Your source for new events and information on climate change and energy efficiency.
Your source for new events and information on climate change and energy efficiency.
Enter the "takeCHARGE of Your Town" Initiative | January 8, 2016
The "takeCHARGE of Your Town" initiative is aimed at encouraging residents and municipalities across Newfoundland and Labrador to reduce their energy use. Over the past four years, more than $40,000 has been awarded to successful cities and towns through this initiative.
This year, a grant of $7,500 is available to be won. The "takeCHARGE of Your Town" initiative is currently inviting municipalities to submit proposals that will support efforts in their community to promote energy conservation or efficiency. Proposals must demonstrate a positive effort to save energy that benefits the entire community. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, energy efficiency upgrades to a town hall or municipal building.
Last year, two winners were selected:
Town of Meadows
- The Town of Meadows upgraded the heating and cooling systems and lighting in the Town's recreation centre, and upgraded heating and cooling systems and lighting in the Town's Fire Hall.
Town of Port au Choix
- The Twin Town Sports Complex is in the process of upgrading the efficiency of the arena by adding controls on heaters and pumps that will save energy and save money.
The deadline for applications is February 14, 2016 (4:00pm), with the winner to be announced in March 2016. To find out more about the takeCHARGE of Your Town initiative and to submit a proposal, visit https://takechargenl.ca/news-events/town-challenge/.
Green Holiday Tips to Help Turn Back the (Yule) Tide | December 18, 2015
Everyone loves the holiday season. But did you know that the choices we make from trimming the tree to stuffing our stockings can make a real difference to our province's energy consumption and help tackle climate change? We generate a lot of waste and use a lot of energy this time of year, but there are lots of simple things we can do to make a difference.
Greening Your Christmas Tree
There are several options for picking a truly green tree for the holidays. Make sure you consider the following when making your choice.
- Real trees can be one of the most sustainable options. They're a renewable resource, and if grown locally, they help support the local economy and provide oxygen in the local area - every acre of Christmas trees grown provides daily oxygen for 18 people. Many communities across the province also offer composting programs to turn real trees into mulch chips for horticultural projects once all the eggnog is gone. To make your real tree even greener, consider buying a live, potted, local tree that can be transplanted after the holidays.
- Artificial trees can be a more convenient choice, but you should keep in mind that they generally end up in a landfill at the end of their lifecycle. They also contain potentially harmful plastics for young children and pets. Make sure you reuse your artificial tree as many times as possible, and if it's starting to look a bit shabby, consider cutting the branches apart to make wreaths or garlands you can use on your front door, mantel, or banisters.
- "Upcycled" trees made from reused materials from your home or business are a creative option for those looking to think outside the box. From plastic bottles and pop cans to books and CDs, there's no shortage of household items you can re-use to make your own unique tree and reduce your environmental footprint!
Hosting Green Holiday Parties
We all love to entertain guests (and to be entertained!) during the holiday season. Here's some great ways to reduce waste and energy use.
- Use re-usable dishes rather than disposable items. Re-usable dishes and cutlery take a little more effort to clean and maintain, but they help keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills. If you don't have enough dishes, consider borrowing some from a friend or picking up extra dishes at a secondhand store.
- Keep your leftovers when your meal is finished and the dishes are done. You can have them yourself later, or even offer some to your guests to take home. If any of those unused leftovers are compostable, you can find information on how to compost at the Multi-Material Stewardship Board (MMSB) website.
- Green cleaning products can help you tackle holiday-size messes in the greenest way possible. Try to pick up non-toxic, all-natural cleaners wherever possible to reduce the number of cleaning byproducts in your home and in our environment.
Shopping malls and stores can be a stressful place this time of year. With a little extra planning and effort though, you can help make your shopping trips quicker and greener.
- Combine shopping trips as much as possible rather than making separate runs to save time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use up to twice as much fuel as a longer multi-store run over the same distance when the engine is warmed up.
- Consider carpooling or using public transit when you go out shopping. This can save some money on fuel costs, and help take the hassle out of finding a parking space in crowded shopping centres.
- Bring reusable bags along when doing your shopping to help reduce your carbon footprint and keep plastic bags out of our landfills and communities.
Gift Giving and Holiday Greetings
We all know it is better to give than to receive, but it's even better to give in a way that's green as well!
- Think outside the gift box and consider giving gifts in reusable gift bags instead. This helps cut down on the amount of unrecyclable gift wrap that often goes straight to the landfill once the presents are unwrapped.
- Save and reuse gift wrap from the gifts that you receive. You can use it again next year, or to store more delicate holiday decorations.
- Reuse old holiday cards to make customized gift tags to make good use of greetings from holidays past.
- Send e-cards to your friends, family and co-workers instead of paper cards, to help cut down on unnecessary paper use.
- Think about giving locally-made goods and services which will have travelled less distance and will help support the local economy.
Around Home and at Work
We can also save money and help protect the environment by being more energy efficient.
- Turn down your thermostat before you go to bed and when you go out to party. Setting back the temperature by 5 degrees can reduce your heating costs by 10%.
- Deck the Halls with LED when putting up lights around the house. A string of LED lights (25 lights per string) are nearly 98% more efficient that traditional incandescent bulbs, and those savings can quickly add up!
We hope you have a happy and green holiday season and New Year!
Minister's Mandate Letter Emphasizes Importance of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency | December 17, 2015
On December 14, 2015, the Honourable Dwight Ball was sworn in as the 13th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, along with 12 Cabinet Ministers. The Honourable Perry Trimper, Member of the House of Assembly for Lake Melville, was appointed Minister of Environment and Conservation, Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Minister Responsible for the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB), Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency, and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Premier Ball issued mandate letters to all 12 Cabinet Ministers outlining the provincial government's priorities and goals across its various departments and agencies. In his letter to Minister Trimper in his capacity as Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Premier Ball said that "fighting climate change is arguably the greatest challenge of our time. It is a global issue that requires us to do our part here in Newfoundland and Labrador". Premier Ball asked Minister Trimper to ensure climate change and energy efficiency are considered, where required, across departments and outlined two immediate priorities:
- In collaboration with colleagues, work with large-scale industry to develop emissions reduction targets and publish these targets as part of the new greenhouse gas reduction strategy for the province. This is seen as an opportunity to diversify the province's economy and boost the local environment industry,
- Develop pay-as-you-save programs for residential, commercial and industrial energy retrofit programs that generate net benefits, which will improve the use of energy and generate savings for people and businesses in the province. New opportunities to partner with municipalities to retrofit subsidized housing should also be explored.
