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.
The 12 Green Days of Christmas | December 20, 2016
Looking for some inspiration on how to have a greener holiday season this year? Then check out our 12 Green Days of Christmas feature, best enjoyed with a cup of egg nog in hand and appropriate holiday background music.
For more tips on how to save energy and take action on climate change, be sure to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TurnBacktheTide!
First Ministers Finalize Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change | December 13, 2016
Premier Ball joined the Prime Minister and Premiers in Ottawa on December 9 to adopt a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which outlines a plan to take new action to address climate change across Canada while spurring clean economic growth. Developing the Framework was a key commitment in the Vancouver Declaration, issued by First Ministers in March 2016.
Informed by engagement with Indigenous peoples, municipalities, businesses, civil society, and Canadians across the country, the Framework is an important step towards meeting Canada's commitments under the international Paris Agreement on climate change, which came into force on November 4, 2016. It sets out a broad range of measures to meet Canada's commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to a changing climate, and create new opportunities for clean technology, innovation, and jobs.
Actions outlined in the Framework include:
- developing new building codes to ensure that buildings use less energy, saving money for households and businesses;
- deploying more electric charging stations to support zero-emission vehicles, making Canada's transportation system more sustainable;
- expanding clean electricity systems within and between provinces, promoting energy efficiency, and using smart-grid technologies to use less fossil fuel-generated electricity;
- reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector;
- protecting and enhancing carbon stored in forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands;
- setting an example by driving significant emissions reductions from government operations; and
- improving resilience to the impacts of climate change through better tools and resources, enhanced local capacity, and more climate-resilient infrastructure.
Federal, provincial and territorial ministers and officials across Canada have been tasked with implementing the Framework, and will report annually on progress, with a view to Canada's target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
In a statement to the House of Assembly on December 12, 2016, Premier Ball said "In recognition of the diversity of provincial and territorial economies, First Ministers worked to ensure that the framework could accommodate fair and flexible approaches to fighting climate change.
Newfoundland and Labrador joins a framework that demonstrates we can work cooperatively as a nation, while still recognizing the specific and unique local circumstances this province faces.
A made-in-Newfoundland and Labrador plan will address this province's particular social, economic and fiscal realities while contributing to the fight against climate change.
Our plan will:
- Safeguard the competitiveness of onshore and offshore industries;
- Take account of significant costs we incur to decarbonize the electricity sector, remote and isolated diesel off-grid electricity generating systems, and transportation; and
- Ensure the province has full discretion to direct the use of any carbon price revenues.
Climate change is a serious global issue and all sectors will need to be part of the transition to a lower carbon economy. The Government of Newfoundland Labrador is pleased to work with the Government of Canada to make sure that we can contribute to the objectives outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework.”
To read more about what Premier Ball and other First Ministers had to say about the Pan-Canadian Framework, check out the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's news release, the First Ministers' joint communique, or read the full Pan-Canadian Framework online.
Compact of States and Regions Releases Second Annual Report | December 05, 2016
The second annual disclosure report of the Compact of States and Regions (CSR) was released on December 1, 2016.
Established in 2014, the CSR is an international initiative aimed at providing a clearer global picture of efforts to tackle climate change by subnational governments, including provinces, states, regions and cities. Through its annual disclosure reports, the CSR helps members share information and best practices on emissions reductions targets and policy measures, and provides a global framework for improved GHG emissions measurement and management. This year's report focuses on how leading states, provinces, and regions are responding to the international Paris Agreement on climate change. The Paris Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016 and commits countries around the world to take action to limit global temperature rise and strengthen resilience to impacts of climate change.
Newfoundland and Labrador's report to the CSR includes information related to economy-wide GHG emissions and reduction strategies, a Provincial Government GHG profile, and climate change adaptation risks and planning measures. The submission highlights policies and measures that will assist in reducing provincial GHG emissions, such as the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act which was passed in June 2016 to establish a regulatory framework for large industrial emitters in the province.
Over the past two years, the CSR's membership has grown to include 62 governments across 6 continents and 22 countries, representing 443 million people and 17 per cent of the global economy. This includes provinces and territories such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories.
Natural Resources Canada Announces Energy Efficiency Call for Proposals | December 02, 2016
On November 15, 2016, Natural Resources Canada announced a call for proposals seeking innovative, multi-sector approaches to increase the energy efficiency of Canadian homes and assist in contributing to Canada's 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The initiative aims to foster partnerships between academia, communities, governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profits, and the private sector, with the goal of developing new, collaborative ways to engage and reach Canadians and lead them to take action on energy efficiency.
Under this call for proposals, projects must advance at least one of the following three priorities:
- Increase the uptake of energy efficiency retrofits in the residential sector;
- Increase the construction and demand for energy efficient new homes; and/or
- Demonstrate new approaches to improve ways to engage Canadians to understand the value and benefits of taking action in their homes and how they live in them.
Eligible applicants include:
- Canadian non-profit and for-profit organizations;
- Regional and municipal governments;
- Aboriginal and community groups;
- Canadian academic institutions; and
- Industry and research associations.
It is anticipated that between five to seven successful applicants' projects will be funded within Canada through this call for proposals. Successful applicants will have the potential to receive between $100,000-$300,000 in the first year and between $75,000-$200,000 in the second year. Completed proposals must be submitted to email@example.com by 11:59 pm EST on January 20, 2017.
For more information on this call for proposals, visit: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/housing/new-homes/19114
Clean Growth and Climate Change Working Group Reports Released | November 30, 2016
The final reports of the four working groups set up by First Ministers to inform the development of a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change have been publicly released.
In March 2016, Canada's Premiers and the Prime Minister met to discuss how they could accelerate efforts to tackle climate change across the country. At that First Ministers' meeting, they adopted the Vancouver Declaration which set out a process to develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to achieve the following goals:
- put Canada on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030;
- improve resilience to the impacts of climate change; and
- spur clean technology development and job creation.
As part of this process, First Ministers established four federal-provincial-territorial working groups to develop policy options to inform the framework's development:
- Specific Mitigation Opportunities to develop a broad range of policy options to reduce emissions across all sectors of Canada's economy, including financial incentives, regulations and codes, and various programs and initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon pollution;
- Adaptation and Climate Resilience - to develop options to help prepare for and respond to climate change impacts, such as improved information, better risk assessment and decision-making tools, enhanced local capacity, and more climate-resilient infrastructure;
- Carbon Pricing Mechanisms - to explore the role that carbon pricing mechanisms, such as carbon taxes or emissions trading (or cap-and-trade) systems could play in reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Clean Technology, Innovation, and Jobs - to develop options on how to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and drive innovation across all sectors to transition to a low-carbon economy, leveraging regional strengths.
First Ministers are scheduled to meet again in December with the aim of finalizing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. This made-in-Canada plan will be instrumental in meeting Canada's international commitments on climate change under the Paris Agreement.
The four final reports can be found at: http://climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=64778DD5-1
First Home in the Province Qualifies for CHBA's Net Zero Home Labeling Program
| November 28, 2016
The Canadian Home Builders' Association-NL (CHBA-NL) is celebrating the first home to qualify for its Net Zero Home Labeling Program in Newfoundland and Labrador. Located in the Town of Flatrock in the province's eastern region, this state-of-the-art home recently received the CHBA's Net Zero Energy Ready Qualified Home "Mark of Excellence."
