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Climate change is a global issue requiring international action and co-operation. In 1997, as part of an international initiative to address climate change, 160 nations negotiated an international climate change agreement, the Kyoto Protocol. This agreement identified targets for reduction of GHG emissions. It also requires that countries pursue refinements to the understanding of climate change and development of strategies to adapt.
Reducing GHG emissions will be a significant challenge for Canada. The fact is that even with a 20 to 25% reduction in emissions, the climate will still change, but at a somewhat slower pace. For this reason we need to start developing strategies to adapt to the new climate conditions now. The longer we wait to take action, the fewer options may be available to us.
Responding to climate change is presenting us with many opportunities for economic growth, jobs, increased trade and technological advancement, reduced levels of pollution, and a cleaner, healthier environment for many Canadians.
Did you know?
In order to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases where they are today, global CO2 emissions would have to be cut by 50 to 60%.
It's up to us
Solar panels on rooftop
Increasing use of energy from alternative energy sources such as the solar panels on this house have helped to increase our total energy efficiency. Although our emissions have increased over the past years, they have not increased at the same rate as our economic growth. This means we are improving the efficiency of our energy use.
Many communities in Ontario have initiated Walking School Bus programs, where groups of parents walk kids to school instead of driving - a walking version of the car pool!
Green roof and vertical garden technologies can help to reduce GHG emissions from heating and cooling by shading buildings, improving insulation, and reducing the urban heat island effect.
Turner, R.J.W. and Clague, J.J., 1999: Temperature rising: climate change in southwestern British Columbia; Geological Survey of Canada, Miscellaneous Report 67.