Environment Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
Departmental Website Component:
Section IV of the 2011–2012 Report on Plans and Priorities


3. Description of Environment Canada’s Activities Supporting FSDS Themes I, II and II


Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality


Goal 1: Climate Change – Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation – Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020
 
FSDS Implementation Strategies Further Details on This Implementation Strategy Alignment with the 2011–2012 Program Activity Architecture (PAA)
1.1.4
Develop and provide information and reports on atmospheric science assessments related to climate change (EC).
Provision of timely, credible science advice and assessment regarding Canada’s rapidly changing climate and how it functions in the North and elsewhere is delivered to support federal decision making on climate change mitigation and adaptation. This includes Canada’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Performance expectations:
  • There will be a qualitative assessment of the satisfaction of government decision-makers with the timeliness, credibility and relevance of atmospheric science advice and assessment related to climate change.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air

Program Activity 2.1
Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians
1.1.5
Undertake and deliver scientific research and reporting in support of regulatory and other programs, including data analysis, inventory development, monitoring, modeling and assessment of the effectiveness of efforts as well as research on options, costs and benefits, and technology assessments.
(EC, HC, NRCan, TC)
Under the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, comprehensive inventories of greenhouse gases for both sources and sinks are developed and reported annually as part of Canada’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) obligations. Data and methods to estimate, model and quantify both emissions and removals of GHGs are developed and implemented and analyses to understand the drivers and trends are prepared. The program provides Canadians with information on greenhouse gas emissions at national, provincial and regional scales. There are two main sources of information for GHG emissions available on this website.

The National Inventory Report (NIR) provides a primary source for tracking of progress toward FSDS Target 1.1.

Performance expectations:
  • Meet annual international reporting obligations for the UNFCCC.
  • Meet annual domestic reporting obligations under CEPA 1999.
  • Provision of GHG science (monitoring and modelling) to establish the knowledge base necessary for the development, implementation and evaluation of emission targets, regulations and compliance mechanisms.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.6
Develop climate change strategies harmonized with United States as part of Canada’s commitment to meet Target 1.1.
(EC)
This implementation strategy will be implemented through regulatory development to address GHG emissions on a sector-by-sector basis, aligned with the United States as appropriate. The transportation sector is the first targeted sector for alignment with the United States’ approach.

This contributes to achieving Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation – Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020 by ensuring that Canada’s target and approach are aligned with the U.S. as appropriate.

Climate change strategies that are to be harmonized with the United States also include those aimed at advancing clean energy and clean technologies. This includes Canada’s activities under the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue (CED) and activities under the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program, which involves joint clean technology verification initiatives with the United States.

Performance expectations:
  • Implementation of the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck GHG Emissions Regulations beginning with the 2011 model year;
  • Development of GHG regulations to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, aligned with the United States; and
Finalization of regulations to reduce GHG emissions from the coal-fired thermal electricity sector. Work is also underway to extend GHG regulatory approaches to all major emitting sectors. (Work is also underway to develop an approach to limit GHG emissions from other industrial sources to align with forthcoming GHG regulations under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.7
Develop and implement a single window reporting initiative for national emissions reporting. (EC)
Under the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda, the government committed to developing a single, harmonized system for the regulatory reporting of all air emissions and related information. The Single Window Reporting (SWR) initiative is one component of the single harmonized system, which sets the stage for a forum to pursue harmonization of reporting methodologies, thereby improving confidence and credibility with results.

On March 15, 2010, Environment Canada (EC) launched the Single Window Reporting (SWR) system to support integrated data collection starting with GHG emissions. The SWR system also collects Alberta GHG information (Alberta’s Specified Gas Reporting Regulation), which was previously collected through Statistics Canada.

The Single Window Reporting (SWR) initiative is one component of the single harmonized system that sets the stage for a forum to pursue harmonization of reporting methodologies, thereby improving confidence and credibility with results associated with the targeted reduction of Canada’s total GHG emissions.