What is Net Zero?
CBHA-NL's Net Zero Labeling Program certifies:
- Net Zero Energy (NZE) Homes - these homes produce as much as energy as they consume on an annual basis. They are designed and built to be very energy efficient, reducing the home's energy needs to a minimum, and they have on-site renewable energy systems; and
- Net Zero Energy Ready (NZEr) Homes - these homes are so energy efficient that a renewable energy system could offset all or most of the home's annual energy consumption. However, different to a NZE home, an NZEr home does not have onsite-renewable energy installed yet.
The NZEr home in Flatrock was built by K&P Contracting Ltd. - the province's first R-2000 builder and a member of CHBA's Net Zero Energy Housing Council and the North American Net Zero Energy Coalition. It was also one of eight houses across Canada to participate in Natural Resources Canada's R-2000 Net Zero Energy pilot project, and was the first to reach completion.
This Net Zero Ready Home cost roughly 3 per cent more than a conventional home, but is expected to save nearly $300 per month in energy costs, which means the upfront costs will be paid back in energy savings in just over six years. The home has various energy-saving features, including:
- Solar heat capture;
- Wastewater heat recovery;
- Ultra-efficient insulation in the attic, basement, and walls;
- Triple Pane, Double Low-E Argon windows;
- LED Lighting;
- Mini-split heat pumps; and
- An air tight and continuously sealed building envelope.
CHBA's national Net Zero Labelling Program was launched in September 2015 and over 20 homes across Canada have qualified to date. To learn more, visit http://www.chba.ca/nze
Outcome from the International Climate Change Negotiations Marrakech, Morocco | November 24, 2016
The 22nd annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Marrakech, Morocco from November 7 to 18, 2016. The conference brought together over 22,000 government officials, representatives of environmental organizations and international agencies, media, and others. The Canadian delegation was led by federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and included representatives from most provinces and territories, including Newfoundland and Labrador.
Billed by the Moroccan hosts as the "COP of action", COP 22 came on the heels of last year's conference in Paris, where over 190 countries reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. The negotiations focused on developing the "rulebook" for implementing the Paris Agreement, including guidelines and procedures for countries to follow. Parties to the conference set a deadline of 2018 for finalizing this rulebook. In addition to the formal negotiations among countries, side events were hosted by governments, environmental organizations and others that focused on various aspects of the fight against climate change, from reducing greenhouse (GHG) emissions to adapting to the impacts of climate change. Other highlights of COP 22 included:
- the release by Canada, the United States, and Mexico of each country's mid-century strategy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (see the Canadian strategy here);
- a pledge by Canada of $1.8 billion to help mobilize private sector funding for developing countries to accelerate the transition to cleaner economies; and
- a pledge of $23 million to the Technology Centre and Network, including a contribution from Canada of $2.5 million, to help developing countries access technologies to reduce carbon pollution and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Canada's current GHG reduction target is to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada's Prime Minister and Premiers will meet in Ottawa on December 8 and 9 to adopt a pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
For more information on COP 22, please visit http://cop22.ma/en/
International Climate Change Talks Focus on Putting Paris Agreement into Action | November 9, 2016
From November 7-18, leaders from over 190 countries are meeting in Marrakech, Morocco for the 22nd annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (known as COP 22). The year's conference will be focused on how to achieve the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The Paris Agreement, which was negotiated at COP 21 in December 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016, marks the first time all countries have agreed to take ambitious action to tackle climate change and adapt to its effects. This year, countries will shift their focus towards accelerating implementation, and discuss how they will act on their commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase actions to enhance climate resilience. Key thematic areas for COP 22 include building a low-carbon global economy, boosting clean technology development, adapting agriculture to a changing climate, and developing climate financing mechanisms.
While the Federal Government represents and negotiates on behalf of Canada at COP 22, provinces and territories also have important roles to play in addressing climate change within Canada and most will be represented at COP22, including Newfoundland and Labrador.
To follow all the latest news and developments from COP 22, check out the conference's website.
Paradise Double Ice Complex Achieves LEED® Silver Certification | November 8, 2016
The Town of Paradise recently became the proud owner of Newfoundland and Labrador's newest LEED® Silver certified building - the Paradise Double Ice Complex. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized third-party certification system for sustainable buildings.
Administered by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) in Canada, LEED assesses buildings according to various criteria, such as energy efficiency, the sustainability of building materials and resources, and indoor air quality. Following a rigourous evaluation process, buildings can receive one of four possible LEED certification levels from the CaGBC: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
To achieve LEED Silver, the Double Ice Complex implemented a range of sustainability initiatives that use less energy and have a smaller carbon footprint, such as:
- Refrigeration systems that use ammonia, a natural refrigerant that doesn't emit greenhouse gases like hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);
- Highly-efficient heat recovery systems that re-use waste heat from the ice-making equipment for space heating;
- Two charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles to promote alternative transportation; and
- All-electric ice maintenance equipment, for better indoor air quality and lower emissions.
The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, attended the unveiling of the Double Ice Complex's official LEED Silver plaque. Minster Trimper commended the Town for its commitment to sustainability, and for joining the elite company of high-performing buildings that have received LEED Silver certification in Newfoundland and Labrador.
For more about the Paradise Double Ice Complex, visit the Town of Paradise's website.
For more information about LEED in Canada, check out CaGBC's website.
Climate Change Challenge Trivia Contest! | November 7, 2016
Enter to win a Climate Action Prize Pack by testing your climate change and energy efficiency. All the answers can be easily found on www.turnbackthetide.ca.
There will be five questions over 5 days with grand prize draw on November 21, 2016, for a Climate Action Prize Pack which includes:
- Programmable thermostat
- Energy monitor
- LED lightbulbs
- Low-flow showerhead and faucet aerators
- Weather stripping
- Reusable lunch bag, tote bag and recycled pencils
Prizes have been provided courtesy of takeCHARGE and the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board.
To enter, visit www.facebook.com/turnbackthetide and:
- Like our page
- Comment on each question with your answer
- Share the question with your friends
For the complete set of contest rules, see: Climate Change Challenge Trivia Contest Rules
Paris Agreement on Climate Change Enters Into Force | November 4, 2016
November 4, 2016 is a key milestone in the fight against climate change, as the landmark United Nations Paris Agreement, which was negotiated by over 190 countries in December 2015, enters into force. Developed through the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the agreement charts a course for countries around the world to limit global temperature rise and strengthen their resilience to the impacts of climate change.
For the Paris Agreement to take effect, at least 55 countries accounting for more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions needed to ratify it. To date, 97 countries including Canada, the United States, China and India have ratified the agreement, representing just over 69% of global emissions. To track which countries have ratified the agreement, see this interactive map from the World Resources Institute.
For more details about the agreement and what comes next, check out this UN press release.
New CaGBC Report Focuses on Green Buildings and Climate Change | November 2, 2016
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently released a report titled Building Solutions to Climate Change, which focuses on how greener buildings can help achieve Canada's climate change commitments and drive clean economic growth. CaGBC is a not-for-profit, national organization that has been working since 2002 to advance green building and sustainable community development practices in Canada.
