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Home Policy Articles: Environment & Climate: Air


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Will We Rise to the Challenge? Eight Mega Issues Facing Canada popular

This briefing tracks eight key trends that are having a major impact on Canada’s business and public policy environment. Charles Barrett and Anne Golden point to the global economy and the consequences of competition from developing countries. They examine Canada’s relationship with the United States and the competing priorities of defence and trade. They also look at the need for investment in human capital and innovation for Canada to compete on the global stage, as well as the importance of addressing climate change and environmental issues.

Electricity Restructuring: Securing Clean Power

Securing Clean Power is part of the Conference Board of Canada’s Electricity Restructuring series. In this paper, Down ask whether liberalized electricity markets inevitably lead to poorer environmental performance. To answer this question, they examine the impact of electricity restructuring on the environment, as well as the implications of restructuring for environmental policy in the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

Environmental Indicators (Sixth Edition)

In this paper, Brown, examine what they view as a disconnect between the perceptions of Canadian students about environmental trends and the reality of the situation.

Sustainability and Energy Security: The Squeeze on Natural Gas

This briefing, written by Hoover, examines the factors that give rise to increases in natural gas prices. In particular, the authors look at how U.S. air quality standards have heightened the demand for cleaner-burning natural gas at a pace greater than for other primary energy sources. At the same time, Hoover et. al. point out that other concerns, including the environment, are restricting the ability of energy providers to satisfy that demand in the short term.

The Ambient Air Quality Accounts for the Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index

This report by Anne Monette and Ronald Colman examines the ambient air concentrations of five air pollutants in Nova Scotia and the costs of damages caused by these emissions. The pollutants considered are: carbon monoxide, total particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. The levels found in Nova Scotia are compared to that of Canada as a whole and human health costs and environmental damage are examined at the provincial level. Finally, actions for individuals and governments are suggested in the interests of reducing emissions in the future.

The British Columbia Regional Citizens’ Forum on Clean Air The Public’s Voice II: One Year Later

This report by David Brook provides an analysis of the pre- and post-surveys conducted as part of the British Columbia Regional Citizens’ Forum on Clean Air. Brook suggests there are two main interests in conducting a follow-up survey such as this: to look at the longer term impacts of the Citizens’ Forum on participants, and to compare the results of this analysis to those of a control group in order to test the nature of these long term impacts.

The Environment: From Local to Global in a Cosmic Blink of 25 Years

In this article, Elizabeth May writes that environmental issues have moved from local, to regional, to global status in the past 25 years. She points out that 25 years is a “cosmic blink of an eye” in life of Earth, which makes the amount of damage that has been done to the environment in that period of time all the more startling. She argues that economic advancement has come at the cost of environmental destruction. Despite this damage, May argues that governments have often been responsive to environmental concerns, enacting legislation to curb this destruction. She argues that the Kyoto Protocol is an important first step, but a number of other critical issues need to be addressed, including global poverty, a gap in North-South equity, species and ecosystems extinction, toxic pollution, and the overwhelming imperative to shift economic systems from fossil fuels.

The Morning After: Optimal Greenhouse Gas Policies for Canada’s Kyoto Obligations and Beyond

Jaccard, Rivers, and Horne argue that Canada’s current approach to meeting its Kyoto commitments is environmentally ineffective and economically inefficient. They point out that although it is not yet possible to fully assess Canada’s approach, the policies the federal government has adopted are similar to those that have failed in the past. The authors argue that the current approach, emphasizing voluntary initiatives by businesses, consumers, and municipalities, is not the best route to meeting its commitments.

The State of Urban Air in Canada

This detailed study by Jeremy Brown and Milagros Palacios looks at the air quality in Canadian cities and finds the results to be contrary to the alarming reports that inspired the study. Contrary to what they expected, the authors find that from 1974 to 2001 air quality actually improved.

Why Energy Efficiency?

This publication explores how Canadian business can benefit from energy efficiency, particularly in view of rising energy costs. The authors argue that energy efficiency has assumed a new importance today, and that businesses would be wise to embrace it. They highlight some businesses that are making effective use of energy efficiency strategies. The authors also examine barriers which prevent energy efficiency from receiving the attention it deserves in the business world. The authors expand on the idea of energy efficiency as a cost-saving measure; they point out that it increases energy security, while benefiting climate change and air quality. They conclude by suggesting opportunities for action for both business and government.