Climate change and energy efficiency were also mentioned in the mandate letters of other Ministers. The Minister of Transportation and Works was asked to ensure that government owned buildings are energy efficient and environmentally sound by pursuing an independent certification through Building Owners and Managers of Canada's (BOMA) Building Environmental Standards program, and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture was asked to study the impacts of climate change on shrimp and its ecosystems.
All the mandate letters committed to publicly report on the achievement of commitments on an annual basis, and make adjustments as required.
To read Minister's Trimper's mandate letter in full, visit:
International Climate Change Agreement Reached in Paris | December 14, 2015
What was COP 21?
The 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (known as COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met in Paris from November 30 - December 12, 2015. Over 40,000 delegates, observers from environmental organizations and media from across the world attended the event.
What was agreed upon in Paris?
Following intensive negotiations that went through the night on Friday, Parties adopted a new legally binding agreement to tackle climate change post-2020 late on Saturday evening. The 31-page Paris Agreement has five key features:
- It is universal - all countries will make efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This differs from previous agreements in which only developed countries were required to limit GHGs.
- It has a clear long-term temperature limit. Parties committed to keep average global temperature increases to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (°C) and strive to stay within 1.5°C.
- Countries will prepare their own GHG targets and agreed that each successive target should be more ambitious than the preceding one. The targets will be reviewed and revised every 5 years, starting in 2023.
- $100 billion annually in climate finance will be provided to developing countries by 2020 to develop clean energy sources, build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and provide assistance for losses and damages incurred by climate change, with further finance after that time.
- The deal sets a goal of balancing the amount of human-emitted GHGs with the amount that can be naturally absorbed by the planet in the second half of the century.
What role did Canada play?
Canada was one of over 190 countries at the negotiating table, and the federal government, which has sole authority to enter into international agreements and treaties, spoke and negotiated on behalf of Canada at COP 21. Nearly 320 Canadian delegates attended COP 21, including about 200 delegates from provincial and territorial governments. Newfoundland and Labrador and Northwest Territories were not represented at political level in Paris due to elections. However, Newfoundland and Labrador was represented at official level by the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
While in Paris, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau underscored the role of Canada's provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples and cities in combating climate change. He highlighted that Canada will take on a new leadership role internationally, and called for an ambitious agreement that all parties will be able to adopt and implement. During the negotiations, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, spoke on behalf of Canada and supported efforts to try and limit average global temperature increase to the lower level of 1.5°C in the agreement.
Ten Canadian Premiers and nine Ministers of Environment also spoke at numerous COP 21 events and highlighted key challenges and opportunities facing Canada going forward. Key themes included the difficulty of developing a "one size-fits-all" approach for such a large and diverse country, as well as capitalizing on Canada's vast supply of clean energy resources (e.g. wind power and hydroelectricity).
Prime Minister Trudeau has committed to holding a First Ministers' meeting with all of Canada's Premiers within 90 days of COP21 to develop a national climate change plan in consultation with provinces and territories. Newfoundland and Labrador will be part of this process.
Want to learn more? Further information on COP 21, including the full text of the agreement itself, can be found at:
International Climate Change Negotiations to Begin Next Week | November 27, 2015
What is COP 21?
Between November 30 and December 11, leaders from over 190 countries will gather in Paris, France for the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (known as COP21). This is the major annual international conference on climate change, at which countries will try and negotiate solutions to this global problem. The federal government represents and negotiates on behalf of Canada.
What is likely to be agreed in Paris?
Countries have committed to adopt a new international, legally-binding climate change agreement at COP 21 that will help facilitate global greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions after 2020. It will build on the 2009 Copenhagen Accord which established GHG targets for the period up to 2020. The agreement is also likely to address improving resilience to the impacts of climate change, funding to help developing countries tackle climate change, provisions on the transfer of cleaner technologies between countries, and details on how the agreement will come into force.
One of the most important issues that will be considered at COP21 is the overall level of global ambition to cut GHG emissions post-2020 in order to avoid dangerous climate change. The international community has defined dangerous climate change as an increase in average global temperatures of two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. On May 15, 2015, Canada committed to reducing its national GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, building on its 2020 target to reduce GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels. Other countries, such as the US, the European Union and China, have also set targets for themselves.
Who is attending?
It is anticipated that over 40,000 people will attend COP21, including national delegates, observers from business and non-profit bodies, representatives from other international organizations, and the media. Canada and all provinces and territories, including Newfoundland and Labrador, will be represented at COP 21.
Why is this important to Newfoundland and Labrador?
Newfoundland and Labrador is monitoring Canada's approach to tackling climate change and achieving progress on its 2020 and 2030 national GHG reduction targets. The policy positions Canada adopts internationally, including any national targets or commitments, will inform the federal government's approach towards domestic policy. For example, Canada's approach has, to date, included a focus on the large industrial sector (e.g., oil and gas, mining, newsprint, other manufacturing). The large industrial sector in Newfoundland and Labrador accounts for 50% of the province's total GHG emissions. This is the second highest among provinces (just behind Alberta). Large industry also accounts for about 40% of GDP, 30% of fiscal revenues and 5% of employment in Newfoundland and Labrador. Any national approach that could emerge to regulating large industrial GHG emissions may therefore impact on the province. The same is true of possible federal action in other areas, such as steps to improving resilience to climate impacts, such as floods and extreme weather, and approaches to regulating product standards.
