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.
Government of Canada Announces Winning Bid to Create New Independent Climate Institute | April 17, 2019
On April 9, 2019 Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the winning bid by the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration to create the new and independent Climate Institute. The Collaboration is a new group that represents more than 15 diverse and reputable organizations across Canada, which has expertise in clean growth and climate change.
The Collaboration will establish an institute to generate, communicate, and mobilize trusted information, policy advice, and best practices for Canadians, governments, and stakeholders. The Institute will be an independent, stand-alone organization; however, it will be supported by highly credible and inclusive research, analysis, and engagement with leaders, experts, and practitioners from across Canada.
Canada’s Changing Climate Report | April 17, 2019
On April 1, 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released a scientific report about how and why Canada’s climate has changed and what changes are projected for the future. It is the first report to be released as part of a current federal initiative entitled Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. The report was a collaborative effort with contributions from scientists with ECCC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources Canada, as well as university experts.
There are five key messages in the report:
- Canada’s climate has warmed and will warm further in the future. Both past and future warming in Canada is, on average, about double the average increase in global temperatures since the industrial revolution.
- The effects of widespread warming are evident and are projected to intensify in the future. In Canada, these effects include more extreme heat, less extreme cold, longer growing seasons, shorter snow and ice cover seasons, earlier spring peak streamflow, thinning glaciers, thawing permafrost, and rising sea level. Additionally, Canadian areas of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans have experienced longer and more widespread sea-ice-free conditions.
- Oceans surrounding Canada have warmed, become more acidic, and are less oxygenated, consistent with observed global ocean changes over the past century.
- Precipitation is projected to increase for most of Canada, however, the seasonal availability of freshwater is changing, with an increased risk of summer water supply shortages.
- A warmer climate will intensify some weather extremes in the future.
It is expected that additional reports will be released in the coming months as part of the Canada in a Changing Climate initiative. In particular, a future Regional Perspectives report will provide a picture of climate change impacts and adaptation by region, including for Atlantic Canada. The analysis is expected to include key challenges and vulnerabilities, opportunities to build resilience, infrastructure considerations, innovation and new adaptation practices, sustainability considerations and capacity to adapt.
To learn more and to read the full report, please visit: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/impacts-adaptation/21177.
Provincial Government Seeks Expressions of Interest for Renewable Energy Solutions in Isolated Diesel Communities | April 16, 2019
Currently, electricity generation represents 14 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, once the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project fully comes into service, 98 per cent of the electricity consumed in the province will be from renewable sources. The remaining 2 per cent of electricity consumed in the province will be generated from fossil fuels in isolated diesel communities.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro maintains 20 regulated isolated diesel-powered electricity systems in Newfoundland and Labrador, serving approximately 4,400 customers. These systems are located in communities in the province that are isolated from the primary electricity grids.
On April 16, 2019, the Provincial Government, in partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, announced that it is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for renewable energy solutions in 14 of the province’s regulated isolated diesel-powered electricity systems. This EOI aims to:
- Introduce sustainable, renewable energy solutions, which will reduce cost and GHG emissions;
- Support community and Indigenous participation in energy solutions; and
- Leverage federal funding available for reducing diesel energy in rural and remote communities.
A copy of the EOI can be found at:
You can also check out the Provincial Government’s news release at:
Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative (NTAI) Program | April 15, 2019
Many northern communities are feeling the pressures of climate change. For example, permafrost is thawing, making roads less reliable and more costly to build and maintain. Ice and water conditions are changing, causing risks to marine traffic.
The Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative (NTAI) Program provides funding to help address some of the impacts that climate change has on northern transportation systems in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and communities in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.
Transport Canada is currently inviting applications for the NTAI Program. The Program will provide financial assistance to Eligible Recipients in support of projects that advance one or more of the following objectives:
- increase awareness and understanding of climate risks and vulnerabilities to northern transportation assets;
- research, develop and test innovative technologies; and
- advance knowledge and support capacity-building.
For 2019-20 to 2020-21, a total of up to $340,000 in funding will be available towards grant funding for eligible activities. The maximum amount payable per project is $50,000. The deadline for submitting an application for projects is May 13, 2019.
For eligibility criteria and more information, please visit: http://www.tc.gc.ca/en/programs-policies/programs/northern-transportation-adaptation-initiative-program/apply-ntai-funding.html.
Adaptation Canada 2020 – Call for Abstracts | April 15, 2019
Canada is hosting a national conference on climate change adaptation called “Adaptation Canada 2020” in Vancouver from February 19-21 in 2020. The conference will bring together experts and leaders from diverse sectors, regions and jurisdictions to work on building climate change resilience in our communities, ecosystems and economy.
The program in 2020 will focus on innovations in resilience that have been developed over the past three years, since the 2016 Adaptation Canada Conference. The Program Committee is interested in innovations that have significantly raised the game on resilience, involved unprecedented collaboration, resulted in quantifiable action on the ground, and are beginning to attract the necessary capital to begin implementation. Themes for the 2020 Conference include financing resilience, professional practice and capacity building, showcasing solutions, raising awareness and broadening engagement, ecological resilience, and addressing climate change inequities.
