CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting

The 2023 CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting

June 13, 2023 — The CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting, sponsored by Intact Financial Corporation celebrates a journalist or journalistic team whose work shines a spotlight on climate change and innovative solutions. This honour went to The Narwhal’s team of climate journalists, which includes Emma GilchristJimmy Thomson, Carol Linnitt, Shawn Parkinson, Arik Ligeti, Ashley Tam, Stephanie Kwetásel’wet Wood, Lindsay Sample, Taylor Roades andJesse Winter for their narrative-shifting stories on Indigenous-led conservation efforts to show how Indigenous nations are declaring protected areas based on their own sovereignty.

The three finalists for this year’s award and their stories or series shortlisted were:

The Fifth Estate for The Big Burn, a report about “green-washing” in Canada’s wood pellet industry. The journalism and production team, including Allya Davidson, Harvey Cashore, Lynette Fortune, Alicia Lee, Jonathan Castell, John Badcock, Lyndsay Duncombe and Diana Swain, looked at sustainable forestry practices by Indigenous people and raised awareness that other sustainable methods might benefit from the government funding and support that the wood pellet industry currently receives.

The Narwhal for its reporting on Indigenous-led conservation efforts, led by Emma Gilchrist, Jimmy Thomson, Carol Linnitt, Shawn Parkinson, Arik Ligeti, Ashley Tam, Stephanie Kwetásel’wet Wood, Lindsay Sample, Taylor Roades and Jesse Winter. Thomson produced an immersive multimedia feature using interactive maps, videos and photography to highlight the impact of this work while Wood and Roades travelled to the territory of the Mamalilikulla First Nation to show how Indigenous nations are declaring protected areas based on their own sovereignty. Wood also looked inside the 50-year effort of the Squamish Nation to bring salmon back to the Squamish river. Taken together, this package represents an effort to challenge stereotypes and shift narratives from problems to solutions.

Kristin Nelson for stories produced and reported for CBC Radio about individuals grappling with the realities of climate change. Her stories included The Last Coal Miners, for The Doc Project and two segments for CBC Radio’s What on Earth: How Cracking Open a Climate Story Helps Kids Cope and a segment on How Canada can support low-income households in the transition to net zero.

“There is no doubt that we’re seeing the effects of climate change across this country and the world,” says jury chair Bob Ezrin. “This year’s finalists have gathered stories that explore the effects of this cataclysmic change. But they also highlight the hard work of those who are facing the crisis head-on by working on solutions.”


CJF thanks the generosity of founding award sponsor Intact Financial Corporation for providing the award’s $10,000 prize.

“At Intact, we see climate as a top priority as we’ve seen the impacts of climate change on customers and in our business for over a decade. It will continue to be the defining challenge facing society for the next century,” says Diane Flanagan, Deputy Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Intact Financial.

“From our experience, we see that the most economically vulnerable communities are also the most climate vulnerable. Our focus on climate adaptation is guided by efforts to make these communities more climate resilient. We applaud and recognize the important role journalists play in sharing the information and climate solutions people need to build more resilient communities.”


The jury members are:

  • Bob Ezrin, O.C. (chair), music and entertainment producer, educator, serial activist and CJF board member;
  • Karl Dockstader, journalist and media host;
  • Naresh Fernandes, editor, Scroll.in;
  • Wendy Freeman, media executive;
  • Rashida Jeeva, senior vice-president, marketing and communications, WWF-Canada;
  • Heather Persson, chief communications officer and AVP strategic communications, University of Saskatchewan; and
  • Abhay Singh Sachal, youth climate activist and co-founder and executive director, Break the Divide Foundation.



Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. The impacts of global warming and extreme weather events are already being felt in Canada and are forecast by scientists to become more severe and more frequent. Beyond environmental and physical impacts, climate change is also expected to have significant economic and social impacts.

Climate change demands to be a constant and significant part of Canadian conversation and the media has a vital role to play in providing accurate, contextual information that creates the foundation for civic discourse about its scope and potential solutions being considered or implemented. The CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting recognizes excellence in reporting on what is being done in Canada and beyond to address the impact and threat of climate change – the policies, practices and people that could potentially be part of the solution to this global crisis.

The CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting celebrates innovative work done by Canadian journalists to shine a light on adaptive solutions being tested and implemented to address the environmental challenges affecting the world today and in the future. The award will aim to inspire broader, more prescriptive coverage of the climate crisis we all face by raising awareness about the challenges themselves and the work being done to meet them.

Judges will consider the following criteria in adjudicating this award:

  •  How does this work highlight responses and solutions to climate change? Does it shift the narrative from the problem to solutions that empower positive change?
    •    What evidence is there to show that the solution is working? In what ways is it not or might it not? What metrics are used and why in assessing this solution?
  •  What data supports the problem and the solution?
  •  Is the overall climate data cited accurately and is there sufficient evidence of verification? Is there a sufficient scope and diversity of sources cited?
  •  Judges will note that false balance can be the enemy of accuracy and truth in reporting on climate change. Trying to balance scientific consensus on climate change with views from climate deniers or others who disagree with scientific findings risks misleading news audiences.


The award recipient will receive a $10,000 prize.


Climate change is a story that matters in many spheres – an all-encompassing issue with a wide scope that can include not just the environment but also science, health, the economy, business, public policy, migration, politics and people on a local, national and global scale.

This award will be presented to a working journalist or team of journalists (employed full-time or freelance) who have been judged to have done the most to shine a spotlight on climate change and innovative solutions in Canadian print, broadcast or online news reporting in 2021.

Entries involving more than one contributor are welcome and will be judged as a single submission. Submissions are welcome in the following formats: article, column, online piece, editorial, op-ed, radio program, podcast, television program or documentary film.


-2022: The Globe and Mail‘s team of climate journalists, which includes Ryan MacDonaldKathryn Blaze BaumJeffrey Jones and Adam Radwanski, for their narrative-shifting stories on how to re-engineer the economy to adapt to and capitalize on climate change.

– 2021: The team of journalists behind the CBC Radio series What on Earth was the inaugural recipient of the new CJF Award for Climate Solutions Reporting. The winning CBC team members were: Laura Lynch – host; Joan Melanson – executive producer; Manusha Janakiram – senior producer; Lisa Johnson – producer; Molly Segal – producer; Rachel Sanders – associate producer; and Mathias Wolfsohn – engineer. View the acceptance speech by Laura Lynch, host of What on Earth.


For inquiries:
Natalie Turvey

President and Executive Director

The Canadian Journalism Foundation
E-mail: nturvey@cjf-fjc.ca


About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over CAD$11 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 16,000 employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. Frank Cowan Company, a leading MGA, distributes public entity insurance programs including risk and claims management services in Canada.

In the U.S., Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions provides a range of specialty insurance products and services through independent agencies, regional and national brokers, and wholesalers and managing general agencies. Products are underwritten by the insurance company subsidiaries of Intact Insurance Group USA, LLC.