Want to learn more? Further information on COP 21 can be found at:
Annual BuildGreen Atlantic Conference to be Held in St. John's | November 18, 2015
The annual BuildGreen Atlantic Conference is taking place at the Holiday Inn in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on November 19, 2015. The BuildGreen Atlantic Conference, which is hosted by the Atlantic Chapter of the Canadian Green Building Council, brings together architects, engineers, policymakers and individuals in the construction industry to network and share best practices with respect to green buildings.
The event will include a luncheon keynote address delivered by Christopher Mathis, President and CEO of Mathis Consulting Company, who has spent the past 30 years focusing on how buildings and building products perform. Mr. Mathis' address will outline challenges, barriers and opportunities associated with achieving truly sustainable buildings.
Among other elements, Conference events will include a workshop on the new version of Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design (LEED v4) and a series of presentations, including:
- A cost-benefit analysis of the National Energy Code for Buildings in Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Building envelope quality assurance; and
- Available takeCHARGE rebates for commercial customers to assist in reducing their energy consumption.
To learn more about the BuildGreen Atlantic Conference or to register to attend, visit: http://www.cagbc.org/CAGBC/Chapters/Atlantic/BuildGreenAtlantic/CAGBC/Chapters/Atlantic/BuildGreen_Atlantic.aspx
Provincial Government Releases Progress Update on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Action Plans for 2015 | November 2, 2015
The Provincial Government has released an update on progress towards implementing its 2011 Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Action Plans. Together, these plans contain 75 commitments to action and outline government's strategic approach towards tackling climate change and promoting energy efficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In these plans, government committed to provide annual updates on progress. Further to previous updates on progress to the House of Assembly in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and the release of a full mid-term report in 2014, government has now released an update for 2015 on government's progress with implementing the plans.
The progress update shows that action is now underway on all 75 commitments contained within the Plans and over half have been completed. Specifically, the update shows that for 2015:
- Government was active in improving the province's ability to adapt to flooding in light of forecasted, long-term increases in precipitation;
- It furthered action on energy efficiency by, for example, rolling out the HotShots initiative to all 263 public schools in the province, and
- It has continued to play an active role in intergovernmental forums on climate change by participating in those such as the Quebec Climate Summit and the Climate Summit of the Americas.
To learn more about actions taken to help the province tackle climate change and improve energy efficiency, visit the following link: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/2015_Update_Progress_on_2011_AP.pdf
Provincial Government Releases Electric Vehicle Report | November 2, 2015
The Provincial Government has released a report that examines the current state of electric vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador, across North America and more widely. The report provides an overview of electric vehicle technology, the infrastructure needed to support these vehicles, as well as the extent to which these vehicles have penetrated markets around the world.
Specifically, the report outlines some of the key considerations and questions surrounding electric vehicles that are of interest to consumers, policymakers and electrical utilities, such as:
- How do EVs differ from conventional automobiles?
- Why is there growing interest in EVs?
- How has EV technology advanced?
- What infrastructure is necessary to support EVs?
- How EVs could impact electricity grids?
- How will the adoption of EVs by consumers impact the environment?
- What has been done in other jurisdictions to support EV deployment?
The document reports that there are some electric vehicles now on the road in Newfoundland and Labrador, and that the infrastructure needed to support them such as charging stations, has begun to emerge. Currently, there are 34 passenger and courier battery electric vehicles and 239 hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered in the province, as well as 47 electric vehicle charging stations that are present in Channel-Port aux Basques, Clarenville, Deer Lake, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Marystown, Mount Pearl, Paradise, St. John's and Stephenville.
The report also summarizes measures taken by other jurisdictions to promote widespread adoption of electric vehicles by consumers given the climate change benefits. It notes that, as 98% of electricity consumed in the province will come from clean, renewable sources by 2018, this presents a possible opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador.
To read the report in its entirety, visit: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/electric_veh_report.pdf
Province Releases Market Transformation Framework | October 28, 2015
The Provincial Government has released a framework to support the increased availability and adoption of energy efficient and lower greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting goods and services in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Market transformation is about measures that support a widespread and lasting change in the availability and adoption of products and services that are energy efficient or emit less GHGs which are the cause of climate change. The goal is to increase awareness, availability, accessibility and affordability of such products and services so that they become common in the marketplace and widely adopted by consumers. This can be facilitated through a range of measures including awareness-raising initiatives and information campaigns, skills development and demonstration projects, rebates and incentives and policy and regulatory measures.
The Market Transformation Framework focuses on three key areas: buildings, transportation, and products and services. These have been selected because, together, they have a tremendous bearing on both the amount of energy Newfoundland and Labrador consumes and the quantity of GHG emissions the province generates.
- Approximately 60 per cent of energy consumption in the province is used to heat and service homes and buildings and to power transportation, and these two areas are responsible for approximately 45 per cent of total GHGs emitted in the province, and
- There is a wide range of energy-using products and services sold and purchased in Newfoundland and Labrador, and increasing their energy efficiency can result in energy savings for consumers and businesses which can be spent elsewhere and support economic growth in the province.
The Market Transformation Framework can be found at: www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/market_trans_framework.pdf.
Findings of Consultations on National Energy Code for Buildings Released | October 26, 2015
This week, the Provincial Government has released a "What We Heard" document outlining the findings of the consultation process on the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB).
In its 2011 Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the Provincial Government committed to examine the case for adopting the NECB in Newfoundland and Labrador in collaboration with key stakeholders. The NECB outlines minimum energy efficiency requirements for the design and construction of large buildings that are greater than 600 square metres or over three stories in height. It contains minimum requirements related to the building envelope, lighting, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, service water heating systems, and electrical power systems and motors.
The "What We Heard" document summarizes feedback gathered from stakeholder consultations held over the July to September 2015 period. The findings are summarized according to three main themes: the business case for adopting the NECB; potential approaches to implementing and administering the Code; and skills and training requirements for building designers, contractors and inspectors.
- The Business Case: Participants broadly supported adoption of the NECB provided that accommodation be made for regional or building function constraints where the business case is challenging.
- Implementing and Administering the Code: Participants noted the importance of ensuring consistency in administration of the Code so as to not result in an uneven-playing field between municipalities and unincorporated areas.
