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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
If we choose to travel, there is surely a way to do so with Mother Earth in mind. So, when Torontonians Jennifer Foden and her partner planned a road trip to Alberta from British Columbia earlier this year, they wanted to make it as planet-friendly as possible. While it was slightly more effort and more expensive, to them, it was worth it.
Road trips can be environmentally friendly, and the effort is worth the impact.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Law: Supreme Court rules federal environmental impact law is unconstitutional. The ruling now leaves resource companies uncertain of environmental regulations on projects
- Technology: What is the future of e-bikes?
- Environment: Catastrophe looms without overhaul of Alberta’s inactive oil and gas well rules, report says
- Oil and gas: Alberta natural gas power plants will continue to operate after 2035 under draft rules, says Ottawa
- Wildlife: Case to protect northern spotted owl headed to court after Liberal cabinet rejects emergency protection order
- Investigation from The Narwhal: B.C.’s energy regulator repeatedly gave Coastal GasLink a pass on alleged environmental infractions
A deeper dive
Foreign behemoths in the Canada’s critical minerals sector
Ryan MacDonald is The Globe’s senior editor, climate, environment and energy. For this week’s deeper dive, he introduces a new series from the team.
Critical minerals make the modern world work. Minerals such as copper, nickel, lithium, graphite and cobalt are the building blocks of renewable energy projects and electric vehicles. There is no energy transition without them.
This is why The Globe and Mail has launched Mission Critical, a series of stories that looks at the issues around whether Canada can become a critical minerals mining superpower. Ottawa has big ambitions in clean technology and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants Canada to become “a world leader” in critical minerals and batteries. Our aim is to discuss the challenges Canada faces to get there and the changes needed.
The shift to a clean-energy system is set to drive a huge increase in demand for these minerals. According to the World Bank, the current global production capacity of key minerals will need to increase 500 per cent by 2050 to meet the demands of the clean-energy transition.
In 2021, Ottawa released a critical minerals strategy and has been doling out $1.5-billion to various companies in the critical minerals supply chain. Most provinces have followed suit with their own plans – all aimed at attracting investment and creating jobs.
But for Canada to become a global player, it must address several key challenges. We’ll explore them in the coming months. They include money, environmental costs, geopolitics, Indigenous participation and regulations. Read the full breakdown of topics covered in Mission Critical coverage.
Plus, read the first story from the series: Canada wants to be a global leader in critical minerals. Why is Australia eating our lunch?
What else you missed
- Conservationists raise concerns over B.C.’s proposed grizzly bear stewardship plan
- Inside the battle over the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario
- Suncor CEO to appear at Commons committee to explain comments on sustainability
- Analysis: Canada faces uphill battle to recoup roughly $35-billion cost of Trans Mountain pipeline
- Alberta mountain towns work to co-exist with bears through warnings and other actions
- Planned B.C. gold mine near Quesnel passes environmental assessment
- Fire-ravaged Northwest Territories hamlet asks for independent inquiry as it looks to rebuild
- Lack of fire mitigation measures may have exacerbated Halifax-area wildfire: report
- Leaders gather in China for smaller, greener Belt and Road summit
Opinion and analysis
Chris Bataille: Canada’s cleantech incentives are a mess – we must get more serious about this
Blake Shaffer and Andrew Leach: Danielle Smith may be grandstanding, but Canada’s Clean Electricity Regulations do need a fix
Kelly Cryderman: Danielle Smith’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s environment ruling is a long way from Ottawa’s
Heather Exner-Pirot: Supreme Court ruling on federal environmental law a step toward brighter industrial future
Editorial board: The Supreme Court underscores the need for a climate of co-operation on greenhouse gases
Halifax business owner still knee-deep in insurance red tape after summer flood
Nova Scotia continues to count the costs after torrential rains and flash floods inundated the province this summer, claiming three lives and inflicting what officials called “unimaginable” damage to infrastructure.
Business owner John Connors is waiting to learn about the impact on his premiums, assuming he is able to renew in an area he says is prone to flooding and in a mall that requires its tenants have commercial insurance to operate. But with insured losses for flooding surging, some providers have started to deny flood coverage to residences and businesses on recognized flood plains.
- Greenpeace files regulatory complaint over Suncor’s climate disclosures
- Renewables funds see record outflows as rising rates, costs hit shares
- Exxon Mobil’s US$59.5-billion bet on fossil fuels has implications for Canadian oil patch, experts say
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Lauren Castelino working to promote green careers.
My name is Lauren and I reside on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee and the Mississaugas of the Credit.
I’m the co-executive director at Regenesis Canada, a community environmental organization that has chapters at seven Ontario universities and is expanding into B.C. and Quebec. We run everything spanning from farmers’ markets, bike centres, free stores, habitat restoration events and environmental education workshops. I also founded the youth-led, non-profit organization the Green Career Centre, where we prepare underrepresented youth for green careers. We have hosted green career events, conducted innovative participatory and community-centred research, and developed useful and impactful resources. Next year, in partnership with the faculty of environmental and urban change at York University, we are hosting our annual Green Career Fair.
I’m thrilled to hear about the recent announcement in the United States about the launch of the American Climate Corps, providing 20,000 green jobs and green skills training to young people. I am eager for the federal government on the land we know as “Canada” to make similar strides and invest $1-billion in the future that we need through a national youth climate corps.
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 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
- Prudence and ambition in financing climate change solutions
- 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