Report from Parliament Hill
What Canada’s climate plan means for the North - Part 2
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
Last week’s column explored why we need a national climate change plan. We know that Northern Ontario is getting warmer and our winter season is getting shorter. As a result, we are seeing less snow and an increase in tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease. In fact, Ontario has the highest number of Lyme disease cases in Canada. We also highlighted in last week’s column one aspect of Canada’s climate change plan: pricing pollution. This week, we’ll look at some of the other initiatives, and what they mean for the North and how you can get involved.
Using cleaner fuels in things like our vehicles is one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce carbon pollution, which is why the Clean Fuel Standard is one of the most important elements of Canada’s climate plan. It means that year after year, our fuels will get cleaner, and by 2030, liquid fuels could be 11% less polluting than they are now. The Clean Fuel Standard will cut pollution and create opportunities across the North for companies producing renewable fuels, clean power (like wind and solar), and for investments in energy efficiency. Our Clean Fuel Standard could potentially create 31,000 jobs and drive $5.6 billion in economic activity.
Last December, The partnership stream of the Low Carbon Economy Challenge was announced as a $50 million fund to support energy-efficient projects that will generate clean growth and reduce emissions for small- and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, small municipalities, and Indigenous communities and organizations. Applications are open now, and will be available until March 8, 2019
The Low Carbon Economy Challenge will help support projects that aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions, encourage clean growth and jobs. If you would like more information on the application process, please visit the Environment and Climate Change Canada website or call my office toll-free at 1-866-710-0008. I strongly encourage businesses and organizations to apply before the deadline and get involved in helping to clean up the environment.
So how will we know if Canada’s climate plan is working? There are a variety of ways to monitor our progress, but every year, we report our emissions projections for 2030, as part of a commitment made under the Paris Agreement. In 2018 alone, we reduced our projected emissions by an additional 21 million tonnes over 2017. Ontario now faces a hurdle with the provincial government’s decision to scrap a strong climate plan and put in a weaker one, which means we must all be more dedicated than ever to our climate change goals.
While we continue to work on our climate change plan from a national level, there are things you can do at home, or at the municipal level, to make positive changes. You can work on reducing your emissions and waste, protect your local waterways, and support local businesses that use clean technologies or initiatives. Make 2019 the year you take ambitious action to protect the environment.
Climate change is real and we need to do something about it, and together we will change the course of history.