measures are measures that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
or that help increase their absorption. They are long-term efforts that
will help minimise the amplitude of climate change. It is important
to recognize that however important these measures are, climate change
is still going to happen because of the large amounts of GHGs such as
CO2 already present in the atmosphere, which
will continue to affect the climate for a long time.
order to be effective, mitigation measures will have to be applied at
all levels of society: in industry, commerce and agriculture (which
are sectors responsible for approximately 75% of man made CO2
production, Torrie Smith Associates, 1999), and at the individual level
(where we produce 25% of the remaining CO2).
On average, every Canadian produces 5,5 tons of greenhouse gases per
year (source: Pembina, 2003).
from: Environment Canada (2002), Canada's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2000;
Natural Resources Canada (2002), End-Use Energy Data Handbook 1990 to
are many ways of reducing vehicle emissions, whether it be by changing
driving habits, choosing a better vehicle or fuel type, or by ensuring
the proper vehicle maintenance is carried out.
-use your automobile for transportation only when other transportation
means are not possible or practical;
-use public transportation as much as possible; -encourage car pooling;
-avoid aggressive driving. Rapid stops and departures consume more
-drive more slowly. For every speed reduction of the order of 10 Km/hour
(when exceeding 60 km/hour), a 10% economy in fuel and emissions is
-avoid idling. If parked for more than 10 seconds, it is more efficient
to stop the engine;
-ensure tires are well inflated. For every 2 PSI lower than the required
tire pressure, fuel consumption increases by 1%;
-regular check-ups of your vehicle will ensure it is working at its
optimal fuel consumption;
-reduce the use of air conditioning in your car. This increases fuel
consumption by as much as 21%;
-buy a smaller car that consumes less gas. You might consider a gas/electric
-ask for more bicycling trails in your neighbourhood. This will encourage
people to choose this type of transportation more often;
-at the industry and technology levels, encourage research and development
of alternatives such as hydrogen batteries;
-buy local products that require less transportation and benefit your
-use a block heater to increase engine efficiency. The block heater
can be attached to a timer and set so that it starts heating the motor
2 ˝ hours before you use the car;
-avoid idling your car for more than 30 seconds. It is more efficient
to warm the engine by driving than by idling;
-remove all snow and ice from your automobile since the extra weight
reduces fuel efficiency;
-use good winter tires that reduce slipping but remember to remove
them in the Spring since they are less efficient on dry pavement;
-before the onset of Winter, choose lighter oil for your engine;
-avoid short trips that would be faster on foot.
-ensure tires are well inflated. For every 5% of under inflation,
car efficiency is reduced by 1%;
-ensure brakes are well maintained. Faulty brakes could reduce your
vehicle's efficiency by up to 40 %;
-oiled joints and balanced tires increase vehicle efficiency;
-clean air filters and good spark plugs also increase efficiency;
-the catalytic converter of your exhaust system plays an important
role in pollution prevention. Make sure your vehicle has one and that
it is functioning properly;
-the proper adjustment of your motor's idling speed can help reduce
-ask your mechanic to check if the oxygen sensor is functioning properly.
This can help ensure your car is running as efficiently as possible.
Choice of vehicle and equipment:
-choose brands of motor oil that are specially designed to increase
efficiency (by up 3%);
-choose gasoline that is mixed with ethanol whenever possible. It
emits less greenhouse gases;
-choose a smaller, lighter car that is more fuel efficient and economical
(Consult the EnerGuide tag on the vehicle);
-hybrid cars are now available on the market. They are more efficient
and pollute less;
-make sure luggage or bicycle racks are removed when not in use. Racks
increase fuel consumption by as much as 5%.
calculate your vehicle's emissions, visit one of the following websites:
Personal CO2 Calculator http://www3.iclei.org/co2/co2calc.htm
measure that helps reduce energy consumption will help reduce greenhouse
gas production since a good portion of the energy that we consume is
produced using fossil fuels such as coal and oil, either used directly
for heat or for electricity production. In New Brunswick, each kilowatt/hour
of electricity used produces 528 grams of greenhouse gases (GHG).
