Your source for new events and information on climate change and energy efficiency.
Your source for new events and information on climate change and energy efficiency.
Outcome from 2014 International Climate Change Negotiations in Lima, Peru | December 18, 2014
Every year, the 195 countries that are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meet to negotiate a global approach to taking action on climate change.
The 20th annual session of these negotiations was held from December 1-14, 2014, in Lima, Peru. Approximately 11,000 individuals attended the event, including representatives from Canada. The Canadian delegation was led by the federal Environment Minister Environment Leona Aglukkaq.
Two of the key issues that this year's negotiations focused on were:
- Establishing targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beyond the year 2020. Many countries, including Canada, currently have reduction targets for 2020. During the Lima negotiations, it was agreed that countries participating in the negotiations will submit, in 2015, a post-2020 GHG reduction target and the measures they will take to achieve it. The goal of establishing GHG reduction targets is to limit global temperature rise to 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- Outlining the rules and regulations for the next international climate change agreement. This will be the primary focus of negotiations in 2015. During the Lima negotiations, it was agreed that all countries should be seek to reduce their GHG emissions, including both developed countries such as Canada and the United States, and major developing countries such as China, India and South Africa. However, it was also recognized that less developed nations and small island states, such as the Maldives, will be challenged to reduce their GHG emissions in any meaningful way while promoting their economic development. It was also acknowledged that less developed countries are likely to be more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and will need assistance adapting to the changes and improving their resilience.
Canada's current GHG reduction target is to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. A key task for the country will be determining its post-2020 GHG reduction target in advance of the next international climate change negotiations, which will take place in Paris, France, in December 2015.
Provincial Government Provides Update on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Action Plans | December 16, 2014
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provides annual updates to the House of Assembly on the progress made towards implementing the 2011 climate change and energy efficiency action plans. The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading, made the following statement on December 9, 2014:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide Honourable Members with the third annual update on implementing the 2011 climate change and energy efficiency action plans.
These plans outline our government's strategic approach for adapting to the impacts of climate change, improving our province's energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Speaker, this fall we released a detailed report outlining the progress on the 75 commitments contained in these plans.
Since the launch of the action plans in 2011, our government has taken significant steps to improve our province's resilience to the impacts of climate change. This includes continuing to develop flood risk maps for our communities and expanding coastal erosion monitoring to 112 sites throughout the province, including nine in Labrador. Mr. Speaker, with projected increases in precipitation and extreme weather, this work ensures our communities can factor climate change into their planning and development decisions.
Additionally, we are improving our preparedness for extreme weather events as 97 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now live in areas with Emergency Management Plans and we have an alert system that notifies at-risk communities of potential flooding.
Mr. Speaker, we have also continued our Residential Energy Efficiency Program. This program provides grants to low-income households to complete energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. By March 2015, over 5,400 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will have benefitted from this program, saving an average of $720 each year on their energy bills.
Demonstrating leadership on energy efficiency remains a priority for our government, Mr. Speaker. In addition to energy efficiency retrofits in government buildings, we have two ongoing pilot projects to raise awareness about energy conservation. In October, we launched HotShots - an exciting new initiative for teachers and students that has included sending over 850 resource packs to 263 schools in the province. We are also working with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to provide 500 households with real-time energy monitors to determine whether they help individuals conserve electricity.
These initiatives complement our award-winning Turn Back the Tide campaign, Mr. Speaker, which received two Pinnacle Awards this year from the International Association of Business Communicators of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Speaker, these are some of the many highlights of our government's work to implement our climate change and energy efficiency action plans. Our government is committed to continuing to drive forward delivery of its remaining commitments and consider what further action needs to be taken in pursuit of our 2020 targets.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Launch of a New Climate Information Portal | December 8, 2014
On December 3rd 2014, the Provincial Government launched a new Climate Information Portal on its Community Accounts website. The information portal includes climate data from over 70 Environment Canada weather stations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. By using this new interactive tool, individuals can access temperature, wind and rainfall data from 1909 to 2013, with data available at the community, regional and provincial level.
