Climate Change Mitigation Strategy Public Consultation Comments

As part of the development of the PEI Climate Change Mitigation Strategy, Islanders were invited to provide their input on what a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy should look like. The online consultation will run until July 31, 2016 and the public comments received during that period related to the mitigation strategy will be posted on this page. The names of people making these submissions will not be disclosed. 

The comments will be sorted by date received, with the most recent comments appearing on the top of the page. If you believe an error has been made with one of the postings, please contact seledgerwood@gov.pe.ca

August 8, 2016

developing a climate change policy for PEI will not be easy. public transit doesn't exist on most of the Island, carbon based fuel is our number one energy source. What wind energy is produces is exported to the US to the highest bidder. 

I remember when BC implemented their carbon tax, it was a real kick to the public. 

I fear that government will start a tax that will end up in the general pot, not directed to any particular program to lower emissions. The $4 tire tax didn't do allot to get rid of stacks and acres of old tires on PEI

PEI cannot be the only place on earth to have a similar status: no natural gas, etc.

Whatever the plan is, it has to benefit the environment of PEI (like we are preventing fish kills LOL!) and not be another tax on islanders and can't afford another hit in our pocket.

August 3, 2016

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on slide 8, or consist of something different? 

Yes, the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy (CHMS) should envisage initiatives aimed reduction in greenhouse gas reductions (GHG) which can be quantified. However, instead of focusing much on target setting in quantifiable terms, the priority areas should be to research into “what actions are needed to ensure that people contribute to GHG reduction”. This is the real challenge across the regions of the globe, and more so for Prince Edward Island (PEI). There are many things people (in their individual capacity) can do. They can reduce emissions through simple actions like changing a light bulb, powering down electronics, using less water, throwing away garbage, and recycling. All these lead to greenhouse gas emissions, many people may not be aware of. Even those who know of this, “do not, in many cases, translate ideas into action”. This is what needs special attention. National governments have advocacy programs, but peoples’ behaviors are not easily influenced; we need to do a lot of research into it. I suggest that: “community-level awareness initiatives are outcome-oriented”, because changing behavior among people, especially those grown up, is uphill task. Unless this particular is ensured, setting targets in quantifiable terms will be of not much attention. I suggest: the PEI Government consider holding special consultation for this purpose.         

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

I do not advocate “carbon pricing model”, as the section of the society who are better off are not burdened. Even this approach did not work out in India, I am citizen of.    

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions? 

In broad terms, actions are needed at three levels: policy, organizational and individual levels. In terms of policy formulation, firm government commitment is needed. At organizational level, industries and corporate houses need to take corrective measures. “What can be done at individual level is most important”.  As outlined above (in response to question no 1), “we, as educators of sustainable development and climate change, have additional responsibilities of devising specific modalities which ensures that public at large actually take scientific steps to reduce GHG in their communities”. This initiative involves the component of information education and communication (IEC). It would be benefitting for PEI to seek the expertise of IEC personnel and other researchers in this endeavor.  

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

As indicated in page 5 of the “Climate Change Mitigation Strategy Discussion Document” of July 2016, housing sector (buildings) is third largest contributor (21%) to emissions. What this requires is that in those responsible for taking decisions at the policy level in the PEI Government focus on “green housing” or “eco-friendly houses”, envisaging both residential and commercial sectors. Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector come from fossil fuel combustion for heating and cooking needs, management of waste and wastewater, and leaks from refrigerants in homes and businesses. This will need stricter government regulations leading to guidelines building contractors need to adhere to. Some countries have introduced policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings through measures to improve energy efficiency. 

However, there are some obstacles in implementing “green housing” which policy makers in PEI need to keep in mind. The largest barrier to energy efficiency improvements in buildings is the ‘cost’ barrier of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings due to the limited time during which an occupant of a building has to recover the cost. In rented properties, many tenants are unwilling to make investments in energy saving features because they do not expect to live in or use that property long enough to recoup their investment through savings in their energy bills. In addition, energy costs are often a comparatively small part of the overall running costs of a building. The economic incentives derived from lower energy costs are, therefore, too weak to induce owners and tenants to invest in energy efficiency measures [1]. Most importantly, buildings come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and purposes and they have been built at different times according to different standards. Consequently, addressing energy use in any given building requires a holistic approach to ensure the best results [2].

