Canada's Project Green

Speaking notes for the Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P. Minister of the Environment

Vancouver Board of Trade, Vancouver, BC

September 19, 2005

 

Minister Stéphane Dion
Speech delivered by the
Hon. Stéphane Dion P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment


Check against delivery

In communicating with Canadians about Project Green, Paul Martin's vision to strengthen Canada's position in the new Industrial Revolution - that of the sustainable economy - it is particularly fitting for me to be returning to British Columbia, to address the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Vancouver is a focal point for sustainability, as you host the World Urban Forum and the Olympics, a huge opportunity to showcase renewables and the hydrogen highway.

British Columbia: the province where we see one of our fastest growing economies and highest levels of environmental awareness; home of the Suzuki Foundation and of Xantrex Technology, a world leader in advanced bio-electronics; and the land that gave Canada the three great Davids: David Suzuki, David Anderson, a champion of the environment who cares about the economy, and David Emerson, a champion of the economy who cares about the environment.

I should also mention the other members of the Cabinet from BC: Senator Austin and Ministers Dosanjh, Owen, and Chan; all bring a green conscience to decision making.

Here, in British Columbia, in the shadow of your mountains, of your Douglas Fir and Red Cedar, the environment-economy debate seems to take on a larger scale: the incredible potential of your ocean resources and the no less incredible potential for disaster if they are harvested carelessly; the amazing diversity and richness of the Okanagan Valley and the amazing fragility of its superb, semi-desert ecosystem; the unrivalled development of your forest industry and the ferocity of the pine beetle infestation that your warmer winters cannot slow; the huge volume of raw sewage dumped by Victoria into the ocean every day and the huge cost that will be required to clean it up; the tough challenges posed by your blossoming relations with the world's new economic giants, India and China, well illustrated by this weekend's visit of the President of China to Ballard Power Systems, and by Westport Innovations' increasing involvement in China.

Yes, everything seems to take on a larger magnitude in British Columbia, like your determination in pursuing, at the same time, economic growth and environmental sustainability. Obviously, you share our Prime Minister's vision: Project Green for a sustainable, competitive economy, a prosperous Canada.

We all want to achieve this goal. But as a country, where do we rank in the global sustainable economy compared to other nations? What are we doing to build on our achievements? These are the two questions that I will address with you.

1. Ranking Canada's sustainability

Canadians have every reason to be puzzled when faced with the release of comparative studies that periodically assess our environmental performance. Some rank us at a very high level, others at a very poor one. So, are we good or are we bad?

I believe that these studies, however contradictory they may seem, provide useful basis for comparison, as long as they are well interpreted. The same can be said of the reports produced by the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development, which offer useful information to improve our environmental policies.

Table 1 shows Canada's ranking against thirty OECD countries plus Russia, using eight recent international indicators. Indeed, our ranking varies from second to twenty-eighth.

The explanation of this discrepancy is that Canada ranks well in most measurements when we look at the state of the environment (such as water quality), but rather poorly in measurements of environmental pressures (such as water consumption per person). So, an overall comparison of these indicators shows that Canada's ranking depends significantly on how much relative weight is given to "state of the environment" versus "environmental pressures" measurements.

This distinction explains the significant variation between Canada's ranking in the first six indices (on the left side) and the last two of Table 1. The last two indices are heavily weighted towards per capita measurements of environmental pressures, so Canada ranks lower on the comparative scale. The first six focus more on the state of the environment, so Canada ranks higher.

"State of the environment" rankings measure the condition of air, water, land and life forms. Compared to situations elsewhere in the world, most assessments indicate that Canada's environment is in very good condition. Rankings based on "environmental pressures" measure the effects of human activities that can be harmful to the environment, or to humans through the environment. For example, polluting emissions and certain types of land use are environmental pressures. From this perspective, we are rarely among the best performers.