This data can be used to better understand the climate in a particular area and changes in climate over time. Such information is crucial when making important decisions about community and business development, as well as emergency management planning. As rising global temperatures are causing climates throughout the world to change, providing access to up-to-date, high-quality climate data will help ensure businesses and communities in Newfoundland and Labrador can appropriately and confidently plan for future changes in climate.
For more information on the Climate Information Portal, visit: Climate Data and Tools.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Released its Fifth Assessment Report on November 2, 2014 | November 18, 2014
The science of climate change is addressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Office and the United Nations Environment Programme. The IPCC is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of information on climate change.
The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report contains a complete overview of the state of knowledge concerning the science of climate change and necessary steps to mitigate and adapt to its impacts. It was developed by over 1000 contributing authors and 2000 expert reviewers from over 80 countries, including Canada. It involved the assessment and review of more than 30,000 scientific papers.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon stated, in discussing the release of the Fifth Assessment Report, that "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in the message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side."
Major impacts from climate change will all increase if serious action is not taken. These include droughts, coastal storm surges due to rising oceans, wildlife extinctions on land and in the sea, and increased flooding. The IPCC report states that it is economically manageable to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and that the cost of inaction on climate change is much higher than the cost of action.
The report also states that action is needed immediately. Delays in significantly reducing GHG emissions until 2030 will have a substantial impact on our capacity to mitigate climate change. Global investments in low carbon electricity and energy efficiency will have to reach upwards of several hundred billion dollars before 2030 to prevent the most serious impacts of climate change. Fossil fuels will also have to be virtually phased-out by the end of the century if the most dangerous impacts are to be avoided.
Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on Newfoundland and Labrador, as is shown in the 2013 climate change projections released by the Province. Specifically, average temperatures will increase, sea level rise will cause increased coastal erosion and damage to coastal infrastructure, and extreme rainfall events are expected to increase and cause more flooding and damage to communities.
There are also opportunities associated with climate change. Increased temperatures will lead to a longer growing season potential for a more diverse range of crops and the move to a lower carbon economy will provide the Province with opportunities to capitalize on the increased demand for green goods and services.
Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the importance of acting, both to mitigate climate change, as well as to adapt to its impacts. The Province is committed to playing its part in finding solutions that contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come.
For more information on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report visit: http://www.ipcc.ch/
To view the NL climate projections visit: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications
U.S. and China Strike Deal on Cutting GHG Emissions | November 17, 2014
Globally, setting targets to reduce GHG emissions is crucial to drive action on climate change. Together, the U.S. and China account for almost 50% of the world's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On November 12, 2014, both countries made a significant announcement regarding their paths forward on reducing GHG emissions.
On November 12, the U.S. announced that it is committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This builds on the country's existing target under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord to reduce its GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. To achieve this, the U.S. will pursue a number of measures, including regulating its electricity sector and investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
At the same time, China, whose GHG emissions have been growing steadily over recent decades, announced its GHG emissions will peak in 2030. China intends to achieve this by regulating its electricity and large industrial sectors, and by investing in renewable energy. China also set a target that 20% of its electricity would be GHG emissions-free by 2025 (e.g. nuclear and renewable energy).
Other developed countries are starting to set targets to reduce GHG emissions by 2020 and a key focus of international negotiations in 2015 will be encouraging countries to set post-2020 reduction targets. In October 2014, for example, the EU Commission recommended that the EU adopt a target to reduce GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 by 2030.
Observers to the UN process feel the joint U.S.-China announcement will provide an important boost to international efforts to reach a global deal on reducing GHG emissions beyond 2020 at a United Nations meeting in Paris in 2015.
Canada has the same 2020 reduction target as the U.S. and previously indicated that it will seek to align its policy with the US in a post-2020 environment. However, there has been no immediate response by Canada to the recent announcement.
Landscape Newfoundland & Labrador | November 13, 2014
With a membership of over 90 businesses and community and non-profit organizations, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador (LNL) represents the landscaping and horticultural (non-food) industry sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.
LNL's annual conference was held in Mount Pearl on November 3-4, 2014. This year's theme was "seeking solutions for integrated watercourses within an urban landscape." These solutions will be impacted by climate change. As temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change, landscaping and horticultural industries will experience an extended agricultural and vegetation growing season, new and invasive species, and increased potential for watershed and overland flooding.