Performance expectations:
  • In 2011–2012, EC will continue discussions with other provinces interested in using the EC SWR. This ongoing work could be expanded to support an inclusive Canadian approach for data collection.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.8
Develop renewable fuels regulations to mandate a 5% renewable fuel content in gasoline. (EC)
In 2010, the Renewable Fuels Regulations, which require a 5% renewable content based on the gasoline pool, were published. In 2011–2012, EC will develop an amendment requiring a 2% renewable content minimum in diesel fuel and heating oil.

The Renewable Fuels Regulations, along with provincial regulations, are expected to reduce GHG emissions by about 4 megatonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 1 million vehicles from the road. Visit this website for more information.

Performance expectations:
  • Amendments are published in the Canada Gazette.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.9
Develop greenhouse gas (GHG) emission regulations for new cars and light trucks beginning with the 2011 model year. (EC)
In 2010, EC published the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations for new passenger cars and light trucks for the 2011–2016 model years, aligned with United States regulations. Visit this website for more information.

As cars and light trucks account for about 12% of Canada’s total GHG emissions, this will help Canada reach the 2020 emissions target.

Performance expectations:
  • The vehicles and engines that are covered by the regulations for the period 2011–2016 will be subject to performance reporting, testing and verification.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.10
Develop regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to address greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, aligned with the United States but taking into consideration the distinct nature of the Canadian fleet. The draft regulations are expected to be available for consultation in the Fall of 2010. (EC, TC)
These proposed regulations will target the 2014 and later model-year new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and will align with United States standards. An initial consultation document was released in October 2010. Visit this website for more information.

As heavy-duty vehicles account for 44 MT (6%) of GHG emissions in Canada in 2005, this will contribute to reaching the 2020 emissions target.

Performance expectations:
  • Draft regulations are targeted to be published in the Canada Gazette in 2011.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.11
Develop a performance standard for high-emitting coal-fired thermal electricity generation to transition to low- or non-emitting generation such as renewable energy, high-efficiency natural gas, or thermal power with CCS. (EC)
New coal-burning electricity units and those that have reached the end of their economic life will be required to meet a stringent performance standard. Draft regulations will be developed in 2011, to come into effect in 2015. Visit this website for more information. As coal-fired electricity generators account for 13% of GHG emissions in Canada, this will help reach the 2020 target of a 17% reduction.

Performance expectations:
  • Draft and final regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette in 2011.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.12
Continue to work with the provinces and territories to develop coherent greenhouse gases approaches. (EC)
The activity will be implemented through continued bilateral and multilateral engagement with provincial and territorial representatives, including through the Federal–Provincial–Territorial Working Group on Domestic Climate Change.

This contributes to achieving Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation by facilitating coordination and cooperation with the provinces and territories in order to develop coherent approaches addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

Performance expectations:
  • Federal–Provincial–Territorial Working Group progress on Domestic Climate Change: 2 to 3 meetings to be held in 2011–2012;
  • Development of additional agreements in principle (AIPs) on climate change cooperation with interested provinces;
  • Signing of 3 Memoranda of Agreement with provinces for data sharing; and,
  • Continued work under the Canada–Quebec working group on matters related to climate change.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.14
Work within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to support the development of international energy efficiency / GHG standards for marine vessels (TC, EC)
Environment Canada will work with Transport Canada and the IMO to develop GHG emissions standards for international shipping. These standards will also include options for the use of both technical and market-based mechanisms in order to meet reduction targets. Visit this website for more information.

As marine transportation accounted for 6 MT (0.8%) of GHG emissions in Canada in 2005, this will help reach the 2020 emissions target.

Performance expectations:
  • Environment Canada provides expertise and advice to Transport Canada as needed.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.18
Continue to support a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Railway Association of Canada that ensures the rail industry continues to improve its GHG emissions performance during the period 2006-2010. (EC, TC)
The MOU with the Railway Association of Canada expired in December 2010. Visit this website for more information.

Performance expectations:
  • Environment Canada provides expertise and advice to Transport Canada as needed.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.20
Develop climate change strategies aligned with the United States including working collaboratively through the Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue to advance clean energy priorities. (EC, NRCan)
Should program funding be renewed, the Clean Energy Dialogue (CED) will remain a key mechanism for engaging with the United States to collaborate more effectively on the development and deployment of clean energy technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change (Target 1.1).