CaGBC's recommendations focus on large buildings (i.e. those over 25,000 square feet), and span four key areas:
- Upgrade existing buildings by investing in energy efficiency improvements and incentives for existing commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings;
- Strengthen building performance through energy benchmarking and reporting;
- Invest in net-zero buildings by developing a Canadian guidance standard; and
- Reduce government emissions by adopting high-performance sustainable building measures for federal building renovations, new builds and leased properties.
The report suggests that by adopting these recommendations, by 2030, Canada could reduce emissions from the buildings sector by 19.4 million tonnes (or 44 per cent) below 2005 levels, with energy cost savings of $6.2 billion and direct and indirect GDP impacts of $32.5 billion.
Building fuels, such as heating oil, are responsible for approximately 9 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador's total greenhouse gas emissions and action to reduce these emissions can help tackle climate change.
To learn more about the report, check out this CaGBC news release, which includes a link to an executive summary.
Waste Reduction Week 2016 | October 17, 2016
October 17-23, 2016, is Waste Reduction Week in Canada - a national campaign to raise awareness on choosing more sustainable products and services and to promote actions that divert waste from landfills, conserve our natural resources, and help tackle climate change.
The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) is Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial partner for this campaign and is providing materials to encourage municipalities, schools and businesses to get involved and proclaim Waste Reduction Week.
This year, MMSB is marking Waste Reduction Week with a social media campaign focused on how individual actions can make a real difference for the environment. To take part, just share photos of your reusable bags in action using the hashtag #MyReusableBag, and join the conversation across the country by using #WasteReductionWeek.
Waste accounts for nearly eight percent of this province's greenhouse gas emissions, and finding ways to cut back on what we send to landfill is an important part of taking action on climate change.
To find out more about how you can get involved, check out the Waste Reduction Week resources on MMSB's RethinkWasteNL.ca.
New Curbside Composting Initiative Underway on the Northern Peninsula | October 12, 2016
The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) and the Northern Peninsula Regional Service Board (NorPen) have partnered to deliver a curbside composting pilot program to residents in the province's Northern Peninsula waste management region. The voluntary program began on September 27, 2016, and includes approximately 900 homes from Eddie's Cove West to River of Ponds.
Under the program, organic waste (e.g. food scraps, leaves, paper) is collected as part of the regular weekly garbage schedule by a split compartment compactor truck. Participants were provided with free composting bins and an information session and they will be invited to use the finished compost in their home gardens at no cost.
MMSB estimates that 80 metric tonnes of organic waste will be diverted from landfills in the pilot program's first year. Going forward, this program will help NorPen and MMSB explore options for collecting and composting organic waste from all households on the Northern Peninsula, as well as other regions of the province with a similar geography.
Managing waste is an important part of taking action on climate change. Waste accounts for eight per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador's greenhouse gas emissions, with most of that coming from the methane emitted by organic waste.
For more about NorPen's curbside composting program, visit their website.
To learn more about waste management in your region, visit RethinkWasteNL.ca.
Minister Trimper to Kick-off Day Two of Newleef 2016 Conference with Q&A Session | October 7, 2016
The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association's (NEIA's) fifth annual Newleef Conference is being held October 12-13 in St. John's. Newleef is the province's leading networking forum for environmental professionals, business owners, decision-makers, policy developers, researchers and students, and other stakeholders. The annual event focuses on products, services, and policies that can help grow the economy while helping the environment.
The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, will kick-off the second day of Newleef 2016 with an overview of the Department of Environment and Climate Change's various activities and initiatives, followed by a question and answer session with NEIA members and other conference attendees. The conference's agenda also includes presentations on a wide variety of issues related to climate change, such as:
- Recent consultations on a new provincial climate change strategy;
- New provincial legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large industry;
- Models for delivering innovative, sustainable electric transportation;
- The role green buildings play in addressing climate change;
- Greenhouse gas displacement and forest products;
- Engineering professionals' ethical obligation to consider climate change in their work; and
- Emerging business, research, and technological opportunities in renewable energy.
For more information on the Newleef 2016 Conference, visit: www.newleef.ca
NEIA is a non-profit environmental industry association with over 150 member firms and organizations that promotes the growth and development of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. To learn more about NEIA, visit neia.org.
Federal Government Announces Carbon Pricing Approach | October 5, 2016
On October 3, 2016, the Federal Government proposed a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution.
Key elements of the federal proposal include:
- That carbon pricing be in place across the country by 2018; and
- That carbon pricing be implemented through one of two systems:
- An explicit price-based system (such as a carbon tax like British Columbia's or a carbon levy and performance-based emissions system like Alberta's), or
- A cap-and-trade system (like Ontario's and Quebec's).
For more information about the Federal Government's proposed approach to carbon pricing, see this news release from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Eastern Regional Service Board Receives Award for Waste Management Innovation | September 19, 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador's Eastern Regional Service Board (ERSB) recently received the Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Silver Excellence Award for innovative waste management practices. ERSB won this award for the Clarenville Transfer Station, which employs a "clean floor" concept that allows waste and recyclables to be efficiently loaded directly from collection vehicles onto an all-electric conveyor system. This innovative system helps save time and money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy equipment. The award was presented to members of the Board at SWANA's annual WASTECON conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 23, 2016.
The Clarenville Transfer Station, which opened in January 2016, allows municipal, commercial, and individual waste-haulers to safely drop off solid waste. It also expands recycling services in the Clarenville area by allowing paper and container recyclables to be stored for transport and processing at recycling facilities in Robin Hood Bay in St. John's.
Recycling is an important part of tackling climate change because it takes less energy and raw materials to make recycled products than it does to make brand new ones. That means less fossil fuels need to be burnt and fewer natural resources need to be extracted - both of which help avoid greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
To find out more about how the Clarenville Transfer Station is improving access to modern waste management in the Eastern Region, check out their award-winning entry.
And to learn about how you can take action to cut back on waste, check out our page on how the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or the Multi-Material Stewardship Board's (MMSB) helpful website for managing waste in Newfoundland and Labrador at RethinkWasteNL.ca.
Minister Trimper Attends Climate Change Summit of the Americas and Signs Jalisco Declaration | September 12, 2016
The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, joined other Canadian and international colleagues earlier this month in Mexico for the Climate Change Summit of the Americas to discuss common climate change issues and experiences. The Summit brought together representatives from subnational governments across North and South America, and also included various non-governmental organizations and business leaders. There were representatives from Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta, as well as the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru.
Building on the momentum of last year's Summit in Toronto, and the Paris Agreement established in December 2015, participants shared information on their approach to tackling climate change, and discussed how to advance their individual and shared commitments. Minister Trimper took part in two panel discussions at the Summit, highlighting the actions that smaller jurisdictions can take on climate change, as well as the unique challenges and opportunities it presents for Newfoundland and Labrador. The Minister also signed the Jalisco Climate Change Declaration on behalf of the province.
The Jalisco Declaration, which was signed by 19 subnational government organizations, provides guiding actions for jurisdictions on how to combat climate change. It contains six commitments including:
- An aim for governments to procure up to 100 per cent renewable power for their operations by 2050;
- The principle of developing legislation to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and
- A commitment to publicly report on progress in addressing climate change.