During this year's conference, LNL members attended a presentation focusing on regional climate projections by the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. This presentation informed workshops and projects at the conference, such as potential watershed management approaches for the Waterford River.
LNL is a member of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA). The CNLA is working with its member organizations to understand climate change in Canada and its impacts on the landscaping and horticultural industries.
BuildGreen Atlantic Annual Conference | November 6, 2014
The BuildGreen Atlantic Annual Conference is taking place on Thursday November 13, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in St. John's, NL. Hosted by the Atlantic Chapter of the Canada Green Buildings Council, the conference will bring together the green building sector to network, learn and advance the design, construction, and operation of green buildings in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The event will include a luncheon keynote delivered by Thomas Mueller, the CEO of the Canada Green Building Council, which will explore the current practices and emerging trends that contribute to a thriving green building market in Canada.
Participants will have an opportunity to attend three conferences sessions (out of a choice of six) on topics such as creating healthy environments, electric vehicles, municipal planning and sustainable procurement, and meet trade show exhibitors. Exhibitors include:
- Atlantic Concrete Association
- Bird Stairs
- Carlisle Syntec
- CertainTeed Gypsum and Insulation
- Forbo Flooring
- Green Rock E.V.S
- Sika Canada Inc
- Tandus Flooring
- Tii Technologies
- Morison Hershfield
There is also an option of attending pre-conference workshops on the new version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design independent rating system (LEED v4) or mechanical systems for high performance houses.
To find out more or to register, visit: www.buildgreenatlantic.org
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) "State of the Climate" Report for 2013 | October 29, 2014
On July 17, 2014, NOAA released its "State of the Climate" Report for 2013. The Report is informed by the contributions of 425 scientists from 57 countries, including Canada, and provides detailed information on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on air, land, sea, and ice.
The Report notes continued increases in global greenhouse gas levels, air temperature over land and oceans, rising sea surface temperature and sea level, and declines in artic sea ice and glacier mass. It notes that several key indicators set new records or were near record levels during 2013, including:
- Global average surface temperature was among the six warmest observed since record-keeping began in 1880;
- Global ocean surface temperature was among the ten highest on record;
- Global average sea level reached a record-high;
- Arctic sea ice cover was 6th lowest since 1973; and
- Arctic surface temperature was 7th warmest since 1900.
Regarding Newfoundland and Labrador, the Report notes that Newfoundland experienced a wetter-than-average spring and drier-than-average summer. For northern Labrador, it notes that winter 2012-13 was more than 3°C warmer than average.
To find out more information on the 2013 State of the Climate Report, visit: www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2013.php
New Recycle at School pilot project launched during Waste Reduction Week 2014 | March 22, 2016
October 20-26, 2014 is Waste Reduction Week in Canada - an annual event to promote reducing, reusing and recycling waste.
This year the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) marked Waste Reduction Week by launching Recycle at School, a new pilot project that will expand recycling efforts at select schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. While schools in the province have been recycling beverage containers for many years (including more than 14 million containers in 2013-14), this new pilot project will help six schools in the eastern region recycle paper, cardboard and other containers.
The following schools are participating in the pilot project:
- Woodland Elementary in Dildo
- St. Bernard's Elementary in Witless Bay
- Dunne Memorial Academy in St. Mary's
- Stella Maris Academy in Trepassey
- Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown
- Mobile Central High School in Mobile
The Recycle at School pilot project is a joint initiative of Eastern Waste Management, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board.
There are many environmental benefits associated with reducing the amount of waste we produce, including preserving natural resources, reducing pollution, and helping tackle climate change. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has committed to reduce the amount of waste produced in the province by 50% by 2020.
For more information on how you can reduce waste and get involved in Waste Reduction Week, visit the MMSB's website.
NL Museums discuss how climate change could affect them | October 21, 2014
With a membership of over 150 museums and heritage sites, the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MANL) is a non-profit organization aimed at preserving and promoting the province's material and cultural heritage.
