Box 1: The majority of firms see climate change as relevant to their business operations
As part of the Bank of Canada’s broader efforts to understand the macroeconomic impacts of climate change, firms participating in the autumn and winter Business Outlook Surveys were asked to what extent climate change affects or is taken into consideration in their business operations. The majority of firms, especially those in the goods sector and large and exporting firms, reported that climate change is a relevant or very relevant topic for their business.
More than half of the affected respondents noted negative impacts of climate change for their businesses, mainly for two reasons. First, several have suffered the consequences of extreme weather, including financial losses or damage related to floods, wildfires and hurricanes. Changing seasonal patterns and generally more unpredictable weather also disrupted firms’ operations or sales in agriculture and fishing, as well as industries tied to transportation and construction. Second, many respondents referred to increased costs related to complying with climate-related policy and regulation (e.g., pollution charges, environmental standards and disclosure policies), as well as higher insurance costs for some.
Conversely, one-third of affected firms noted positive impacts of climate change for their firm, often related to new business opportunities. These include firms selling products or services that are energy-efficient or environmentally friendly to customers looking for lower-carbon alternatives. They often pointed to growing demand for green products (including clean technology) and a strong demand for green financial products; some noted that they had benefited from adopting new offerings ahead of competitors. A few businesses also reported that warmer weather helps their sales (e.g., in tourism). Finally, some firms also said that the adoption of energy-efficient technologies helped reduce their operating costs (e.g., due to lower energy consumption).
Over one-third of businesses said they are already taking concrete steps in response to climate change. This is often an important consideration for corporate image and is relevant to both customers and employees (i.e., corporate social responsibility). Several firms describe their move as necessary to attract young or more environmentally conscious workers, to fulfill clients’ or investors’ requirements, or to enhance their marketing. Some firms noted they are focusing on sustainability, investing in green energy such as solar power and low- or zero-emission fleet vehicles. Others said they are prioritizing waste management as a way to reduce their footprint or offering green incentives for their employees. A few reported planning to become or having already become carbon neutral.
The Calgary Stampede is mostly deserted due to COVID-19, but the show must go on – The Globe and Mail
Stampede Park is mostly deserted but Calgarians are still finding ways to enjoy some Stampede perks from their cars and backyards.
The Calgary Stampede, which includes a rodeo, midway and exhibition, typically attracts more than 100,000 visitors a day, but it was among many large events forced to cancel this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To fill the gap, Stampede organizers and local groups are putting on fireworks, drive-through pancake breakfasts and other events that people can take in at a safe distance.
“You can’t cancel Stampede spirit, so we’re trying to keep that alive even though we can’t celebrate in the traditional way,” said Dana Peers, president and chairman of the Calgary Stampede Board.
The Stampede was scheduled to start on July 3 but was scratched for the first time in more than a century. The 10-day event contributes $540-million to the local economy, organizers say, and creates 4,700 jobs, including 3,500 seasonal workers during the summer. But the Stampede laid off most of its 1,200 year-round employees in March.
Other fairs and exhibitions across the country are also facing cancellations. Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition, which attracts 1.4 million visitors each year in August, was cancelled in May – only the second time it has been shut down in its 142-year history. Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition in August is also out of commission.
In Calgary, instead of piling onto Scotsman’s Hill, a popular spot to watch the fireworks that are part of the Stampede’s nightly grandstand show, local residents with a view of the city skyline can see one of two fireworks displays from their homes. The first was last Friday and the second is this weekend. And the daily pancake breakfasts that usually draw large crowds across Calgary instead will involve lineups of cars and trucks.
“For lots of people, it’s synonymous with the Calgary Stampede that they’re going to have a free pancake breakfast,” Mr. Peers said. “We wanted to keep that tradition alive and the new rules have brought us to this drive-through method.”
The Stampede is the biggest event of the year for food trucks and vendors. To make up some of the loss, YYC Food Trucks is playing host to a 10-day event mimicking the midway, inviting people to drive up to their favourite spots. The event is putting more than 400 people and 30 trucks back to work, according to Jennifer Andrews, co-owner of YYC Food Trucks. A lineup of about 50 cars had formed 10 minutes before opening on the event’s first day.
“A lot of trucks have said that if it hadn’t been for the drive-through, they wouldn’t be in business,” Ms. Andrews said. “The Calgary spirit is vibrant and we’re survivors.”
The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is also holding a series of virtual events to bring the business community together over drinks and food from home. Networking events and parties in local restaurants, bars and temporary tents that sprout up throughout the city’s downtown are a major part of the Stampede experience traditionally for corporate Calgary and business leaders who visit from across the country each summer.
The festival acts as the launching point for new client relationships and deals – much of which would not happen without the Stampede, according to chamber president and chief executive officer Sandip Lalli.
“The business community is having a hard time connecting and generating leads for business because of COVID-19,” Ms. Lalli said. “A lot of the conversation will probably be around how they got through the last six months.”
To keep the Stampede spirit going this summer, some crowd-drawing attractions are being held with physical distancing in mind.