The Call for Abstracts opened on March 19, 2019 and will close on May 21, 2019 at 5:00pm (PST). For more information, please visit: https://www.fraserbasin.bc.ca/AC2020_Call_for_Abstracts.html.
Electrifying News from Newfoundland Power | April 12, 2019
Newfoundland Power is plugging into the future and has purchased their first electric vehicle. Electric vehicles are becoming an important part of the future of the electricity industry, and Newfoundland Power is looking to better understand how this technology could potentially benefit their customers.
In order to learn and understand the experience of this new technology firsthand, Newfoundland Power has added a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt to their takeCHARGE fleet of vehicles. The Bolt has a daily driving range of over 300 kilometers, which costs about $7 in electricity to power. Given Newfoundlanders travel about 50 kilometers per day on average, it can easily accommodate a typical daily commute.
This vehicle takes about 8 hours to fully charge using a level 2 charger, which is the most common type used for home or workplace charging. Newfoundland Power has installed two level 2 chargers at their head office on Kenmount Road in St. John’s, which are available to the public.
Newfoundland Power plans to have their new electric vehicle at a number of its events in the coming months. If you see them at a tradeshow or just out and about, Newfoundland Power is encouraging people to pop by and find out more about their new vehicle.
Successful Conference on Incorporating Climate Change into Infrastructure | April 10, 2019
Over 85 people from across the province attended a Building Climate Resilience Conference on Incorporating Climate Change into Public Infrastructure Planning and Design on April 9, 2019 at the Capital Hotel in St. John’s. Participants came from a wide range of organizations, including municipal governments, the provincial government, private sector consulting firms, indigenous organizations and governments, Memorial University, and not-for-profit groups.
The Conference was part of a multi-year initiative, supported by the federal government, to improve the resilience of infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador to climate impacts. The initiative is being led by Memorial University’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and the Provincial Government’s Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, in partnership with Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL), Engineers Canada, and Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.
The event opened with a panel entitled “Real Issues, Challenges and Approaches to Integrating Climate Change into Infrastructure, moderated by Janet Bradshaw P.Eng. (Professional Standards Director, PEGNL). The panelists were Darren Charters P.Eng (Director of Community, Engineering, Planning and Development, City of Corner Brook), Neil Dawe (President, Tract Consulting), Jess Puddister (Municipal Climate Change Advisor, Conservation Corps of NL), and Dan Michielsen (Assistant Deputy Minister, Municipal Infrastructure and Support, Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment). Drawing on their experience and expertise, the panelists each gave introductory remarks and then responded to questions from the moderator and conference delegates.
There were two workshops, each lasting 2.5 hours, led by experts in their field. David Lapp FEC, P.Eng. IRP, Manager of Globalization and Sustainable Development for Engineers Canada led a workshop on integrating climate change risks into asset management planning. Laura Zizzo, JD (Legal), Founder and CEO, and Anton Tabuns, JD, MES, from Mantle 314 led a workshop on climate law that covered a range of legal issues, including professional duties related to climate change and securities disclosure of climate change risks.
Climate Change and Heritage Places | April 5, 2019
In collaboration with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Parks Canada is holding a climate change information Forum and Adaptation Workshop April 9-11, 2019. April 9th will be a climate change information forum where stakeholders and partners can share information on the regional climate change trends and their work to adapt to climate change. April 10th and 11th will be a formal adaptation workshop.
The purpose of these sessions is to investigate how climate change is affecting our heritage places, such as Cape Spear, Signal Hill, Cape Bonavista and the colony of Avalon, and what can and should be done about it. A report on the workshop will be developed with support from the Federal, Provincial, Territorial Table on Culture and Heritage. Though the workshops are first and foremost meant to be useful to site managers and operations/maintenance personnel, they are also structured to collect broader climate change information and ideas that can be applied to larger strategic plans used to adjust to an evolving climate.
Earth Hour 2019 | March 27, 2019
On Saturday, March 30th, at 8:30pm local time, individuals and organizations across the country are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour by turning off their lights for one hour to draw attention to wildlife loss in Canada and around the world. Wildlife loss is in part linked to the impacts of climate change.
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), formerly named World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. Earth Hour is an annual event that encourages the turning off of non-essential lights as a symbol of commitment to the planet. Since its inception in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots environmental movement; inspiring millions of people from all over the world to show how much they care about our environment. The focus for this year’s Earth Hour is the urgent need to reverse the loss of nature and to encourage people to play their part in protecting the environment around them.
In Canada, populations of more than one-half of monitored species have already declined by 83 per cent on average since 1970. Globally, the country is on track to lose 67 per cent of wildlife populations by 2020. These losses are due to pollution, unsustainable harvesting, habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Earth Hour has achieved massive environmental impact from changing individual behaviors and legislation. However, as climate change accelerates and biodiversity loss reaches unwelcomed rates, Earth Hour seeks to prompt new conversations on the loss of nature and the urgent need to protect it.
There are many ways to participate. While Earth Hour traditionally involves turning off your lights as a symbolic gesture, for an hour starting at 8:30pm (in your local time zone), the movement encourages people to be creative and draw attention to this issue in other ways too. This may include having a candle-lit dinner, hosting an Earth Hour get-together with friends, writing to elected representatives to share your concerns, or starting a conversation about the issues with colleagues and friends. In addition to turning out the lights this year, you can also visit Connect2Earth and share what wildlife and nature mean to you.