[1]: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2009).  Buildings and Climate Change: Summary for Decision-Makers.  Paris, France:  UNEP DTIE, Sustainable Consumption & Production Branch. 
[2]: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (2016). Building Overview. Arlington, VA: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. http://www.c2es.org/technology/overview/buildings, accessed on July 29, 2016.

August 2, 2016

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on slide 8, or consist of something different? 

The PEI Climate Mitigation Strategy should include quantifiable stretch targets for emission reduction.  As such the focus should be less on the renewable aspect of energy and more on the emission profile of the fuel or energy source.

PEI requires emission reduction targets that go beyond the current commitments.  The NEG/ECP targets are compromises between 11 jurisdictions and opportunities exist to be more aggressive by investing in proven methods and technologies.  In that success under the NEG/ECP framework allows individual jurisdictions to over or under achieve relative to the 2020, 2030 and 2050, rendering the targets less relevant to the province’s environment and economy 

To better provide a made-in PEI solution the province should consider sector specific targets (agriculture, building efficiency, transportation) that combine to meet an overall provincial target of reducing emission levels.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

Carbon pricing is already a reality for 80% of Canadians and a high likelihood for the entire country.  ACC supports the imposition of a provincial carbon tax that equitably imposes a revenue-neutral, economy-wide and will directly contribute to reducing energy consumption.  While this option lacks offsets for reducing emissions, it is preferred over cap’n’trade in that the cost of administering a carbon auction for a small province would likely be inordinate. An economy-wide price on carbon is more equitable and allows the province to manage the costs to business, control leakage, invest in green technology development and offset costs to low-income earners.

We feel it is important that the province establish and administer a carbon pricing system so that the environmental and economic benefits flow directly to the province and not the federal government.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?
The province’s top priorities should be:

  • A focus on energy efficiency as the least expensive form of energy use and reducing emissions.  The primary focus should be to assist consumers to alter their overall demand, but also employ technologies that smooths the peaks and valleys of energy demand to permit more efficient use of current generation capacity and avoid the requirement to invest in new generation and transmission.  The technologies and commitment to invest in efficiency exist within government and it is not clear whether the cost of an independent efficiency utility is justified.
  • PEI should focus on developing expertise in reducing the emissions from the agriculture sector, specifically in relation to soil/crop management and livestock.  Opportunities abound to explore the most effective approach to reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.
  • Adoption of the national building code to guide efficiency standards for new builds and retrofits.  These standards will benefit the province in terms of reduced consumption and stimulate the construction and thermal efficiency sectors of the economy.
  • Because of PEI’s strong advantage in wind energy potential, significant effort should be made to develop energy storage.   Viable technologies already exist including compressed air storage, hydrogen production, and pump storage.  At present we do not feel the cost structure of tidal and solar energy generation warrants significant investment.  Nor has the carbon footprint of biofuels been definitively established to determine the value of investment in this sector.
  • To reduce transportation emissions all opportunities to expand active and sustainable transportation options should be explored but the province will have to recognize that a move to alternative fuels is necessary and may require provincial support.  The province needs to renew support for electric vehicles, and CNG fuel facilities for use in fleet transportation.  Many measures such as preferred parking, differential licensing fees, investment/subsidization in charging infrastructure should be considered as a means of incenting adoption of EVs and NG vehicles.

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions?

Mitigation efforts represent an effort by a province doing their part to address a global issue. However, PEI has unique circumstances that will require substantial investment in the face of rising sea levels and increasingly frequent catastrophic weather events.  

July 31, 2016

Submission #1

This is part of a three part series I submitted for the Provincial Energy Strategy. I have not adapted it. The social cost of carbon is far higher than often recognized. It may not be necessary to fully reflect the high social cost of carbon with a direct price, and it is possible to be revenue neutral with low-income relief, and incentives for everyone to make the transition to fully clean and renewable energy for all purposes by 2050, with >80% conversion in all-sectors by 2030. However, the carbon price, policies, regulations, programs, rebates, and incentives much be sufficient to ensure this rapid transition and keep warming well below 2C.