- Skills and Training Requirements: Participants noted that there would likely be different skills and training required by different stakeholders, ranging from increased expertise for building designers on interpretation of code requirements to practical skills and knowledge for contractors in constructing building components in accordance with code requirements
The "What We Heard" document can be found at http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/necb_cons_what_we_heard.pdf
Climate Change a Focus of Attention at NEIA Newleef Conference | October 14, 2015
Climate change was a key topic of discussion at the 4th annual Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry (NEIA) Newleef Conference held at St. John's on October 8 and 9, 2015. The Newleef conference provides a forum for businesses and organizations to engage with industry experts, academics, and community and government leaders on issues pertaining to the green economy.
The Honourable Steve Kent (Deputy Premier) kicked off the Conference. In his remarks, he highlighted the importance of balancing economic growth with environmental responsibility. He spoke specifically about large industry, including offshore oil and gas, and noted that while industry may be challenged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at their facilities, there are cost-effective and flexible approaches that can be employed through which they can support GHG reductions elsewhere in the economy.
Dr. Chris Ragan, an Associate Professor of Economics at McGill University and Chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission (an organization of economists that focuses on, among other issues, economic approaches to tackling climate change), provided an overview of how private sector markets can play a role in reducing GHG emissions. He noted that markets do not, generally, account for the cost of environmental damage, and that pricing carbon (i.e., assigning a price to emitting GHGs) is a mechanism to harness the power of markets to tackle climate change through technological development and innovation. In other words, if a price is levied on GHG emissions, markets will respond by seeking technological and innovative solutions to reduce GHGs and minimize costs.
The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, gave a presentation to delegates at the Conference on on ways to address climate change in Newfoundland and Labrador. He noted that all jurisdictions, including Newfoundland and Labrador, have a role to play in addressing climate change, and that Government sees value in putting a price on carbon. Minister Crummell spoke about carbon pricing approaches used in other jurisdictions, namely, carbon taxes, emissions trading systems, and flexible regulatory approaches that include a technology fund. The Minister highlighted the benefits and challenges of each approach from a Newfoundland and Labrador perspective. He said the Government is considering each of these approaches and seeking the views of stakeholders in developing its policy approach.
To learn more about the 2015 NEIA Newleef Conference, visit the following link: http://www.neia.org/newleef-2015/
takeCHARGE Launches Seventh Annual Energy Efficiency Week | October 5, 2015
October 3rd-9th marks the seventh annual Energy Efficiency Week in Newfoundland and Labrador. For the past six years, takeCHARGE has dedicated a week to raise awareness of the ways in which individuals can reduce energy consumption and save money at home and in the workplace.
This year's theme "Ask an Energy Expert" includes a social media component. Individuals can use the hashtag #EENL on social media to chat with takeCHARGE Energy Experts live between 10am-11am and 7pm-8pm on October 8th, to learn how they can save energy and money. Individuals can also email their energy efficiency questions to email@example.com to be entered for a chance to win an energy efficient 40 inch TV.
Energy Efficiency Week also marks the launch of takeCHARGE's Instant Rebates fall campaign and community event schedule. As part of this campaign, consumers can receive instant rebates on the purchase of selected products such as light fixtures, lightbulbs, dimmer switches and dehumidifiers at participating retailers.
To learn more about Energy Efficiency Week and how you can participate in the conversation, visit: https://takechargenl.ca/news-events/energy-efficiency-week/
Reports Show Climate Change a Key Issue for Investors | September 17, 2015
According to two recently released reports, climate change presents potential risks and opportunities to investments. Given this, investors need to take steps to understand climate change and its potential implications.
In August 2015, the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), a non-profit organization that receives support from a range of public and private sector partners including the US, UK and German governments, released a report that concludes climate change will affect the value of financial assets. Climate exposure for investors is defined as the potential gains or losses in an investment portfolio due to climate change. Such exposure may result from changes in government policy and legal frameworks, physical impacts on assets, and human responses to policy and ecological changes that may affect the types of goods and services consumers' demand.
The report outlines some of the direct and indirect risks posed by climate change, including potential damage to infrastructure from severe weather and rising sea levels, changing agriculture prices as a result of changes to weather, growing seasons and ecosystems, and a shortage of essential resources, which could threaten businesses and industries. It also concludes that these risks can be transformed into financial opportunities, which can be realized through investments aimed at mitigating and adapting to the impacts climate change.
In September 2015, Koskie Minsky LLP, one of Canada's leading pension law firms, released a report concluding that pension fund managers and trustees owe a legal duty to their clients to assess all potential risks and opportunities, including those posed by climate change.
The report was commissioned by the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a not-for-profit environmental consultancy firm that advises clients with total assets worth nearly $14 billion. It concludes that, since pension liabilities are long-term and investment strategies can span 70 years or more, pension manager and trustees cannot ignore climate change or they could be in breach of their fiduciary duty, which requires them to work to promote the best interests of pension holders. Direct risks include those resulting from financial losses due to investments in infrastructure that is damaged or destroyed by climate change, while indirect or administrative risks are those resulting from losses to investments associated with changes to laws, regulations or policies enacted by government to respond or prepare for climate change.
View the report from Koskie Minsky LLP.
Premiers and Governors Adopt 2030 Regional GHG Reduction Target | September 8, 2015
At the 39th New England Governors-Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference (NEG-ECP) held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on August 31, 2015, leaders adopted a resolution that reaffirmed their commitment to tackle climate change and set a regional target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35 to 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.The NEG-ECP comprises governors from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and premiers from Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
In the Resolution on Climate Change, Eastern Canadian Premiers and New England Governors recognize the efforts that have been made to address climate change in the region to date, and the value and benefit of working regionally to increase the effectiveness of collective actions. They support further collaboration to facilitate achievement of the region's GHG reduction targets for 2030 and 2050 and ask that joint actions and measures be identified for consideration by Premiers and Governors at their next meeting in 2016.