By signing the declaration, each jurisdiction pledges to take action related to one or more of these commitments, as appropriate to its circumstances.
By signing the Jalisco Declaration, the Province builds on its commitment at the 2015 Climate Change Summit of the Americas to join the Compact of States and Regions - an international platform for states, provinces and regions to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information:
New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Meet to Discuss Climate Change, Energy and the Economy | September 12, 2016
From August 28-29, 2016, Premier Dwight Ball attended the annual conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP) in Boston, Massachusetts. This year's conference focused on exploring ways that innovations in technologies, investments, and effective processes can help drive economic growth in the region. Energy, climate change, and the economy were among the key issues discussed.
Last year, the NEG-ECP established a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the region as a whole by 35-45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. This new medium-term regional target bridged the gap between existing shorter and longer term regional targets of cutting emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 75-85 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.
This year's conference focused on the region's progress towards these targets to date, as well as opportunities for developing and transmitting clean, renewable energy, such as wind and hydro power. A regional climate change plan aimed at achieving these greenhouse gas reduction targets will be considered at the NEG-ECP's next annual meeting in 2017.
The NEG-ECP was established in 1973 to recognize the special bond that exists between the six New England states, and the five Eastern Canadian provinces. The meetings are held alternately in New England and Eastern Canada. The last meeting was held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2015, and next year's meeting will be held in Prince Edward Island.
To read more about the NEG-ECP, and documents from this year's conference, check out: http://www.cap-cpma.ca/about/new-england-governors-and-eastern-canadian-premiers-annual-conference-negecp/
St. John's Farmers' Market Reduces Carbon Footprint | August 23, 2016
The St. John's Farmers' Market is doing its part to be more sustainable and cut back on waste. In response to popular demand from vendors and consumers, the Farmersâ€™ Market introduced the following waste reduction measures this year:
- switching from styrofoam to paper food containers;
- introducing waste diversion stations for recyclables, organic waste, and garbage; and
- contracting Island Compost to collect organic waste every Saturday.
To measure progress on these efforts, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) conducted a waste audit of the Farmersâ€™ Market activities in June. The audit found that while the Farmersâ€™ Market generates about 4000 lbs of waste per season, over half of this (54%) is now being diverted through recycling and composting. As a result of these findings, the Farmersâ€™ Market is now targeting a waste diversion rate of 70% and stepping up education and awareness efforts, to reach this goal. For example, patrons are encouraged to bring their own cutlery and coffee cups (for a discount on coffee).
Waste is responsible for about 8% of Newfoundland and Labradorâ€™s greenhouse gas emissions, so taking action to reduce waste at home and at work is an important part of tackling climate in this province.
To learn more about the Farmersâ€™ Market waste reduction initiatives, visit: http://stjohnsfarmersmarket.org/2016/08/09/waste-reduction-at-the-sjfm/
HotShots Receives 2016 Pinnacle Award | August 15, 2016
Government's HotShots initiative has been honoured with a Pinnacle Award of Merit from the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, in the category of Government Communication Program. Pinnacle Awards showcase excellence in business communication.
HotShots was designed to educate and engage students on the importance of energy efficiency and the ways they can take action to conserve energy.
The initiative was led by the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, with funding and expertise from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Additionally, as described below, two of the four project components were completed in partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power, as these companies jointly administer the takeCHARGE program, which has existing initiatives for schools relating to energy efficiency and conservation.
The four components of the HotShots initiative were:
- Disseminating resource packs to all 263 schools in the province, including French packs for immersion teachers and schools within the Conseil Scolaire Francophone;
- Delivering presentations on energy efficiency in over 50 schools in the province; these were in addition to presentations delivered in at least 50 schools by the utilities through the takeCHARGE program;
- Developing a contest for grades 7-12 to complement the existing takeCHARGE contest for grades K-6, while opening both contests to entries in French for the first time; and
- Launching a web interface for teachers with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Curriculum ConnectionsÃ¢â‚¬Â component that links online resources about energy efficiency and conservation to curriculum outcomes for particular courses.
To access the resource packs and Curriculum Connections, please visit: http://www.turnbackthetide.ca/taking-action/schools.shtml
Canada's Federal and Atlantic Environment Ministers Meet to Discuss Clean Growth and Climate Change | August 9, 2016
On August 9, 2016, Perry Trimper, Newfoundland and Labrador's Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, met with his Atlantic provincial counterparts and federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to discuss how they can work together to tackle climate change and grow the economy.
Building on work to date on the Atlantic Energy Gateway and the Clean Growth and Climate Change pillar of the recently-announced Atlantic Growth Strategy, the Ministers agreed to work together with their energy counterparts to accelerate the transition to a clean electricity future in Atlantic Canada. The Ministers also identified opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across key sectors, such as transportation, the built environment, and industry, as well as spur growth in clean technology. Enhancing the region's capacity to plan for and manage the risks posed by a changing climate was another key focus of discussion.
The Ministers recognized the diversity of the Atlantic Provinces' economies, and the importance of providing flexibility to design policies that are tailored to their unique needs and circumstances, and supported by federal investments in infrastructure, emission reduction opportunities and clean technologies.
This meeting also provided a further opportunity for Atlantic Canada to contribute its perspectives to the development of a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which was outlined by First Ministers in the Vancouver Declaration in March 2016 and set to be finalized by First Ministers this fall.
Canadian Companies Join Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition | August 1, 2016
On Friday, July 15, nearly twenty Canadian companies signaled their support for carbon pricing by signing on to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), including: Air Canada, Canadian Tire, Suncor Energy and The Toronto Dominion Bank Group. This announcement marked the largest number of organizations joining the initiative at one time since its creation. Further to this, the companies, together with the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, issued a joint statement on carbon pricing. Minister McKenna had previously announced CanadaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s participation in the CPLC at the international climate change negotiations in Paris last December.
What is the CPLC?
Originally launched by the World Bank at the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City, the CPLC is a voluntary initiative that brings together leaders from government, business, and non-governmental organizations to support the introduction and application of carbon pricing practices around the world. Signatories range from national and subnational governments to businesses in the oil and gas, aviation, and retail and financial sectors that see carbon pricing as a key tool in the fight against climate change.
Carbon Pricing in Canada
In March, 2016, the First Ministers of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada committed to develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and established a joint Federal, Provincial and Territorial Working Group to report on options on the role of carbon pricing mechanisms in meeting Canada's emissions reduction targets, taking into consideration existing and planned provincial and territorial systems such as those in place or planned in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario. This would also include new legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador approved in June 2016 that will establish a carbon price for the large onshore industrial sector. The Working Group is considering various elements of carbon pricing policy, including coverage, comparability and stringency of different carbon pricing approaches in different provinces, as well as the effectiveness of a carbon pricing in reducing GHG emissions, competitiveness considerations, and challenges facing northern and remote communities.
If you are interested in learning more about the CPLC initiative, visit: http://www.carbonpricingleadership.org/
A copy of the Joint Statement on the CPLC can be found at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1099259
New Guide for Energy Efficient Large Buildings | July 20, 2016
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recently released a new guide to help the construction industry incorporate energy efficiency into the design and construction of large buildings.