For more information on how to get involved and for resources to help create your own Earth Hour campaign including logos, posters and banners, please visit www.earthhour.org.
2019 Federal Budget Provides Funding for Climate Change and Clean Growth | March 20, 2019
On March 19, 2019, the Federal Government’s 2019 budget was tabled in the House of Commons in Ottawa. The Budget reaffirms federal commitments to transition to a low-carbon economy, and includes a number of investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur clean technology growth.
Federal Budget 2019 proposes investments that will make it easier and more affordable for Canadians to choose zero-emission vehicles. This includes:
- $130 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to deploy new recharging and refuelling stations in workplaces, public parking spots, commercial and multi-unit residential buildings, and remote locations;
- $5 million over five years, starting in 2019–20 to Transport Canada to work with auto manufacturers to secure voluntary zero-emission vehicle sales targets to ensure that vehicle supply meets increased demand; and
- $300 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, to Transport Canada to introduce a new federal purchase incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000.
To further support businesses’ adoption of zero-emission vehicles, federal Budget 2019 proposes that these vehicles be eligible for a full tax write-off in the year they are put in use. Qualifying vehicles will include electric battery, plug-in hybrid (with a battery capacity of at least 15 kWh) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, including light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles purchased by a business.
Federal Budget 2019 proposes to invest $1.01 billion to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings. These investments will be delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) through three initiatives in the Green Municipal Fund, as follows:
- Collaboration on Community Climate Action ($350 million) - to provide municipalities and non-profit community organizations with financing and grants to retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of large community buildings as well as community pilot and demonstration projects;
- Community EcoEfficiency Acceleration ($300 million) - to provide financing for municipal initiatives to support home energy efficiency retrofits. Homeowners could qualify for assistance in replacing furnaces and installing renewable energy technologies; and
- Sustainable Affordable Housing Innovation ($300 million) - to provide financing and support to affordable housing developments to improve energy efficiency in new and existing housing and support on-site energy generation.
To read more about the investments in clean growth and climate change in the 2019 federal Budget, visit: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/home-accueil-en.html
Students Rally on Climate Change | March 18, 2019
On Friday March 15th, hundreds of high school students gathered on the steps of the Confederation Building for a rally on climate change. Following in the footsteps of Swedish 16-year old activist, Greta Thunberg, students took part in a demonstration to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change rather than attend classes. This rally was part of an international movement of school students, known as School Strike for Climate, Fridays for Future and Youth Climate Strike, in which more than 1300 other schools from more than 100 countries took part.
This movement started with the first “Climate Strike” in 2015. At that time, an independent group of students invited other students around the world to skip school on the first day of the 21st annual conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. On November 30th of that year, the first day of the conference in Paris, a "Climate Strike" was organized in over 100 countries and included over 50,000 people. The movement focused on three demands: 100% clean energy, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and helping climate refugees.
On August 20, 2018, after many heat waves and wildfires in Sweden, Greta Thunberg decided to not attend her grade nine classes until the 2018 Sweden general election in September. Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and she protested by sitting outside the national legislature every day during school hours with the sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for the climate). After the general elections, she continued to strike on Fridays, gaining worldwide attention. She has inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes. As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students had held strikes in at least 270 cities.
In November 2018, Greta spoke at TEDxStockholm, in December she addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and in January 2019 she was invited to talk to the World Economic Forum at Davos.
$40 Million Announced for Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund Programs | March 15, 2019
On March 15, 2019, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced over $40 million in joint funding over four years (2018-2022) in support of three provincial programs:
- Climate Change Challenge Fund;
- Freight Transportation Fuel Efficiency Program; and
- an expansion of the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching in Public Buildings Program.
These programs are funded through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF), which is providing $89.4 million in federal-provincial funding over four years for initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador’s to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, at the Fulvarium in St. John’s. Ministers were joined by Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Climate Change Challenge Fund
The Climate Change Challenge Fund (CCCF) is a competitive, application-based grant program designed to assist businesses, industry, municipalities, Indigenous organizations and governments, and public sector entities undertake greenhouse gas reduction projects in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The CCCF will be implemented over three fiscal years (2019/20-2021/22) by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment (MAE). It will be supported by over $20 million of funding through the LCELF with $10.3 million from the Provincial Government and $10 million from the Federal Government.
Applications for the CCCF will be accepted beginning March 15, 2019. More information on the application process, including application deadlines and eligibility criteria, can be found at: https://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/occ/low_carbon_economy_programs/climatechangechallenge.html
Freight Transportation Fuel Efficiency Program
The Freight Transportation Fuel Efficiency Program (FTFEP) is an application-based grant program that provides rebates to retrofit existing heavy-duty trucks and trailers registered and plated in Newfoundland and Labrador, to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This includes anti-idling equipment (e.g., auxiliary power units) and aerodynamic technologies (e.g., trailer skirts to reduce fuel consumption).
The FTFEP will be implemented over three fiscal years (2019/20-2021/22) by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment (MAE). This Program is supported by a total of $3.2 million in joint provincial and federal funding through the LCELF, with $1.73 million from the Provincial Government and $1.47 million from the Federal Government.
