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

If you still haven’t read the most recent Report on Business Magazine, here is a little reminder to check it out.

The last publication has climate-related people to explore, such as Gregory Payne, a value manager who has focused on environmental thematic investing since 2008. He explains how the Mackenzie Greenchip Global Environmental All Cap Fund succeeded with a more targeted approach.

Or, if it’s more your pace, meet 50 emerging leaders reinventing how Canada does business, including Gautam Bakshi, founder of 15Rock, a risk analytics company that uses machine learning and industry-leading financial modelling to spell out the financial consequences of climate risk for investors looking to green their portfolios.

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

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Great lakes: As ice cover dwindles on the Great Lakes, researchers scramble to understand the implications
  2. Climate spending: B.C.’s budget is long on promises for conservation, but short on dollars, say conservation groups
  3. Electric vehicles: Why the future of Taiga Motors, one of Canada’s brightest EV startups, remains fraught with risk
  4. Listen to The Decibel: How organ transplants could be changed by ... frozen frogs
  5. Indigenous environmentalism opinion: Slowly but surely, Indigenous peoples are gaining control of traditional land
  6. Energy: Canada and EU pledge stronger economic and energy ties, reaffirm support for Ukraine
  7. Banking: New federal rules call for financial institutions to bolster climate disclosure, risk management
  8. The Narwhal explains: five takeaways from the new climate rules for Canada’s big banks

A deeper dive

High stakes for the High Seas Treaty

Ryan MacDonald is senior editor of climate, environment and resources. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about the high seas treaty and why it matters that we keep it in the conversation.

The high seas amount to nearly half of the Earth’s surface. Throughout history, the high seas were governed by a patchwork of treaties and regulations. Until now.

It took nearly two decades, but the so-called “High Seas Treaty” recently announced at the United Nations will help meet a global commitment to protect biodiversity in 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030.

Once ratified by member states, the treaty will allow for the setting up of marine protected areas that cover large swaths of the high seas – a step that is seen as crucial for achieving the target of protecting 30 per cent of the planet for nature by 2030, as laid out in the framework on global biodiversity that was established last December in Montreal.

So, will it work? And what’s really at stake?

Rashid Sumaila, a fisheries economist at the University of British Columbia, told The Globe’s environment reporter Wendy Stueck that the treaty reflects growing recognition of the potential uses of marine resources in manufacturing, fashion and pharmaceuticals, as well as the need for international co-operation to safeguard ocean ecosystems.

But there are challenges in putting some measures in the treaty into practice.

The new treaty does not contemplate a ban on high-seas fishing. It would, however, create areas that generally include restrictions on activities such as fishing and shipping. And there are calls for government to call for a deep-sea mining moratorium in international waters. Canada has already effectively put a moratorium on deep-sea mining in Canadian territorial waters.

Most important in all of this is that this treaty recognizes that the high seas are the common heritage of humankind. No one country can claim sovereignty. Up until now, human activities in oceans have expanded and few rules apply. The world must work together to ensure there is not a free-for-all in the deep seas.

- Ryan

Open this photo in gallery:

This file photo taken on February 20, 2023 shows a general view of an Intergovernmental Conference on an international, legally binding instrument, under the United Nations Convention, on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. UN member states finally agreed on March 4, 2023, to a text on the first international treaty.YUKI IWAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Blaise Ndala: The violence consuming eastern Congo shows the bloody cost of energy transition

Editorial: We know current GDP and inflation data. Canada needs the same for emissions

Todd Hirsch: Look beyond grocers such as Loblaw. Food insecurity is going to get a lot worse

Editorial: As Alberta battles Ottawa in court, the Liberals are right to seek balance between the economy and environment

Green Investing

Legal concerns surrounding ESG issues grow as Shell board faces lawsuit from environmental activists

Experts are watching a high-profile case in Britain to see if corporate structures will shield directors from being held liable in ESG-related actions. If they don’t, it could lead to a new spate of lawsuits.

Last month, ClientEarth, an environmental activist group, filed suit against the 11 directors of Shell PLC, arguing the oil major is not shedding fossil fuel assets and shifting to alternative energy quickly enough. The group said the company’s board is failing to manage climate-related risks, which could affect Shell’s future success to the detriment of investors, including pension funds. Shell has rejected ClientEarth’s allegations, asserting its directors have complied with their legal obligations and have acted in the company’s best interest.

Opinion: ‘Woke capitalism.’ ESG investing is starting to become its own source of risk

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Tricia Schmalenberg thinking about sustainable farming.

Open this photo in gallery:

Tricia SchmalenbergKampphotography/Handout

My name is Tricia Schmalenberg. I’m 46 and from Winnipeg.

Climate change is significantly affecting food production and supply. Everything we purchase and use contributes to carbon emissions. My family composts all our food scraps which we use to fertilize our garden; growing what we can to offset carbon emissions generated through the transportation of produce from outside of the province. We subscribe to Community Supported Agriculture, which means we receive locally grown vegetables for 20 weeks of the year.

My commitment continues at work as a professional engineer and environmental manager for Maple Leaf Foods Agri-Farms. We have a community garden where staff who don’t have a garden at home can use a plot to grow food to offset their carbon emissions. My role also influences the future of sustainable farming. The company is investing in new tech such as anaerobic digestion, which converts methane from food and farm waste into renewable natural gas, and regenerative agriculture, to rebuild soil organic matter and restore biodiversity.

It’s going to take a collective effort to effect the change needed. I encourage everyone to engage with their government officials and to exercise their right to vote, in order to influence policy.

- Tricia

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

Photo of the week

Open this photo in gallery:

High school students John Bateman, Helena Miller and Melissa Miranda testify in support of an Oregon bill that would require climate change instruction in public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, at a hearing in the Oregon Capitol building in Salem, Ore., Thursday, March 9, 2023. The three students said climate change was an issue they cared about deeply.Claire Rush/The Associated Press

Guides and Explainers

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