Planning for a Sustainable Future:
A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada
2013–2016

Sustainable Development Office
Environment Canada

November 2013


Theme I. Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

The image of the letter A above a leaf represents Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

Why It Matters

Since the tabling of the first cycle of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), environmental indicators related to air and climate have shown progress. In recent years, for example, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of the Canadian economy and ambient concentrations of most major air pollutants have decreased. Absolute emissions of GHGs also declined between 2005 and 2011. While the economy grew by 8.4% between 2005 and 2011, GHG emissions decreased by 36 megatonnes, or 4.8%, in that same period. This indicates that Canadian GHG emissions are beginning to become decoupled from economic growth. The indicators also show that further work is still needed to reach Canada's GHG reduction target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, as well as to reduce emissions of air pollutants to help achieve the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Climate change continues to present a significant challenge to Canada and the world, with implications for the well-being of the environment, the economy and society. Current and potential climate change effects include more frequent instances of severe weather--including storms, floods, droughts and heat waves--as well as risks to coastal ecosystems and communities from rising sea levels. Thawing permafrost also poses a particular risk to infrastructure in Canada's North, where higher-than-average rates of warming have been observed.

These effects have clear implications for the health and safety of Canadians as well as for economic prosperity. Economic impacts of climate change for Canada could include, for example, impacts on the forestry sector from more frequent and severe forest fires; damage to coastal infrastructure from rising sea levels; costs to Canada's health system due to illness from exposure to high temperatures and increased formation of ground-level ozone; and changes to expenditures on tourism and recreation due to compromised ecosystems (National Resources Canada, 2007). Reduced water availability due to climate change could also have a negative impact on economic sectors such as agriculture and marine transportation in certain areas of Canada. Urban areas, where the majority of Canadians live, are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts related to public health (for example, greater health risks from heat waves due to the urban heat island effect), electricity generation and distribution systems, transportation systems, and municipal water supply (Clean Air Partnership, 2007).

Over the period 1990–2011, the most important sources of Canadian GHG emissions were transportation; production and processing of oil and gas; and electricity generation (Environment Canada, 2013). These sectors affect the lives of nearly every Canadian. However, while electricity generation remains a significant contributor to Canada's GHG emissions, a large majority of Canada's electricity comes from low- and non-emitting sources (including 60.2% from hydroelectricity, 14.3% from nuclear, and 3.1% from non-hydro renewables – see figure 5). The economic development opportunities associated with energy generation in the territories consider benefits from both oil and gas as well as from renewable power generation including wind, solar, geothermal and hydro capacity.

Figure 5 - Electricity Generation in Canada (2011)

This figure shows Canada’s electricity generation (long description is located below the image).

Long Description

This figure shows that 60.2 per cent of Canada’s electricity generation is from hydro; 14.3 per cent from nuclear; 11.4 per cent from coal; 11.1 per cent from gas, oil, and others; and 3.1 per cent from non-hydro renewables.

Outdoor air quality also has a significant influence on the environment, human health and Canada's economy. Exposure to ambient air pollutants can increase the risk of illnesses such as asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, which can in turn have economic impacts such as increased health care costs (for example, due to higher incidence of doctor visits and hospital admissions) and lower productivity (for example, due to more frequent sick days among workers) (Environment Canada, 2012).

The development and deployment of clean technologies can contribute to addressing GHG and air quality concerns while providing opportunities for Canadian firms to contribute to supplying fast-growing international demand for such products and increasing the competitiveness of Canadian industry through energy and resource efficiency improvements.  In this way, innovative environmental and energy technologies assist in decoupling economic growth from environmental damage, allowing for the consideration of opportunities to simultaneously address both Canada's environmental and economic opportunities.

What Others Are Doing

Action on climate change and air quality is being undertaken at every level of society. Canada is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was established in 1992 to consider how to limit climate change and adapt to unavoidable impacts. Bilaterally, Canada and the U.S. have a long history of cooperation on transboundary air quality issues under the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement. Within Canada, in addition to federal actions, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments play a significant role in limiting emissions of air pollutants and GHGs. Provinces are working with the federal government to monitor air quality and air pollutant emissions. A notable example is Alberta's partnership with the Government of Canada to conduct Joint Oil Sands Monitoring to monitor air and water quality in the oil sands region. As announced in fall 2012 by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, provincial and territorial governments will also work with the federal government to implement the Air Quality Management System, a new framework for managing air quality. In addition to federal and provincial/territorial governments, some Canadian municipalities are promoting lower- or zero-emission modes of transportation such as cycling and public transportation.

