaut Chris Hadfield performing his rendition of David Bowie’s “A Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station in 2013.NASA TV/The New York Times News Service

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. There is money to be made on trading carbon credits, says Mark Carney, after a report said the carbon market must grow fifteenfold by 2030 so that companies and organizations can meet climate-change goals under the Paris Agreement.
  2. Shell will become the first gas retailer in Canada to offset emissions from customers' fuel purchases with an optional buy-in at the pump, as it signals its intention to help meet global goals to slow climate change.
  3. A new study touts liquefied natural gas benefits for elected Indigenous groups in British Columbia amid skepticism from environmentalists

A deeper dive

The Globe presents: The future of cities

This week, The Globe and Mail decided to take an in-depth look at the future of cities. Our coverage continues through the week, leading up to a virtual summit on Thursday we’re co-hosting along with Tortoise Media, an innovative U.K. start-up.

All of us at some point, will consider how the pandemic is changing our cities. Here is a roundup of stories that takes a look at ways the pandemic will change our cities for the better, and could help make our cities a little more green.

  • 13 prescriptions for our ailing cities from urban innovators: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed cities' weaknesses on not just public health, but the environment, social equality and infrastructure. The Globe asked the experts what they would do differently, from Joe Castaldo.
  • Three ways governments should invest now to decarbonize urban transportation: As Canada battles climate change, nothing is more important than reducing transportation emissions, which are second only to oil-and-gas extraction as a share of the country’s carbon footprint, writes Adam Radwanski.
  • Concrete has shaped our cities. Now it threatens to shape our future: “Despite those beautiful COVID-19 skies, the danger is that we will head toward more urban sprawl, more concrete and more roads because less dense areas may seem healthier in a time of plague,” writes Mary Soderstrom.
  • How cities seize opportunity from the pandemic crisis to change how they operate for the better: More bike lanes and sidewalk dining are obvious changes to city streets. But many mayors are implementing more fundamental changes to education, housing and infrastructure, writes Doug Saunders.

Illustration by Kathleen Fu

What else you missed

Another giant, invasive murder hornet found in B.C. agriculture area: The provincial Agriculture Ministry says in a release that both findings are thought to coincide with a phase in the hornets' life cycle where they leave their nests looking for mates.

Shipping industry says now is the time to launch a carbon plan: The UN agency the International Maritime Organization has said it aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 50 per cent from 2008 levels by 2050.

Methane emissions from oil patch twice as high as previously thought: The findings on methane from Environment Canada researchers could complicate regulatory attempts to nearly halve releases over the next five years, says an environmental group.

Opinion and analysis

The Biden climate revolution will be slow, but the pipeline part may be too fast for Ottawa

Campbell Clark: “For Mr. Trudeau, that means working with Mr. Biden on climate over the next four years may be in large part about trade.”

Canada’s parks are the ultimate essential service

Colin Campbell, Tory Stevens, Alison Spriggs: “As governments around the world work to ‘build back better’ for a post-pandemic world, we have to ensure that protected areas are on that agenda.”

Biden’s climate plan poses risks for Canada – here’s how we should respond

Michael Bernstein: “With a Biden administration likely to usher in a new era of American climate action starting in January, and the rest of the world pushing to decarbonize, we have to keep upping our climate game or risk being left behind.”

Nuclear technology will be a key piece of Canada’s energy future

John Gorman: “We hear that there are worries about how we can manage the byproducts safely. But these concerns are not always rooted in facts, science or reality.”

Here’s what readers had to ask

This week Adam Radwanski spoke with Sarah Petrevan, policy director at Clean Energy Canada, about what Biden’s election win means for Canada’s climate strategy. They took your questions and answered them during a livestream.

Here is one question and answer from the video, but you can watch the full talk here.

Adam: In terms of the impact on that [oil and gas] industry, do you see it as big trouble? Do you see as an opportunity in the long term?

Sarah: For Canada there’s a couple of things at play, kind of beyond the supply and demand side, I think I want to make observation of “By America,” protectionism, it’s this notion of energy sovereignty in the United States. I would argue that those things are more against importance of oil and gas than anything else, the U.S. particularly in the wake of a pandemic, and the international effects or just the domestic effects it’s had, are going to really try and look to support their domestic industries as much as they possibly can in terms of economic recovery. So I think this is potentially not good news for Canada’s oil and gas sector but I obviously expect that Ottawa is going to do whatever it can to try and get what it wants to have happen to happen. This answer was shortened for length and clarity.

Other topics covered:

  • Electric vehicles and what it means for a Canadian market
  • The future of fracking and how could put pressure on Canada
  • Biden’s ability to get stuff done if he doesn’t have congressional control

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a young person making a difference in Canada. This week is a little different, we’re highlighting the work of youth at Mock COP.

Between Nov. 19 and Dec. 1 2020 they are running a youth-led, youth-run online conference that will show the world what would happen if young people were the decision makers. They will be following a similar structure to the postponed COP26 climate summit.

“This event will show the world that we, as young people will not watch our politicians delay climate action any longer, the climate crisis is here now,” said Canadian Malaika Collette, a North American student staff member. “Our voice as youth matters because it is our future that the world leaders continue to delay taking action on. It is time our voices are heard and our leaders begin taking real climate action, there is no more time for delays.”

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

Photo of the week

A worker sorts out used nylon fishnets at the warehouse of the Fil & Fab company, specialized in the recycling and sale of plastic from nylon fishing nets, in Plougonvelin, western France on November 12, 2020. The company Fil&Fab, created in 2019 in the Bretagne region by three young designers, weaves its fabric with the aim of eventually launching objects that are 100% made from recycled fishing nets.FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Guides and Explainers

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