Table 2 gives a clear picture of our ups and downs in determining how Canada ranks in both global and OECD contexts. Our air quality is relatively good but our air emissions performance puts us in the mid-range of OECD countries. Our water's quality is among the best in the world, but our water withdrawals per person are one of the largest. Regarding the issue of climate change, we are among the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. Our waste management is below the average in the OECD.

To summarize, the state of our environment is good but we are imposing significant pressures on it. The fact is that Canada has a small population in a vast and well endowed country (in terms of natural resources, such as freshwater) compared to situations in other countries. However, on a per-person basis, Canada's environmental pressures are among the greatest, particularly with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. And this is of course explained by the fact that since we have so many natural resources, we have not been as efficient in their use as other industrialized countries that do not enjoy the same richness of natural capital that we do.

I would argue that in this new industrial revolution in which we find ourselves, it is imperative that we improve our performance regarding environmental pressures, in order to enhance our quality of life and our economic competitiveness. We need to become a more efficient economy, a greener society.

And I am sure that the Vancouver Board of trade shares this view. You know full well that the future of our forest industry, our fisheries and our agriculture depend more than ever on their careful, sustainable utilization; that the vitality of our tourist industry is closely linked to the state of our parks, marine areas and wildlife; that air quality and water quality strongly influence the attractiveness of our cities, the health of our population, the cost of our health care system, the quality of life of our citizens and the productivity of our workers. You know that the issues related to adapting to climate change and limiting greenhouse gas emissions will be significant forces shaping global and national economies for the foreseeable future.

For our quality of life and our economic competitiveness, as well as our natural environment, we need to increase our resource productivity to become more efficient in the use of natural resources, especially energy.

Indeed, in the global economy, resource productivity will become increasingly important as global resource demands and energy costs increase rapidly with an anticipated 50 percent population growth and 400 percent economic growth by 2055. For business and industry around the globe, higher energy prices are requiring them to examine the costs and efficiency of their energy use more than ever. Business and industry must now strive for world class performance in their energy efficiency just as they do in terms of productivity, skills, and research and development.

In a word, we need an economy that does more with less. More productivity, less waste: we need to make sure that our economic strategy and our environmental policy will point in the same direction. We need Project Green.

2. Project Green: Increasing our environmental performance

Over the last year, Prime Minister Martin has given unprecedented momentum to Canada's environmental policy. The Speech from the Throne included thirteen commitments on clean air and water, energy, climate change and the preservation of our natural capital, which became the basis for Project Green. Last February, our Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale gave Canada its greenest budget since Confederation. In April, the government of Canada released a comprehensive plan for honouring our Kyoto commitments. Our environmental agenda is going ahead on all fronts.

On clean air, we are moving ahead with our Ten Year Clean Air Agenda laid out in 2000, in order to minimize pollution, reduce transportation sector emissions, lower emissions from major industrial sources, improve pollutant reporting by industry, advance clean air science, and engage the public in finding solutions to clean air issues.

Taken together, Canada and the United States already have the strictest vehicle engine and fuel regulations in the world for air pollutants. And the Government has an agenda to further reduce harmful emissions from vehicles, engines and fuels and to improve air quality. Reducing sulphur in fuel for rail locomotives, marine vessels, and off-road construction and mining equipment is an important element of that plan. I know that this is an important environmental and health issue for you here in British Columbia.

One of the key elements of our Clean Air Agenda is a strict regulatory action plan. These regulations will reduce smog forming emissions from new vehicles by 90 percent by 2010 compared with levels in 2000.

Earlier this year, I introduced for public comment, draft regulations that will reduce sulphur in diesel fuel by about 99 percent from present levels by the year 2010 for off-road equipment and by 2012 for rail and marine use. The resulting health benefits to Canadians will include fewer deaths, hospital admissions and days when people experience symptoms of asthma. I expect the final regulatory package to be in place in October.

Our transportation regulatory plan will also ensure that starting in 2007, bus standards will require a reduction of 85 percent from current allowable levels of emissions of NOX and 95 percent for particulate matter levels.