Municipal governments can also play a role in climate change adaptation by, for example, upgrading emergency response systems and taking climate projections into account in planning activities (Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 2013). Climate change is a key issue for Canadian companies, and many are taking action by, for example, investing in energy efficiency improvements. Businesses can also integrate other environmental and social objectives into business structures and processes in order to creatively innovate, address evolving societal expectations, and improve public credibility and confidence (Industry Canada, 2011). Meanwhile, individuals can take action by choosing lower- and zero-emission modes of transportation more often, and making energy-efficient choices in their homes, including energy-efficient windows, lighting, and appliances.

What the Federal Government Is Doing

Figure 6 - Theme I. Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

This figure shows the structure of Theme 1, which includes two goals and four targets (long description is located below the image).International WorkEnergy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyClean TransportationClean Technology and IndustryTarget 2.2 Indoor Air QualityTarget 2.1: Outdoor Air PollutantsTarget 1.2 Climate Change AdaptationTarget 1.1 Climate Change MitigationGoal 2: Air PollutionGoal 1: Climate Change

Long Description

This figure shows the structure of Theme 1, which includes two goals and four targets. The figure also shows that Target 1.1 (Climate Change Mitigation) is supported by implementation strategies under four categories: Clean Technology and Industry, Clean Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and International Work.

The government has established two goals within this theme, on climate change and air pollution. Targets that support these goals address climate change mitigation (greenhouse gas emission reduction); climate change adaptation (increasing Canada's resilience to unavoidable climate change impacts); outdoor air pollutants (reducing emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ammonia); and indoor air quality (providing guidance aimed at reducing Canadians' exposure to indoor air pollutants). This theme includes all Clean Air Agenda (CAA) programming from 11 departments and agencies, including a number of new implementation strategies representing climate change and air-quality related work. The CAA, renewed in 2011, is a collection of initiatives that includes federal regulatory action on GHG emissions, international engagement and negotiation on climate change, support for climate change adaptation, and programs to reduce emissions to air from energy generation and transportation vehicles.

Social and economic dimensions

Climate change and air quality are closely linked to economic prosperity and human health and well-being. Similarly, implementation strategies under this theme have a range of social and economic co-benefits. For example, implementation strategies that support climate change adaptation can have economic benefits (for example, by improving the resilience of northern transportation infrastructure through Implementation Strategy 1.2.10) as well as benefits to human health (for example, by reducing infectious disease risks and public health threats related to climate change through Implementation Strategy 1.2.2). Implementation Strategy 2.1.19, on improving air quality through the Air Quality Management System, will contribute to limiting negative health impacts from air pollutants, while Implementation Strategy 2.2.2, on indoor radon levels, can contribute to limiting health impacts from indoor air pollution.

Diverse energy sources will serve to minimize risks to the energy supply available for northern communities, current businesses, and perspective investors. A diverse energy supply will also safeguard existing and proposed infrastructure from power shortages and shocks due to macroeconomic conditions.

Social and economic impacts of severe weather and other incidents linked to climate change are tracked through the Canadian Disaster Database, maintained by Public Safety Canada. Monitoring disasters over time will better enable the government to see the impact of a changing climate and the benefits of adaptation.

Goal 1: Climate Change
In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emission levels and adapt to unavoidable impacts.

Indicator:

Figure 7 - Goal 1: Climate Change

This figure shows Goal 1 in the context of Theme 1 (long description is located below the image).International WorkEnergy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyClean TransportationClean Technology and IndustryTarget 1.2: Climate Change AdaptationTarget 1.1 Climate Change MitigationGoal 1: Climate Change

Long Description

This figure shows Goal 1 (Climate Change) in the context of Theme 1 (Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality). Goal 1 is supported by two targets: Target 1.1 (Climate Change Mitigation) and Target 1.2 (Climate Change Adaptation). Target 1.1 is supported by implementation strategies under four categories: Clean Technology and Industry, Clean Transportation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and International Work.

