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The COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, has ended with nearly 200 countries endorsing an agreement to rein in emissions, scale back the use of coal and other fossil fuels and provide more support to help developing nations adapt to a warming planet.

Delegates almost left the conference with a tougher deal on coal – the single-biggest contributor to climate change – until India proposed a last-minute amendment. Instead of committing countries to “phase out” coal, India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav wanted to change it to “phase down.”

Because the UN operates by consensus, the other delegations didn’t have much choice. There wasn’t time for further negotiation, and if they rejected India’s amendmnent, the Glasgow Climate Pact would collapse.

Tina Stege, the Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands, summed up the feeling of many delegates when she told the conference: “This commitment on coal had been a bright spot in this package. It was one of the things we were hoping to carry out of here and back home with pride. And it hurts deeply to see that bright spot dim.”

Read more climate-related news:

  • Adam Radwanski: Will the COP26 summit make a difference? Only if this momentum turns into action
  • UN climate boss says COP26 compromise beats no deal on warming
  • Opinion: Climate change won’t just destroy species and land – soundscapes are disappearing, too
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Greenpeace activists hold a protest in the action zone on Nov. 12, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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Afghan refugees, fearing Canada has abandoned them, dig in for a hard winter

Months after the Liberal government announced immigration measures aimed at resettling tens of thousands of Afghan nationals, many of those who believed they were eligible now find themselves in increasingly desperate situations while they wait for their applications to be approved.

In Pakistan, an Afghan journalist lives in a crowded guest house, watching his savings dwindle while he waits for an e-mail from Ottawa. A family of seven who spent a month holed up in a Kabul hotel are now safe in Qatar, but have yet to hear when they’ll be able to be reunited with relatives in Canada. In Ukraine, an Afghan interpreter who risked his life working for the Canadian military is afraid to leave the hotel rooms he shares with 11 family members.

These are only a few of the stories told to The Globe and Mail by dozens of Afghans who say Canada abandoned them to bureaucracy after the Taliban’s takeover.

Netflix and ice cream: How to make getting the COVID-19 vaccine for kids as pain-free as possible

Health Canada’s decision to approve COVID-19 vaccines for children could come as early as this week. With children under 12 now accounting for the largest proportion of new infections in the country, fully vaccinating this age group will be key to ending the pandemic in Canada.

As Canada prepares to administer the most significant childhood mass-vaccination campaign in a generation, making the process as pain-free as possible for those on the pointy ends of the needles will be important.

The trick to getting children to roll up their sleeves for the jab may be to save up that Netflix show they’re bingeing, to use as a distraction, or to treat them to some ice cream afterward.

Read more COVID-19 news:

ROM’s first climate curator wants to move ‘away from the doomsday aspects of climate change’

Soren Brothers occupies a unique perch at the Royal Ontario Museum. As the museum’s inaugural curator of climate change, Brothers’s work will straddle the realms of communication and climatology. The curatorship is also the first position of its kind at any major museum in North America, and possibly the world.

While Brothers will inevitably make the role his own, his mandate is clear: Ensure the museum’s collections and programming give the climate crisis the attention it deserves.

The 39-year-old conservation biologist said he has a strong desire not only to understand the world’s diverse ecosystems but also to be part of the conversation around managing them. For that conversation to be productive, Brothers said, the tone can’t be singularly negative.

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U.S. President Biden, China’s Xi to meet virtually: Tensions between the two superpowers have risen this year over issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and Beijing’s growing nuclear arsenal. However, there have also been limited signs of progress in recent weeks, including on trade and climate policy.

Queen misses Remembrance Sunday service in London because of a back sprain: The Queen was unable to attend a Remembrance Sunday service in London as planned because she sprained her back, Buckingham Palace said Sunday. The service, which honours Britain’s war dead, was meant to be her first public appearance after she took a few weeks off to rest under doctor’s orders.