Many of the sources of air pollution and smog fall within provincial jurisdiction. The Federal Government is working very closely with the provinces and territories to implement Canada-wide standards for particulate matter and ozone, the two main precursors to smog. The federal, provincial and territorial governments are also finalizing Canada-wide standards to substantially reduce mercury emissions from the coal-fired electric power generation sector by 2010. The goal is to capture over 60 percent of the mercury released by coal combustion.

In August 2004, together with my counterpart at the US Environmental Protection Agency, I made a commitment to consider negotiating a particulate matter annex to the Canada-US Air Quality Agreement to bring about reductions in both countries. We have completed the background science and are moving forward to make a decision on when negotiations on an annex could begin.

Air quality is a significant concern for the six million residents of the Georgia Basin and Puget Sound transboundary region. So I am pleased to point out that a second joint study under the Canada/United States Air Quality Pilot Project, addressing air quality in this region, was released on July 29.

This study documents the international airshed strategy and initiatives that my Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will implement in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, the State of Washington and many regional and local government agencies to reduce the effects of air pollution on human health and ecosystems in this region.

We are also working with the U.S. Government to address air emissions from marine vessels and port activities - another concern for the region's residents.

Finally, we are collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop marine emission reduction strategies that will address emissions not only in the Georgia Basin - Puget Sound area, but also in other marine areas in our countries.

This year's budget will help us tremendously. It allocates $50 million over two years in support of the Border Air Quality Strategy for the Canada-US Air Quality Initiative, $90 million over five years to accelerate health risk assessments and research on the effects of potentially harmful substances. Our Climate Change Plan, which I will speak about later, will also help improve the quality of our air.

Another very significant budget measure for clean air is the transfer to municipalities of $5 billion of gas tax revenue. This transfer, added to the $800 million from Bill C-48, will support environmentally-sustainable infrastructure projects such as public transit, and will help to purify the air of our cities. It will also help to fund water and wastewater treatment, community energy systems and the handling of solid waste. Added to the additional $300 million the budget invested in the Green Municipal Funds, this New Deal for Cities and Communities is itself a green plan that will improve our quality of life and make our cities and communities more attractive, competitive and prosperous.

Our agenda for water is also substantial, with the five year Water Management Strategy to improve water and wastewater services for First Nation reserve communities; the $28 million that the last Budget devoted to the first phase of the government's Oceans Action Plan; the $85 million strategy to combat the proliferation of invasive alien species that eat between $13 billion and $34 billion per year out of our economy; and the Canada-wide management strategy for municipal wastewater effluents that the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment have agreed to develop by December 2006.

Last December, Environment Canada published two instruments for the management of risks relating to discharges of municipal wastewater, namely guidelines for ammonia and the preparation of pollution prevention plans for chlorine.

With respect to air and water quality results, we do have some good news. For example, in the chemical sector, annual releases of toxic substances have been reduced by two-thirds since 1992, down to 1,100 tonnes from 3,400 tonnes. Building on our success, we will have classified 23,000 readily available chemical products by September 2006. Canada will be the first country to be able to avail itself of such a systematic analysis to improve its regulatory regime.

As well, emissions of mercury, lead, cadmium and dioxins and furans have each dropped between 65 to 75 percent from 1990 to 2003.

As for better protecting our natural assets, I will mention especially the $269 million that the last budget allocated in additional, much-needed funds to our National Parks. This is good news for the preservation of our natural environment, and good news for our economy. Our National Parks are not only a magnificent part of Canada's heritage, they also contribute $1.2 billion to Canada's GDP - the equivalent of 38,000 full time jobs - and are an essential source of revenue for our tourist industry for many of our communities and for Canada's aboriginal people.

Further to this additional funding for parks, I was pleased to announce this year's extension of the ongoing Habitat Stewardship Program and today I am just as pleased to make another announcement: Parks Canada has completed various projects totalling $1.6 million, including new visitors facilities at Combers Beach and new exhibits at Wickaninnish Interpretative Centre, both in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada.