To achieve this goal, the Government of Canada will:

  • Continue to advance clean technology and implement its sector-by-sector regulatory approach to addressing GHG emissions from major industrial emitters and transportation. The approach involves developing and implementing regulations to limit GHG emissions from all major emitting sectors, including transportation, coal-fired electricity generation, oil and gas, and other key industrial sectors.
  • Contribute to the development and generation of renewable energy and support energy efficiency. These efforts help to reduce reliance on traditional forms of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. For example, the government will:
    • Invest $1.4 billion over 14 years to support renewable energy projects through the ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program;
    • Develop and implement energy efficiency codes, standards and labeling, information and benchmarking tools through the ecoENERGY Efficiency Program;
    • Support clean energy research, development and demonstration projects through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative; and
    • Encourage businesses, through the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment, to invest in specified equipment.
  • Engage with international partners by participating in global climate change negotiations and implementing Canada's commitments; work with the United States to advance clean energy priorities through the Clean Energy Dialogue; and address emissions of short-lived climate pollutants including through fora such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Arctic Council.
  • Promote environmental sustainability in the private sector by, for example, supporting strategic, large-scale research and development projects through the Automotive Innovation Fund, and by working with industry to promote the adoption of technologies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Take action on climate change adaptation. The Government of Canada has deepened its support for federal climate change adaptation activities, including programs to improve understanding of climate change impacts and provide credible, scientifically sound information to support adaptation planning and decision making. These efforts are guided by the Federal Adaptation Policy Framework, which will help the government take account of climate risks as decisions are made on a wide range of programs and activities that support the well-being of Canadians.

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation
Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions 17% by 2020.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Implementation Strategies for Clean Technology and Industry

Leading by Example
  • 1.1.1. Develop domestic climate change strategies aligned with the U.S. as appropriate for Canadian circumstances as part of Canada's commitment to meet its national GHG emissions target. (EC)
Enabling Capacity
  • 1.1.2. Provide analysis and assessments of the environmental performance of new and emerging technologies, and contribute to the oversight of programs, such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada, that advance clean technologies. (EC)
  • 1.1.3. Continue to work with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote the adoption and adaptation of new technologies such as aerospace, information and communications technologies. (IC)
  • 1.1.4. Continue to implement the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative in support of strategic, research and development projects that contribute to new Aerospace and Defense technologies, and which may reduce GHG emissions and produce new energy efficiencies. (IC)
  • 1.1.5. Continue to support the development and promote the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) management tools by industry and the use of CSR standards in the Canadian marketplace in support of sustainable consumption and production, innovation and competitiveness. (IC)
  • 1.1.6. Finance projects that would, among other things, help to optimize resource use, value residual resources, and contribute to eco-efficiency. (CED)
  • 1.1.7. Work with industry stakeholders and technology developers to reduce the environmental footprint and impacts of the mining industry. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.8. Continue to work with key stakeholders to ensure that consumers have the information and tools needed to protect their interests, while engaging in, and supporting, research and policy development on consumer issues such as sustainable consumption. (IC)
  • 1.1.9. Continue to promote sustainable manufacturing practices to Canadian businesses recognizing that the adoption of technologies and processes that support innovation and competitiveness can also increase environmental sustainability. (IC)
  • 1.1.10. Continue to advance environmental sustainability through support to co-operatives as businesses with economic, environmental and social sustainability goals by identifying and addressing barriers and opportunities to co-operative growth, and enabling access to emerging market opportunities. (IC)
  • 1.1.11. Continue to support the growth of business services to manufacturing, including those which integrate innovation into product design and development and into the supply chain, and can result in environmental sustainability benefits. (IC)
Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 1.1.12. Conduct targeted research to increase knowledge of climate change relative to agriculture and assess and report on the collective environmental and economic impact of the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices by farmers on the Canadian landscape. (AAFC)
  • 1.1.13. Undertake and deliver scientific research, risk assessment and regular reporting in support of regulatory and other programs, including data analysis, inventory development, monitoring, modelling and assessment of the effectiveness of efforts as well as research on options, costs and benefits, and technology assessments. (EC)
  • 1.1.14. Undertake modelling, analysis and research, and develop regulatory impact analysis statements in order to support informed federal decision making on policy approaches to reduce GHG emissions and to analyze the economic and competitiveness impacts of policy approaches. (EC)
  • 1.1.15. Provide science information and expertise to inform science assessments and reports related to climate change. (EC)
Demanding Performance
  • 1.1.16. Continue to implement and expand the single-window reporting initiative for national releases and emissions reporting. (EC)
  • 1.1.17. Continue to develop and implement regulations to reduce GHG emissions from emissions-intensive trade exposed (EITE) sectors. (EC)
  • 1.1.18. Continue to develop and implement regulations and other instruments to reduce GHG emissions in the electricity sector. (EC)
  • 1.1.19. Continue to develop regulations to reduce GHG emissions in the oil and gas sectors. (EC)

