SASKATOON - Coal-fired power plants got more regulatory breathing room than expected to release greenhouse gases Wednesday, something federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says is necessary to protect Canada's power supply.
The final regulations for coal-powered plants, released Wednesday, stipulate they can emit no more than 420 tonnes of greenhouse gases per gigawatt hour of electricity generated.
This number is significantly higher than the 375 tonnes per gigawatt hour Kent proposed in earlier draft regulations released in August.
While admitting the new rules are "at the high end" of the 360 to 425 tonne per gigawatt hour range he considered, Kent said the decision was made to avoid putting the "consuming public at risk of inadequate power supply."
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.
Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world's leading water scientists.
"There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.
Toronto, ON -- The Great Lakes Protection Act Alliance - representing six environmental groups - is delighted that Ontario Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley re-introduced the Great Lakes Protection Act today as the new government’s first legislative agenda item.
“We’re thrilled that the Great Lakes are a priority for the government,” said Sarah Winterton, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “Improving protection for the source of drinking water for 80 per cent of Ontarians and protecting our shorelines and beaches is the right thing to do, and we urge all parties to work together to pass a strong Act.”
The bill was first introduced June 6, 2012, but died on the order table when the legislature was prorogued. Next, the bill will be debated, and amendments considered by an all-party committee.
I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.
OTTAWA — The federal government’s budget legislation has forced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to cancel nearly 3,000 screenings into potential environmental damage caused by proposed development projects across Canada, including hundreds involving a pipeline or fossil fuel energy, according to published records.
Out of 2,970 project reviews that were stopped by the legislation that rewrote Canada’s environmental laws and weakened federal oversight on industrial development, 678 involved fossil fuel energy and 248 involved a pipeline, including proposals from Alberta-based energy companies, Enbridge and TransCanada.
The Globe and Mail (September 27, 2012)
Environmentalists sue to force Ottawa to protect species along Northern Gateway route Add to ...
By Dene Moore
One of the most powerful foes of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through northern British Columbia is not a lawyer or a conservation group or any of the many First Nations who have lined up against the project.
It’s a very large, very, very old fish.
The Nechako white sturgeon is listed as an endangered species under the federal Species At Risk Act, a designation which is supposed to legally protect the sturgeon’s habitat so the species can recover.
The pipeline is planned to cross the Stewart and Endako rivers, where the highly imperilled species — there are estimated to be only 335 left — live.
A new analysis of worldwide temperatures over the past 60 years has found more evidence that global warming is already upon us, and is responsible for extreme heat waves — such as the ones in Russia in 2010 and in Texas and Oklahoma last year.
Toronto, October 2, 2012 – Ontario is blind to the impact forestry is having on wildlife species across the province says Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller today in the release of Part 2 of his 2011/2012 Annual Report, Losing Our Touch. Despite a legal requirement to do so, Miller says the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) does not adequately monitor forest wildlife populations and incorporate the information into its own forest management policies.
When a class environmental assessment eighteen years ago authorized MNR to proceed with planning for timber harvesting and related activities, it also imposed legally binding terms and conditions. One requirement was the establishment of a province-wide monitoring program that would assess how timber harvesting affects forest-dwelling species.