Get informed on the top stories of the day in one quick scan

November 3, 2021
Get informed on the top stories of the day in one quick scan

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Financial community vows to help countries reach net zero, Mark Carney tells COP26

Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney was tasked with wringing more than $100 trillion US in capital from the global financial community to help get the world’s economy off fossil fuels and onto clean energy. Today at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, he announced success — of sorts.

“We have banks, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies from around the world — more than 45 countries — and their total resources, totalling $130 trillion US,” said Carney. “So one of the key messages of this COP is: the money is there.” 

Carney says more than 450 firms — including Canada’s big five chartered banks — have committed to supporting the goals of what’s become known as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). Firms that sign onto the agreement are promising to abide by 24 financial initiatives that will signal to their customers, shareholders and investors that they are making green investments a priority.

The initiatives include climate-related reporting of their investments and transparency about climate-related financial risks.

While the agreement doesn’t compel the financial institutions to invest any specific amount of money or put it into any specific industry, Carney says it creates a new framework for them to make green investments.

“It’s about what their clients are doing, what are the emissions of their clients, the people they lend to, the people they invest in,” he said. 

However, there are notable gaps. Big banks from some of the countries with the largest emissions — China, India and Russia — are not part of the agreement. Nor does it compel signatories to cease funding projects such as coal mines or other ventures that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. 

In Glasgow, anticipating Carney’s announcement today, climate campaigners expressed caution about the will of the banking sector to be a force for good in climate mitigation and adaptation.

“We all need the financial system to shift — but if we start celebrating, that is going to give us the impression that we’re already there and we’re not,” said Eddie Perez of Climate Action Network Canada. Read more on this story here.

Atlanta bashes past Houston to claim World Series title

(Sue Ogrocki/The Associated Press)

Atlanta relief pitcher Will Smith and catcher Travis d’Arnaud celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros 7-0 to claim baseball’s World Series in Game 6 in Houston. Read more here on Atlanta’s win.

In brief

Military police and civilian law enforcement have investigated up to 70 cases of alleged hateful conduct and racist attitudes within the Canadian Army since a crackdown began in September last year, CBC News has learned. A briefing prepared for the army’s acting commander last winter and obtained under access to information legislation shows 115 cases were catalogued up until that time, with 57 of them being investigated by military authorities. Figures updated to the end of August — and released to CBC News — show an additional 28 allegations. Of those, 13 were deemed serious enough to warrant a police investigation. The former top army commander and current acting chief of the defence staff, Gen. Wayne Eyre, ordered a broad crackdown after a series of high-profile incidents and investigations. Read more on the investigations here.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is in discussions with Indigenous leaders across the country and is confident that flags on government buildings can be raised in time to be lowered for Remembrance Day. Speaking Tuesday in Glasgow, where he was attending the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, Trudeau said his government is working very closely with Indigenous communities and leaders as Nov. 11 approaches. “I’m confident that the conversations with Indigenous leadership on making sure we are able to lower the flags once again on Nov. 11 will come at the right solution,” he said. The flags on all federal buildings were lowered on May 30 following the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Read more on this story here.

WATCH | Questions surround raising flags for Remembrance Day services: 

Questions surround raising flags for Remembrance Day services

Democrats weren’t the only losers in elections held Tuesday in the U.S. So was a Canadian-led energy project, rejected by voters in one state referendum. This spurned project doesn’t involve oil, or pipelines, or Western Canada. It involves a Hydro-Québec corridor to New England — and now its future is in doubt. Voters in Maine voted about 60-40 to halt construction of the project and force its backers to obtain two-thirds support in the state legislature if they want to complete it. That’s after the most expensive referendum campaign in state history, where ads for and against the plan lined highways and bombarded television viewers. Read more on the energy project here.

WATCH | Project supporter Lincoln Jeffers of Lewiston, Me., says the Hydro-Québec project would be great for his town’s finances and the planet: 

Project supporter Lincoln Jeffers

Canada is about to have a U.S. ambassador again. It’s only taken more than two years, but a logjam broke Tuesday evening in the U.S. Senate, as David Cohen’s appointment was allowed to proceed. The Philadelphia telecom exec will head to Ottawa after the Senate agreed unanimously to approve his appointment in a voice vote. The U.S. hasn’t had an official ambassador at its Ottawa embassy since the departure of Kelly Craft in early 2019, when she was appointed by Donald Trump to represent the U.S. at the United Nations. Read more about the fight in the U.S. Senate over diplomatic postings

$6-billion US donation from SpaceX founder Elon Musk may help stave off starvation for millions currently facing famine, but it certainly would not “solve world hunger,” experts say. Instead, say the world hunger experts, the richest person in the world has conflated two issues — the immediate need of financial assistance for those on the brink of starvation, with the endemic problem of food security issues facing hundreds of millions of people. “What a mistake it would be to suggest that [$6 billion] would solve world hunger,” said Herbert Kronzucker, the founder and inaugural director of the Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research at the University of Toronto. “Oh my god, would we be lucky.” Unfortunately, it is not the reality, says Kronzucker, who is currently a professor and head of the University of Melbourne’s School of Agriculture and Food. Read the full story here

Now for some good news to start your Wednesday: South Asian artists using their own language and the sounds they grew up with are breaking into the entertainment industry thanks to a new music label based in Toronto. The label, called Maajja, launched early this year. It’s helping artists record songs in Tamil and other regional languages in a bid to break down the stigma facing music from different cultures in the mainstream recording business. They are helping artists get on traditional radio and online streaming platforms, while helping them build their music careers. Naveeni Philip, also known as Navz-47, says the the music she’s making with the label is helping other young Tamil people feel connected to their culture and language. Read more on this story here.

Opinion: On climate change, we’re just playing dead and hoping the predator goes away

How is it that people leading corporations and governments aren’t fighting, not just for their own ability to sustain life, but for the reassurance that their kids and grandkids have that same opportunity, asks family physician and trauma therapist Dr. Christine Gibson. Read the column here.

Front Burner: COP26: A carbon capture reality check

Among the many promises heard this week at COP26 — the UN climate summit in Scotland — was a commitment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cap Canada’s oil and gas emissions.

As the oilpatch reacted, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was quick to suggest a familiar alternative: investing in carbon capture technology.

Today on Front Burner, we’re sorting out the promise and the pitfalls of the technology. First, oil and gas reporter Nicholas Kusnetz from Inside Climate News tells us how industry has both developed and profited from carbon capture. Then, CBC foreign correspondent Chris Brown takes us to Iceland to detail the tentative hopes for direct air capture technology.

Front Burner22:43COP26: A carbon capture reality check

Today in history: November 3

1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2, the first satellite to carry a dog, named Laika, into space.

1978: Wayne Gretzky scores his first goal for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, in the now-defunct World Hockey Association. The 17-year-old had been sold to the Oilers by the Indianapolis Racers the previous day. 

1999: Madam Justice Beverly McLachlin is named as the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. She takes over the role in January 2000, replacing the retiring Antonio Lamer.

2010: Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement announces Ottawa’s rejection of a $38.6-billion US foreign hostile takeover bid by Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton to buy Saskatchewan-based PotashCorp.

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