The guide is focused on buildings over 600 m2 that are mainly institutional, commercial or industrial in use. It provides an overview of standards, codes and best practices, as well as helpful resources for designers and contractors. The guide is divided in three sections:
- Section 1 provides an overview of what the building envelope is and how the design and construction industry is moving towards higher performing building envelopes.
- Section 2 outlines some best practices for high performance building envelopes, such as designing for higher effective assembly insulation values, minimizing thermal bridging, and optimizing glazing.
- Section 3 provides additional information on each of these best practices, as well as some resources that will help designers and contractors implement them.
This new resource complements in-person and online training that was recently delivered to more than 65 stakeholders, including engineers, architects, contractors and building product suppliers.
A copy of the Guide to Better Building Envelopes for Large Buildings – 2016 is available online. For more other useful information on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, including a companion guide for Homes and Small Buildings, visit the Tools & Resources section of turnbackthetide.ca
Electric Vehicles Driving News in Newfoundland and Labrador | July 18, 2016
The First Electric Vehicle in Labrador
It's no secret that electric vehicles (EVs) - cars that are powered by electricity and high voltage batteries - have grown significantly in popularity internationally, within Canada, and in Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years. While most EVs in Newfoundland and Labrador are located on the Avalon Peninsula, a resident of Happy Valley-Goose Bay recently became the very first owner of an EV in Labrador. The new owner expects to save money, reduce his carbon footprint, and demonstrate to other residents in Labrador that EVs can be used effectively for travelling short distances in a colder climate zone.
To learn more, visit: http://turnbackthetide.ca/tools-and-resources/whatsnew/2016/CBC_Lab_EV.pdf
Six EV Charging Stations to be Installed at the Janeway
The number of EV charging stations is continuing to grow in Newfoundland and Labrador. Eastern Health has recently pledged to join the Central and Labrador-Grenfell health authorities in the installation of EV charging stations at some of their facilities. By August 2016, six new EV charging stations will be operational at the Janeway Hospital in St. John's, bringing the total number of charging stations in the province to over 50.
After Muskrat Falls comes in-service, starting in 2019, 98 per cent of electricity consumed in the province will be from renewable sources such as wind and hydro. Over time, as more residents of Newfoundland and Labrador make the switch from fossil fuel powered cars to electric powered ones, greenhouse gas emissions from on road transportation will be reduced, helping in the fight against climate change.
New Metrobus Route to the Town of Paradise Starts June 27 | June 23, 2016
The Town of Paradise and Metrobus have partnered to offer a new public transit pilot project to residents in the Northeast Avalon region. Starting June 27, 2016, a new route will run on weekdays during peak hours between the Paradise Double Ice Complex and the Avalon Mall - a stop that connects with many other Metrobus routes in St. John's. The new route will also run through several of Paradise's higher-density areas, including Elizabeth Park, Donovan Terrace, and Valley Ridge.
This pilot project is planned to run for one year, and will be based on user demand. If residents use the service and passenger volumes are high enough, the Town has committed to explore continued investment in the service.
Taking public transit is a great way to help tackle climate change. Leaving your car at home doesn't just help reduce the carbon footprint of your daily commute, it can also help reduce traffic congestion, which saves everyone time and money by burning less fuel while stuck in traffic.
Full details on the new Paradise route are available at www.metrobus.com/paradise, or by contacting the Metrobus Ride Guide at (709) 722-9400. And check out our Carbon Calculator to see how taking the bus could reduce your carbon footprint.
New Legislation to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Industry | June 17, 2016
New legislation to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large industrial facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador has received Royal Assent. The new Act delivers on a key directive from Premier Dwight Ball's mandate letter to the Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; namely, to "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."
The legislation was informed by consultations with stakeholders in industry, various technical studies, and engagement with the Federal Government, other provinces, and Aboriginal organizations.
You can learn more about the case for action and the provisions in the Act in the summary below.
Why take action on climate change?
- Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global authority on climate change science, has concluded that average global temperature could increase by up to 3.7°C to 4.8°C compared to pre-industrial levels, without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions,
- While impacts will vary across Canada, climate change is expected to bring weather that is warmer and stormier to Newfoundland and Labrador, with more intense periods of precipitation.
- The impacts are already being felt in our province. Communities are already experiencing more frequent and intense storms, flooding, coastal erosion, new pests and invasive species and damage to properties and infrastructure. Temperatures could increase by nearly 4 degrees Celsius in northern Labrador in winter, with serious implications for buildings built on permafrost and transportation due to reduced ice conditions.
- The IPCC has concluded that it is economically manageable to reduce GHGs and that the cost of inaction on climate change is higher than the cost of action.
- There are opportunities associated with proactive action to tackle climate change.
- Supporting the transition to a green, low-carbon economy presents a significant opportunity to generate job growth while reducing provincial GHG emissions.
- Spurred on by global, national, and local action to tackle climate change, there will be an increasing demand for innovative technologies and skills that provide low carbon and energy efficient solutions, creating new business opportunities locally and export opportunities.
How is the international community and Canada responding?
- In December 2015, over 190 countries adopted the Paris Agreement that committed to accelerate action to tackle climate change and keep increases in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (compared to pre-industrial levels).
- As part the Paris Agreement, Canada committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Canada's First Ministers met in March 2016 and adopted the Vancouver Declaration in which they undertook to develop a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change in 2016, for implementation in 2017.
- In Canada, seven provinces are already pursuing regulatory actions to reduce GHG emissions from their large industrial and/or electricity generation sectors.
Why introduce GHG legislation for large industry in Newfoundland and Labrador?
- The Provincial Government has targets to reduce GHG emissions by 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050.
- Large industry is a major source of GHG emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador - the sector accounts for 35 percent of total provincial emissions. This includes onshore large industry (19 percent) and offshore petroleum (16 percent).
- Although much progress has been made, the province is currently not on track to meet its 2020 target. Government is committed to action to help close the gap.
- All sectors will need to play a part, including large industry. The Act establishes an approach to reducing GHGs in onshore large industry facilities that effectively balances environmental and economic considerations and is tailored to the needs of our province.
What does the legislation do?
- Under the Act, industrial facilities that emit more than 15,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas will be required to report their emissions.
- Industrial facilities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes will be required to reduce their emissions. To help set targets by which these facilities must reduce emissions, at least two years reporting data will be required. When data is compiled, government will introduce regulations to set GHG targets.
- The two year lead time not only allows time for data reporting, but also allows appropriate lead time for industry to adjust to our province's new direction.
- This includes, for example, time for large industry to plan on investments that reduce their emissions, that make business sense and that will reduce their costs of compliance.
- As climate change is a global problem, it does not matter where GHG reductions are achieved from an environmental perspective as the environmental impact is the same. It therefore makes to reduce GHGs where the cost is lowest. Given this, the legislation provides for facilities to reduce their GHG emissions at their facility or use alternative compliance mechanisms to meet a meet a portion of their target.
- Companies can choose to reduce their on-site emissions, contribute to a government-managed fund that supports clean technology projects, and/or invest in carbon offsets to achieve GHG reductions elsewhere in the economy, such as forestry and agriculture.
Who does the proposed legislation apply to?
- The legislation applies to industrial facilities that emit more than 15,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per year, including the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), North Atlantic Refining, Vale and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper.
When will the Act take effect?
- The requirement to report on GHG emissions is intended to take effect in 2016, meaning that large industrial emitters will disclose their first annual GHG emissions data in 2017.
