Low Carbon Leader: Canada

Reading time: 32 minutes
1 December 2005

This report shows the range of case studies in the private and public sectors being implemented to reduce emissions in Canada. 

A number of governments, including the United Kingdom, France, California and New Mexico, are responding to the climate change challenge and are committing to deep long-term targets of 60% or more by 2050. Many Canadian governments, communities and companies are also responding, as is clearly demonstrated by the case studies profiled here.

The province of Ontario has set a goal of eliminating coal-fired generation, Quebec will see 86% of the electricity generated come from hydro and wind power, and Manitoba is a North American leader in geothermal energy. The cities of Regina, Toronto and Halifax have all set medium term targets of reducing emissions by 20%. Companies and utilities such as ENMAX and VanCity are committed to going 'carbon neutral', and others such as Alcan and Catalyst Paper have seen reductions in perfluorocarbon (PFC) and CO2 emissions respectively of close to 70%. Businesses such as Iogen and Ballard are positioning themselves to reap the benefits of the low carbon economy.

The climate friendly future is a sustainable one. It is a future where industrial processes have been redesigned to eliminate waste, where eco-industrial parks efficiently capture waste heat and materials from one company and direct them as feedstock for another. It is a future where municipal governments build infrastructure so it is integrated through buildings and community energy systems. It is a future where renewable energy is common and where carbon dioxide is captured from fossil fuels we gasify rather than burn. And it is a transit friendly future where we can walk to the store and use highly efficient cars when we need to drive.

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