Applications for the FTFEP will be accepted beginning March 15, 2019. More information on the application process, including eligibility criteria, can be found at: https://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/occ/low_carbon_economy_programs/freighttransportation.html
Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching in Public Buildings Program
In January 2019, the Province and Federal Government announced a joint investment in $8.75 million from 2018-2022 for the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching Program. This Program supports energy efficiency and fuel switching retrofits in existing public sector buildings that are reliant on fossil fuels for space heating, such as post-secondary institutions and medical clinics.
On March 15, 2019, it was announced that the program will be expanded to allow more public buildings to be retrofitted. The program will receive additional joint funding of $17.2 million, comprising a further provincial investment of $8.6 million and a matched contribution of $8.6 million from the Federal Government through the LCELF. This brings the total funding for this initiative to $25.96 million, with $12.98 million from Provincial Government and $12.96 million from the Federal Government.
The Provincial Government’s news release can be found at: https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2019/exec/0315n01.aspx
Funding Available to Support Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure | March 15, 2019
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is now accepting project proposals for funding consideration under its second Request for Proposals (RFP) under Phase Two of the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative.
Through this Initiative, the Government of Canada is investing $96.4 million over six years for the establishment of a coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Canada; natural gas refuelling stations along key freight corridors; and hydrogen refuelling stations in key metropolitan areas to ensure that Canadians can feel confident that they can recharge or refuel their EV or other low-emission vehicles. Key information on the RFP is as follows:
- Electrical utilities;
- For-profit companies;
- Industry associations;
- Research associations;
- Standards organizations;
- Indigenous and community groups;
- Academic institutions; and
- Provincial, territorial, regional or municipal governments.
Eligible EV Technologies: Electric vehicle fast chargers (i.e. Level 3).
EV Infrastructure Cost Share: Fifty (50) per cent from NRCan, up to a maximum of $50,000 per Level 3 EV charger.
Maximum Funding Amount: $5 million per recipient.
Application Closing Date: May 16, 2019
More information on this Initiative, including how to apply, is available at: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/alternative-fuels/fuel-facts/ecoenergy/20204
Building Climate Resilience Conference | March 13, 2019
On Tuesday April 9, 2019 a one-day conference is taking place at the Capitol Hotel in St. John’s entitled Building Climate Resilience: A Conference on Incorporating Climate Change into Public Infrastructure Planning and Design. The event is intended for infrastructure professionals, including engineers, professional planners, as well as other professionals, such as relevant municipal staff and policy practitioners who are working in the area of public infrastructure.
Building upon the Building Climate Resilience Conference in March 2018, this workshop aims to:
- enhance understanding of the opportunities, and requirements, for integrating climate resilience into public infrastructure planning and design; and
- encourage and facilitate networking opportunities for those involved in infrastructure planning, design and decision-making across sectors, and to promote best and promising practices in Newfoundland and Labrador.
To find out more about the workshop and register please email email@example.com or call 709-753-7714, ext. 0.
Energy Efficiency in Oil Heated Homes Program Announced | March 8, 2019
On March 8, 2019, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced $2.05 million in joint funding over four years (2018-2022) for the Energy Efficiency in Oil Heated Homes Program. The Program is supported by the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF), which is providing $89.4 million in federal-provincial funding over four years to support Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate action programs.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Graham Letto, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Finance, at the Johnson Geo Centre in St. John’s. Ministers were joined by Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, and Byron Chubbs, Vice President of Energy Supply and Planning with Newfoundland Power, representing takeCHARGE at the event.
Energy Efficiency in Oil Heated Homes Program
Through the LCELF, the Provincial and the Federal Governments are providing insulation and thermostat rebates to include households reliant on fuel-oil for spacing heating. The Province is implementing this initiative through a partnership with takeCHARGE, a joint energy efficiency initiative of Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.
Homeowners reliant on fuel-oil for space heating are required to demonstrate a minimum of 1,000 litres in annual fuel-oil consumption to be eligible for these rebates. Eligible homeowners can receive:
- Seventy-five (75) per cent of the cost of insulation for their basement ceiling or walls, to a maximum of $1,000;
- Fifty (50) per cent of the cost of insulation for their attic, to a maximum of $1,000; and
- Ten (10) dollars per programmable thermostat installed and five (5) dollars per electronic thermostat installed.
The rebates for energy efficiency upgrades in fuel-oil heated homes are supported by a total provincial and federal investment of $2.05 million over four years (2018-2022) through the LCELF, with $1.54 million from the Provincial Government and $0.51 million from the Federal Government.
This program complements the rebate programs that takeCHARGE already offers to electrically-heated homes for the purchase of products, such as insulation and programmable thermostats, using funding from ratepayers.
