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Climate change and energy efficiency are important issues for Newfoundland and Labrador. In this section you'll find information to help you better understand these issues and the challenges and opportunities they present.

There are a wide variety of ways you can take action at home to save energy, cut waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these actions will also save you money. Both inside and around your home, solutions are possible.

Taking action in your business can help tackle climate change, save energy and improve your competitiveness. Going green is more than a trend. Customers, suppliers and potential new employees are looking at how companies are performing on things like climate change. It pays to take action.

Our communities are the foundation for action on climate change and energy efficiency. They will experience the impacts of climate change, but can also drive solutions. Local governments and schools, in particular, can show leadership and help motivate action to tackle these challenges.

Local Governments

Schools

In Newfoundland and Labrador, transportation is responsible for over one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Moing people moving goods - it all uses energy. This section will help you understand how you can make a difference

Government recognizes that it has a unique role to play in tackling climate change and promoting energy efficiency. Its operations are extensive, and this provides an opportunity to find innovative solutions to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We all have a role to play in tackling climate change and promoting energy efficiency and getting started is easier than you think. In this section we have created a one-stop-shop for the tools and resources to help you take action to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What's New?

Your source for new events and information on climate change and energy efficiency.

2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Contest Rewards HotShots at Energy Efficiency and Conservation June 29, 2015

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.

Thank you."

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 aburke@mmsb.nl.ca 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.

Instant Rebate Poster

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:
http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/exec/0326n05.aspx

Deadline Extended for the HotShots Contest for Grades 7-12 March 26, 2015

New Deadline for Entries: May 15, 2015

CONTEST DETAILS:
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!

ELIGIBILITY:

  • 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)

SUBMITTING ENTRIES:
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
climatechange@gov.nl.ca
709-729-1210

Upcoming Event: Home Show 2015 March 20, 2015

Image of Kid Zone logo

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)

Cost:
$8 - General Admission
$7 - Seniors
Free - Children under 12 accompanied by an adult

Contest Winners: Students Prove They're HotShots at Energy Conservation March 19, 2015

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 3, 2015

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). 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. PDF

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.

Thank You

Provincial Government Releases Greening Government Action Plan

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

Interactive House

Explore our Energy Efficient Interactive Home

Tour our Interactive House for tips on how you can save energy and reduce waste.
View the Interactive House

Carbon Calculators

Carbon Calculators

Calculate your carbon footprint to understand your greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them. Use the Carbon Calculators

What's New?

What's New

Contest Rewards HotShots at Energy Efficiency and Conservation. Learn More.