The NEG-ECP has been a leader on climate change. In 2001, the NEG-ECP released a climate change action plan, the first regional initiative of this kind in the world, which committed to regional greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2010 (to stabilize regional GHG emissions at 1990 levels), 2020 (to reduce regional GHG emissions by 10% below 1990 levels) and 2050 (to reduce regional GHG emissions by 75-85% below 2001 levels).The new resolution establishes an interim GHG reduction marker for 2030 to bridge the gap between 2020 and 2050 targets to help orient mid-term climate policy-making efforts with the ultimate goal of achieving the 2050 target.
Read the full Resolution on Climate Change from the NEG-ECP Conference.
Flood Risk Maps now available for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillip's | August 24, 2015
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the Department of Environment and Conservation's Water Resources Management Division, has released new flood risk maps for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillip's.
Due to climate change, the province is experiencing more precipitation than it has in the past. This can lead to flooding, especially when a lot of rain falls intensively over a short period of time. As the intensity of rainfall events is projected to continue to increase in years to come, is important to know which areas may be prone to more frequent flooding and which areas, which may not have flooded in the past, may be at risk of flooding in the future.
The new flood risk maps are based on the latest climate change projections and show areas that would be at risk in 1-in-20 and 1-in-100 year flood events. This information is useful to municipal planners and engineers and can help guide planning and development decisions, avoiding, for example, building critical infrastructure such as a new fire station or hospital in an area that may be a risk of flooding in the future.
For more information, visit http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/waterres/flooding/
2014 "State of the Climate" Report Released | August 14, 2015
On July 17, 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual, peer-reviewed "State of the Climate" Report for the 2014 calendar year. The 2014 report is based on contributions from 413 scientists from 58 countries around the world, including Canada. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, which include:
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels in the atmosphere
- Ocean, land and air temperatures
- Cloud cover
- Sea level
- Ocean salinity
- Sea ice extent
- Snow cover
The report indicates that key climate variables monitored each year continued to follow their long-term trends in 2014, with several either coming close to or exceeding previous record levels, including:
- The globally averaged surface temperature was the highest of any year since modern record keeping began 135 years ago.
- GHG levels in the atmosphere reached record high concentrations.
- The globally averaged annual sea surface temperature was the highest on record.
- Global sea level was, once again, record high.
- The Arctic experienced its fourth warmest year since record keeping began in the early 20th century.
To view the 2014 State of the Climate Report in its entirety, visit: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2014.php
Premiers Support Joint Action on Climate Change | July 29, 2015
Premiers met at St. John's on July 16-17 to discuss, among other matters, a Canadian Energy Strategy and climate change.
Canadian Energy Strategy
Canadian Energy Strategy was released containing three goals focusing on climate change and the transition to a lower-carbon economy:
- To develop complementary carbon management mechanisms across Canada;
- To foster an understanding by governments on the use of market-oriented policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Canada; and
- To actively pursue greenhouse gas emissions reductions with targets based on sound science.
Premiers discussed the role that provinces and territories can play in contributing to the success of the December 2015 international climate change conference, during which a new international climate change agreement is expected to be reached.
Premiers committed to implementing programs and measures to mitigate and address the impacts of climate change in Canada, including establishing carbon pricing mechanisms and renewable energy targets to ensure greenhouse gases emissions are factored into decision making. In achieving this objective, Premiers also committed to generating new technological and economic opportunities, such as investing in wind energy, carbon capture and storage and reducing diesel use in remote communities.
The Canadian Energy Strategy can be found: http://www.canadaspremiers.ca/phocadownload/publications/canadian_energy_strategy_eng_fnl.pdf
Additional information on the Premiers' statement on climate change can be found at: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/exec/0717n10.aspx
Minister Attends Climate Summit of the Americas | July 10, 2015
The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, attended the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto from July 7-9, 2015.
The Summit brought together 300 representatives from nine provinces and territories, five US states, regional governments in Mexico and Brazil, and governments in the Caribbean, as well as non-governmental and business organizations, to discuss the economic, innovation and technology opportunities associated with climate change, including the role of carbon pricing policies.
Minister Crummell participated in two intergovernmental panels at the Summit. He highlighted that Muskrat Falls will reduce the province's greenhouse gas emissions by 10%, as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions in Nova Scotia. Minister Crummell went on to describe how Newfoundland and Labrador's economy grew by over 75% in real terms from 1990 to 2013, while greenhouse gas emissions declined by 11% over the same period. These messages were positively received by delegates at the Summit.
Minister Crummell joined with representatives of 22 other provinces, states and regional governments in signing a climate change statement at the Summit. Signing this statement sends a clear signal to other jurisdictions and to businesses and stakeholders within Newfoundland and Labrador that:
- The province considers climate change to be an urgent global problem;
- Sub-national governments have a role to play in solving the problem; and
- Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to being part of the solution.
As a result of signing this Statement, the province will join the Compact of States and Regions.
For more information:
Canada's 2030 GHG Reduction Target | July 6, 2015
The countries that are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed they would adopt a new legal agreement to tackle climate change at the international conference in Paris in December 2015.
To facilitate this process, all parties to the UNFCCC were invited to submit information on their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets for the post-2020 period. These submissions are known as "intended nationally determined contributions" or INDCs.
On May 15, 2015, Canada submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC Secretariat, joining those already submitted by nine other parties, including the United States, Mexico, the European Union and Russia.
2030 Reduction Target
In its INDC, Canada committed to achieve an economy-wide target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This builds on Canada's existing commitment to reduce its GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
In actual numbers, Canada's national targets are therefore to reduce GHG emissions from 749 million tonnes (MT) in 2005 to 622 MT by 2020 and to 524 MT by 2030. In 2013 - the most recent year for which data is available - Canadian GHG emissions were 726 MT.
Canada's INDC acknowledged that new policies and measures will be required to achieve the 2030 target, including new regulations. The Federal Government committed to develop regulations for natural gas electricity, nitrogen fertilizers and methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The INDC also acknowledged that Canada may use international GHG reduction credits to achieve its 2030 target.
The INDC recognizes that climate change is shared responsibility that requires action at all levels of government, and that province and territories have jurisdictional authority over the fields of natural resources and energy and manage aspects of the environment. In this context, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment will discuss climate change mitigation at their upcoming meeting on June 22-23, 2015 in Winnipeg.