NOTE: Due to the length of the submissions attached in this comment, the three attachments were not upload to this website. If you would like a copy of the attachments, please contact seledgerwood@gov.pe.ca

Submission #2

1) Yes to those other targets and goals -- and we could stretch them to do better
2)Yes, Carbon tax -- revenue neutral -- there are good examples out there
3) Actions -- conservation, efficiency -- all the stuff in the energy strategy and especially stuff mentioned by the folks at the June 29th public meeting.
And profuse and low-cost public transportation -- economical models, Island-tailored.
4) Important for you to know? -- Make this work with energy strat and the Adaptation Strat. Emphasize re-evaluation. Renewables. Maybe less emphasis on certain high-tech things like bovine feeding suggestions and more on cultural shifts like eating a bit less meat and fish. 
Thanks for the opportunity and we look forward to the first draft.

Submission #3

Watershed groups have different goals, work plans, funding situations, and capacities. A common thread that extends in all work that watershed groups do, regardless of limitations, is climate change. 

The way we protect riparian zones for fish and wildlife habitat, the tree species we plant and care for, the work we do with soil conservation, public awareness, shoreline protection... all of these issues and many others will be dominated by climate change factors in the years and decades to come. 

We must groom riparian zones to accommodate fish and wildlife species by keeping surface water shaded and providing shelter and food. We must select and nourish trees and shrubs for our riparian zones to the best of our skills as temperatures and growing seasons fluctuate. We must assist farmers to adapt management practices to best conserve soil and water while continuing to operate profitable operations. 

As community based groups, watershed organizations may best serve by promoting ideas, assisting with change, addressing barriers and benefits to issues by working with willing community members in projects that promote positive change and action. 

Watershed groups are slowly building a reputation on Prince Edward Island as having reasonable representatives with balanced views. The work of regulation, enforcement, and environmental activism generally is handled through other venues. The potential of reaching out to many to carry out change in behaviors and approaches may best lie with community based watershed groups.

Assistance in developing skills in social marketing, communication, and understanding climate change issues will be required for watershed groups. Watershed groups have a good record of achieving results on limited budgets. The contributions that watershed groups can make in climate change issues will be even greater than past achievements, due to the accumulation of experience and skills by watershed boards and staff. 

Involving watershed groups in discussions on mitigation and adaptation to climate change issues, and providing training to board members and staff on creating strategies through both PEI Watershed Alliance and other connections will contribute to the best possible results for our changing climate and PEI communities.

Submission #4

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on slide 8, or consist of something different?

The Climate Change Mitigation Strategy should absolutely include quantifiable emission reduction targets. Setting clear goals with measurable targets gives clear direction to guide policy and allows us to evaluate the success of these policies and adjust them when necessary (and it almost certainly will be necessary, no matter how well planned a policy).

The regional emission target of 35-­45% below 1990 levels is an appropriate starting point, but only with the adoption of further targets. The expectation must not be that emission reductions of 35% below 1990 is the ultimate goal. In line with the Standing Committee recommendation of 100% renewables by 2050, I would suggest a goal of overall carbon neutrality by 2050.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

Whether we use a carbon tax, cap and trade, fee and dividend, or some other model, carbon pricing should be one of the primary policy tools for reducing emissions. However, it is also important to consider regulatory policy options. Ideally we would implement a combination of regulatory and market­based policies to reduce emissions. While I strongly support pricing carbon in whatever form is deemed most appropriate for Prince Edward Island, the ultimate goal is to reduce and eliminate emissions, and if more effective ways to do so can be devised then we should pursue those as well (or instead).

Some consideration should be made as to whether carbon pricing should be implemented so as to be revenue neutral, as with the fee and dividend model or the British Columbia carbon tax. As PEI already has relatively high tax rates, this could help reduce the impact on and make the pricing more acceptable to Islanders. That being said, unchecked climate change would have a much larger impact on Islanders, so the effectiveness of the policy in reducing emissions must be the first concern.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

Given that transportation is the largest contributor to emissions in PEI, that is where we need the greatest effort. PEI has a well-­ingrained car culture which will likely make the adoption of electric vehicles the single greatest reducer of emissions.