Further information on the insulation rebate, including application forms and eligibility criteria, can be found at: https://takechargenl.ca/residential/rebate-programs/energy-efficiency-in-oil-heated-homes-rebate-for-insulation/
Further information on the thermostat rebate, including application forms and eligibility criteria, is available at: https://takechargenl.ca/residential/rebate-programs/energy-efficiency-in-oil-heated-homes-rebate-for-thermostats/
For more information on this program, contact your electrical utility at:
|Newfoundland Power||Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro|
You can also find the Provincial Government’s news release at: https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2019/mae/0308n03.aspx
The Climate Change Club Helps at Home – Book Launch | March 8, 2019
On March 8, 2019, the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador (CCNL) was joined by the Minister of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, the Hon. Graham Letto, to launch the newest storybook in the CCNL’s Climate Change Club series at Beachy Cove Elementary School. The book, entitled The Climate Change Club Helps at Home, follows the characters of the Climate Change Club – Polly, Petey, Darly, and Kenny – as they travel the province showcasing how local communities are making a difference by fighting climate change.
Since 2002, the Climate Change Education Centre has provided free presentations for k-12 students across Newfoundland and Labrador on the science, impacts, and solutions for tackling climate change; it has offered grants to classrooms to conduct youth-based projects related to climate change; and it has trained youth employed through CCNL's programs to deliver climate change presentations across the Province at the community level. It is estimated that the Climate Change Education Centre reaches roughly 15,000 youth each year.
For more information and to join the Climate Change Club, please visit: http://www.ccnl.ca/.
Government of Canada Announces New Projects that Will Help Reduce the Health Impacts of Climate Change | March 7, 2019
On March 1st, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health with the Government of Canada, announced an investment of $1.7 million over the next two years for eight projects that will help improve the health of Canadians in our changing climate. Funded projects will enhance surveillance and monitoring of infectious diseases linked to climate change as well as implement education and awareness activities across the country so that Canadians are informed about health risks and prevention strategies. Funding is provided through the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund (IDCCF) which is now accepting proposals from interested applicants for future funding opportunities.
Established in 2017, the Public Health Agency of Canada's IDCCF is providing up to $2 million annually over the next 11 years to help understand the impact of climate-driven infectious diseases on the health and well-being of Canadians. To learn more, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2019/03/government-of-canada-announces-new-projects-that-will-help-reduce-the-health-impacts-of-climate-change.html.
Webinar - SmartICE Sea Ice Monitoring and Information | March 6, 2019
Transport Canada hosts a webinar series entitled Transportation: Adapting to the Changing Climate. The objective is to build knowledge and capacity both within the Federal Government and the broader Canadian transportation sector on the impacts of climate change and adaptation solutions.
The next webinar, entitled SmartICE Sea Ice Monitoring & Information - Adapting to Climate Change, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (EST). The webinar will focus on SmartICE, an award-winning technological innovation for the North. SmartICE is a cross-sector social enterprise that was developed in Newfoundland and Labrador through a partnership with academia, industry, government and northern communities, including Nain and Pond Inlet. SmartICE is the world’s first climate change adaptation tool to integrate Inuit traditional knowledge of sea ice with advanced data acquisition and remote monitoring technology to provide data-driven insights into sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions in real-time, to support safer travel on ice.
The webinar will be offered in English and Inuktitut.
For more information and to register, please visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdAYKhDNmNzcYmHSrDx8My9CWMhl_5evhiN8HtTEF1ebC2CrA/viewform.
New Climate Change Action Plan Released | March 1, 2019
Climate change is a complex, global issue that is already affecting Newfoundland and Labrador in a number of ways. Increased annual temperatures, extreme weather events, and coastal erosion are all a result of changing climatic conditions. These changes are contributing to increased flooding, infrastructure damage, changing sea ice conditions, permafrost melt in northern Labrador, as well as the introduction of invasive species. To take action on climate change and help address these impacts, on March 1, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released a new action plan called “The Way Forward on Climate Change”.
The collaborative, 5-year plan will guide provincial action on climate change, and support implementation of the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The new plan outlines a two-pronged approach to take action on climate change across all sectors of the economy while supporting growth in the clean economy, namely:
- 17 actions to improve Newfoundland and Labrador’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, now and into the future. This comprises actions to enhance our understanding of the impacts of climate change, and build capacity to integrate climate change data and information into planning and decision making processes.
- 33 actions to help avoid worse impacts in the future, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This encompasses commitments to implement a provincial carbon program, as well as additional complimentary measures to reduce emissions and enhance clean economic growth.
In total, the Way Forward on Climate Change contains 45 action items that will be led by 13 departments and agencies across government, in collaboration with key partners and stakeholder groups. For more information on the plan, including a full list of actions, please visit: https://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/occ/publications/The_Way_Forward_Climate_Change.pdf
Are you interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home? | February 27, 2019
The 36th annual Home Show is taking place on March 9th and 10th at The Glacier in Mt. Pearl. This event is hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Newfoundland and Labrador (CHBA-NL), and provides an opportunity to learn about new trends in home building and renovations, including energy efficiency, from industry experts.
Energy used in houses and buildings accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total energy consumed in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 20 percent of provincial greenhouse gas emissions. There are a range of products that can help increase household energy efficiency, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate savings on your energy bill.
To learn more about increasing energy efficiency, exhibitors will be on-hand to discuss products such as insulation and heat pumps.
Date & Time:
Saturday, March 9, 2019 (10:00am - 8:00pm)
Sunday, March 10, 2019 (10:00am - 4:00pm)
$8 - General Admission
$7 - Seniors
Free for Children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
Receive $1 off admission with the 2019 Home Show Coupon: http://chbanl.ca/app/uploads/Coupon.jpg.