Copies of INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC to date are available at:
G7 leaders support deeps cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions | June 12, 2015
The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies - the United States, Canada France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom - that meets annually to discuss issues of global importance. On June 7-8 2015, G7 leaders met in Germany and discussed, among other items, the impacts of climate change and the need for low-carbon development. In particular, G7 leaders:
- Reaffirmed their commitment and determination to reach a
new international climate change agreement in Paris, France in December 2015 and agreed that this agreement should enable all countries to pursue low-carbon development strategies to hold the increase in global average temperature below
2°C as set out in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.
- Committed to pursue actions to achieve deep cuts in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the goal of decarbonizing the global economy over the course of this century. To this end, leaders supported the latest recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that call for a reduction in global GHG emissions by 40 to 70 per cent below 2010 levels by 2050.
- Committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and to developing and deploying innovative technologies to transform the energy sector by 2050.
- Reaffirmed the Copenhagen Accord commitment to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020 from public and private sector sources in an effort to
promote mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries.
- Committed to increase access to insurance coverage against the impacts of climate change for up to 400 million people in the most vulnerable developing countries.
For more information, view the G7 communique.
Update on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canada | June 2, 2015
In April of each year, the Federal Government submits Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The report for 2013, which is the latest year for which data is available, was submitted on April 17, 2015.
Key Findings: Canada
Canada committed, through the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, to reduce its GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This target equates to reducing GHG emissions to 622 million tonnes (MT).
The report showed that national GHG emissions for 2013 were 726 MT. This marks a 1.5% increase from 2012 and an 18% increase from 1990. GHG emissions for 2013 were about 17% above the 2020 target established in the Copenhagen Accord.
Key Findings: Newfoundland and Labrador
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a target of reducing the province's GHG emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 which, using the most recent data available, equates to 8.8 MT.
The report shows that Newfoundland and Labrador's GHG emissions for 2013 were 8.6 MT. This figure represents the lowest estimate for the province since 1996, representing a 6% decrease in comparison to 2012. When measured against real GDP, GHG emissions in 2013 were at their lowest level on record.
This reflects the impact of measures to reduce GHG emissions, such as capturing methane at Robin Hood Bay, as well as reduced production at the start of the year at the Terra Nova offshore petroleum platform due to scheduled maintenance, and adjustments made by the federal government to it methodology for accounting for transportation emissions.
While the development of Muskrat Falls will reduce provincial GHG emissions when Holyrood is retired, industrial growth in other sectors of the economy is expected to put upward pressure on provincial GHG emissions over the long term. As outlined by Premier Davis in his statement to the House of Assembly on April 22, 2015, further efforts will be required in order to meet the province's GHG reduction targets for 2020 and 2050.
Ministerial Statement: Province Provides New Climate Tools for Infrastructure Design | May 8, 2015
The following statement was given in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:
Minister Crummell: "Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, to update my Honourable colleagues on work recently undertaken to improve our province's resilience to climate change.
In the 2011 Climate Change Action Plan, our government committed to ensuring our province is prepared for the impacts of climate change. These impacts include more frequent and intense storm events, which have the potential to cause increases in flooding and coastal erosion, as well as significant damages to property and infrastructure.
Mr. Speaker, preparing for such changes requires ensuring we have access to the most up-to-date and authoritative information about trends in our province's weather patterns.
As such, last year we contracted a world-class engineering firm to update our province's Intensity-Duration-Frequency curves. These curves are developed from historical data to predict future rain events. They are critical tools for ensuring our infrastructure designs are able to withstand increases in precipitation, including vital transportation, municipal, marine and mining infrastructure. The updated curves are now available online.
Mr. Speaker, this builds upon work we have already undertaken to ensure our province is well positioned to minimize the risks associated with climate change. This work includes our 2013 climate projections study, which outlines how our province's climate is expected to change by mid-century; our innovative approach for completing flood risk mapping, as we are the first jurisdiction in Canada to incorporate climate change into these tools; our Hurricane Flood Alert System, which notifies municipalities throughout the province of impending heavy precipitation events; and our ongoing work to monitor coastal erosion at 112 sites throughout the province, including nine in Labrador.
Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that, in addition to risks, climate change will present many opportunities in our province. These opportunities include the potential for a longer growing season and longer summer tourism season, as well as opportunities to capitalize on the demand for innovation within the green economy. Research notes that with the right support, employment in the green economy in this province could grow by up to 30 per cent by 2020. As such, our government is developing a green economy action plan, which will ensure our province is well positioned to maximize these opportunities while minimizing risks.
MMSB's Launches New Community Waste Diversion Fund | May 1, 2015
The Multi Material Stewardship Board (MMSB) has launched a new Community Waste Diversion Fund to provide financial support to communities who have innovative ideas about how to divert solid waste from landfill. Examples of possible initiatives include community composting, curbside textile recycling, a partnership with local retailers to eliminate plastic bags, or a campaign to increase participation in an existing recycling program.
The fund is open to municipalities and Local Service Districts. Communities can apply for a non-repayable maximum contribution of $10,000 per project. The deadline for proposals is May 26, 2015.
Proposals will be assessed based upon whether they demonstrate:
- The greatest waste diversion potential relative to the community's needs;
- The greatest level of innovation, as communities are encouraged to explore unique initiatives that divert waste from landfill; and
- The potential to become a continued service or program (i.e. longer than one year) or the willingness to implement research project recommendations.
Please contact Ashley Burke regarding submission and proposal guidelines via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 709.753.0948.
Premier Addresses NEIA's Oil Industry and the Environment Seminar | April 29, 2015
Premier Davis delivered the keynote address at the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association's "Oil Industry and the Environment Seminar" on April 27, 2015 at the Delta Hotel in St. John's. Speaking to over 110 delegates, the Premier emphasized the important contribution that the environmental sector has made to the province's economy. Looking forward, he also talked about the potential to increase employment in the green economy and referenced a study by Globe Consultants that concluded there is potential to increase jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador's green economy by 30% by 2020. He described the tremendous contribution that the offshore petroleum sector has made to the provincial economy since the start of construction of the Hibernia platform 25 years ago, and the steps government has taken to ensure energy resources are carefully developed to avoid risks to the environment.