The Government of Canada also recognizes that the forests and ecosystems in your province, one of the most beautiful natural assets of our country, also require serious action. The mountain pine beetle epidemic is taking its toll and there are serious long-term ecological and economic consequences if no action is taken. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million in funding as a further step to the program announced in 2002 to fight this plague. We are currently working with the Province of BC on our next steps - the development of a comprehensive strategy that will provide a long term solution to this crisis.

This government takes the protection of our marine ecosystems very
seriously and could not accept that over 500,000 birds are killed by
oil deposited into the marine environment in Canadian waters each year. It is for this reason that the government recently passed Bill C-15, an Act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The Act, which came into force this past June, substantially enhances our ability to deal with this problem by extending our enforcement regime to the outward edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Through the Oceans Action Plan, we have announced measures to establish marine protected areas on all three coasts including, of course, here in BC. We will continue to work with provincial governments to expand this network of marine protected areas to protect key elements of the marine ecosystem.

But nature conservation is not just about marine protected areas. We must
protect and conserve our wildlife, too. With that in mind, last June the
Government brought into force the Species at Risk Act. Since the Act
came into force, close to 100 species of plants and animals have been
added the list of species protected by the Act. It is not good news that
we have more species at risk of extinction in Canada. But the
Government is determined to do its part in protecting and working with the provinces to recover them before they disappear.

A "conservation first" approach will be used to guide any decisions involving the moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling. We have asked our American neighbours and friends to adopt the same "conservation first" approach and not drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But we all know that prevention is invariably a wiser course that the
react and prevent approach. With that in mind, the Mexican Minister of
the Environment, the US Secretary of the Interior and I recently signed
a landmark collaborative agreement to conserve and protect the
migratory birds the three countries share. Last month I met with Secretary
Norton in Washington to discuss how to expand this concept to the
hemispheric level and we agreed to raise the issue with Ministers of the
Environment of the Americas at their next meeting.

Regarding federal contaminated sites, we have a solid Action Plan whose goal is to complete, within 15 years, the assessment, remediation and risk management of all of the estimated 6000 federal contaminated sites. When we reach this goal, we will have changed liabilities into assets. In doing so, remediation will create new economic opportunities for affected communities, new jobs in the environmental industry, and new innovative technologies.

In Budget 2004, the federal government took important steps to ensure our own house is in order by committing $3.5 billion to cleaning up federally-owned contaminated sites. For this fiscal year, 2005-2006, the federal government has committed an additional $138.7 million to deal with the 97 highest risk sites identified under the Action Plan.

Although the 97 priority sites identified for 2005-06 are located in all regions of the country, 38 of them are located right here in British Columbia and an additional 30 across the three territories in the North. And indeed, our overall Strategy for the North, as well as our investments on the occasion of the International Polar Year, will sharply focus on the sustainable development of our three Territories and the preservation of the North's fragile ecosystem, which is so affected by the negative impacts of climate change.

Speaking of climate change, the Government of Canada is currently implementing a number of major initiatives to get Canada's Climate Change Plan up and running on the ground. Over the course of the summer, a clear description of the proposed Large Final Emitters system was published. Draft regulations setting out the key elements of this system are planned for release before the end of this year. On September 3, the proposed addition of the six greenhouse gases to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was published in the Canada Gazette Part 1. This is an important and necessary step in the development of regulations that will cover large industries that are being required to meet the 45 megatonne reduction target set out in Canada's Climate Change Plan.

In August, we released a proposed set of rules for an offset credit system. This system will award credits to large and small industries, technology companies, municipalities, farmers, foresters, and individual Canadians who achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. The system will also create a market allowing these individuals, industries and organizations to sell their credits, which is an efficient way to get the maximum emissions reductions at the lowest cost. Cross-country consultations on this proposed set of rules are taking place this fall.