To learn more about the Home Show, including the list of exhibitors who will be attending this year, visit CHBA-NL’s website.
Making the Case for Building to Zero Carbon | February 22, 2019
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) just released a report entitled “Making the Case for Building to Zero Carbon”. The study was commissioned to evaluate the financial viability and impact of constructing new buildings as Zero Carbon Buildings (ZCBs). ZCBs are designed to minimize carbon emissions and offset any remaining emissions by generating clean, renewable energy that can reduce life-cycle costs and mitigate exposure to carbon pricing. The report, a first of its kind in Canada, looked at a full range of buildings the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
The findings of the study demonstrate that meaningful greenhouse gas reductions and positive financial returns can be achieved through ZCBs. Furthermore, the business case for ZCBs becomes stronger as the cost of carbon increases over time.
For more information and to read this report in its entirety, please visit:
New Maps Aims to Help Public Understand and Visualize the Impacts of Climate Change | February 19, 2019
In February 2019, a team of US researchers released a new study that projects temperature change for 540 urban areas across North America, including eight in Canada. To visualize this data, they have developed an interactive web application, which aims to help the public understand how climate change will affect people in these areas. It does this by matching the expected future climate in each area, with the current climate in another location.
This study used downscaled global climate models, employing similar methodologies to those used in the provincial climate projections study for Newfoundland and Labrador, which was released in 2018. In Canada, urban areas featured in the study include Saint John, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Combined, these areas account for over 50 percent of the Canadian population.
For Saint John New Brunswick, the study found that average winter temperatures, in a business-as-usual scenario (e.g. whereby current greenhouse gas emissions trends continue), could be 5.6ºC higher than today, and 4.8ºC higher in summer months. For Quebec City, the projected change in winter temperature is 7.3ºC higher, and 4.5ºC higher the in summer months.
By comparison, the provincial climate projections, using a business-as-usual scenario and climate modeling simulations most appropriate to this province, study show similar trends. A sample of winter and summer temperature projections are provided below:
- John’s: 5.6ºC higher in the winter, and 4.2ºC higher in the summer
- Corner Brook: 5.8ºC higher in the winter, and 5.0ºC higher in summer
- Nain: 9.9ºC higher in the winter, and 4.8ºC higher in summer
Information on this new study can be found in the Journal of Nature Communications, and the web application is also available online. Specific information on Newfoundland and Labrador’s temperature and precipitation projections can be found here.
CleanTechWest | February 18, 2019
The third annual CleanTechWest workshop, hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), is taking place in Corner Brook on Thursday February 28, 2019. It will explore clean technology and green economy business opportunities specific to the western region of the Province. The workshop will include sessions on renewable energy, forestry and waste management.
For more information and to register for this event, please visit: http://neia.org/cleantechwest/
Upcoming Webinar on Climate Projections for Newfoundland and Labrador | February 8, 2019
In 2018, the Provincial Government updated its climate change projections for the mid-21st century and late-21st century. The updated climate projections include temperature and precipitation projections for 28 locations across the province, and use a downscaled regional North American approach, which has also been used by prominent climate science organizations.
If you are interested in learning more, please join us for a free, live webinar in which Gerald Crane, Director of Research and Analysis in the Climate Change Branch of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, will provide an overview of how the province is expected to be impacted by climate change. This will include key variables such as temperature and precipitation change, and the implications on different sectors, with a special focus on infrastructure.
Date: February 13, 2019
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm NST
For more information or to register, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you curious about how climate change is linked to this year’s cold winter temperatures? | February 5, 2019
There has been a recent cold snap in temperature that is covering much of the central regions of Canada and the United States. In Canada, the current cold snap stretches between Nova Scotia and the Prairie provinces.
The term “polar vortex” has been used to describe these periods of unusual cold temperatures, but what does it mean? The polar vortex is a band of wind, approximately 50km above the Earth that typically encircles the North Pole, and helps keep a current of air known as the jet stream traveling around the globe in a relatively smooth, and circular path. This keeps cold air and cold temperatures up north, and warm air and warm temperatures further south. In recent years, however, increasing global temperatures have weakened the polar vortex. This is resulting in weaker low-pressure systems in the Arctic and a “bending” of the jet stream to more southerly regions. In turn, this brings cold Arctic air further south.
It is important to remember, however, that while there is growing evidence that polar vortex events are increasing in frequency and are linked to global temperature increases, not all cold weather events are the result of the polar vortex.
Weathering the Storm: Developing a New Flood Risk Standard for Canadian Communities | January 31, 2019
One of the biggest and costliest challenges facing Canadians in urban centres today is flooding due to extreme weather. Insurance claims in Canada have risen exponentially over the past three decades, with flooding contributing the greatest proportion to this increase.
In a new report from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (University of Waterloo), a range of solutions are highlighted that can be deployed practically and cost-effectively within communities and households in an effort to alleviate future flood risk. The report features a unique framework for screening flood hazards and vulnerabilities for select areas within communities that should be targeted for flood-resiliency retrofits.
As extreme weather becomes more severe and frequent due to climate change, every effort must be made today to better protect existing communities from future damage and destruction.
For more information and to read this report in its entirety, please visit: https://www.intactcentreclimateadaptation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Weathering-the-Storm.pdf.
