Even as war in Ukraine rages, we must continue to cover climate and our changing planet

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Even as war in Ukraine rages, we must continue to cover climate and our changing planet

We use this editor’s blog to explain our journalism and what’s happening at CBC News. You can find more blogs here.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine ends its eighth week promising more bloodshed, destruction and instability, it can be difficult to focus on other stories. Indeed, what happens in the next few weeks as Russia regroups for what Ukraine expects to be a major offensive in the country’s eastern Donbas region will rightly dominate our news and the concern of Canadians.

CBC News has been on the ground in and around Ukraine in significant numbers since before the invasion began on Feb. 24, and our commitment to covering this war in person, first-hand, is steadfast.

Yet the story of climate and our changing planet is also urgent. Last week, the world’s top climate scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we will need to dramatically cut global greenhouse gas emissions this decade beyond what nations have committed to if there’s any hope of keeping warming below 1.5 C to 2 C degrees by 2100.

The report’s authors said that without action, they had “high confidence” that Earth will be an average of 2.4 C to 3.5 C warmer by the end of the century, resulting in severe impacts on the planet.

We have already witnessed severe and historic weather events in Canada attributed to our changing climate.

Emphasis on climate to mark Earth Day

As noted last year, we have made climate change a significant focus of our journalism and a priority area of coverage for our newsrooms, programs and digital platforms. Those ongoing efforts, under the banner “Our Changing Planet,” will be given added emphasis this week in the lead-up to Earth Day on Friday:

  • We will soon launch a new climate page on CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app to showcase all of our related journalism. This will be an important resource for our audiences, schools and teachers across the country.

  • On Wednesday, April 20, CBC News’ The Fifth Estate will partner with Radio-Canada’s Enquête on a joint investigation into how Canada continues to ship plastic waste to developing countries and how this waste is often illegally mixed with paper recycling. Watch “Bait and Switch: Recycling’s Dirty Secrets” on CBC TV and CBC Gem.

  • On Thursday, April 21, CBC News will host a cross-Canada virtual panel for high school students and their teachers. The central question: How should the media talk about climate change? The event will be hosted by What On Earth‘s Laura Lynch, with CBC meteorologist and science reporter Johanna Wagstaffe and producers Anand Ram and Avneet Dhillon. Registration is open until April 20 here.

  • Given the importance of this issue, our award-winning climate program What On Earth will expand to one hour on CBC Radio, CBC Listen and CBC Podcasts beginning Sunday, April 24, at 11 a.m. local.

  • We also continue to grow subscriptions to our popular weekly What On Earth newsletter on all things environmental, highlighting trends and solutions that are moving Canadians to a more sustainable world.

  • We have several features this week rolling out across CBC News, including more on emissions from gas stoves, the future of electric vehicles and advances in net-zero energy buildings. 

Polar bears are shown on the ice in the Arctic. A new CBC documentary project, Arctic Blue, looks at Canada’s claim to the North and asks who will have authority over the Arctic as it melts. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You will also find a collection of special documentaries and programs across CBC this week. Arctic Blue, a new documentary project by Peter Mansbridge, looks at Canada’s claim to the North and asks who will have authority over the Arctic as it melts. It repeats on Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET on CBC News Network and is available this week on CBC Gem.

Other documentaries featured this week include Coral Ghosts, Anote’s Ark, and the Canadian premiere of Eden: Untamed Planet, a series narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, which takes audiences to some of Earth’s few remaining untouched lands. These and more will be posted to the “Our Changing Planet” collection on CBC Gem.

Our goal is to be the undisputed leader of climate journalism in Canada and a trusted, reliable resource for all Canadians navigating climate-related changes to the planet.

We won’t lose sight of this mission, even as other urgent, important stories demand our attention. That is our promise to you wherever you access our journalism across CBC.

WATCH | Winter tornadoes and climate change:

Winter tornadoes and climate change

Johanna Wagstaffe explains how winter tornadoes are an increasing possibility as climate change continues.