We are working hard to ensure that the Climate Fund will start operations beginning next year. Acting as a sort of investment bank, it will purchase reductions in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from tangible projects. For Canadians, opportunities will be available in all sectors of the economy.

Examples of who could benefit from this fund include: forestry companies that engage in state-of-the-art forest management practices; farmers who adopt low-till practices; property developers who include district heating and renewable energy elements in their plans for new sub-divisions; businesses that develop innovative ways to reduce emissions through recycling and energy efficiency; companies and municipalities that invest in their communities to encourage alternative transportation modes; municipalities that capture landfill gas and use it to generate electricity; or courier companies that retrofit their fleets.

I am convinced that this market-based approach will be critical to integrating climate change considerations into the day-to-day decisions of Canada's citizens and businesses, and unleashing the power of innovation for the good of our environment and our economy.

Our businesses will benefit from this opportunity to develop their expertise in the fields of environmental technologies and services and to deploy them around the world. B.C. businesses especially will be well placed to seize the opportunity created by our Climate Change Plan to win new market shares in emerging economies and economies in transition, such as China. The reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that Canada will make abroad will help us to honour our Kyoto commitment.

Consultations have also begun with the provinces and territories to identify strategic new technologies (such as fuel cell buses) and infrastructure projects for cost sharing through the Partnership Fund. I was just talking about this yesterday with my B.C. counterpart, Barry Penner. The first projects under the Fund are expected to be announced before the end of 2005.

If we add to all this our initiative for renewable energies, our targeted programs and fiscal incentives for environmental technologies and the transportation sector, our home retrofit incentives, our purchasing strategy for a greener government, our outreach strategies to involve Canadians, one can see how much our Climate Change Plan is, at the same time, a business strategy for Canada that will generate beneficial investments across the economy.

But since Canada is responsible for only two percent of the human-made greenhouse gas emissions, its effectiveness in reducing emissions will depend on the effectiveness of the international regime. This is precisely why, as the Government of Canada moves forward on implementing our Climate Change Plan, it is also preparing to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, November 28-December 9, 2005. Our goal will be twofold: improving the functioning of the current Kyoto mechanisms, and convincing the nations of the world of the need to find new ways to increase international cooperation on this issue over the coming years.

Convincing the world nations to increase international cooperation is an ambitious task, considering the opposing views about the form this cooperation should take. Inspired by the leadership of our Prime Minister, we are sparing no effort in preparing this important Conference with conviction and determination. Canada will need a strong B.C. presence in Montreal, so please show up in force. Bienvenue à Montréal!

As you see, our agendas for air, water, nature, contaminated sites and climate change will provide enormous benefits, especially when measured against the considerable costs of inaction. But these sound policies will only yield their full potential if they are linked by an improved decision making process, a framework for competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

To this end, the Prime Minister announced in the last Throne Speech that, from now on, "the Government will work with its partners to build sustainable development systematically into decision making." The Prime Minister created the Ad Hoc Committee of Cabinet on Sustainability and the Environment and appointed as its Chair the astute BC businessman, David Emerson. Our Liberal Caucus mirrored this initiative with the Liberal Caucus Economic and Sustainability Policy Committee.

For some time, we have been working with the provinces and territories to renew and improve how we deal with shared environmental priorities. Our work is now solidifying in the form of an agreement that will strengthen our collective and respective capacities to address our shared environmental challenges.

Our government will also consolidate the federal environmental assessment process in order to make it more timely, responsive and effective. Finally, for a better consultation process with the industry and the ENGOs, we are putting in place Sector Sustainability Tables, beginning with the areas of chemicals, forestry, mining and energy. This measure will create more cohesion and certainty in the way we carry out environmental management in Canada.

Conclusion

Yes, British Columbia and our country as a whole need Project Green, this broad environmental vision that links Canada's economic competitiveness and prosperity to a sustainable future. The policies and programs under Project Green address environmental challenges for the 21st century.