is why "Making a commitment to improve our use of energy at home, at
work and on the road will result in significant reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions. It's a matter of making lifestyle choices that reduce
energy consumption and get the most out of the energy we use." (Environment
are some tips that can help reduce energy consumption and green house
gases at home:
-choose efficient lighting. Use only the lights that are necessary
and choose more efficient compact fluorescent lights that use only
25% of the energy of ordinary bulbs;
-insulate your home properly. This can save you money and save on
-make sure the furnace is clean and functioning properly;
-add insulation on the hot water heater and hot water pipes;
-install water savers on showerheads;
-reduce heating by only one degree can save you up to 10% in heating
-lower the thermostat setting at night or when away from home;
-buy energy efficient programmable thermostats;
-use the traditional clothesline instead of the dryer;
-add curtains to windows and close them in the summer. This will help
cut on air conditioning bills;
-shut off unused appliances such as the television and the computer;
-use more efficient heating appliances;
-buy appliances that consume less energy (see
-encourage energy production using renewable resources such as wind
or solar power;
-use more efficient and less polluting sources of energy. Orimulsion
fuel used in certain power plants for example is cheaper but emits
more pollutants than other sources.
and industrial solid waste emit important quantities of methane when
reduction of our solid waste is the best way to reduce methane production;
-choose products with less packaging will help reduce waste;
-composting is an efficient way to reduce our solid waste (nearly
a third of our waste can be composted);
-some solid waste plants recover methane gas from decomposition and
use it as an energy source.
Cattle raising also produces important amounts of methane, an important
the amount of meat we consume would help decrease methane production.
-a better management of manure and methane recovery is also possible.
crops, such as rice, also contribute to the production of methane. Faster
growing rice crops can be encouraged to reduce GHG.
fertilizers used in agriculture contribute to the formation of nitrous
oxides that are also greenhouse gases. A better management of these
fertilizers could help reduce GHG.
agricultural practices also contribute to the production of large amounts
of CO2. By minimising soil mixing, these amounts
could be significantly reduced.
Industry and commerce
important portion of the GHG produced are the result of our industrial
and commercial activities. In industry, electricity production and extraction,
transformation and distribution of oil are the most important in terms
of GHG production. This production reflects the high demand by consumers
of a variety of goods and services.
are ways to reduce GHG emissions in this sector:
aimed at energy efficiency (avoid waste, efficient equipment, etc.
) will help reduce GHG emissions;
-industry could choose a larger portion of their energy needs produced
from renewable resources;
-measures can be taken to reduce energy consumption in offices and
-vehicle fleets could be reduced or more efficient vehicles chosen.
are very important in our ecosystems in part because they absorb a large
portion of CO2 from the atmosphere. For this
reason our forests are called carbon sinks.
we can do:
trees are cut, this carbon sink capacity is diminished. Also, the
debris left on the ground will release CO2
during the decomposition process. Reducing the amount of trees cut
would reduce CO2 emissions and help absorption.
For this to happen, we need to reduce our use of wood products;
-mature forests (old growth) are more efficient carbon sinks than
young forests. The conservation of old growth forests can help increase
or maintain the carbon sink effect;
-reduce the use of paper by writing on both sides of pages before
throwing them out. Once done, paper can be recycled;
-use recycled paper as much as possible;
-plant trees in your backyard or at your work place.
more information on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, visit one of
the following web sites:
Change Solutions: Greenhouse gas emission reduction
strategies to reduce global warming http://www.climatechangesolutions.com/english/default.htm
ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/english/takingaction/index.cfm
want to calculate your CO2 emissions? Use the Calculator
Adaptation to Climate Change
is no doubt very important to act on reducing our greenhouse gas production.
It is also important to realise that GHGs are already present in the
atmosphere in larger amounts than in previous centuries and will affect
climate for some time to come. In other words, with all our efforts,
we will still be facing some degree of climate change. In Atlantic Canada,
experts in the field warn that we are going to face more extreme weather
events such as storms with strong winds, heavy rainfalls, storm surges
and floods, ice storms, etc.
is important to be well prepared for these events in order to minimise
their impacts on our lives. This is called adaptation to climate change
Sea level rise and storm surges
coastal communities have realised in the last five years that they will
be affected more and more by sea level rise. Many of these communities
have witnessed storm surges and flooding which has caused considerable
damage to roads, wharves or other infrastructure. They have also witnessed
erosion along beaches, cliffs or coastal marshes.