MANL's 2014 AGM and Conference was held in St. John's from October 16-18, 2014. This year's theme was "Climate Change and Museums." The impacts of climate change are wide-ranging and affect every sector of the economy. As temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change, museums are reporting increased incidents of pests and changing moisture levels within their buildings.
During this year's AGM and Conference, MANL members were invited to attend an opening lecture on climate change by Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, after which there were three concurrent sessions about taking action on climate change:
- "Interpreting Climate Change in Your Museum" - Museums can play an important role in raising awareness about climate change through their exhibits.
- "Making Your Museum Green" - Museums can take action to lower their carbon footprint.
- "Consequences of Climate Change: Dealing with Dangers to Archaeological Sites and Artifacts" - Museums need to consider how their operations may be affected by climate change, for example, emergence of new pests that could damage archives or rising sea-levels adversely impacting archaeological sites.
MANL is the first museum association in Canada to host a conference focusing on of the implications of climate change for this sector.
Provincial Government Seeking Households for Energy Saving Pilot Project | October 16, 2014
Read the News Release.
New HotShots Initiative Aims to Raise Awareness about Saving Energy in Schools | October 10, 2014
Launched by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador at C.C. Loughlin School in Corner Brook on October 10, 2014, HotShots focuses on providing educational resources about saving energy to students and teachers throughout the province, including fact sheets and other resources that can be used in the classroom.
HotShots is being taken forward in collaboration with Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. These companies jointly manage the takeCHARGE program which has been raising awareness about the importance of saving energy since 2008. By teaming up, Hotshots and takeCHARGE are able to double the number of free in-school presentations to students in grades K-6 and introduce a new contest for grades 7-12.
HotShots has a number of exciting components:
- Every principal in the public school system will receive an information kit on energy efficiency which will provide suggestions on things their school can do to save energy.
- All grade 6 and grade 9 science teachers will receive teaching resources to support the delivery of curriculum outcomes that touch on energy efficiency.
- All the teaching materials will be available online to download in both French and English (the English resources are available now and French versions will follow shortly).
- K-6 schools can take advantage of free presentations that have been specially created for young children.
- There are also two exciting contests that students can enter and win iPads for their school; one contest is for grades K-6 and the other for students in grades 7-12.
For more information, visit www.hotshotnl.ca.
(Left to Right: Hon. Vaughn Granter, Hon. Susan Sullivan, Hon. Dan Crummell, Principal Norma Park, President /CEO of Newfoundland Power Gary Smith, with the takeCHARGE insulation mascot and C.C. Loughlin school mascots)
(Hon. Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, speaking with Grade Two students of C.C. Loughlin school)
Premier Davis Opens the Newleef 2014 Conference in St. John's | October 9, 2014
The Newfoundland and Labrador and Labrador Environmental Industry Association's third annual Newleef Conference is being held October 9-10, in St. John's. NEIA is a not-for-profit association with over 150 member firms and organizations that promotes the growth and development of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA's Newleef Conference is an annual forum providing opportunity to meet and network with the province's green economy business leaders, stakeholders, and decision makers; showcase local firms who are providing sustainable products or services within Newfoundland and Labrador, across Canada, and throughout the world; discuss environmental issues and opportunities within the green economy; and participate in training and professional development seminars.
Premier Davis opened Newleef 2014 and delivered remarks outlining Government's support for growing the green economy in the province, highlighted the role that environmental sustainability and responsibility play in driving economic growth, and emphasized the need for partnership in advancing and developing the green economy in the province.
Premier Davis's address kicked-off two days of informative discussions, presentations and workshops aimed at growing the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.
To find out more information on the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association and the Newleef 2014 Conference, visit: www.neia.org.
Save energy every day of the week during Energy Efficiency Week! | October 6, 2014
October 4th-10th marks the sixth annual takeCHARGE Energy Efficiency Week in Newfoundland and Labrador. Each year takeCHARGE dedicates a week to promote saving energy (and money) at home and at work.
This year's theme "Save Energy Every Day of the Week" includes daily tips on how to be energy efficient, promotional events, such as daily television and radio segments, contests, giveaways, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association's Newleef Conference, and takeCHARGE Instant Rebates available until November 30, 2014 at participating retailers.