- At least two years of reporting data will be required before targets and timeframes for GHG reductions can be established in future regulation.
A copy of the legislation can be found at http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/bills/bill1634.htm.
Provincial Government Launches Public Consultations on Climate Change | June 16, 2016
On June 16, 2016, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched public consultations to engage residents and stakeholders in the development of a new provincial climate change strategy.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet. Newfoundland and Labrador has a role to play in the fight against climate change, both to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt so that our communities and economy are prepared for the impacts. The province is expected to become warmer and stormier, with increased periods of intense precipitation. This will increase the potential for damage to infrastructure and property, changes to ecosystems, and risks to public health and safety. However, climate change and the global demand for low-carbon solutions will present new opportunities for growth and development in the green economy. A strategy is necessary to ensure that the province is well positioned to manage these risks and harness these opportunities.
To respond to this complex issue, all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are being asked to take part in a province-wide conversation about how to help tackle climate change and harness opportunities in the green economy. From individuals and small businesses to local governments and industry, we all have a role to play.
To learn more about how you can participate, visit www.gov.nl.ca/TalkClimateChange.
Climate Change and Canada's Coasts | June 8, 2016
A new report by the Government of Canada looks at how Canada's marine coasts are being affected by climate change.
The report makes three key points specific to the east coast:
Climate change is already impacting the east coast
Air and sea temperatures are increasing and sea-levels are rising faster than global averages. Since 1960, sea levels have increased by approximately 2mm per year around St. John's, compared to a global average of 1.7 mm per year between 1900 and 2009.
Extreme weather will pose risks and challenges
The northwest Atlantic, along with the Labrador Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, are some of the stormiest areas in North America, and looking forward, extreme weather events will result in flooding, wind damage and coastal erosion, which impact coastal communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.
Planning and adapting to the impacts of climate change can turn risks into opportunities
Climate change impacts can present both risks and opportunities in areas such as fisheries, tourism, infrastructure, transportation and energy, but effective climate change planning and adaptation are required to turn risks into opportunities. Climate change opportunities in these areas can include:
- Changes in species that may be available to fish and the timing of fishing seasons in some areas
- warmer weather may bring longer seasons for tourist visits and summer recreational activities, and
- reduced sea ice may present opportunities for marine shipping.
Updates to Turn Back the Tide Website | June 1, 2016
The Turn Back the Tide website offers a wealth of information, resources and tips for individuals, businesses, schools and municipalities on how to take action on climate change and energy efficiency. To make the website more user-friendly and accessible, it has recently been improved and updated, including:
- Shortening the text and making it easier to read;
- Optimizing the site across a wider variety of browsing devices and screen sizes;
- Adding new sections designed to help schools and municipalities; and
- Creating a new interactive tool on how the province is being impacted by climate change.
You can explore the updated site and all of its improved features by using the navigation menu at the top or the slideout menu in the upper left portion of the page.
IEA finds that Global Economy is Growing While Greenhouse Gas Emissions Stabilize | May 27, 2016
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organization that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries (which include Canada) and beyond. It recently released preliminary data which suggests that global economic growth may be "decoupling" from the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are causing climate change.
Historically, a growing economy has meant using more energy for electricity, transportation, and industrial development, which, until fairly recently, has generally come from burning fossil fuels. However, as the world transitions towards renewable energy sources and becomes more energy efficient, economic growth not only requires less energy, but this energy is increasingly coming from cleaner sources.
According to the IEA, in 2015, global gross domestic product (GDP), a common measure of economic growth, grew by 3.4 percent, while global GHG emissions grew by just 0.03 percent. This makes 2015 the second year in a row that GHG emissions have been kept relatively flat while GDP has grown by over 3 percentage points.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, GHG emissions over the 2006 to 2014 period have averaged 3.3 percent lower than they did between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, the province's real GDP was 43 percent higher in 2014 than it was in 2000.
To learn more about the IEA's findings, visit https://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/pressreleases/2016/march/decoupling-of-global-emissions-and-economic-growth-confirmed.html
Federal Government Launches Interactive Portal on Climate Action | May 9, 2016
As part of its Earth Day 2016 activities, the Federal Government recently launched a new online engagement portal for Canadians to share their ideas and solutions to promote clean growth and help tackle climate change. Engaging the public is an essential part of ongoing efforts across all levels of government to develop a pan-Canadian framework on these issues, and builds on the Vancouver Declaration adopted by Canada's First Ministers on March 3, 2016.
The portal allows Canadians across the country to engage in a national conversation on climate change, share ideas, and see what others are saying. It is an opportunity to collaborate and explore how individuals, families, organizations, communities, businesses and governments can all help tackle climate change.
The Federal Government is encouraging all Canadians to submit their ideas online by June 1, 2016, so that they can be reviewed by working groups established to help develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. However, ideas will continue to be accepted after this date.
To join the conversation, visit www.canada.ca/climateaction or use the hashtag #CANClimateAction on social media.
Earth Day 2016 and Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony | April 19, 2016
Earth Day is an annual event to promote global environmental awareness and action that began in 1970. Over 1 billion people participate each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This year's Earth Day will be a historic one for global action on climate change.
On April 22, 2016, world leaders from over 130 countries are expected to gather in New York to sign the international Paris Agreement on climate change, which was adopted in December 2015. United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have already jointly announced that they will sign the agreement, and so has Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with leaders from other major emitters including India, Japan, and Australia.
The Paris Agreement is the foundation for international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. By signing this document, countries around the world will demonstrate their commitment to continue the fight against climate change. The agreement will be open for signing for a year and will take effect when it is formally adopted by at least 55 countries that represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
To mark this special signing ceremony, Earth Day Network has launched a campaign called "Trees for the Earth" which aims to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020, one for every person on the planet. To take part, simply plant, hug, or sketch or take a photo of a tree, and then share it via social media using the hashtags #ParisAgreement, #Trees4Earth and #EarthDay2016.
To learn more about the connections between the Paris Agreement, Earth Day, and the Trees for the Earth campaign, read this Press Release from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Latest Data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canada | April 15, 2016
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 2014, which is the latest year for which data is available, was submitted on April 14, 2016.
Key Findings: Canada
Canada has committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. This target equates to reducing GHG emissions to 620 million tonnes (MT). The report showed that national GHG emissions for 2014 were 732 MT. This estimate was stable with GHG emissions in 2013 but 18 per cent above the 2020 target.
A breakdown of Canada's emissions by economic sector shows the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be attributed to seven key areas of the economy: oil and gas (26.2 per cent); transportation (23.4 per cent); buildings (11.9 per cent); electricity (10.7 per cent); emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries (10.4 per cent); agriculture (10 per cent); and waste (7.4 per cent).
Recognizing that more needs to be done to meet Canada's greenhouse gas targets for 2020 and 2030, the Prime Minister and Premiers agreed to develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in 2016, for implementation in 2017.
Key Findings: Newfoundland and Labrador
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a target of reducing the province's GHG emissions by 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. This equates to a GHG reduction target of 8.6 MT by 2020. Newfoundland and Labrador's GHG emissions for 2014 were 10.6 MT. This is a 10 percent increase from 2013, as well as a 10 percent increase from 1990. GHG emissions for 2014 were about 23 percent above the 2020 target.