$89.4 Million in Joint Funding Announced for Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. | January 25, 2019
On January 25, 2019, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced $89.4 million in joint funding over four years (2018-2022) under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF) to support programs and projects in Newfoundland and Labrador that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This comprises $44.7 million in funding from the Provincial Government and $44.7 million in federal funding.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador at the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. Premier Ball was joined by the Honourable Graham Letto, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment; the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources; the Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation; and the Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Transportation and Works. The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, represented the Federal Government at the announcement.
As part of the announcement, Ministers launched the first two programs to be supported through LCELF funding: the expansion of the Home Energy Savings Program and the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching in Public Buildings Program.
Expansion of the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP)
Originally announced as part of provincial Budget 2017, the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) is a provincial initiative designed to assist low-income households in making energy efficiency upgrades to their home. Delivered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), this program provides non-repayable grants of up to $5,000 for cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades, including insulation and air sealing, to homes heated by electricity, propane or wood biomass.
Through the LCELF, the Province is expanding program eligibility to include households reliant on fuel-oil for spacing heating. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills. This expansion is supported by an investment of $8.57 million over four years (2018-2022), with $6.43 million from the Province and $2.14 million from the Federal Government. This funding is in addition to the $5.0 million provided for HESP by the Provincial Government as part of Budget 2017.
For HESP, eligible households are defined as those who own an existing home and have an annual household income of less than $32,500. Prior to receiving the grant, the applicant’s home must undergo a home energy assessment by an NLHC technician to identify the most cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades that will deliver the greatest energy savings for the homeowner.
Applications and further program details are available at: https://www.nlhc.nl.ca/housing-programs/home-energy-savings-program-hesp/. For more information on the HESP, contact NLHC at (709) 724-3000.
Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching in Public Buildings
The Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching Program supports energy efficiency and fuel switching retrofits in existing public sector buildings that are reliant on fossil fuels for space heating, such as post-secondary institutions and medical clinics.
Implemented by the Department of Transportation and Works, the Program aims to reduce GHG emissions and improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings.
The Program is supported by $8.75 million from 2018-2022, including a provincial investment of $4.375 million and a matching contribution of $4.375 million from the Federal Government through the LCELF.
To learn more about the LCELF visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/low-carbon-economy-fund.html
You can also find the Provincial Government’s news release at: https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2019/exec/0125n01.aspx
Update on the National Knowledge Assessment on Climate Change | January 24, 2019
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is leading the development of a national assessment of climate change in Canada. The assessment is called “Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action” and aims to explore how Canada’s climate is changing, the impacts of these changes, and approaches to adapt and reduce risk.
As part of this assessment, a series of authoritative science and information products will be released over the next four years, which includes a report on ‘Canada’s Changing Climate’, set for release this spring.
NRCan is inviting contributions to the assessment process, and are inviting people to:
- Share their questions about climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada, to inform the Frequently Asked Questions section of the assessment;
- Act as an expert reviewer for national assessment products and reports; and
- Submit any relevant documents that should be considered in the assessment processes.
Adapting to Succeed in a Lower-Carbon Economy Training Course | January 18, 2019
Fundamental Inc. – a local consulting firm focusing on energy – has partnered with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) to offer a new training course to assist private sector businesses in understanding how they can reduce their energy costs and succeed in a low-carbon economy.
The course will include classroom and tailored one-on-one learning sessions to equip participants with the skills to identify opportunities within their organization, and will be delivered in three phases:
Part 1 – Lower-Carbon Economy Workshop
In this 3-hour in-class workshop, the trainer will provide a high-level overview of the typical factors that can influence electricity and fuel costs within businesses, and general examples of how these challenges can be overcome. Participants will learn about the relationship between energy and carbon, including an introduction to carbon pricing, simple tools to help assess a business’ carbon footprint, and how to identify cost savings.
Part 2 – Site Visit
Following the workshop, the trainer will schedule a site-visit to learn more about the organization’s specific work environment in order to understand the specific activities and processes of the firm.
Part 3 – Identification of Opportunities
The trainer will assess the information obtained from the site-visit to provide the participant with a list of potential actions the business could consider undertaking to reduce electricity and fuel use. These suggestions will indicate where investigation may be warranted to assess cost-savings potential and payback periods. In addition, the trainer will provide the participant with a list of available programming that could assist and/or support the implementation of identified opportunities.
The workshop portion of the course will be held on February 15, 2019 in the NEIA Boardroom at 90 O’ Leary Avenue, Suite 207, in St. John’s. Participants can register for the course by contacting Kieran Hanley at email@example.com.
The cost of the course is $475 + HST for NEIA members and $575 + HST for non-NEIA members.
To learn more about the course visit: http://neia.org/adapting-to-succeed-in-a-lower-carbon-economy/
2018 Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emissions Projections | January 14, 2019
On December 21, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) published Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Air Pollutant Emissions Projections Report for 2018. The Government of Canada has reported Canada’s GHG emissions annually since 2011, showing the annual progress Canada is making towards its target to reduce GHGs by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. A key change in this year’s report was the inclusion of the contribution of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector to Canada’s projected emissions in 2030.