To find out more about takeCHARGE and its "Save Energy Every Day of the Week" tips, events and Instant Rebates, visit http://takechargenl.ca.
Electric Vehicle Race Kicks-Off in St. John's | September 29, 2014
The E-mazing Race, organized by Sun Country Highway, a company promoting the electric vehicle movement across Canada by raising awareness and promoting the adoption of zero emission transportation, is dubbed as the world's longest electric vehicle race.
The Race is open to all participants with a plug-in electric powered vehicle ("EV"). Plug-In hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) compete in a separate category against other PHEVs.
St. John's is one of eight Canadian cities selected as ceremonial launch points for the race. Racers set off from Cape Spear on September 29 with the goal to visit the most Sun Country Highway charging stations and collect the most points in a one month period. Sun Country Highway charging stations are located in seven communities across Newfoundland (Channel-Port aux Basques, Stephenville, Deer Lake, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander, Clarenville and St. John's).
Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action | September 23, 2014
On September 23rd, 125 heads of state and government, as well as leaders from business and civil society attended United Nations' Climate Summit at the UN headquarters in New York City.
The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum and catalyze action in all countries to tackle climate change. The UN Secretary-General asked world leaders and stakeholders to bring "bold announcements" that would lead to action in areas such as climate finance, energy efficiency, renewable energy, adaptation and transportation.
Highlights from the Summit include:
- World leaders agreed that climate change is a defining issue of our time and urgent action is needed.
- Most countries reaffirmed their commitment to submit details on how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions post-2020 to facilitate successfully finalizing a global climate change agreement in December 2015. In particular, both the US and China indicated that they are prepared to set ambitious objectives and targets in 2015.
- Canada announced that it has finalized regulations to lower greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. The regulations will take effect on October 8, 2014, running to 2025, which will bring Canada's auto sector in line with what the United States has already announced. Canada also committed to introduce new standards to reduce fuel consumption in heavy vehicles and pledged to reduce hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) used in refrigeration and air-conditioning.
- Over 1,000 international companies pledged to establish internal carbon prices to guide investment and operational decisions with a view to reducing GHG emissions.
- Independent entities also made pledges, for example, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (the founding family of Standard Oil, Esso and ExxonMobil) pledged to rid itself of investments in coal and oil sands by the end of 2014
- In total, independent observers estimate that the combined impact of public and private sector commitments made at the Summit will total over $200 billion by the end of 2015.
To find out more information on the United Nations' Climate Summit visit: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/
Release of Progress Report on the 2011 Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Action Plans | September 11, 2014
In 2011, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released Charting Our Course: Climate Change Action Plan and Moving Forward: Energy Efficiency Action Plan. These plans established government's strategic approach on climate change and energy efficiency, alongside 75 commitments for action.
On September 4, 2014, the Provincial Government released a report outlining its progress towards implementing these five-year action plans. The report provides an overview of the key successes to date, as well as an update on each of the 75 commitments contained in the plans, of which 64 are currently completed or underway.
To find out more, check out the full report at: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/ccee/publications/progress-report.pdf
Quick Facts - Adapting to Climate Change:
- In 2013, the Provincial Government worked with researchers at Memorial University to release a study outlining how the province's climate is expected to change
- 97% of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now live in communities that have Emergency Management Plans
- 104 sites have been established throughout the province to monitor coastal erosion
- A hurricane flood alert system was launched to notify communities of expected precipitation levels
Quick Facts - Reducing GHG Emissions and Improving Energy Efficiency:
- As of 2012 (the latest year data is available), the province's GHG emissions were 5.4% lower than in 1990
- New homes in Newfoundland and Labrador must be constructed to meet energy efficiency requirements
- The province has reduced its waste by 28% since the release of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy
- The Provincial Government's Green Fund has provided over $23 million to support projects by businesses, communities and organizations to reduce GHG emissions
Newfoundland and Labrador Hurricane Season Flood Alert Service Website | August 22, 2014
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the Department of Environment and Conservation's Water Resources Management Division, has launched a risk alert system website to warn local residents and travelers when flood risks are high.
