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

Spring has finally arrived, but for some surfers across Canada, winters’ chilly air — and even chillier water — is no obstacle to hitting the waves and hanging ten. In Tofino, on B.C.’s Vancouver Island, on the shores of Ontario’s Great Lakes, and off the coast of Halifax, dedicated surfers suit up no matter the conditions.

For these surfers, who include members of Tofino’s Surf Sister, one of the oldest surf schools in the world run by women, a consistent winter chill is integral to enjoying Canada’s oceans and lakes year-round. Or, as Nico Manos, Nova Scotia’s first and only professional surfer, says: “It makes you feel alive.”

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

Robin Pacquing at Marie Curtis Park in Etobicoke, Ont.


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Canada’s climate plan: Later this week, the federal government will deliver its plan for meeting the country’s climate targets, which will include the expectation that the oil and gas industry reduce its emissions by 30 to 40 per cent. While possible, meeting this optimistic goal will likely require significant government support and funding.
  2. Sustainable travel: In New Zealand, post-pandemic travel combines sustainability with style.
  3. Forests: Scientists from around the world are urging Canada’s federal government to prioritize the protection of Canada’s most biodiverse forests, and to review how forestry emissions are quantified.
  4. Green investing: Part of Jo Taylor’s bold plan for the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan: moving away from oil and gas — largely, he says, because plan members aren’t keen on fossil fuel assets.
  5. From The Narwhal: As the endangered piping plover returns to nest on Sauble Beach, the town is embroiled in a court case over whether regular beach maintenance, to support Sauble’s huge tourist industry, jeopardizes the birds’ natural habitat.

A deeper dive

How to move a city

Ryan MacDonald is a senior editor at The Globe heading the climate, environment and resources team. For this week’s deeper dive, he spoke with reporter Joshua Irwandi, who reported on Indonesia’s decision to physically relocate Jakarta, its capital city.

Joshua Irwandi’s stunning visual journey into Indonesia’s decision to move its capital from Jakarta to Nusantara on the island of Borneo was more than a year in the making.

When Joshua first talked to the Globe about the story, Indonesia was in the grips of a deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, many Indonesians are questioning whether creating a “forest city” should be a priority for a government that is still hurting from the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Indonesia is not the first country to make this decision. Brazil, Myanmar and most recently Egypt have all done the same thing. In most cases, these moves have been  questioned as creating political capitals that benefit elites while leaving the poor behind.

But unlike other countries, Indonesia’s decision may be the first “managed retreat” from the effects of climate change. Jakarta is sinking and the Java Sea is rising. That’s certainly not the only problem Jakarta is facing, but it’s the most pressing. One third of the city could be submerged by 2050. And it’s personal for Joshua.

“Yes, the issue of Jakarta sinking is one in which I myself have been affected,” he told me. “On New Year’s Day 2020 our housing compound was flooded. We lost two of our cars.”

To tell the story, Joshua contrasts the conditions in Jakarta with the promise of Nusantara. That promises means different things for different people. For the political class, it means living in a smart city with ample green space and public transit; for Indigenous communities, the rise of the new city means they will be displaced. Developments and construction are taking place as we speak.

For Sibarani Sofian, the project’s lead designer, the new city is an opportunity to showcase how the world can confront climate change through design.

“We hope the capital city will become a role model for other cities in Indonesia. The dream is that.”

Houses are partially submerged in the housing compound of Puri Indah, during the flood that affects the majority of West Jakarta on New Year's Day.Joshua Irwandi/The Globe and Mail


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

The Globe Editorial Board: Cutting taxes at the gas pump is the wrong idea

Kamal Al-Solaylee: Yemen is starving, but the deepest hunger is for peace

Keith Porter: Canada needs to design buildings that will shrink its disaster credit card balance


Green Investing

Canada to issue first green bonds this week

Canada’s Department of Finance said Monday that it intends to sell $5-billion worth of green bonds to investors this week, “subject to market conditions.” The proceeds will be earmarked for environmentally focused projects, which could range from infrastructure spending to pollution reduction and forest preservation.

The global market for green bonds has grown rapidly in recent years, as investors have begun prioritizing assets that align with environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, while governments have looked for ways to fund green infrastructure projects at a lower cost. And, though Canada has lagged in terms of federal government green bond issuance, the broader market for sustainable debt has expanded quickly. Read Mark Rendell’s full analysis here.

Also:


Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Matt Hill, founder of One Tree Planted.

Matt HillBen Hemmings/Handout

I’m Matt Hill and I founded One Tree Planted in 2014 to make it simple for people and businesses to help the environment by planting trees.

To date, we’ve planted over 43 million trees through our global conservation efforts. Beyond tree planting, it’s critical that we have the infrastructure to plan, implement and monitor the health of our projects long-term so we can scale and create tangible impact.

Technology plays a vital role in achieving ambitious restoration targets. That’s why we work with strategic partners like Salesforce to help power and track projects of global significance, like our reforestation initiative in BC’s wildfire-ravaged Fraser Plateau.

As a father, I want to make a difference that will benefit the next generation. Planting trees is just one part of that equation. We must also focus on how we measure the impact we’re having in our communities, and in helping Canada meet its ambitious sustainability goals.

- Matt

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

In this picture taken on March 25, 2022, a newly-hatched Olive Ridley turtle is released on a beach near a hatchery in Chennai after their eggs were collected by the volunteers and forest department workers lying along the coastline of Bay of Bengal.ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images


Guides and Explainers


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