Implementation Strategies for Clean Transportation

Enabling Capacity
  • 1.1.20. Provide tax relief to Canadians who use public transit regularly and encourage individuals to make a sustained commitment to using public transit regularly to help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and GHG emissions, through the Public Transit Tax Credit. (FIN)
  • 1.1.21. Continue to collaborate with partners to enhance Canada's competitive advantage in hydrogen and fuel cell technology development and commercialization. (IC)
  • 1.1.22. Address GHG emissions by supporting the deployment of truck reservation systems at port and terminal facilities to improve efficiency in the movement of trucks into and out of terminal facilities at container ports and reduce truck idling. (TC)
  • 1.1.23. Support fuel producers' capacity to produce renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.24. Address GHG emissions from the marine sector by funding the installation of marine shore power facilities at Canadian ports. (TC)
  • 1.1.25. Develop advanced materials technologies for use in new energy-efficient vehicle design, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts in transportation. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.26. Address GHG emissions through testing and evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies to support the development of regulations and industry codes and standards, in order to ensure that new technologies that reduce GHG emissions can be introduced in Canada in a safe and timely manner. (TC)
  • 1.1.27. Work with the standards community to develop and update codes and standards as they relate to alternative transportation fuels. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.28. Continue to implement the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) through to 2018 in support of strategic, large-scale research and development projects leading to innovative, greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles. (IC)
  • 1.1.29. Continue to work with provincial and territorial governments through a Mobile Sources Working Group (MSWG) to develop an action plan to reduce emissions from the mobile sources sector by sharing information and identifying areas of joint interest among jurisdictions, departments and ministries. (EC)
Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 1.1.30. Work with key stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, end-users, alternative and conventional fuel producers, vehicle and equipment manufacturers) to increase their knowledge of alternative fuel pathways. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.31. Quantify the carbon (GHG) footprint of Canada's strategic gateways and trade corridors. (TC)
  • 1.1.32. Develop policy options for a regulatory framework in support of marine renewable energy development in the federal offshore, and share them with stakeholders in a timely manner. (NRCan)
Demanding Performance
  • 1.1.33. Develop and implement GHG emission regulations for light-duty vehicles (for model years 2017–2025) and heavy-duty vehicles (for model years 2014–2018) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which will align with those of the United States. (EC, TC)
  • 1.1.34. Address GHG emissions from maritime shipping by working with the International Maritime Organization in the development of new international standards and recommended practices for marine vessels, as well as through the implementation of new Canadian regulations, and targeted research and development. (EC, TC)
  • 1.1.35. Address GHG emissions from the rail sector through the joint Canada-U.S. locomotive emissions initiative under the Regulatory Cooperation Council, a voluntary agreement with the Canadian rail industry, and research activities to enhance understanding of new technologies to reduce GHG emissions. (TC)
  • 1.1.36. Address GHG emissions from aviation by supporting the International Civil Aviation Organization's development of new international standards and recommended practices, through the development and implementation of new domestic standards, monitoring Canada's voluntary Action Plan in collaboration with the Canadian domestic aviation sector, and through targeted research. (TC)
  • 1.1.37. Impose a Green Levy on the most fuel-inefficient passenger vehicles available in Canada. (FIN)