In ex-Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich’s remote hometown, residents reckon with the misdeeds of a former local hero: As the Chicago Blackhawks sex-abuse scandal sent tremors through the NHL and triggered a wave of senior-level resignations, Brad Aldrich, the man at its centre, was holed up in his remote hometown. The Hawks had allowed him to quietly resign from his job as video coach months after player Kyle Beach accused him of sexual assault. Aldrich now lives in Hancock, amid the pine and birch forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he runs a specialty glass factory that employs ex-convicts and university interns.

Chinese developer DDI bet big on Canadian commercial real estate and failed: Eight years ago, DDI had big plans to build luxury getaways for Chinese investors on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore. The hope was that it would lead to a wave of Chinese investment development, tourism and immigration, and bring new jobs to this hard-to-reach corner of rural Nova Scotia. Almost none of that happened.

Gadhafi’s son announces candidacy for president of Libya: Seif al-Islam, the one-time heir apparent of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, announced Sunday his candidacy for the country’s presidential election next month, Libya’s election agency said. The 49-year old is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling of his father after more than 40 years in power.

Listen to The Decibel: Why $4 treaty payments haven’t changed in 146 years: Earlier this month, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the Crown had violated two treaties signed in 1850. The agreements, which cover a vast part of Northern Ontario, were originally about sharing the wealth of the land. But the Anishinabe descendants of that land have just been receiving $4 per person a year from the government. Guest host Willow Fiddler talks to Anishinabe lawyer Sara Mainville, who explains why these agreements are still being interpreted literally by governments in Canada, and why treaty agreements should be handled differently.


Global markets edge higher: World stock markets edged back towards recent record highs on Monday as upbeat economic data out of China eased concerns about a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy, although falling mainland house prices tempered the optimism. Around 5:30 a.m., Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.03 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.16 per cent and 0.22 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.56 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.25 per cent. New York futures were modestly higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.83 US cents.


Trade conference a chance for WTO to regain its relevance

“Mary Ng, Canada’s International Trade Minister, believes the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world some lessons about the importance of a well-functioning global trading system. In a couple of weeks, we’ll find out if the rest of the world trade community is prepared to set aside its infighting and act on those lessons.” - David Parkinson

Despite City Hall’s enthusiasm, Toronto is taking the wrong route to affordable housing

“It could push for the lifting of rent controls, which discourage developers from putting up more rental buildings and landlords from maintaining their apartments. Best of all, it could ease the zoning restrictions that make much of the city off limits for everything but single-family homes.” - Marcus Gee


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David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


Indigenous tourism experiences have an unexpected benefit – helping members of those communities reconnect to their cultures

Thirty years ago, taking a Haida-led tour through the mossy remains of an ancient island village or preparing bannock with a Mi’kmaq community on Prince Edward Island would’ve been a rare experience for tourists. Back then, an Indigenous tourism experience might have simply meant the appearance of for-hire drummers or dancers.

But there’s been a growing demand for authentic Indigenous-run cultural experiences, which has given communities across the country economically sustainable means not only to share their languages and cultures, but to learn and practise them. For some, it’s their first opportunity to do so.

“Our people are regaining this sense of, ‘I want to learn about who I am because I never had the opportunity,’ ” says Claudette Commanda, executive director of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres.

MOMENT IN TIME: Tallying the costs of wildfire smoke

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Police officers direct traffic under a cloud of smoke from a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Friday, May 6, 2016.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

For more than 100 years, photographers and photo editors working for The Globe and Mail have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, we’re looking at causes of air pollution.

In May, 2016, the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfire forced the evacuation of more than 90,000 people and set the record for Canada’s most expensive disaster. Not counted in the fire’s estimated $9-billion price tag was its contribution to the longer-term effects of smoke. Wildfires are a source of air pollutants, including PM2.5 – fine particles less than 2.5 thousandths of a millimetre across – which can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory damage. In 2020, a Health Canada-led study found that chronic health effects because of wildfire smoke across the country cost $4.5-billion to $20-billion annually. Among the areas in Canada that were found to have high exposure to wildfire smoke, five were on the top-10 list for premature deaths by population. Ivan Semeniuk

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