Reiterating that all jurisdictions across the world need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change, Premier Davis spoke about how the province could continue to benefit from the wealth provided by petroleum reserves while simultaneously reducing its GHG emissions. The Premier said that, given climate change is a global problem, the environment doesn't mind where GHG reductions occur, just so long as they happen. Given this, he said that it makes most sense to reduce GHG emissions where the cost of doing so is lowest. Premier Davis said that one way of achieving this is to require large industrial companies, including those in the offshore petroleum sector, to achieve GHG reduction targets, but provide them flexibility in where and how they achieve those reductions. In other words, allow companies to deliver GHG reductions at their facility or invest in projects that will reduce GHG emissions elsewhere in the economy. He explained this flexibility would allow companies to meet GHG reduction targets at least cost, which is good for both the environment and the economy. The Premier indicated this approach will increase the imperative on companies to innovate, to invest in research and development, and to drive technological development to find cleaner ways to conduct business and lower their GHG emissions, while supporting economic growth.
Quebec Climate Change Summit | April 17, 2015
Provincial and territorial leaders from across Canada met in Quebec City on April 14 to reaffirm their commitment to tackle climate change. All leaders, except those from Alberta, PEI and Nova Scotia, participated, including Premier Davis. Alberta and PEI were unable to attend due to elections and Nova Scotia was represented at the Ministerial level.
Those jurisdictions represented at the Summit issued a Declaration that recognized:
- Significant cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avoid dangerous impacts.
- The impacts of climate change can affect the economy, people and plants and animals, and northern regions are particularly vulnerable.
- It is cheaper to take action to reduce emissions than to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.
- There are economic opportunities associated with the move to a lower-carbon economy, including job creation and technological innovation in areas such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Provinces and territories have a responsibility to take action and it is important to strengthen cooperation across Canada.
Read the full declaration from the Quebec Climate Change summit.
takeCHARGE Instant Rebates (April 1 - May 31, 2015) | April 1, 2015
From April 1 to May 31, 2015, the takeCHARGE program is offering instant rebates on the purchase of select energy-efficient products for your home. Products include ENERGY STAR® lighting and fixtures, motion sensors, dimmer switches and timers, as well as smart power strips, high-performance showerheads and ENERGY STAR® dehumidifiers.
Check out the flyer below for more information on the available rebates and visit the takeCHARGE website for a list of participating retailers.
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians Encouraged to Participate in Earth Hour 2015 | March 26, 2015
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation and Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:
Mr. Crummell: "Newfoundlanders and Labradorians Encouraged to Participate in Earth Hour 2015
Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to encourage residents throughout the province to participate in Earth Hour 2015.
Earth Hour is an international event organized by the World Wildlife Fund to demonstrate the importance of taking action on climate change. The event first took place in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and has since grown to be one of the largest grassroots environmental initiatives in the world. Each year, millions of people from more than 162 countries and territories participate in the event.
Mr. Speaker, to participate in Earth Hour 2015, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians must turn off all non-essential lighting on March 28 for one hour between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., local time. By switching off our lights, we are raising awareness about climate change, which is one of the most significant challenges facing the world today. Climate change is having a substantial effect on areas throughout the world and minimizing this impact requires taking global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes that climate change is a shared challenge and we have committed to being a part of the solution. The province came within 0.4 per cent of meeting its target to return provincial greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010. This was a significant achievement given that our economy grew by 65 per cent over the same period. In September 2014, we released a mid-way progress report for our 2011 Climate Change Action Plan. This report showed that 64 of the 75 commitments contained in the plan are completed or underway, including the award-winning Turn Back the Tide campaign.
And while these achievements demonstrate the Provincial Government's dedication to tackling climate change, as individuals, we all have a part to play as well. Participating in Earth Hour is just one way to do so. I encourage everyone to learn more about Earth Hour 2015 by visiting earthhour.org and for further information on taking action on climate change in Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit our website turnbackthetide.ca.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker."
The official press release can be found here:
Deadline Extended for the HotShots Contest for Grades 7-12 | March 26, 2015
New Deadline for Entries: May 15, 2015
This contest requires students to creatively communicate messages about saving energy to their peers. Students must explain why saving energy is important in a way that will inspire other students to take action. Entries can be from an individual or a group of up to five students. Entries should be creative, informative and fun, and could be a video, book, song, poster or other creative medium.
There will be three grand prize winners. Each winner will receive one iPad for each member of their group and 10 iPads for their school!
- The contest is open to all students of grades 7-12 in public schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Entries may be submitted by individual students or groups of up to five students.
- Each individual or group may enter only once.
- Entries must be submitted to the contact information below. Please include your school name and location, along with the name of each student in the group and their grade level.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING:
- Appearance and creativity
- Accuracy of the message
- Effectiveness (interesting and appealing to the audience)
Submit Entries to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's NL A1B 4K7
Upcoming Event: Home Show 2015 | March 20, 2015
The 32nd annual Home Show will be held at Mile One Centre in St. John's on March 21 and 22. This event is hosted each year by the Canadian Home Builders' Association - Newfoundland and Labrador (CHBA-NL). It provides an opportunity to learn about new trends in home building and renovations, while seeking helpful advice through face-to-face interaction with experts in the industry.
Building upon the success from last year's show, the CHBA-NL is once again partnering with the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and takeCHARGE to offer the Energy Efficiency Pavilion. Visit the pavilion to find tips and advice on increasing your home's energy efficiency and check out the pavilion's new Kid Zone, which offers activities to teach children about the importance of saving energy.
Date & Time:
Saturday, March 21, 2015 (10:00am - 8:00pm)
Sunday, March 22, 2015 (10:00am - 4:00pm)
$8 - General Admission
$7 - Seniors
Free - Children under 12 accompanied by an adult
Provincial Government Funds Rebates for Installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers | March 13, 2015
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has provided $52,000 to Green Rock Electric Vehicle Solutions (Green Rock EVS) to provide rebates for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through this funding support, Green Rock EVS is able to provide rebates on the installation of 19 new charging stations - 5 for residential and 14 for private commercial and public entities. Individuals and private commercial entities can apply to receive a 50% rebate (up to a maximum of $1,000 and $2,500, respectively) and public entities can apply for a rebate of up to 80% (up to a maximum of $4000).