The reported increase in 2014 is largely due to increased GHG emissions from the offshore petroleum sector following extended shutdown periods at Terra Nova and White Rose in 2012 and 2013; increased electricity generation at the Holyrood Generating Station resulting from an unusually cold winter in 2014 and the ramping up of the Long Harbour Processing Plant; and an increase in off-road diesel transportation GHG emissions in 2014 resulting from increased activity at major construction sites such as Muskrat Falls.
While the development of Muskrat Falls will reduce provincial GHG emissions when Holyrood is retired, this is expected to be offset by industrial growth in other sectors, including the start of production Hebron. Without additional policies and measures to reduce GHG emissions, current provincial projections suggest that GHG emissions in 2020 will be on par with 1990 levels. Government is committed to taking further action to tackle climate change, including developing greenhouse gas targets for large industry and developing a new climate change strategy for the province.
2016 Federal Budget Outlines Investment in Clean Growth and Climate Change | April 4, 2016
On March 22, 2016, the federal Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, tabled the Federal Government's 2016 budget in the House of Commons. This was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first budget, and includes a number of investments to address and respond to climate change, as well as help Canada become a low-carbon economy.
Climate Change Investments
- $2.9 billion over five years to address climate change and air pollution, including $2 billion to create a a Low Carbon Economy Fund, to help provinces and territories reduce emissions through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
- $130 million over five years to implement climate change adaptation programming.
- $109 million over five years for science, data reporting, and policy and regulations.
Energy Efficiency Investments
- $129 million over five years to deliver energy efficiency programs and policies, including energy efficiency standards and codes for buildings, products, industry, and vehicles.
- $2.5 million over two years to identify the most promising regional electricity infrastructure projects with the potential to achieve significant emission reductions.
- $11 million over two years for renewable energy projects for off-grid Indigenous and northern communities that rely on diesel or other fossil fuels for heat and power.
Clean Technology Investments
- $1 billion over four years, to be announced though a new federal Innovation Agenda.
- $3.4 billion to support public transit, with the Federal Government funding up to 50 percent of such projects. Funding will be allocated to municipalities based on ridership.
- $62.5 million over two years, beginning in 2016-17, to support infrastructure for alternative energy fuels, including charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
- $57 million over two years to develop regulations and standards for clean transportation technology.
- Up to $2.1 billion for repairs and retrofits to properties and buildings, and help green government operations by reducing its carbon footprint and energy consumption.
Funding for Municipalities
- $75 million to support emission reduction initiatives by local governments, assess local climate risks, and integrate assessments into asset management plans.
- $125 million over the next two years to enhance the Green Municipal Fund and $50 million to support integration of asset management best practices.
To read more about the 2016 Federal Budget's investments in clean growth and climate change visit: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/bb/brief-bref-en.html#section02
President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau Agree to Action on Climate Change | March 22, 2016
On March 10, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama met in Washington, DC to discuss a range of climate change and clean energy matters. Climate change played a prominent role in this meeting, given that the US is the world's second largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting country (China is the largest emitter) and Canada is the ninth largest emitter. The two leaders agreed to a joint statement that set out a series of actions to combat climate change by reducing GHG emissions significantly by mid-century. Among other items, they agreed to:
- Sign the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change. This agreement was reached by over 190 countries in December 2015. It contains commitments and pledges by all countries to reduce GHG emissions. Canada agreed to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and the US committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025;
- Accelerate development of clean electricity sources. For Canada, this presents an opportunity to develop new hydroelectricity sources;
- Reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector. This will include emissions from upstream (extraction) activity and pipelines. In Newfoundland and Labrador, GHG emissions on offshore petroleum platforms will be included;
- Improve passenger and heavy duty vehicle standards to reduce GHG emissions. Joint Canadian-US regulations have been agreed to in recent years for passenger vehicles for model years 2011 to 2026, and for heavy duty vehicle for model years 2014 to 2018. New regulations are planned for heavy duty vehicles for model years 2021 forward, and for passenger vehicles for model years after 2026; and
- Accelerate planning to improve resilience to the impacts of climate change. This may include new information products, such as flood risk mapping, and new capital investments, such as coastal and marine infrastructure.
A copy of the statement can be found at http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/03/10/us-canada-joint-statement-climate-energy-and-arctic-leadership
Earth Hour 2016 | March 17, 2016
When: Saturday March 19, 2016 (8:30-9:30, local time)
Earth Hour is an annual global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It encourages people all over the world to turn off their lights for one hour to help raise awareness and drive action on climate change. Millions of people are expected to switch off their lights and show their support in 2016. But Earth Hour is about more than simply turning off our lights. It's an opportunity to come together and celebrate the global movement to reduce the impact we're having on the planet.
Last year, more than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses from over 150 countries and territories worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2015. Newfoundland and Labrador played its part too - according to the Globe and Mail, this province saw a 33-megawatt reduction during Earth Hour 2015. That adds up to shutting off 825,000 laptop computers or 73,326 clothes washers, or taking 4,700 electrically-heated homes off the grid!
2016 marks the tenth time the world has turned the lights out for climate change. And this year, WWF is encouraging participants to switch on their social power to shine a light on climate action by volunteering their Facebook posts, customizing their profile pictures, and tagging any Earth Hour social media posts with #ChangeClimateChange.
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour 2016 this Saturday by turning off all non-essential lighting between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, local time. For more information about Earth Hour, visit: https://www.earthhour.org/
Upcoming Event: Home Show 2016 | March 16, 2016
Want to learn about how to make your home more energy efficient? The 33rd annual Home Show will be held at Mile One Centre in St. John's on March 19 and 20, 2016.
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 industry experts.
The 2016 Home Show will feature the popular Energy Efficiency Pavilion, which includes a four-part home energy efficiency video series, as well as "Ask the Expert" presentations on energy efficiency. This year, CHBA-NL is also partnering with Kent and Habitat for Humanity NL to build Newfoundland and Labrador's first tiny home. Visitors will be able to take a tour, and enter for a chance to win their very own new tiny home.
Date & Time:
Saturday, March 19, 2016 (10:00am - 8:00pm)
Sunday, March 20, 2016 (10:00am - 4:00pm)
$8 - General Admission
$7 - Seniors
Free - Children under 12 accompanied by an adult
($1 off admission available at http://chbanl.ca/event/33rd-annual-chba-nl-home-show/
To learn more about the Home Show, including the list of exhibitors who will be attending this year, check out CHBA-NL's website.
New Federal Investments Announced for Climate Resilience | March 8, 2016
On March 2, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced two new federal funding initiatives to help communities across Canada move towards a low-carbon future and adapt to a changing climate. The Prime Minister made this announcement during his opening address to the GLOBE 2016 sustainable business leadership conference, one day before meeting with Canada's Premiers to discuss clean growth and climate change.
While the details have yet to be released, here is a high-level description of the two new funding initiatives:
- $75 million in new funding to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to help cities and towns reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resiliency at the municipal-level; and
- $50 million to improve climate resilience in building and infrastructures codes across Canada.
FCM is a national association of over 2,000 municipalities that has advocated on behalf of municipal governments in Canada since 1901. In more recent years, FCM has also delivered several sustainability and climate change-focused programs, such as its Green Municipal Fund and Partners for Climate Protection.