Atlantic Provinces are particularly affected by sea level rise because
of the natural downward movement of the ground level in a large portion
of the area. This "land subsidence" adds to the rising water level that
is seen across the world and related to ice melt and rising water temperature.
are different approaches that can be taken to deal with this reality.
It is possible to wait and see and do little or no preparation to the
impacts of these events or it is possible to act now in order to minimise
the impacts of the near future. In the later case, different strategies
and more coastal communities are planning ahead by incorporating high-risk
areas in their management plans;
-it is possible to avoid buildings or infrastructure of any kind in
high-risk areas and choose sites that are more appropriate for building
higher and further from the coastline;
-it is possible to build structures, such as the Confederation Bridge,
that are conceived by incorporating sea level rise data;
-we can choose structures such as boardwalks or others that can be
moved once they get too close to the water.
choice of an appropriate option can be complex and is very site specific.
Sums invested, the time scale considered, values placed on structures
and natural elements, are all to be considered. When protective walls
are built along the coast for example, stretches of beach, coastal marshes
and other natural elements are put at risk because of the impossibility
of the system to naturally migrate backwards with the rising sea level.
frequency of storms with high winds, increased precipitation, ice storms
and others are predicted to increase with climate change. Therefore…
is important to ensure that the infrastructure in place can resist
these harsh conditions;
-emergency measures in case of severe storms and floods can be prepared.
Temperature and precipitation changes
According to most models, the rise in temperature in the Atlantic region
will not be as significant than in northern parts of the country. Nonetheless,
a slight rise in temperature can have significant impacts on ecosystems:
composition can change on the long term because the species distributions
are sensitive to mean temperatures and precipitation patterns. It
is important to consider the long-term changes when planning tree
plantations that will mature in more than fifty years. Black spruce
for example is quite common in New Brunswick but its abundance could
change with the predicted rise in temperatures.
insects considered as pests could increase because of milder winter
temperatures. To what extent this will happen and how our forests will
be impacted is still not clear.
of possible changes in precipitation, the forest fire season could be
expanded and it is important to be prepared to restrain them.
agriculture, climate change could have some beneficial effects. Certain
cultures that are now difficult could be feasible with a rise in the
are unfortunately also negative impacts against which we can prepare:
-global agricultural productivity may decline, especially in tropical
areas. It will be important to support these countries when in need;
-some changes in soil management practices may be required. Practices
that avoid excessive water loss for example need to be encouraged;
-the installation of irrigation systems or opting for better systems
may be necessary in areas of decreased precipitation;
-the choice of varieties planted will need to be looked at carefully
in light of the changes occurring in each area;
-in general, a greater diversity in cultures will provide more security
in facing the climate changes.
change will and is impacting human health with an increase in stress
and heat strokes related to hot days, increase in smog and pulmonary
problems, the increase in diseases related to a vector such as insects,
problems related to poor water quality etc.
are measures that can help prepare to face these changes:
better surveillance and monitoring of the population can help recognise
critical areas; -prevention and early intervention programs aimed
at sensitive portions of the population such as old age groups could
more information on adaptations to climate change in the health sector:
Effects of Global Climate Change http://www.ncsl.org/programs/esnr/CDCclimatechange.pdf
Change And Health & Well-Being: A Policy Primer For Canada's North
more information on adaptations to climate change visit:
Canada (2002), Canada's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2000; Natural
Resources Canada (2002), End-Use Energy Data Handbook 1990 to 2000.
Canada, The Green Lane: Climate Change - Home, 22/07/2003 http://www.ec.gc.ca/climate/home-e.html
Canada, 2003. Climate Change - What Can We Do About Climate Change?
- Using Energy More Efficiently
Climate change policy measures, 03-07-23 http://www.pembina.org/climate_change.asp
Smith Associates, 1999, in Climate Change in Canada - How do we measure
up? 03-07-23 http://adaptation.nrcan.gc.ca/posters/articles/pr_08_en.asp?Region=pr&Language=en