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Enabling Capacity
  • 1.1.38. Encourage businesses, through the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment, to invest in specified equipment that can contribute to a reduction in harmful emissions and diversification of the energy supply. (FIN)
  • 1.1.39. Diversify the western Canadian economy by making strategic investments in the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies through the Western Diversification Program. (WD)
  • 1.1.40. Work with the public and federal government decision makers to ensure that they have access to information that supports decisions on climate change and clean energy issues. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.41. Promote the adoption of energy efficient products and practices that contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.42. Support science and technology of innovative solutions for environmental challenges in the energy sector, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts and producing and using energy in a more clear and efficient way. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.43. Develop new materials technologies in clean power generation, safe and reliable energy distribution and energy efficient end-use for use in industry. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.44. Develop new materials technologies to transport fossil fuels more efficiently, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts from energy transportation. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.45. Improve energy efficiency in Canada through programming that targets the housing, buildings, equipment, industrial and transportation sectors. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.46. Promote the production of clean renewable electricity. (NRCan)
  • 1.1.47. Work with Aboriginal and northern communities, organizations and governments on the development of sustainable energy. (AANDC)
  • 1.1.48. The Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative aims to facilitate development of the Atlantic renewable energy sector by fostering collaboration, common understanding and communication among governments, and between governments and the private sector, to maximize and expedite the development of clean and renewable energy resources in the region. (ACOA)

Implementation Strategies for International Work on Climate Change

Leading by Example
  • 1.1.49. Lead Government of Canada participation in international negotiations at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on climate change for a post-2020 climate change agreement. (EC)
Enabling Capacity
  • 1.1.50. Work to implement Canada's commitments concluded in international climate change negotiations such as mitigation targets and actions; short-and long-term financing; mechanisms for technology and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; adaptation actions; and provisions for transparency and accountability of climate change actions. (EC, NRCan)
  • 1.1.51. Provide legal services and advice for the international climate change negotiations, coordinate financial obligations. (DFATD)
  • 1.1.52. Support Canada's participation in multilateral fora outside of the UNFCCC and ensure that Canada's international climate change objectives are advanced in international meetings including addressing short-lived climate pollutants (e.g. Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Global Methane Initiative and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Major Economies Forum and Arctic Council). (AAFC, EC)
  • 1.1.53. Ensure that Canada's international climate change objectives related to energy and clean technology are advanced in international meetings (e.g. Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue, UNFCCC, Clean Energy Ministerial). (EC, NRCan)
  • 1.1.54. Contribute to the overall functioning of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research and their ongoing work to produce policy-relevant scientific information on climate change. (EC)
  • 1.1.55. Work with the U.S.and Mexico under the auspices of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to address common issues related to climate change and air quality. (EC)
Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 1.1.56. Develop and submit a complete and compliant annual national GHG Inventory Report and Common Reporting Format tables to the UNFCCC Secretariat by April 15 to meet UNFCCC reporting requirements. (EC)
  • 1.1.57. Analyze key forest carbon options for climate change mitigation, ensure that Canada's international climate change objectives related to forests are advanced in international meetings, and continue to develop Canada's National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System to provide annual forest-related GHG inventory estimates. (NRCan)

Target 1.2: Climate Change Adaptation
Facilitate reduced vulnerability of individuals, communities, regions and economic sectors to the impacts of climate change through the development and provision of information and tools.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

  • Measuring adaptation is complex given the broad nature and scope of potential impacts. In the short term, measurement for the FSDS will focus on measures of the performance of specific government actions which are expected to be available for inclusion in the next FSDS Progress Report. These may be complemented in the future by additional indicators that measure adaptation outcomes for Canada more broadly.

Implementation Strategies

Enabling Capacity
  • 1.2.1. Work with Aboriginal and northern communities, organizations and governments on climate change issues by supporting them in managing vulnerabilities and opportunities created by a changing climate. (AANDC)
  • 1.2.2. Work with domestic and international stakeholders to reduce infectious diseases risks and public health threats related to climate change by increasing public health capacity and expertise through targeted research, modelling, and cost-benefit analysis. (PHAC)
  • 1.2.3. Implement the Adaptation Platform to enable collaboration on adaptation including the development and exchange of information, tools and expertise. (NRCan)
  • 1.2.4. Support adaptation by enabling the integrated assessment of the implications of climate change for Canada's forest sector. (NRCan)
  • 1.2.5. Work with Aboriginal and northern communities to develop and deploy standards that support more resilient infrastructure and reduce impacts from climate change at the community level. (AANDC, SCC)
  • 1.2.6. Work with Canadian communities to implement heat alert and response systems and provide information/education about the health impacts of extreme heat to public health professionals and the public. (HC)
  • 1.2.7. Address the health effects of climate change by funding community-based research and assessment projects that enable northern First Nations and Inuit communities to develop climate change adaptation strategies and action plans. (HC)
  • 1.2.8. Through the assessment of risk and the development of science-based knowledge and applied adaptation tools, enable climate change considerations to influence decision making by the Department and by Canadians at large. (DFO)
Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 1.2.9. Improve understanding of climate-driven ecological change in Canada's North by using a combination of remote sensing techniques and working with park cooperative management boards to assess how ecological integrity and traditional land use may be affected by climate-driven changes in northern national parks. (PC)
  • 1.2.10. Support the development and testing of innovative science-based tools and technologies to help improve the resiliency and adaptability of existing and future northern transportation infrastructure and Arctic marine operations. (TC)
  • 1.2.11. Work with governments and communities in the North (north of 60° latitude) to ensure that they have information on adaptation measures. (NRCan)
  • 1.2.12. Support adaptation decision making by providing the foundational science information to understand climate system behaviour, the human influence on climate, and future climate on various spatial and temporal scales. (EC)
  • 1.2.13. Support adaptation by improving knowledge on the climate change impacts on mine waste management and effluent treatment in the North. (NRCan)