This marks a key development for the Province's Hurricane Season Flood Alert Service, which is getting this crucial information into the hands of citizens, businesses, communities and regional areas so they can better prepare when flooding is imminent.
The Hurricane Flood Alert Service examines several weather and research forecast models daily to generate precipitation forecasts based on a set of site specific triggers for 45 communities across the province. Alert information is provided to Fire and Emergency Services - Newfoundland and Labrador, which connects with identified communities and regional areas to relay information and encourage monitoring and preparedness related to elevated water levels and possible flooding.
This initiative delivers on a commitment in Charting Our Course: Climate Change Action Plan 2011 in which government committed to enhance the province's resilience to the impacts of climate change.
The Hurricane Season Flood Alert Service website can be viewed at:
The Climate Change Action Plan 2011 can be viewed at:
Increasing July Temperatures - Records Broken Across the Island in 2014 | July 2014
2014 was the hottest July on record for St. John's, Gander and Stephenville.
Weather stations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador have been collecting temperature data for over 70 years. While one exceptionally warm month could be an anomaly, a trend has emerged; temperatures are rising in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of the 15 warmest months of July on record in St. John's, 9 have occurred since the year 2003.
Record-Breaking Temperatures - July 2014 in St. John's:
- Average temperature: 19.97°C
- Max temperatures above 25°C: 19 days
- Max temperatures above 29°C: 3 days
takeCHARGE Offering Instant Rebates (June 1 - 30, 2014) | June 2014
Throughout the month of June, takeCHARGE is offering instant rebates on select energy-efficient products. Check their list of participating retailers to find a location near you and keep an eye out for the takeCHARGE team in stores for a chance to win prizes.
|takeCHARGE Instant Rebates|
|ENERGY STAR® CFLs||Up to $6.00|
|ENERGY STAR® LEDs||Up to $8.00|
|Smart Power Strips||$10.00|
|Motion Sensors (Outdoor and Hardwired Indoor)||$3.00|
|Dimmer Switches (Hardwired)||$3.00|
|Lighting Timers (Outdoor and Indoor)||$3.00|
Find out more about the Instant Rebates and in-store events at takechargenl.ca!
Buying Green! A Guide for Purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products | June 2014
In the 2011 Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Action Plans, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador committed to exploring the potential to utilize its procurement power to promote greater energy efficiency, lower GHG emissions and reduce waste. In support of this commitment, the Government Purchasing Agency and the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency have developed Buying Green! A Guide for Purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products.
Green procurement is about selecting products and services with environmental attributes that minimize the environmental impact of government's activities and maximize the resource efficiency of the goods and services procured. It also has other benefits such as mitigating negative impacts on health and safety and helping government realize potential financial savings.
The purpose of the Buying Green Guide is to promote greater understanding of green procurement practices and provide staff in government departments with the tools to incorporate 'green' into procurement, whether this is for low dollar value purchases, tenders or RFPs. Although core government is the target audience for this guide, government funded bodies and other entities interested in greening their procurement activities may also find it useful.
The Guide includes:
- What green procurement is and why it is important
- The myths associated with green procurement
- Case studies, examples and tips from Newfoundland and Labrador and other jurisdictions
- Information on eco-labels and how to navigate environmental claims of suppliers
- 15 factsheets that provide environmental information on products and services commonly purchased by government such as copy paper, IT equipment, office supplies and flooring.
Find out more information on the Buying Green Guide.
Turn Back the Tide Receives Two 2014 Pinnacle Awards | May 2014
The Pinnacle Awards showcase excellence in business communication and are awarded by the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
The Turn Back the Tide campaign received two Pinnacle awards:
- An Award of Merit under the category of Digital Communication Channels
- An Award of Excellence under the category of Government Communication Programs
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched the Turn Back the Tide campaign in 2012 to raise awareness about climate change and the ways that everyone can take action.
A survey conducted in 2014 revealed that, compared to 2012, more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel informed about climate change and the impact of their everyday actions. Three quarters of people surveyed in 2014 were aware of the campaign and 17% of those individuals indicated they changed their behaviour as a result of the campaign.