Project Green: a far-reaching set of measures to improve our energy efficiency and our waste management practices, improve the environmental performance of our industrial sectors, conserve our biodiversity, protect our water, clean up contaminated sites, ensure cleaner and healthier air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through Project Green, which we will continue to deploy and expand in the coming years, Canada can set an international example by developing effective, model solutions for the long-term health of the planet.

We need to become a world leader in environmental technologies, in energy efficiency, in resource productivity and in conservation. We have been a champion of all the previous Industrial Revolutions, from the invention of the steam engine to the knowledge economy. We will not miss the new industrial revolution, the one of the sustainable economy. All of us - governments, industry, NGOs, citizens - need to work harder for a greener Canada. We owe this to ourselves, our children and the generations to come.

Table 1 - Comparison of Eight International Indices

Canada's Ranking versus 30 OECD Countries plus Russia
(1 = best)

  ESI
2005
ESI
2002
Keeping
Score
EPI
2002
EWI
2001
EF
2004
net
EF
2004
gross
UVic
2001
Canada 6 4 2 6 3 3 25 28
USA 18 18 10 14 14 29 29 29
UK 21 27 9 12 18 26 18 13
France 15 14 8 11 21 17 21 23
Germany 13 19 7   10 19 13 6
Japan 12 24 12 22 25 22 8 21
Italy 23 25 11 18 22 16 7 18
Australia 13 10 4   22 1 28 27
Norway 2 2 3   3 7 22 17
Mexico 27 28 6 20 29 10 2 2
Sweden 3 3 1 1 1 5 27 10
Russia 14 23 5   7 6 9 na

Note the significant variation between Canada's ranking in the first six indices (from left side) and the last two. The latter are heavily weighted towards measures of environmental pressures, thus rank Canada low. The former focus more on environmental state, and give Canada a high ranking.

Guide to the Indices

ESI = Environmental Sustainability Index for the World Economic Forum. Led by Dan Esty, Yale and Marc Levy, Columbia. Environmental systems and stresses, human vulnerability, global stewardship, social/institutional capacity.

Keeping Score = The Ecologist / Friends of the Earth revised ESI (2001) and excluded all non-environmental indicators (i.e. institutional capacity). Represented Urban Air Quality, Water Stress, Terrestrial Systems, Biodiversity, Inputs to land, Inputs to air, Resources consumed.

EPI 2002 = Pilot Environmental Performance Index. Another Yale/Columbia initiative for the World Economic Forum. Smaller set of indicators & 23 OECD countries. Four core indicators: air quality, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, land protection.

EWI = Ecosystem Wellbeing Index - IDRC- IUCN (2001) Robert Prescott-Allen. Part one of two parts released as The Wellbeing of Nations: An index of quality of life and the environment. Scores based on how close a country is to sustainability in terms of land, water, air, species, resource use. Part two was a human wellbeing index in which Canada ranked 8 out of 180 countries. In the overall (combined) Wellbeing Index Canada was one of 34 countries ranked as fair. Three countries were ranked as well.

EF = Ecological Footprint- Redefining Progress Institute (2004) As released in the WWF Living Planet Report 2004. Rankings of 2001 data. Net = national footprint minus national capacity. Gross = national footprint per person.

UVic = Canada vs the OECD - University of Victoria (2001) David Boyd. Pressure based - per capita measures - includes population growth.

Table 2 - How Canada Compares on Environmental Issues

Environmental State and Pressures

Environmental State is a measure (or measures) of conditions of water, air, land and life forms.

Environmental Pressures are measures of the effects of human activities that can be harmful to the environment and/or to humans via the environment.