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Goal 2: Air Pollution
Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems.

Indicator:

Figure 8 - Air Pollution

This figure shows Goal 2 in the context of Theme 1 (long description is located below the image).Target 2.2 Indoor Air QualityTarget 2.1 Outdoor Air PollutantsGoal 2: Air Pollution

Long Description

This figure shows Goal 2 (Air Pollution) in the context of Theme 1 (Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality). Goal 2 is supported by two targets: Target 2.1 (Outdoor Air Pollutants) and Target 2.2 (Indoor Air Quality).

To achieve this goal, the Government of Canada will work to address outdoor air pollutants and indoor air quality. Specifically, the government will:

  • Work with provinces, territories, Aboriginal groups and stakeholders to implement the Air Quality Management System (AQMS), which includes new ambient air quality standards, a framework for managing air quality through local air zones and regional airsheds, as well as regulated emissions requirements for major industrial sectors.
  • Work with other jurisdictions, including with the U.S. under the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement, to undertake regional and international efforts to address transboundary air pollution of concern to Canadians and their environment.
  • Conduct research assessments and communication activities in order to provide health-based guidance on reducing Canadians' exposure to indoor air pollutants.

Target 2.1: Outdoor Air Pollutants
Improve outdoor air quality by ensuring compliance with new or amended regulated emission limits by 2020 and thus reducing emissions of air pollutants in support of AQMS objectives.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicators:

