Let's start relating climate change problems to the shared benefits of addressing the issue
The benefits of increased cycling go beyond reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
I truly believe the first step to protecting nature is learning to appreciate it. And as environmental problems around the world advance -- with rising temperatures, more frequent natural disasters, and declining biodiversity -- the importance of connecting with nature only increases.
It's not always easy to separate the energy used to heat your home from that used to power lights and appliances, heat water, and charge electronics. For example, there are two different electricity rates (or tiers) charged by your utility. After consuming a certain amount of energy each month, you start being charged at a higher rate. Both B.C. Hydro and FortisBC also charge a fixed amount on each bill, in addition to charging for the energy you consume. You can see how it might be difficult to understand the costs and benefits of different heating options.
By setting the bar so that new homes and buildings perform better and pollute less -- at no additional cost -- we are taking an important step toward reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and bringing construction standards in line with those being adopted across Europe and North America. The city's new policy will save us money, expand the number of jobs in green construction, and benefit our health. It's an exciting blueprint for what will become the new normal in construction in B.C. and across Canada.
With the new federal budget, Canada's government is sending a strong signal that it intends to follow through on its commitment to curb carbon pollution from our homes and buildings. By focusing on social housing, the budget also signals a resolve to ensure energy efficiency will benefit all Canadians.
Building energy benchmarking is a key tool for enabling informed and sound decision-making in energy management. Requiring reporting enables governments to prioritize and evaluate policies including regulation and incentives, while public disclosure enables the real estate sector to measure and value high performance buildings.
Imagine this. You open your mailbox this month. Voila! Here is your first carbon dividend cheque from the province. Suddenly, combating climate change with a price on carbon pollution doesn't hurt your pocketbook like conservatives said it would. Ontario could have a climate plan like this. It's called carbon fee and dividend.
There's a common trope among the pro-pipeline crowd that opposing new fossil fuel projects somehow should deny you access to anything fossil fuel related. It's a ridiculous notion, but with it so widespread, I'm willing to accept it, with one caveat. If I have to give up anything fossil fuel related in my life, pipeline pushers have accept their own version.
Back in 2011, Canada made history by being the first country to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. It was a bold move, but yesterday, Justin Trudeau actually managed to one up the feat, albeit in different style. On Tuesday, he approved the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 tar sands pipelines making Canada the first country on the planet to, in effect, promise to break the commitments they made to under the Paris Climate Agreement.