The Turn Back the Tide team would like to thank the various government departments and community organizations that have played a significant role in making the campaign a success. Climate change is a shared challenge and together we can make a difference.
Budget 2014: Investments to Address Climate Change and Improve Energy Efficiency | May 21, 2014
Budget 2014 has been passed in the House of Assembly and contains $2.5 million investment in measures to address climate change and improve energy efficiency:
- $350,000 to the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency for a two-year pilot project to provide real-time energy display monitors to some households to support energy conservation.
- $400,000 annually for three years to the Department of Environment and Conservation for Flood Risk Mapping Studies to address climate change adaptation issues and public safety concerns by providing up-to-date maps of areas prone to flooding, which will facilitate better planning and reduce damage.
- $100,000 annually for three years to the Geological Survey in the Department of Natural Resources to continue the Coastal Erosion Vulnerability Project to help communities make informed land-use decisions, guide development and identify areas for protection.
- $350,000 to the Department of Transportation and Works for retrofits in select government buildings to improve energy efficiency and lower operating costs, which is consistent with the commitments made by the Provincial Government in the 2011 Energy Efficiency Action Plan.
- $200,000 over two years to the Department of Education for a pilot project to raise awareness on energy conservation in schools, including the development of promotional materials to promote energy conservation.
- $90,000 for the Department of Environment and Conservation for the continuation of Hurricane Flood Relief alerts in 45 communities across the province. These alerts warn local residents and travelers when flood risks are high, providing them with more time for reaction to such adverse events.
Provincial Government Supports Climate Change Exhibit Through Partnerships | May 15, 2014
Read the news release
Update on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canada | May 2014
In April of each year, the Federal Government submits estimates of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It takes about two years to collect the necessary information. The report for 2012 emissions was submitted on April 11, 2014.
GHG Emissions for Canada
The report showed that Canada's GHG emissions for 2012 were 698 million tonnes. This represents a 1.3% increase above 2009 levels.
Since Canada is a country that relies on the extraction of natural resources, like oil and gas, economic growth is a significant factor affecting the country's GHG emissions. It's interesting to note that, while Canada's GHG emissions grew by 1.3% between 2009 and 2011, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 7.8% over the same period. As a result, when measured against GDP, Canada's performance on GHG emissions in 2012 is the best since 1990, which is when records began.
In the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, Canada committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 17% below 2005 by 2020. GHG emissions for 2012 are about 15% above the 2020 target.
GHG Emissions for Newfoundland and Labrador
The report showed that Newfoundland and Labrador's GHG emissions were 8.8 million tonnes in 2012. This represents a 5% decrease from the previous year.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a target of reducing the province's GHG emissions to 8.4 million tonnes by 2020, which is equal to 10% below 1990 levels.
What Is Earth Hour? | March 29, 2014
When: March 29, 2014 (8:30-9:30pm, local time)
Earth Hour is an annual event organized by the World Wildlife Fund. It encourages people all over the world to turn off their lights for one hour with the goal of raising awareness about environmental sustainability. From China to Costa Rica, millions of people will switch off their lights and show their support in 2014. Earth Hour is less about the hour the lights are off, and more about celebrating the global movement to reduce the impact we're having on the environment.
The event first took place in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Each year, people from more than 150 countries and territories switch off their lights. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour 2014 by turning off all non-essential lighting between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, local time.
Upcoming Event: 2014 Home Show | March 20, 2014
The 2014 Home Show will be held at Mile One Centre in St. John's on March 22 and 23. This event is hosted each year by the Canadian Home Builders' Association, Newfoundland and Labrador (CHBA-NL). It's an opportunity to connect directly with companies in the province's building and renovation industry to receive professional advice about products and services.
The theme of this year's event is energy efficiency. Representatives from the CHBA-NL, local companies, and the Turn Back the Tide and TakeCHARGE campaigns will be on hand to provide tips and advice on increasing your home's energy efficiency.
The full list of exhibitors for the 2014 Home Show can be found on the CHBA-NL's website.