Canada's First Ministers Issue Joint Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change | March 4, 2016
On March 3, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's provincial and territorial Premiers met in Vancouver to discuss how they could work together to address climate change and promote clean growth. Indigenous leaders also shared their views on climate change with First Ministers at a meeting on March 2, recognizing the unique realities that they face, and respecting the importance of traditional ecological knowledge. Premier Dwight Ball played a prominent role in these meetings, representing both Newfoundland and Labrador and, in his capacity as Chair of the Council of Federation, his provincial and territorial counterparts.
At the end of their meetings, Canada's First Ministers released a joint declaration in which they all agreed to continue working towards a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. The Vancouver Declaration also outlined a number of key commitments and actions that will help drive progress on these important issues. Central to this was a commitment to implement greenhouse gas reduction policies to help meet or exceed Canada's 2030 target to reduce emissions by 30% below 2005 levels.
To achieve these goals, the First Ministers agreed to establish federal-provincial-territorial working groups across ministries of the environment, economy and finance to identify options in four priority areas:
- Clean Technology, Innovation, and Jobs - to explore options on how to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and drive innovation across all sectors to transition to a low-carbon economy, leveraging regional strengths.
- Carbon Pricing Mechanisms - to explore what role carbon pricing mechanisms can play in meeting Canada's emissions reduction targets, including different design options that consider existing and planned provincial and territorial systems.
- Specific Mitigation Opportunities - to explore options on how to promote clean growth and achieve a range of ambitious reductions in key sectors, including large industry, transportation, electricity, buildings, agriculture and forestry, and government operations as well as individual energy conservation actions.
- Adaptation and Climate Resilience - to explore options on a comprehensive approach to adapt to the impacts of climate change, support affected communities, and build greater climate resilience.
These meetings mark significant progress in Canada's efforts to fight climate change and build a greener economy. A pan-Canadian framework will support action to achieve Canada's national greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030, which was part of the international climate change agreement reached in Paris last year. First Ministers will meet again in fall 2016 to finalize the framework and make the working group reports public.
To find out more, read the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and the communiqué issued by Canada's First Ministers.
Minister Trimper's Electrifying New Ride | February 18, 2016
Guess who just became one of Newfoundland and Labrador's newest electric vehicle (EV) owners? The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, recently shifted his own efforts to fight climate change into high gear by buying his first-ever EV.
Just What are EVs, Anyway?
Simply put, an "EV" is any vehicle that eases up on the gas in favour of high-powered batteries and electric motors. For a long time, hybrid electric vehicles, which use batteries to supplement their primary gas-powered engines, were the gold standard in green vehicles. But with today's technology, consumers can also choose from vehicles that plug into the electricity grid for an even greener ride. The latest plug-in hybrids use significantly less gas than their plugless counterparts, while motorists like Minister Trimper have ditched the gas-powered engine altogether for an EV that can run solely on electricity.
Green Energy Hits the Road
When powered by renewable green energy like hydro and wind power, EVs can play a big part in reducing our carbon footprint. That's because they don't burn fossil fuels like gas, diesel or coal in their fuel tanks or in our electricity-generating power plants, all of which emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Currently, over 30% of provincial emissions come from transportation. And with 98% of our province's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2018, EVs present a real opportunity to help fight climate change.
Upon picking up his keys, Minister Trimper joined a growing number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are leading the way to a greener future - there are now over 30 all-electric vehicles in the province!
To learn more about the state of EVs in Newfoundland and Labrador, check out this Provincial Government report on the technology, infrastructure and market developments.
To hear more about Minister Trimper's emission-free experience, read his interview with CBC's Peter Cowan, visit http://turnbackthetide.ca/whatsnew/2016/cbc_inv_min_ev.pdf
And if all of this EV talk has sparked your interest in driving electric, visit Green Rock Electric Vehicle Solutions (E.V.S.), Newfoundland and Labrador's first 100% electric vehicle dealer and service center.
New Guide for Building Energy Efficient Homes and Small Buildings | February 10, 2016
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has developed a new guide to help builders, municipalities and individuals better understand the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Code that apply to homes and small buildings.
The new 2016 Guide builds on a guide developed in 2013 focused on energy efficiency in homes, and includes exciting new features to further assist building designers, contractors and inspectors in ensuring that homes and small buildings meet the energy efficiency requirements on the National Building Code, such as.
- New information on the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Code for small buildings
- New tips, local case studies and examples of best practices in building to the Code's energy efficiency requirements for both homes and small buildings
- New checklists that contractors and municipal officials can use to ensure that construction and renovation projects comply with the energy efficiency requirements of the Code.
The 2016 Guide to Building Energy Efficient Homes and Small Buildings has three sections:
- Section 1 provides an overview of the Code's requirements and is designed for members of the public or those without technical knowledge who want to learn more about the benefits of energy efficient homes and small buildings and the potential savings that energy efficiency can provide;
- Section 2 is for technical users and includes more detail on various building assemblies and systems. It includes information on construction methods, techniques and materials and how they relate to Code energy efficiency requirements, as well as new examples of local case studies and best practices in energy efficiency for homes and small buildings; and
- Section 3 contains checklists that building designers, contractors and inspectors can use to determine whether various building assemblies meet Code requirements in each of the province's four climate zones under the Code.
The guide was launched on February 10, 2016 at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Homebuilders Association Newfoundland and Labrador.
Download a copy of the Guide to Building Energy Efficient Homes and Small Buildings at: www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/efficient_home_building_guide.pdf
Ministers Start Work on a Pan-Canadian Framework to Address Climate Change | February 1, 2016
On January 28 and 29, 2016, Canada's provincial, territorial, and federal Ministers of Environment and Climate Change met in Ottawa to begin work on a new national framework to address climate change. The Ministers' discussions were in preparation for a meeting between Canada's Prime Minister and Premiers on March 3, 2016 in Vancouver at which climate change will be a significant agenda item.
March 1 is the deadline to apply for capital projects under FCM's Green Municipal Fund | January 23, 2016
The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) is a unique program offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) that provides funding and knowledge services to support sustainable community development. GMF-supported initiatives aim to improve air, water, and soil, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Three types of municipal environmental initiatives are funded through the GMF by FCM:
- Plans - Grants to develop plans (e.g. municipal plans, sustainable neighbourhood action plans, greenhouse gas reduction plans)
- Studies - Grants to conduct feasibility studies and pilot projects
- Projects - Low-interest loans, usually in combination with grants, to implement capital projects
March 1, 2016 is the deadline to submit an Initial Review Form for capital projects under the Spring 2016 program.
Funding is allocated in five sectors of municipal activity: brownfields, energy, transportation, waste and water. Some examples of previously funded capital projects that have addressed climate change and energy efficiency across Canada include:
- Installing water meters and rehabilitating water mains in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Installing a geothermal heating system in the Community Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia that utilizes energy from mineshafts beneath the Town.
- Acquiring hybrid electric vehicles for transit services in the City of Windsor, Ontario.
- Implementing a landfill gas management system to assist with the progressive closure of a landfill site in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, British Columbia.
For more information, or to apply for funding visit:http://www.fcm.ca/home/programs/green-municipal-fund.htm
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.