Climate Change

WCS Canada Comments - Yukon's Our Clean Future Strategy - January 2020
Yukon Government's draft strategy ("Our Clean Future") deals with climate change, and energy supplies, while promoting a green economy. We provide support and encouragement for various useful policy intentions such as expanding the suite of geothermal, solar, and wind sources of energy. However, we are concerned that the strategy promotes biomass energy (burning wood) as a low-carbon energy sources, in the same category as wind and solar in terms of its value in replacing fossil fuels. More extensive and intensive burning of wood for space heating will not significantly reduce the Yukon's carbon footprint, but will lock the territory into many decades of high-carbon emissions from this sector. In addition, we are critical of the government's intention not to include emissions from mines in the accounting of the carbon footprint, and to allow mines to work towards lower carbon emissions using intensity measures (carbon emitted per unit mineral production) rather than absolute measures (total carbon emitted from all sources per year). The strategy does not recognize the huge value of intact forests and landscapes for their carbon sequestration and storage properties.
WCS Canada Comments - Yukon Government's Promotion of Biomass Energy - January 2020
We urge the Yukon government to reconsider its previous support and promotion of biomass energy as a suitable replacement for fossil fuels in the response to the climate crisis. We explain why burning wood cannot be considered as either carbon neutral or even "low-carbon" in terms of its emissions. We point out that emissions from burning wood for space heating need to be included in the government's annual accounting of emissions, and not overlooked as carbon neutral. We also point out some of the negative health consequences already experienced in Yukon as a result of wood burning.
WCS Canada Comments - Ontario Environment Plan - January 2019
Our Ontario staff provide comments to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. (link: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4208)
WCS Canada Comments - Ontario’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation – January 2018
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has been leading Ontario’s efforts to address both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Ontario's actions around mitigation include putting a cap on the greenhouse gas pollution that businesses can emit, along with the carbon market, work with Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan to move Ontario toward a low carbon economy. Ontario’s actions around adaptation continue to evolve. In this proposal, MOECC describes further actions on adaptation including: 1) Creating a new climate change adaptation organization; 2) Working with climate change adaptation experts to undertake a province-wide risk assessment of climate impacts; 3) Developing an enhanced all-of-government approach to climate change adaptation; and 4) Sharing information on the effects of climate change. Our comments focus on these four actions and our concerns regarding how managed and unmanaged systems, specifically Ontario’s Far North, are being considered in climate change planning, both adaptation and mitigation led by MOECC and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
WCS Canada Comments – MNRF’s Natural Resource Climate Adaptation Strategy – March 2017
MNRF is the primary ministry responsible for managing the provincial land base and conserving Ontario’s fish, wildlife, and ecosystem services in both managed and unmanaged systems. MNRF also has significant responsibility in decision making about land use and its interactions with climate change and planning for the future of species, ecosystems, and landscapes in managed and unmanaged systems alike. As such, MNRF plays an essential role in addressing both the impacts (e.g., mitigation) and adaptation of ecological and human communities to climate change. The current strategy acknowledges these responsibilities, does a reasonable job of listing and prioritizing the elements of MNRF’s mandate that affect and is affected by climate change, and identifies critical research efforts. We make a number of recommendations to improve the document and overall strategy.
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