If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Globe Climate and all Globe newsletters here.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
From Vancouver comes a reminder to not feed the animals in our cities. The parks board is taking action to control the increasing numbers of messy and aggressive Canada geese.
They’re particularly worried about people feeding them in high traffic areas such as Stanley Park, the beaches of English Bay and Sunset Beach. The extra food that people provide is part of the reason that the bird populations grow beyond natural numbers.
“In nature, without food from humans, this wouldn’t happen,” a statement from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation said.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Ottawa has begun rolling out long-promised rules for a domestic carbon offsets market. Can it create a pricing system without greenwashing?
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government’s move to launch a co-ordinated, cross-department secretariat to promote the environmental, social and governance measures increasingly emphasized by global investors will help attract much-needed dollars to the province.
- The federal government is ramping up plans to move Canada’s public transit fleets from diesel to electric buses with a dedicated $2.7-billion fund.
A deeper dive
Making the case for The Big Suck
Ryan MacDonald is a senior editor at The Globe heading the climate, environment and resources team.
If you’re living in central Canada, you are forgiven for not feeling the momentum swirling around industrial carbon capture.
It was there last week at CERAweek – billed by one of my colleagues as the “Coachella of the energy industry” – where oil companies were making the case for carbon capture, storage and utilization as a way to deliver more carbon-neutral barrels. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, this is old hat. Industrial-scale carbon capture has been happening in Canada for more than decade – in 2009, the Globe declared former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall Canada’s carbon diplomat.
In emissions-heavy Alberta, there is renewed sense of energy around carbon capture as the province adjusts its aggressive pro-pipeline message to a more nuanced line that shows greater concern for ESG (environmental, social and governance) measures.
As the Globe’s Kelly Cryderman and Emma Graney report today, the province is asking Ottawa to commit to billions in spending or tax incentives over the next decade to spur the building of large-scale carbon capture projects.
With the federal budget on the horizon, Alberta is laying out a buffet of options for Ottawa to consider up to and including direct government ownership of carbon facilities.
On the taxation side, a coalition of environmentalists and companies from hard-to-decarbonize sectors are pushing Ottawa to follow the lead of the U.S. by introducing a Canadian version of the “45Q” production tax credit, which rewards investment in carbon capture. These projects are big and they aren’t cheap. The 45Q creates certainty for developers and investors.
While the federal Finance Department may be wary of targeted tax credits, Ottawa has embraced market-based solutions around climate. And as the Globe’s Adam Radwanski writes, the Liberals will be eager to show they’re keeping pace with a new climate-focused U.S. administration.
I don’t share the view from some that carbon capture is simply a lifeline for the fossil fuel industry. Carbon-intensive commodities like steel and cement aren’t going anywhere. For climate change to be tackled, we’ll need to look to both new technologies and large-scale mitigation efforts. Managing these emissions is part of the global transition to a low-carbon economy. It will take governments and private capital to make it happen.
What else you missed
- Volvo Group’s entire car lineup will be fully electric by 2030, the Chinese-owned company announced joining a growing number of automakers planning to phase out fossil fuel engines by the end of this decade.
- Race for rare earth metals in Greenland underscores the polluting side of clean energy: the superstrong magnets which help power equipment such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, combat aircraft and weapons systems.
- Rising demand for renewable diesel is creating both problems and opportunities across an emerging supply chain for the fuel.
- Power generator TransAlta Corp. says it has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 60 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030.
Opinion and analysis
One year after the Wet’suwet’en blockades, Indigenous people are ready to challenge Canada’s foot-dragging on climate change
Dini Ze’ Lho’imggin and Dini Ze’ Smogilhgim: “We’ve seen governments and courts try to tackle the fast-moving emergencies: Floods, wildfires and forest insect infestations are resourced and attacked with military efficiency, while Indigenous land defenders, rail blockaders and legislature protesters are met with the clockwork application of injunction law and actual military enforcement.”
Canada is failing its freshwater fish populations
Steven J. Cooke, Nicolas W. R. Lapointe, John P. Smol: “We must restore degraded habitats, enact and enforce strong legislation that protects fish and the communities that depend on them, and prioritize fish in our integrated water management planning.”
In the race to clean dirty industries, these new technologies give hope for a low-carbon future
Eric Reguly: “While environmental lobby groups, climate scientists and the new generation of Gretas have focused on oil and coal as the nastiest climate culprits, everyday commodities such as cement and steel have atrocious planet-burning credentials, too.”
TMX is launching a trading platform for sustainable bonds
TMX’s new trading venue allows retail investors to trade sustainable debt. Practically speaking, it means ordinary investors can trade qualifying bonds just like they would stocks, or purchase them and hold the debt until it matures.
The goal? To help investors who are increasingly conscious of environmental, social and governance principles access ESG-focused debt, and to create a new funding source for the issuers of sustainable bonds.
Read Tim Kiladze’s story on the initiative giving retail investors the rare chance to buy and sell ESG-friendly debt while offering issuers a new source of capital to help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Opinion: Why federal green bond issuance can help build the Canadian market
- Also: EV metal producer DeepGreen to go public in US$330-million SPAC deal
Each week The Globe will profile a young person making a difference in Canada. This week we’re highlighting the work of Angie Tran and Bernard Law making laundry more sustainable.
We’re Angie Tran and Bernard Law, the Toronto-based founders of Kind Laundry. We’re business and life partners of more than 10 years, who created our business to combat the waste created by plastic laundry jugs. Each year, around one billion jugs get disposed of in the U.S. alone and less than 10 per cent are recycled. The rest of the waste gets exported to poorer countries, affecting people’s health and living conditions.
Kind Laundry aims to reduce the number of these jugs by providing a zero-waste detergent alternative. Our biodegradable sheets are premeasured and made with only four simple plant-derived ingredients. Even our packaging is compostable.
We continue to find new ways to help our planet every day. Here are some tips we’ve learned:
- Buy reusable products when possible, such as: water bottles, produce bags, bamboo toothbrushes
- Donate unused items in good condition to support the second-hand market
- Use long-lasting light bulbs as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Do you know an engaged young person? 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
- We’ve rounded up our reporters’ content to help you learn about sustainable ways to live life at home, travel, invest, and generally to learn about our species at risk.
- 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
- Change makers said something needs to be done. They’re doing it.
- Can Canada electrify everything?
- Books for a better planet
- Canada’s resource reckoning is coming