We require annual vehicle inspections in PEI, which provides an opportunity to do regular emissions tests. The results of these could serve to better inform Islanders about how polluting their vehicles are, so that they can make more informed decisions about their vehicle purchases. The information could also be used to link vehicle registration fees to emissions.

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions?

As mentioned in the discussion document, it is important to consider greater social impacts of policies. Local food promotion can reduce emissions from transportation by reducing exports and distance to market. If targeted to low­-income people, it can also improve health and reduce food insecurity, both significant problems on PEI. Wherever possible, consideration should be given to how low-­income Islanders can both participate and benefit from programs to reduce emissions.

The discussion document lists urban planning as a high impact option (slide 19) but rural planning should also be included. PEI is a predominantly rural province, with 53% of residents living in rural areas (Statistics Canada, 2011). The rural nature of the Island must be taken into account when designing and presenting any policies and programs (not just planning); failure to do so will greatly reduce acceptance and compliance. Rural communities have different challenges and opportunities than urban in reducing emissions. Greater distances and lower population densities make rural PEI the key space in which the car culture thrives. Planning is largely non­existent in rural PEI, so improvements here can provide major impacts, albeit primarily long term ones. Rural planning includes land use planning but should also examine other aspects of rural communities such as active transportation, social and economic development, and governance, all with sustainability and emissions reduction as a priority.

July 30, 2016

Submission #1

1. Since your link https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/climate-change-mitigation-s... does not open, I do not know Schedule 8. - Yes to quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions. Copy methods from other progressive and successful (European) countries, who may already have implemented or planned sustainable methods of the Point 1 kind.

2. Yes to quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions. - Again, copy methods from other progressive and successful (European) countries, who may already have implemented or planned sustainable methods of the Point 2 kind.

3. a. Educating the general public to reduce consumption of coal-fired electricity, - b. Improve building standards for new and upgraded houses - c. Educate about lower thermostat settings in winter, cut down on shower times and inside building cooling in summer - d. Curtail services which requires single person vehicle use (like meals on wheels) - e. Avoid vehicle motor idling by outlawing drive-by lanes at fastfood outlets - f. Start a share-the-road campaign with reminder street signs - (faster and cheaper than cycling infrastructure), encourage and publicly reward short-distance cycling in cities - g. Create an incentive (from carbon tax moneys) to buy electric cars and e-bikes - h. Make mandatory for (registered or not) vehicle owners to buy or annually lease a 6'x10'=60 sqft piece of public road (~$5,000) which space the vehicle will occupy during public road use anyway, at the same time provide free public transportation (from carbon tax moneys) - i. Create financial incentives for home owners to buy, and for Island companies to produce solar panels and installation with connection to grit as storage.

4. Dedicated bike lanes on highway shoulders in conjunction with narrower vehicle lanes and reduced speeds. Research other, more progressive, countries, - and what those have already developed, will be good for PEI to consider. It requires an ongoing committee to solicit public input at all times, because situations and problems and needs and demands are not stagnant but dynamic and need real-time adjustment, modification and flexibility and political will.

Submission #2

Transportation
- continued use of and improvement of the bus system and connections for both Charlottetown and Summerside.
- electric car charging stations & charging parking places to encourage people to buy and use *gov. & city officials should be obligated to have and use.
Electricity
- Use the electricity we generate from the windmills rather than sell it to the US & lower Islanders' bills.

July 29, 2016

Submission #1

In response to question #3, sound forest management including reforestation and the removal of dead and dying stands of trees will help mitigate the effects of climate change. Planting trees at a grass roots level is one of the most effective and cheapest activities that can help reduce carbon emissions. Surely a young growing stand of trees absorbing carbon is preferable to an overmature declining forest that is emitting carbon. Surely turning an overmature tree into a board or a bowl that will sequester carbon for a long time is preferable to allowing that tree to rot and fall down. Not every tree, these activities can be done in a balanced way retaining forest diversity. Bottom line- Plant more trees.

Submission #2

I feel that PEI has a unique opportunity. We could turn this beautiful and bountiful island into a model for the world by making it the most energy-efficient, pesticide-free, environmentally-friendly place in North America. There are already so many Islanders working toward clean energy solutions. Let's push to make PEI the cleanest, greenest jurisdiction on the continent!