Issue Canada's Ranking / Total Number of Countries
(1 = best)
Messages
  Environmental State Environmental Pressures  
  global OECD measures global OECD measures  
Air Quality 27/146 9/29 Outdoor NO2, SO2, TSP concentrations, indoor air quality 126/146 15/29 NOx, SO2, VOC emissions; coal consumption; vehicles per populated area Canada's air quality is above average in the OECD, but there is room to improve our air emissions performance.
Water Quality 5/146 5/29 Conductivity; phosphorus, suspended solids, dissolved oxygen concentrations 69/144 5/29 Fertilizer consumption per hectare arable land Canada's water quality is among the best in the world, although its aggregated measurement is not robust.
Water Quantity
11/145
3/29 Freshwater availability per person 137/145 28/29 Water withdrawals per person Canada has lots of water, so we use a lot of water.
          4/28 Withdrawals as % of availability  
Biodiversity 42/146 4/29 Threatened territory and species 53/146
3/29
Territory with very low human impact The limited data available shows Canada is better than average with relatively low threats to biodiversity.
Climate Change n/a
global issue
140/146 27/29 Carbon dioxide emissions per person Canada's carbon dioxide emissions are high relative to most other countries.
Waste n/a 14/102 16/29 Waste recycling rates Canada has a relatively high rate of waste recycling globally, but is below average in the OECD.

Details on measures included in the rankings are provided in Annex 1. OECD comparisons do not include Luxembourg.

The Bottom Line: Compared to situations elsewhere in the world, most assessments indicate that Canada's environment is in very good condition, although subjected to significant pressures from human activity.

Annex 1 - How Canada Compares on Environmental Issues

Measures Used in the Rankings

Data as reported in the 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), except where noted.

Issues Measures Combined in Ranking Sources
Air Quality state • urban population weighted NO2, SO2 and Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) concentration
• Indoor air pollution from solid fuel use
OECD, UNHABITAT, WHO, EEA, WRI, CEISIN
pressure • coal consumption per populated land area
• anthropogenic NOx, SO2 and VOC emissions per populated area
• vehicles in use per populated area
USEIA, UNFCCC, CIESIN
Freshwater availability state • freshwater availability per capita Center for Environmental System Research, Kassel University
pressure • water withdrawals per person
• water withdrawals per available freshwater
Note: withdrawals = water taken from ground or surface water. If the water is returned a surface water source, and used again downstream, the amount is counted again the total.
(about 2/3 of withdrawals in Canada go to cooling in thermal power production.)
FAO, via WWF Living Planet Report; OECD 2004 Environmental Data Compendium
Water Quality state • dissolved oxygen concentration
• electricity conductivity
• phosphorus concentration
• suspended solids
Information on Canada's water quality is fragmented.
GEMS, OECD, EEA
pressure • fertilizer consumption per hectare arable land World Bank Development Indicators
Biodiversity state • % of territory in threatened ecoregions
• threatened bird/mammal/amphibian species as % of known respective types of species
• National Biodiversity Index
There is little data on biodiversity relative to the scope of the issue.
IUCN, CIESIN - HII, CBD
pressure Percent of territory (land + inland waters) having very low anthropogenic impact:
• human land uses
• access from roads, railways or major rivers
• electrical infrastructure
• population density
CIESIN - HII
Climate Change pressure Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2000)
• carbon emissions per million US dollars GDP
• carbon emissions per person
UN Statistics Division, Millennium Indicator Database, CO2 Information Analysis Center.
Waste pressure Percent of solid waste recycled OECD, UNHABITAT

Sources

CBD: Convention on Biological Diversity
CIESIN: Center for International Earth Science Information Network. HII = Human Influence Index
EEA: European Environment Agency
FAO: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
GEMS: Global Environmental Monitoring System
OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Environmental Data Compendium 2002
UNCDB: United Nations Statistics Division Common Database
UNDP: United Nations Development Programme
UNFCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNHABITAT: United Nations Human Settlement Program
UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund
USEIA: United States Energy Information Agency
WHO: World Health Organization
WRI: World Resources Institute

2005 Environmental Sustainability Index Report
Produced by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European commission. www.yale.edu/esi

WWF Living Planet Report 2004
Produced by the World Wildlife Fund, in collaboration with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the Global Footprint Network. http://worldwildlife.org/about/lpr2004.pdf (pdf only)