Performance expectations:
  • Canada will make substantial progress by spring 2011 towards completing all 20 action plan commitments of Phase I of the CED. In addition, Canada will work with the United States to develop a new action plan for Phase II to further promote collaboration on the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.33
Develop and provide information and reports on the environmental footprint of energy technologies.
(EC)
The environmental footprint of energy technologies is evaluated, and timely, authoritative technology advice and assessment is delivered to advance clean technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This includes advice and oversight to programs that advance clean technologies, including Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Centres (CETACs), the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), and Canada's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program.

Performance expectations:
  • Satisfaction of government decision-makers with the timeliness, credibility and relevance of technology advice and assessment as measured through user group evaluation questionnaires and consultations. Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) target: 80% by 2014.
  • Annual reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalents) resulting from environmental technologies supported through programs to which EC contributes advice and oversight. This includes Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Centres (CETACs), the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), and ETV. PMF Target: 12.5 MT by 2015.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.35.2
Programs focused on supplying financial aid and developing capacity to reduce GHGs and air pollutants through adoption of emission-reducing technologies and practices: Implement national Vehicle Scrappage Program to encourage Canadians to retire their old high-polluting vehicles (models 1995 or earlier) and to choose more sustainable transportation options (EC).
The Vehicle Scrappage Program offers rewards—such as free transit passes, car-sharing memberships, $300 cash and rebates on the purchase of cleaner vehicles—to Canadians who retire their older, highly polluting personal vehicles. The program is mainly delivered though Summerhill Impact, a not-for-profit organization with a network of local agents that deliver the program in each province and develop partnerships with incentive providers, vehicle recyclers, and call centres. For further information, please visit EC’s website.

The program also directly contributes to the achievement of Target 2.1: Air Pollutants.

Performance expectations:
  • The program ends on March 31, 2011, and will wrap up its activities during the first four months of 2011–2012. It is estimated a total of 140 000 vehicles will have been retired by the end of the program, leading to a reduction 5000 T of smog-forming emissions.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.43
Work with international partners to implement the commitments in the Copenhagen Accord 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)
Canada will continue to work constructively with international partners through the UNFCCC process and related international fora to implement the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreement and to complete the negotiations under the UNFCCC for a legally binding post-2012 agreement that is based on the Accord and is fair, effective and comprehensive.

Key areas for further work includes developing a new system for measuring, reporting and verifying global greenhouse gas emissions, establishing a global adaptation framework, a new technology mechanism and a new global fund to mobilize both public- and private-sector funds for climate finance.

As part of our commitment to provide our fair share of fast-start financing under the Accord, Canada will, subject to approval, contribute new and additional climate change financing for the 2011–2012 fiscal year. This financing will go towards supporting developing countries' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, with a focus on three priority areas: adaptation, clean energy, and forests and agriculture. 

Performance expectations:
  • For 2011–2012: Implement projects to help the most vulnerable states mitigate and adapt to climate change and to ensure that Canada’s results are communicated in a transparent manner. Possible projects for the 2011–2012 fiscal year will be subject to the federal budget and approvals.
Program Activity 2.1
1.1.46
Support the development of recommendations on possible actions to mitigate short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) including black carbon emissions through participation on the Arctic Council Task Force on Black Carbon, and the UN ECE- Long Range Transboundary Air Pollutants (LRTAP) Ad Hoc Expert Group on Black Carbon. (EC)
The activity will be implemented through Canadian participation in the February 2011 meeting of the Arctic Council Task Force on Short-Lived Climate Forcers to finalize the Task Force Report, and through the provision of input on recommendations on possible actions to mitigate SLCFs, and any additional required input on black carbon emissions in Canada. As a result of the work of the LRTAP Ad Hoc Expert Group, black carbon is to be added to the air pollutants addressed under the Gothenburg Protocol to LRTAP Convention.

Though SLCFs are not GHGs, this activity contributes indirectly to Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation – reduce Canada’s national GHG reduction target 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 by contributing to the development of strategies to address climate change.

