Human activities are forcing climate change at an extraordinary rate — with disastrous consequences if we fail to change course. Canada is the world's eighth largest emitter of the greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change, and is ranked one of the worst performers in the developed world on climate policy and action. One of the most significant ways for Canada to do its fair share to slow climate change is to create an economy based on clean energy.
The Pembina Institute works to:
- Develop comprehensive climate policy packages for Canada and Canadian provinces and territories that include pricing carbon, reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency.
- Increase the relevance of climate change as an issue in the minds of Canadians and decision makers.
- Monitor policy and business developments that have real implications for climate change.
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After a dramatic finish last year in Durban, this year’s UN climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar could deliver a productive outcome that gets countries on track for more action in the short term and agreement by 2015 for a new global deal, beginning in 2020. For Canada, the Doha talks will once again put the federal government’s climate policy under a microscope. Unfortunately, our negotiators can expect a rough ride from the international community unless Canada commits to taking the far stronger actions needed to hit its 2020 target. This backgrounder explores the key issues at Doha and Canada's role at the conference.
While British Columbians want more action on global warming and are supportive of further rate increases, they have some dissatisfaction with the policy in its current form. This backgrounder summarizes the polling results of over 1000 British Columbians' commissioned by the Pembina Institute and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and conducted by Strategic Communications Inc. in July of 2012.
Download the backgrounder. | See the raw data. | Read the press release. | See the 2011 poll.
Exploring perspectives and seeking common ground
British Columbia is preparing to review its carbon tax in the 2012 budget. To gather perspectives on the impacts of the tax to date, and to document the range of perspectives regarding the future design of the carbon tax, The Pembina Institute and the Energy and Materials Research Group out of Simon Fraser University conducted a series of interviews with representatives from a wide variety of sectors in the province.
This report presents the results of these interviews, along with recommendations on how to best navigate carbon tax design issues and communication challenges that were identified.
Read the report | See the PowerPoint summary
Pollution from coal-fired electricity in Canada
When we flick on the light switch or run our appliances, most of us do not think of where our electricity comes from. Many Canadians think our electricity simply comes from hydroelectric generation. As such, we do not associate it with the images of smoke stacks and billowing plumes that we see south of our border or elsewhere in the world where coal-fired electricity gets more attention.
The reality is that the combination of electricity sources — and therefore the qualities and characteristics of the electricity system — depend on where we live in the country. Some provinces live up to the common conception of predominantly hydroelectric power, but six provinces still burn coal to generate electricity and three of these — Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia — rely more on coal than any other source of electricity combined.
Read the Report