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Home Policy Articles: Environment & Climate: Climate Change


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Advancing Sustainable Development in Canada: Policy Issues and Research Needs popular

This paper identifies the specific issues of sustainable development that are most important to Canadians in the mid to long term. The report focuses on seven area: urban redesign, freshwater management, eco-region sustainability, impacts of globalization on Canada, signals and incentives, unsustainable lifestyles, and international engagement. In the context of each topic the report explains the problem and identifies research needs in the area. Broader conclusions are drawn and policies ideas are advanced as well as implementation strategies.

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.

Adaptive Management of Climate Change Risks

Indur Goklany posits that despite claims that climate change is “the most important environmental problem of this century,” evidence shows there are other more immediate and pressing threats to human and environmental health.

An Action Plan for Kyoto

This brief report, prepared by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), is a technical paper to accompany the CCPA’s Alternative Federal Budget 2003. As in several previous years, the CCPA argues the federal government will almost certainly post a much greater surplus in the 2002-03 fiscal year.

Climate Change: An Opportunity for a Bilateral Approach

In this report from a conference organized by the Public Policy Forum and the Woodrow Wilson Center, Michael Lister highlights conclusions regarding bilateral Canada-US climate change policies.

EnviroCentre: Sense and Sustainability in the National Capital

As Anne Makhoul explains, the EnviroCentre offers a range of programs and information for individuals and businesses seeking to improve their bottom lines while making a positive environmental impact.

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.

Greenhouse Gas Reductions: Not Warranted, Not Beneficial

In this paper Kenneth Green addresses the issue of regional climate change (rather than global climate change). According to Green, the debate over climate change is increasingly moving towards alarmist regional climate predictions. He cites a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists as an example. This report focuses on the Great Lakes region and the environmental threats it faces. According to Green, however, regional climate modeling of this sort is highly flawed.

Implementing Kyoto: Risks and Choices

Howatson and Rheaume argue that implementing the Kyoto Protocol presents both the opportunity to protect the environment and provide business opportunities, but that it also present costs and risks that need to be managed and mitigated. The authors contend that critical attention must be paid to ensure that short-term action does not outweigh the serious thought and debate required to work out long-term strategies that make the most sense for Canada.

Leaders’ Roundtable on the Kyoto Protocol

In May 2002 the Public Policy Forum convened a roundtable of leaders from government, business, and the non-profit sector to discuss the federal government’s Discussion Paper on Canada’s Contribution to Addressing Climate Change. The purpose of the roundtable was to consider four options for Canada’s participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as proposed by the government paper: 1) a cap-and-trade emissions trading system; 2) targeted measures including regulation, best practices, and investments; 3) a mixed approach of emissions trading and targeted measures; and, 4) a modified mixed approach involving credits for clean energy exports. As the summary of discussion from the roundtable stresses, there is an important caveat to note about the comments expressed by participants, in that the majority of those accepting invitations to the roundtable were from the business sector.

Making Kyoto Work: A Transition Strategy for Energy Workers

In Making Kyoto Work: A Transition Strategy for Energy Workers, Dale Marshall, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, considers how many energy sector jobs could be lost if Canada were to “get serious” about the Kyoto Protocol. Too often, Marshall argues, Kyoto commentators ignore the economic benefits of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Outcomes from the Stakeholder Session: The Citizens’ Forums on Personal Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impacts

Starting with a basic assumption – that increased prices and demand for gasoline will lead to consumer demand for ways to reduce consumption and increase efficiency – the Public Policy Forum convened regional discussions with the Canadian driving public. These five Citizens’ Forums considered issues of fuel costs, conservation, energy efficiency, and the environmental impacts of driving, aiming to educate participants on options available to them.

Selling the Family Silver: Oil and Gas Royalties, Corporate Profits, and the Disregarded Public

In this paper John W. Warnock explores the development of oil and gas sector, both in Canada and globally, and the geopolitics of oil. Specifically, the author discusses the environmental costs and the fiscal and royalty structures for economic rents to the public that owns the resource.

The Canadian Community Monitoring Network

In this community story Anne Makhoul describes how Environment Canada and the Canadian Nature Federation partnered to facilitate the development of a Canadian Community Monitoring Network.

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 Kyoto Conundrum: Why Abandoning the Protocol’s Targets in Favour of a More Sustainable Plan May Be Best for Canada and the World

Joseph Doucet argues that Ottawa’s lack of clarity about post-Kyoto requirements may compromise long-term emissions reductions. He also tackles the question as to whether or not Canadian export prices to the US market will suffer because Canada ratified the Kyoto agreement and the United States did not. In this regard, Doucet argues that while the structure of Canadian exports should mitigate some of those concerns, long-term emission reductions will be compromised by Ottawa’s current plan for protecting Canadian companies.

The Kyoto Protocol: Canada’s Risky Rush to Judgement

This article, by Ross McKitrick and Randall M. Wigle, examines the federal government’s Discussion Paper on the Kyoto Protocol. The authors conclude this document offers an inadequate explanation as to how compliance under the Kyoto Protocol can be achieved.

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 Science Isn't Settled: The Limitations of Global Climate Models

In this report, Green, examine the effectiveness of computerized models of the earth’s climate.

Thinking North American Environmental Management

This article, by Scott Vaughan, is one of a set of eight folios released in 2004 to mark the 15th anniversary of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, and the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Toward an Energy Security Strategy for Canada

In this paper, David Thompson, Gordon Laxer and Diana Gibson provide a suggested energy security strategy and guiding principles. The authors consider it a “made in Alberta” initiative in partnership with Canadians from energy producing and energy consuming regions.

Weathering the Political and Environmental Climate of the Kyoto Protocal

This colabrative paper explores the difficulty of implimenting policy around the Kyoto Protecal. This includes sections examining the problems green house gassescreate , climate change, health implications of these changes, potential solutions via technology and how the constituion may affect Kyoto related policies.

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.