Politics

Net Zero: Indigenous communities more vulnerable to flooding: report

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

A new study published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science suggests Indigenous communities are at a higher risk of climate change-induced flooding because of pre-existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities. The research found that several factors influence said vulnerabilities, including the legacy of colonization, race and ethnicity, income, built environment, elderly populations, education, occupations, family structures, and access to resources.

The study, which was led by researchers at the University of Waterloo, found that 81 per cent of the 985 Indigenous land reserves have some flooding exposure that impacted either the population or residential properties.

While the analysis found that residential property-level flood exposure is similar between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, the “socioeconomic vulnerability is higher on reserve lands,” which researchers say confirms that the overall risk facing Indigenous communities is higher.

“This is a first attempt in Canada to assess place-based social vulnerability and flood exposure for Indigenous populations at a national level,” said Liton Chakraborty, the study’s lead author. CTV News has the full story.

Internationally

Recent analysis found that fossil fuel companies are among the biggest spenders on ads designed to look like Google search results. ExxonMobil, Shell, Aramco, McKinsey, and Goldman Sachs were all among the top 20 advertisers on the search terms.

“Google is letting groups with a vested interest in the continued use of fossil fuels pay to influence the resources people receive when they are trying to educate themselves,” said Jake Carbone, senior data analyst at InfluenceMap. The Guardian has more.

Surging fuel prices in Kazakhstan have resulted in some of the largest street protests in the country’s history. Resentments have long festered in the oil-rich country because many citizens believe the region’s energy wealth has not been fairly spread among local populations. The Associated Press has more on that story.

Meanwhile, despite increasing destruction in the Cerrado, the world’s most species-rich savannah, a lack of funding has forced government researchers in Brazil to stop monitoring deforestation in the area. Reuters has more details.

Still in Brazil, the country recently extended the use of coal as an energy source until at least 2040.

On Friday morning at 10:36 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$79.23 and Brent Crude was going for US$81.99.

In Canada

New Brunswick’s government has initiated the process of renewing the province’s climate change action plan. The standing committee on climate change and environmental stewardship will meet in the coming weeks to hear input on the proposed plan from environmental experts and First Nations representatives.

“Our new plan will continue our transition to a low-carbon economy while helping us to exceed our 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emission targets. We will also be focused on continuing to build resiliency to our changing climate,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman. CTV News also has that story.

The cases of two Indigenous protesters facing criminal contempt charges for allegedly breaching a court-ordered injunction against protests on worksites for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in 2020 are heading to trial after numerous delays. Kamloops This Week has more details.

In Ontario, activists in Toronto and Markham are voicing their opposition to the proposed Highway 413, which they claim to be the “antithesis of what ought to be done” to mitigate climate change.

“So more people will be driving, and that’s increasing greenhouse gas emissions. And the second thing is it paves over the Greenbelt. But what is the Greenbelt? It is trees, forests. And those trees take in carbon so that they can help us to protect us from climate change,” said Gideon Forman, a transportation-policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation. Yorkregion.com has more.

Finally, a contract worker was killed in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Thursday after two trucks collided at a Suncor oilsands mine. Two others were involved in the accident and treated for minor injuries. CTV News has the full story.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$65.88 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$67.06 this morning at 10:36 a.m.

Noteworthy

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