The report provides Canada’s GHG emissions projections under three scenarios: (a) the Reference Case, (b) Additional Measures Case, and (c) a Technology Case.
- Under the Reference Case, projections are based on federal, provincial and territorial policies and measures in place as of September 2018 and assume no further government action. In this scenario, emissions are projected to decline from 704 million tonnes (Mt) in 2016 to be 701 Mt by 2030. This is primarily driven by measures implemented in 2018 such as accelerated coal phase-out regulations and actions taken by provinces and territories under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.
- In the Additional Measures Case, projections are based on federal, provincial and territorial policies and measures that have been announced, including under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, but are not fully implemented. This includes the Federal carbon pricing backstop, the Clean Fuel Standard, and the Challenge portion of the Low Carbon Economy Fund. In this scenario, emissions are projected to decline from 704 Mt in 2016 to 616 Mt by 2030. With the contribution of LULUCF sector, Canada’s emissions by 2030 are projected to further decline to 592 Mt.
- The Technology Case attempts to provide an indication of the impacts a faster evolution or adoption of clean technologies could have on Canada’s GHG emissions. When compared to the Additional Measures Case, the Technology Case showed only modest impacts in 2030; however, the impacts post-2030 will be substantially more.
To read the report in full, please visit: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2018/eccc/En1-78-2018-eng.pdf.
Upcoming Webinar Series on Tree Vulnerability to Climate Change: Implications for Adaptive Silviculture | January 9, 2019
The Forestry Adaptation Community of Practice, led by the Canadian Forest Service which is part of Natural Resources Canada, is offering a two-part webinar series on forest vulnerability to climate change. Webinars will take place on January 15 and 22, and will provide information on recent advances in quantification and understanding of the vulnerability of Canadian forests to climate change, and the implications for silvicultural practices. An overview of the webinars is provided below. For more information, including registration details, please click here.
Title: Integrated Assessment of Canadian Forest Vulnerability to Climate Change
Date: Tuesday January 15, 2019
Time: 2:30-3:30pm Newfoundland Standard Time
Presenter: Isabelle Aubin, Research Scientist in Vegetation Ecology, Canadian Forest Service
Overview: The capacity of forests throughout Canada to adapt to climate change varies across the country. Through this webinar, Isabelle will discuss species-specific indicators of sensitivity to key climate stressors. These have been used to improve exposure-based assessments, and identify species requiring special management consideration.
Title: Quantifying the Adaptive Capacity of Tree Species and Implications for Silviculture
Date: Tuesday January 22, 2019
Time: 2:30-3:30pm Newfoundland Standard Time
Presenter: Samuel Royer-Tardif, Forest Biologist, Canadian Forest Service
Overview: This webinar will explore ongoing research by the Canadian Forest Service on the adaptive capacity of tree populations in Canada to persist in in a changing climate. Through this webinar, Samuel will discuss an approach to quantify the adaptive capacity of Canadian tree species, including current limitations and next steps.
Made-in-Newfoundland and Labrador Carbon Pricing Plan Comes Into Effect | January 8, 2019
Consistent with Federal requirements, the Province’s Made-in-Newfoundland and Labrador Carbon Pricing Plan came into effect on January 1, 2019. The Plan has been designed to accommodate the unique economic, social and fiscal realities of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was informed by a number of principles, including the need to deliver meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, maintain industrial and tax competitiveness, minimize the impacts on consumers and vulnerable groups, and recognize investments to decarbonize our electricity sector.
The carbon pricing system provides for:
- A carbon tax to be applied to combusted fossil fuels across the economy, except where exemptions are provided, at the federally-mandated price of $20/tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020. This equates to 4.42 cents on gasoline and 5.37 cents on diesel, however, this will be offset by the respective elimination of the remaining 4.00 cent temporary gasoline tax and removal of the 5.00 additional diesel tax introduced in Budget 2016; and
- A performance standard system for both onshore and offshore large industrial facilities and large-scale electricity generation that emit over a defined threshold. Existing large industrial facilities and large-scale electricity generation will be required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent in 2019, 8 per cent in 2020, 10 per cent in 2021, and 12 per cent in 2022.
The introduction of this plan follows several high-profile carbon pricing developments in Fall 2018, including:
- The Federal Government’s announcement on October 23, 2018 that the Province’s carbon pricing plan met federal requirements;
- Legislative amendments to the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act, the Revenue Administration Act and the provincial Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act that were passed by the House of Assembly during their Fall sitting to give effect to the Province’s carbon pricing plan;
- Amendments to the federal Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act to establish enabling authorities to extend the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act to the offshore area that were passed by the federal House of Commons in their Fall sitting; and
- Regulations to enact the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act that were published in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette, including provisions that allow for the establishment of greenhouse gas targets for large industrial facilities and large-scale electricity generation.
- Regulations under the Revenue Administration Act were established to give effect to the carbon tax.
A copy of the new regulations under the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act can be found at: https://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/printer/gazette/weekly_issues/2018/NLG181221.pdf
A news release from the Provincial Government notifying residents of the introduction of a provincial carbon tax can be found at: https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2019/fin/0103n02.aspx
For a copy of the Province’s carbon pricing plan visit: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/occ/publications/NL_Carbon_Pricing_Plan.pdf