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

As wildfires burned a record 18.5 million hectares across Canada this year, greenhouse gas emissions from those fires also soared – to potentially even triple Canada’s industrial emissions. But when Ottawa releases its annual update on GHGs in 2024, those wildfire emissions won’t be part of the tally.

The magnitude of this year’s wildfire emissions is resulting in calls for more transparency in how they are reported – and for urgent action to try to keep them in check.

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

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Residents watch the McDougall Creek wildfire in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, on August 17, 2023, from Kelowna.DARREN HULL/AFP/Getty Images

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Oil and gas: Japan and South Korea seen as key allies for LNG export plans in B.C.
  2. Tidal energy: Bay of Fundy’s high tides have immense energy potential. But a broken barge is only its latest setback
  3. Conservation: ‘Salmon parks’ in traditional First Nations territory aim to save habitats by stopping old-growth logging
  4. Alberta climate policy: Alberta deploys sovereignty act, floats its own power corporation to defy federal clean-energy plan. Read our explainer here.
  5. Carbon capture: Alberta details new multibillion-dollar carbon capture support program; making significant progress, Pathways Alliance CEO says
  6. Listen to The Decibel: How climate change clues are frozen in glaciers, with guest Justine Hunter, a Globe reporter based in B.C.
  7. Mining: Arca tests removing carbon dioxide at BHP’s nickel mine in Australia
  8. Justice: Ontario First Nations file judicial review over federal carbon pricing, say climate can’t ‘be healed at the expense’ of communities
  9. Technology: 4AG Robotics raises $17.5-million in financing for mushroom-harvesting robots
  10. On the ground with The Narwhal: The unlikely love story of an endangered tree and the little bird who eats its seeds

A deeper dive

This is an excerpt from the article published the day before COP28 started: Young people can’t surrender the future to false promises

The United Nations Conference of the Parties – or COP28 – will be starting Thursday, and soon I’ll be boarding a flight to Dubai, joining heads of government, industry and NGOs.

This annual climate-change event is a mysterious phenomenon. From an outside perspective, it’s a bureaucratic mess of politicians, closed-door meetings and a barrage of promises that never seem to materialize. Despite the natural pessimism that often shadows these conferences, some of the most consequential decisions about our environment, and ultimately our future, are made at COP.

That’s why I want a seat at the table.

Like most, I wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to join a climate convening, even with more than a decade of environmental advocacy and the founding of a non-profit that addresses many environmental and agricultural issues.

The barrier to entry for young environmentalists, underrepresented communities and smaller NGOs is large. Attending with We Are Family Foundation, I’ll be part of a youth delegation consisting of 10 young decision-makers from around the world, all focusing on specific niches in the climate movement.

This COP holds particular irony and potential. Being held in the United Arab Emirates, one of the leading oil producers in the world, and hosting up to 70,000 global participants, it will likely have a huge emissions impact.

At previous COPs, leaders have failed to see the irony in preaching environmental action, reduction of meat consumption and lifestyle change for the average person, while simultaneously flying in private jets, eating the most expensive meats and being driven in fleets of cars and limousines. Executives from big pollution industries such as oil and gas, agriculture and forestry have also historically been allowed to have a large presence and voice in decision-making.

While I expect that this will continue to be a reality at COP28, I also hold great hope. This is one of the first COPs to have a focus on regenerative agriculture, food-systems issues and effective nature-based carbon sequestration methods, in addition to the transition to renewable energies and fossil-fuel reduction.

This serves as an important platform to speak on issues that have been left out of the conversation. I await the chance to hold leaders accountable, call out corporate greenwashing and bring forward real solutions.

Rather than surrendering our futures to false promises, young people like me want a say in building the future and world we inherit.

- Rachel Parent

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Delegates walk past flag posts at the Dubai's Expo City after attending the World Climate Action Summit, during COP28 in Dubai, December 1, 2023.THOMAS MUKOYA/Reuters

Other COP28 news

Explainer: What is COP28? This year’s climate conference, explained

Canada expected to unveil oil and gas emissions cap at COP28 climate summit. The framework is being crafted with recent court decisions in mind, Environment Minister says

Analysis: Why Canada’s recent climate-policy struggles may be its most valuable contribution to COP28

Here’s why the UAE, the autocratic COP28 host, has to allow limited protests at the summit

COP28 lines up new climate pledges – but do they work?


  • Eric Reguly: COP28, with 70,000 participants, is a chaotic climate jamboree. It should be a slimmed-down negotiating session
  • Gary Mason: The confounding, depressing hypocrisy of COP28
  • Kevin Krausert: At COP climate summits, Canada can’t keep setting emission goals only to miss them

More COP28 quick news hits: UN atomic chief backs nuclear power; King Charles urges rapid environmental repair; U.S. and China to work together; conference focuses on air pollution; Al Gore blasts COP28 climate chief; Turkey, South Africa criticize Israel over Gaza war.

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Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a session on women building a climate resilient world at the COP28 UN Climate Summit on Dec. 4, 2023 in Dubai.Rafiq Maqbool/The Associated Press

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Alex Simakov: Dear Justin Trudeau: Resist the temptation to moralize on the climate transition

Julien Beaulieu and Wren Montgomery: New federal greenwashing rules will do little to prevent deceptive environmental claims

The editorial board: The holes in Canada’s climate strategy, and how to mend them

Green Investing

Opinion: The climate is changing – and so is Canadian disclosure

As investors want to know more about how companies are dealing with climate change and other sustainability issues, Canadian companies are responding. Investors and companies sorted through many competing global ESG disclosure standards and developed a consensus on which ones to adopt.

Companies are issuing these extensive disclosures in dedicated ESG or sustainability reports, often several months after their annual report and yearly shareholders’ meeting. Many of the key disclosures are making it into companies’ shareholder proxy circulars, and they are now part of the criteria for The Globe and Mail’s Board Games corporate ranking, done in partnership with Toronto consulting firm Global Governance Advisors.

Photo of the week

Open this photo in gallery:

People walk along a street during heavy snowfall in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. Environment Canada has issued a weather warning as 15 to 20 centimetres of snow is expected for the region.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Guides and Explainers

Catch up on Globe Climate

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