The programs are administered by Green Rock EVS and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested participants should contact Green Rock EVS by March 31, 2015.
For more information, visit www.greenrockevs.com
Climate Change Curriculum Connections: Environmental Science 3205 | March 22, 2016
Bringing online resources into the classroom is an excellent way to engage students in interesting topics while meeting curriculum outcomes.
The Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, recently released "Climate Change Curriculum Connections" - a new document for teachers of Environmental Science 3205.
This document links online resources about climate change to specific curriculum outcomes for unit five of Environmental Science 3205, titled "The Atmosphere and the Environment." It was developed to ensure teachers are equipped with the most up-to-date information on climate change, which is crucial to ensure students understand the importance of the issue and the pressing need to take action.
The resources included in the document range from videos and infographics, to case studies and interactive tools. All resources come from authoritative sources, such as NASA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To ensure local information is included, several resources are also taken from the Turn Back the Tide website.
Download a copy of Climate Change Curriculum Connections (PDF).
At part of the Provincial Government's HotShots initiative, curriculum connections focusing on energy efficiency are also available for the electricity units of Grade 6 and 9 Science.
Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation | February 6, 2015
The Government of Canada recently released a report entitled "Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation". The report was developed by Natural Resources Canada with input from over 90 authors and 115 expert reviewers. It synthesizes over 1500 recent publications and compiles the most up-to-date science on climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada.
The report found that there are already observed changes to the climate in Canada, which are impacting the natural environment, numerous economic sectors, as well as public health. In addition, extreme weather events are expected to increase in intensity and frequency, putting a strain on infrastructure across the country. The report concludes that adaptation is a necessary response to the impacts of climate change, as reducing greenhouse gases alone will not eliminate climate risk. The report also concludes that, through adaptation, risks associated with climate change can become opportunities and opportunities can deliver benefits.
To learn more about the impacts of climate change on Canada, and how we can improve our resilience to those impacts through adaptation, visit: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/resources/publications/impacts-adaptation/reports/assessments/2014/16309
Provincial Government Releases Greening Government Action Plan | January 21, 2015
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise today as the Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to announce the release of a new action plan to create a culture of environmental sustainability within government's own operations.
In 2011, our government released strategic frameworks for taking action on climate change and energy efficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador. Progress on these important issues requires action by all, and it is critical that government continues to demonstrate strong leadership.
Mr. Speaker, the Greening Government Action Plan outlines 46 commitments across five strategic objectives. These objectives are:
- Increasing waste diversion;
- Improving the sustainability of government buildings;
- Integrating green considerations into transportation decisions;
- Increasing the procurement of environmentally preferable products and services; and
- Effectively engaging employees on each of these issues.
There are many benefits to improving the environmental sustainability of our operations, Mr. Speaker. Saving energy has the potential to lower operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is an important step in addressing climate change. Additionally, increasing the demand for environmentally preferable products and services can generate new business opportunities in the province.
Mr. Speaker, the Greening Government Action Plan builds upon the significant steps we have already taken towards improving the environmental sustainability of our operations. Actions to date include ensuring new government buildings are constructed to meet environmental standards, transforming our fleet to include 34 per cent fuel-efficient vehicles, and developing guidance to integrate green considerations into procurement.
I look forward to the implementation of this action plan across government, Mr. Speaker, as we continue to take practical steps to improve the environmental sustainability of our operations. Mr. Speaker, I will table this report for my Honourable colleagues. The report is also available online.
Enter the "takeCHARGE of Your Town" Initiative | January 19, 2015
The "takeCHARGE of Your Town" initiative is aimed at encouraging residents and municipalities across Newfoundland and Labrador to reduce their energy use. Over the past four years, a total of more than $25,000 has been provided to cities and towns as a result of this initiative.
This year, one grant of $7,500 is available to be won. The "takeCHARGE of Your Town" initiative is currently inviting municipalities to submit proposals that will support efforts in their community to promote energy conservation or efficiency. Proposals must demonstrate a positive effort to save energy that benefits the entire community. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, energy efficiency upgrades to a town hall or municipal building.
The current deadline for applications is January 30, 2015 (4:00pm). Find out more about submitting a proposal.
Contests for K-12 Students Promote Energy Conservation | January 6, 2015
As part of the new HotShots initiative, the Provincial Government has partnered with takeCHARGE to offer two contests about energy conservation for students in Newfoundland and Labrador:
K-I-C START Contest (Grades K-6)
Deadline: January 30, 2015
To enter the K-I-C Start contest, students must explain why saving energy is important and how they can save energy. Entries are a classroom effort. Individual classes must design an entry that is creative, informative and fun. A class can film a short video, write a book, record a song or design a poster. Only your imagination limits you!
Prizes: There will be three grand prize winners of five iPads and multiple winners of two iPads. The prizes will be awarded at the classroom level.
HotShots Contest (Grades 7-12)
Deadline: April 2, 2015
This contest requires students to creatively communicate messages about saving energy to their peers. Students must explain why saving energy is important in a way that will inspire other students to take action. Entries can be from an individual or a group of up to five students. Entries should be creative, informative and fun, and could be a video, book, song, poster or other creative medium.
Prizes: There will be three grand prize winners. Each winner will receive one iPad for each member of their group and 10 iPads for their school!
Find out more information on entering the contests!
Quick Facts about HotShots:
HotShots was launched in October 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of energy conservation among students in Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of this initiative:
- All 263 public schools in the province have received resource packs with information about where energy comes from in Newfoundland and Labrador, the benefits of saving energy, and how students can reduce the amount of energy they use
- A new curriculum-based website was launched for teachers, with all resources and information available in both English and French
- 140 classes across the province have received interactive presentations about the importance of saving energy