Implementation Strategies

Enabling Capacity
  • 2.1.1. Finance projects that would, among other things, help to optimize resource use, valuing residual resources, and contribute to eco-efficiency. (CED)
  • 2.1.2. Encourage businesses, through the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment, to invest in specified equipment that can contribute to a reduction in harmful emissions and diversification of the energy supply. (FIN)
  • 2.1.3. The Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative aims to facilitate development of the Atlantic renewable energy sector by fostering collaboration, common understanding and communication among governments, and between governments and the private sector, to maximize and expedite the development of clean and renewable energy resources in the region. (ACOA)
  • 2.1.4. Diversify the western Canadian economy by making strategic investments in the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies through the Western Diversification Program. (WD)
  • 2.1.5. Provide tax relief to Canadians who use public transit regularly and encourage individuals to make a sustained commitment to using public transit regularly to help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and GHG emissions, through the Public Transit Tax Credit. (FIN)
  • 2.1.6. Address air pollutant emissions through testing and evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies to support the development of regulations and industry codes and standards, in order to ensure that new technologies that reduce air pollutant emissions can be introduced in Canada in a safe and timely manner. (TC)
  • 2.1.7. Address air pollutant emissions by supporting the deployment of truck reservation systems at port and terminal facilities to improve efficiency in the movement of trucks into and out of terminal facilities at container ports and reduce truck idling. (TC)
  • 2.1.8. Address air pollutant emissions from the marine sector by funding the installation of marine shore power facilities at Canadian ports. (TC)
  • 2.1.9. Provide analysis and assessments of the environmental performance of new and emerging technologies, and contribute to the oversight of programs, such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada, that advance clean technologies. (EC)
  • 2.1.10. Work with the U.S.and Mexico under the auspices of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to strengthen environmental enforcement. (EC)
  • 2.1.11. Communicate outdoor air pollution health risks to Canadians through the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), which provides current and forecast air-quality information and advice on health risks in order to assist Canadians in making decisions on how to reduce their level of exposure. Continue development of the AQHI and continue implementation in all provinces and major communities in the North to achieve access for 80% of the Canadian population. (EC, HC)
Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 2.1.12. Track releases of harmful substances under the National Pollutant Release Inventory in accordance with Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. (EC)
  • 2.1.13. Undertake and deliver scientific research, monitoring, modelling, testing, data analysis and science advice to inform regulations, policies, programs, science assessments, and services as well as to evaluate effectiveness of actions. (EC, HC)
  • 2.1.14. Characterize the impacts of air pollution on ecosystems and wildlife in order to evaluate the impact of regulations and inform regulatory development. (EC)
  • 2.1.15. Using the National Pollutant Release Inventory and other data sources, prepare and submit Air Pollutant Emission Inventory to meet domestic needs and international reporting requirements. (EC)
  • 2.1.16. Undertake modelling, analysis and research, and develop regulatory impact analysis statements in order to support informed federal decision making on policy approaches to reduce air pollutant emissions and to analyze the economic and competitiveness impacts of policy approaches. (EC)
  • 2.1.17. Begin to deliver scientific information and advice required to better understand the impacts of the oil sands sector on air quality and deposition of atmospheric contaminants into aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. (EC)
  • 2.1.18. Conduct basic and applied research to increase knowledge of the effects of agricultural production on air. (AAFC)
Demanding Performance
  • 2.1.19. Continue to work collaboratively with provinces, territories and stakeholders to implement the Air Quality Management System, which includes new ambient air quality standards, a framework for managing air quality through local air zones and regional airsheds, and emissions requirements for major industrial sectors and equipment types. (EC, HC)
  • 2.1.20. Work with other jurisdictions, including the U.S. under the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement (AQA) to undertake regional and international efforts to manage transboundary air pollution of concern for Canadians and their environment. This includes work towards the completion of the necessary scientific, technical and regulatory foundations required for the consideration of a Particulate Matter Annex under the AQA. (EC, HC)
  • 2.1.21. Address air pollutant emissions from maritime shipping by working with the International Maritime Organization in the development of new international standards and recommended practices for marine vessels, as well as through the implementation of new Canadian regulations, and targeted research and development. (EC, TC)
  • 2.1.22. Address air pollutant emissions from aviation by supporting the International Civil Aviation Organization's development of new international standards and recommended practices, through the development and implementation of new domestic standards, and through targeted research. (TC)
  • 2.1.23. Target control measures on volatile organic compounds in some consumer and commercial products. (EC)
  • 2.1.24. Continue to develop, implement and administer emission standards to reduce air pollutants in the transportation sector. (EC)
  • 2.1.25. Continue to develop, implement and administer emission standards to reduce air pollutants in the major industrial sectors and equipment types. (EC)
  • 2.1.26. Address air pollutant emissions from the rail sector through locomotive regulations aligned with U.S. standards, and research activities to enhance understanding of new technologies to reduce air pollutant emissions. (TC)
  • 2.1.27. Impose a Green Levy on the most fuel-inefficient passenger vehicles available in Canada. (FIN)
  • 2.1.28. Continue to promote a North American proposal to phase-down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal Protocol and develop complementary domestic regulations where appropriate. (EC)
  • 2.1.29. Deliver compliance promotion activities for key regulatory initiatives. (EC)
  • 2.1.30. Revise domestic ozone-depleting substances regulations in support of the Montreal Protocol commitment to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons. (EC)

Target 2.2: Indoor Air Quality
Help protect the health of Canadians by providing health-based guidance and tools to support actions to better manage indoor air quality.

(Minister of Health)

Indicator:

  • Actions to manage indoor air quality that incorporate health-based guidance

Implementation Strategies

Advancing Knowledge and Communication
  • 2.2.1. Conduct research, assessments and communication activities in order to provide health-based guidance on reducing exposure to indoor air pollutants. (HC)
  • 2.2.2. Maintain a database of indoor radon levels in Canadian homes and buildings. Assess new methods and technologies for measuring and reducing radon gas levels in homes and buildings. Maintain a radon awareness program to give information to Canadians on ways to reduce their exposure to radon. (HC, StatCan)
  • 2.2.3. Develop indoor air quality design tools, emission databases for building and consumer products, evaluate air purification solutions and technologies, and disseminate indoor air quality related information to building operators and homeowners. (NRC)



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