Performance expectations:
  • Submission of a final Arctic Council Task Force report with recommendations on possible actions to mitigate short-lived climate forcers to Ministers in April 2011.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air

Program Activity 2.1: Weather and Environmental Services for Canadians
1.1.47
Lead Government of Canada participation in international negotiations on climate change, maintain National Registry and coordinate payment of the International Transaction Log dues. (EC)
EC will continue to lead Canada’s constructive participation in the international negotiations process under the UN and in various complementary fora outside of the UN, such as the United States-led Major Economies Forum, as well as continue to manage and maintain the secretariat that supports the Chief Negotiator and Ambassador for Climate Change.

Performance expectations:
  • Canada participates constructively in UN negotiation sessions, as well as in meetings of complementary fora. The secretariat housed in EC effectively manages and coordinates a whole-of-government approach to support to the Chief Negotiator and Ambassador for Climate Change.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.48.4
Develop and submit a complete and compliant annual national GHG Inventory Report and Common Reporting Format tables to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat by April 15 to meet UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements maintain National Registry and coordinate payment of the International Transaction Log dues. (EC, NRCan)
A rigorous mandatory reporting of GHG emissions and related information is essential to meet international reporting obligations (UNFCCC and Kyoto), to inform development of realistic and enforceable industrial GHG emission regulations, and to ensure that reduction targets are met.

Activities included are the development and maintenance of the National System and National Inventory Report, the development and maintenance of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program as one component of the Single Window Reporting System, the development of IPCC quantification methodologies, ISO verification standards, participation of experts in UNFCCC reviews, preparation of a GHG Trends Report, preparation of the GHG Indicator for CESI, and provision of support to domestic program groups involved in regulatory development to support the Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions.

As a member of the UNFCCC, Canada must contribute to the International Transaction Log (ITL), which is the mechanism through which all member countries record their carbon credits. Canada’s National Registry links with the ITL and is used to submit Canada’s carbon credit status each year.

The NIR provides a primary source for tracking of progress toward FSDS Target 1.1.

Performance expectations:
  • Canada’s Greenhouse Gas National Inventory Report is scheduled to be submitted by April 15, 2011.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.49.2
Support Canada's participation in multilateral organizations outside the United Nations, such as Methane to Markets and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership. (EC)
Subject to approval of renewed funding, EC will lead Canada’s participation in international clean technology partnerships, including the Global Methane Initiative (formerly known as Methane to Markets) and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership. Direct relationship with Target 1.1

Performance expectations:
  • Canada invests in public-private partnership (P3) projects participates in the management and decision making of the international clean technology partnerships. P3 projects will deliver environmental benefits, economic benefits for Canadians and advance the development or deployment of clean technologies.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.50
Asia-Pacific Partnership: Manage Canadian Asia Pacific Partnership-funded projects that promote the development, diffusion and deployment of clean technologies. (EC, NRCan, IC)
In August 2010, the United States decided to end its participation in the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP). In the meeting held at that time, all Partner countries agreed that, while the APP had achieved considerable success, it would be wound down in early 2011. During 2007–2011, Canada invested in public-private partnership projects in APP partner countries that have delivered environmental benefits, economic benefits for Canadians and advanced the development or deployment of clean technologies.

Performance expectations:
  • As the APP concludes in March 2011, Canada will report on how Canada’s APP projects 1) delivered environmental benefits, in particular greenhouse gas emissions reductions; 2) delivered economic benefits to Canadians; and 3) advanced clean technology development and deployment.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air
1.1.51.1
Work within International Civil Aviation Organization to continue to advance emissions limitations and reductions from international aviation, including the implementation of the ICAO Programme of Action on International Aviation and Climate Change, while maintaining a high level of safety. (TC, EC)
Environment Canada provides support to Transport Canada as it formulates Canada’s position and participation at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

As aviation accounted for 8 MT (1.1%) of GHG emissions in Canada in 2005, this will contribute to reaching the 2020 emissions target.

Performance expectations:
  • Environment Canada provides expertise and advice to Transport Canada as needed.
Program Activity 3.2: Climate Change and Clean Air