Date & Time:
Saturday, March 22, 2014 (10:00 am - 8:00 pm)
Sunday, March 23, 2014 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)
$8 - General Admission
$7 - Seniors
Free - Children under 12 accompanied by an adult
Climate Change & the Winter Olympics | February 14, 2014
Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on the Winter Olympics over the next century. Having enough snow of the right quality is of increasing concern for host cities. Over the past couple of decades, host cities have invested in snow-making machines and, in preparation for the 2014 games, Russia invested in over 400 snow canons and stockpiled snow for over a year. A recent study from the University of Waterloo suggests that future host cities of the Winter Olympics will have to rely even more heavily on these means of generating snow.
The study looks at which cities have hosted the Winter Olympics in the past and whether they will be a "reliable" host by 2050 or 2080. In this case, "reliable" means whether daily average temperatures will remain below freezing to support good snow and ice conditions, and whether a suitable snowpack could be maintained for alpine events. The study uses information from multiple sources, including the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the world's leading authority on climate change science. The study concludes that only 11 of the 19 previous cities would be a reliable host by 2050, and only 10 would be reliable by 2080. Cities that were determined to be climatically unreliable as a future host include Sochi and Vancouver. These predictions were determined using the lowest estimate of future greenhouse gas emissions in the IPCC report. When the researchers used the IPCC's highest estimate of future greenhouse gas emissions, which some experts believe is more likely, the number of reliable cities by 2080 dropped to only six out of 19.
The following table adapted from the report shows which sites are predicted to have a reliable climate to host the Winter Olympics by 2080:
A full copy of the report can be found on the University of Waterloo's website.
Upcoming Event: Webinar on Energy Efficiency Requirements in the National Building Code | February 2014
In 2012, the National Building Code of Canada was updated to include energy efficiency requirements for homes and small buildings. It's important that builders, designers, suppliers and municipalities understand these requirements.
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), which is a national not-for-profit organization, is offering a webinar to explain the new requirements. Webinar participants will become familiar with these requirements and receive a package of digital resources.
The webinar will take place on February 20, 2014, from 1:30 - 2:30 (NST). Participation is free for CaGBC members and $30 for non-members. To register and receive information on how to connect to the webinar, please email Lara Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 14, 2014. If the webinar is fully subscribed, individuals will be placed on a waitlist. A second webinar will be offered if there is sufficient demand.
A second presentation of this webinar will be offered on February 27, 2014 from 1:30 - 2:30pm (NST). Participation remains free for CaGBC members and $30 for non-members. Registration must be completed on the CaGBC website by February 21, 2014.
Incandescent Bulbs Being Phased Out Across Canada | January 1, 2014
As of January 1, 2014, the Government of Canada has banned the manufacturing and importing of 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. At the end of this year, the ban will also apply to 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs. Retailers are permitted to sell off their existing stock, but once stocks have run out, they will not be able to replenish their supply.
The ban is a step towards improving Canada's energy efficiency and is in-line with regulations in the United States. Traditional incandescent bulbs are very inefficient, with about 90% of the energy they use producing heat instead of light. In Newfoundland and Labrador, lighting accounts for 4% of home energy use and results in 27,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year. This is the equivalent of GHG emissions from over 6,000 vehicles each year. Switching to efficient lighting is an easy way to save money on your household electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint.
Energy-efficient options for lighting include:
- Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) - CFLs are the most common choice for efficient lighting in Canada. They use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer.
- Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) - LEDs are a more expensive choice, but they use about 85-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer.
- Halogen lights - These lights use up to 40% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and are best suited for areas that require bright lighting, such as an office.
Purchasing Tips for CFLs
- When buying CFLs, the packaging will identify the wattage of the light and how it compares to a traditional incandescent bulb. This will help you choose the level of brightness you need.
- Remember to look for the ENERGY STAR label on the packaging, as these options last the longest and produce the best quality light.
- CFLs produce different colours of light. This is identified on the packaging by a temperature scale using a unit of measurement called kelvins. The colour of CFLs range from warm (2700K) to cold (6500K), as shown in the picture.
For more information on efficient lighting, visit: http://turnbackthetide.ca/taking-action/households/lighting.shtml
CFLs contain small amounts of mercury and should not be tossed in with the regular trash. To learn more about recycling CFLs, visit the MMSB's website.