A small group welcomed parade marshal Filipe Masetti Leite as he arrived at the Calgary Stampede grounds last Friday after a 13-month ride on horseback from Anchorage, Alaska. The 33-year-old Brazilian, who immigrated to Canada as a teenager, completed a 3,400-kilometre journey the same day the Stampede was supposed to begin.
“What this rodeo means, not only to Canada but to the world, thank you boys and girls,” he said as he stood on the stage at the rodeo grandstand. “I’m a cowboy and the older I get I fear our world ending, and I value it so much because the greatest lessons in my life were taught from a man who wears a cowboy hat and spurs, and I would not have finished this journey if I weren’t a cowboy.”
Local organizations are also holding their own community celebrations. Some breweries are planning Stampede-themed parties with cowboy hats, hay bales and wagon wheels.
Grace Presbyterian Church is putting together a social-media video of prerecorded footage of people at home making pancakes and line-dancing. After more than 800 people attended the church’s pancake breakfast last year, the group hopes to provide its community members with a way to participate in the Stampede during the pandemic while fundraising for a local charity.
“There is a real sense of community spirit with the Stampede breakfasts that happen all across the city and people gathering together and celebrate,” said Rev. Jake Van Pernis. “We put together a virtual stampede party as a way of continuing with that sense of community connection.”
But some businesses are not able to adapt and Stampede guests will have to wait until pandemic restrictions lift for festival favourites to return. Amusement-park rides and games providers and retailers that display products at the midway are still unable to reopen.
“These businesses essentially will have little to no revenue for the next year and they’re going to have to hang on to make it through to next year,” Mr. Peers said. “It’s not an easy thing to say and it’s not an easy thing to do.”
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Free non-medical masks to be available at drive-thrus again – Calgary Herald
Article content continued
The initial round of mask giveaways wasn’t without a hitch. Just a couple days after launch, there were online reports restaurant employees were handing out full bags of masks to people who had asked for one or two, or hadn’t asked for any.
Alberta Health said on June 11, they had been in contact with those restaurants to ensure they understood each person was only supposed to receive one package of four masks. Each partner restaurant has been provided with the same distribution instructions.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, continues to encourage Albertans to wear non-medical masks when it would otherwise be difficult to maintain physical distancing of two metres.
“We may be done with COVID-19 but it’s not done with us. We continue to (identify) cases in all age groups and have seen a particular increase in those 20 to 39 (years old). BBQs, funerals, birthday parties and get-togethers have lead to dozens of cases,” Hinshaw posted on Twitter Sunday.
‘Victory for environmental justice’: Activists rejoice after $8bn Atlantic Coast Pipeline NIXED amid long-running legal battle – RT
Two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline slated to run from West Virginia to North Carolina, said they are scrapping the project after it has been on hold for years due to legal challenges.
In a joint statement on Sunday, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they pull the plug on the project, which was first announced in 2014 and has faced fierce opposition from landowners and environmental activists, arguing that the 600-mile (970km) pipeline would cause irreparable damage to the land and wildlife.
The developers, who argued that the pipeline is a better option environment-wise, since it was set to replace retiring coal-fired power plants with “environmentally superior, lower cost natural gas-fired generation,” have been embroiled in a long-running legal war with those who did not want to settle for second best.
Activists pointed out that the laying of the pipeline would involve mass removal of trees and damage to mountain slopes in its path, potentially increasing risks of landslides.
In addition to that, opponents of the development cast doubt on the notion that there is a sufficient demand for gas the pipeline was set to transport.
The developers said that the last straw that forced them to abandon the project was a recent decision of a district court in Montana “overturning long-standing federal permit authority for waterbody and wetland crossings.” The move was backed by an appellate court’s ruling in late May, “indicating an appeal is not likely to be successful.”
The companies said that they believe the Montana court decision is bound to serve as a precedent, prompting more legal woes for the developers.
This new information and litigation risk, among other continuing execution risks, make the project too uncertain to justify investing more shareholder capital
Constant legal wranglings have almost doubled the cost of the mega-project from the original estimate of $4.5 billion – $5 billion to $8 billion. It was already lagging some three and a half years behind the schedule when it was ultimately cancelled on Sunday.
The announcement of the project’s demise has sparked celebrations among its opponents.
“If anyone still had questions about whether or not the era of fracked gas was over, this should answer them,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said.
Today is a historic victory for clean water, the climate, public health, and our communities
In a joint statement with Reverend William Barber II, Former Vice President Al Gore, who has also been an outspoken opponent of the pipeline, denounced the now-defunct project as an embodiment of “the injustice of race, the injustice of ecological devastation, the injustice of poverty.”
Today’s victory against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is testament to the power of frontline communities. I was proud to stand alongside @RevDrBarber, my daughter @KarennaGore, & courageous leaders in Union Hill, VA in this fight. Here’s our joint statement. https://t.co/HpFilHRxDq
— Al Gore (@algore) July 5, 2020
“Today we see a victory for environmental justice,” he said.
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