2014–2015 Report on Plans and Priorities
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment
I am pleased to present the 2014–15 Report on Plans and Priorities for Environment Canada. This report outlines the Department’s priorities and planned actions on a wide range of environmental initiatives to ensure Canadians benefit from a clean, safe and sustainable environment while supporting economic prosperity.
During 2014–15, we will continue to support climate change mitigation efforts internationally by working within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, and through our Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and leadership role on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Domestically, we will continue to advance our sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through this approach, our Government has already taken action on two of Canada’s largest sources of GHG emissions. As a result of collective action by governments, consumers and industry, Canada's 2020 GHG emissions are projected to be 128 megatonnes lower relative to a scenario with no action. This is the equivalent of shutting down 37 coal-fired electricity generation plants. Since 2005, Canadian GHG emissions have decreased by 4.8 per cent while the economy has grown by 8.4 per cent..
Our Government will continue to support Environment Canada so that it can deliver high quality weather services. Our support will allow Environment Canada to expand and improve our severe weather warning system, as well as our Air Quality Health Index with a focus on northern communities and the effects of wildfire smoke emissions. The ongoing upgrade and modernization of weather infrastructure will permit us to better provide key information to Canadians and to economic sectors that are affected by weather conditions. The upgrades will also continue to generate and disseminate new data on climate change and variability to inform both mitigation and adaptation efforts.
To protect and conserve wildlife and habitat, our Government will unveil a new National Conservation Plan to further increase protected areas, focusing on stronger marine and coastal conservation. Protecting our water resources remains a priority. Through targeted regional and ecosystem initiatives, such as those in the Great Lakes, the Lake Winnipeg Basin, Lake Simcoe, south-eastern Georgian Bay, and the St. Lawrence River Basin, and by conducting water quality and quantity monitoring and research, the Department will continue to advance efforts to sustain Canada’s water resources and aquatic ecosystems.
The ongoing implementation of our Chemicals Management Plan and collaboration with provinces and domestic partners to implement the national Air Quality Management System are also priorities for this coming year and beyond. Additionally, by developing and implementing world-class regulations, including amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations to add substances and improve industry requirements for prevention, preparation, response, and recovery efforts, we continue to work towards a achieving a clean, safe and sustainable environment.
These initiatives represent a sample of my Department’s efforts. Environment Canada’s scientific excellence will continue to inform our decisions and operations, and we will continue to foster collaborative relationships and partnerships to achieve our environmental goals. I invite you to take the time to read this report and to learn more about these efforts.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment
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