Submission #3

1. Targets are important. PEI should aim to meet the second one mentioned on slide 8, i.e reduce emissions levels to at least 35-45% below 1990 levels by 2030, while also working towards 100% clean energy by 2030, rather than 2050. Reducing greenhouse gases is an extremely urgent matter. Time is of the essence.

2. NOT cap and trade--that is a very poorly thought out concept which will have no real benefit and could make things worse. A carbon tax on all fuels, based on emissions, could help IF it both reduces emissions and funds initiatives to combat climate change. I don't support a revenue-neutral carbon tax. A serious emissions reduction program will require serious investment of government dollars so it makes sense to me to use a carbon tax to fund well-researched initiatives known to have the greatest impact.

3. I am not an expert on which actions would have the greatest impact in reducing greenhouse gases, but there are experts and there is research available. Government must invest in unbiased expertise to provide sound advice on the most effective ways PEI can reduce greenhouse gases, then decision-makers must follow that advice and put significant resources into immediate and long-term programs aiming for the best results in the shortest possible time.

4. All government initiatives, new or already operational, should be put to a "climate test". Anything that has the potential to worsen climate change, e.g. any deforestation without reforestation or using fossil fuels to produce electricity, should be prohibited or at least phased out and replaced with initiatives which will reduce climate change. Trade deals such as CETA and TPP should be rejected and others such as NAFTA should be renegotiated since these trade agreements are clearly resulting in, or will result in, increased climate change.

July 28, 2016

Submission #1

No particular comments with respect to targets. In general, I think we should be doing what we can to help meet Canada's targets. If we can do more than our share that's great.

Carbon pricing through a carbon tax I would advocate for strongly. Given the profile of the Island economy and where our emissions generally come from using carbon taxes to persuade people and businesses to reduce their use of gas for transportation and heating oil for heating are the most obvious ways to achieve emissions reductions. A regulatory approach or cap and trade don't seem to me to be applicable here. As BC did and Alberta plans, a phased in approach should be taken, but not drawn out too much. I'd also suggest longer term raising the level beyond where BC currently is (as they had planned but have not followed through on). To get to where we want to be the level of taxation clearly has to be greater than any existing carbon taxes are, by several orders of magnitude. That being said, I think it would be helpful if there could be a regional approach, as with the HST, to avoid difficulties with incentives.

Speaking of the HST, I think a preliminary re-jigging of the taxes on electricity vs heating oil is warranted. A necessary pre-requisite for people to change the way they do things of course is to have other options available. Other than the usual phasing in, I don't see that as a reason to hold off on carbon taxes, but I think it does mean that we need to move on ensuring alternatives are available. Containing urban sprawl, strengthening public transit, providing charging stations for vehicles, and having the capacity in the electric grid to handle increased needs should be priorities.

As to the proceeds from the tax, I think politically it is probably a given that every effort should be made to make it clear that its not a tax grab - so the bulk of the money should be used to reduce the tax burden elsewhere and ensure that low income Islanders in particular are not hurt by this - although there should be some relief for everyone, not just low-income. Please keep in mind that some low income Islanders don't pay any tax as it is, so simply cutting income taxes won't do the trick. Adding a supplement to HST rebates might address that issue, or a refundable tax credit perhaps.

On the other hand, there will be a need for public investment or subsidies to ensure the alternatives needed are available, so some diversion of funds in that direction might be justified.

One other not so related point I would make is a preference for moving to sources of energy that do not require the production of much if any in the way of carbon emissions. Not a big fan of biomass heating or biofuels. Electricity and thermal are the way to go.

Submission #2

We need to find a creative inexpensive way to accept/receive free erosion barrier (hard rock?) to place at a growing number of locations around the island. Perhaps a collection box should be provided for folks who would like especially to marine erosion control -perhaps a long term cheap contract should be obtained for buying this or a reward for engineering students able to generate a cheaper means to do it. Perhaps the lottery should contribute to erosion control. Perhaps there should be a pick-up drop off location for car pooling to brackley beach like minded folks. Perhaps electric cars should be subsidized to get this moving faster here. Perhaps pei civil servants working out of Ch'town should be given the option of overnight stay if cost neutral rather than using gas and greater travel time staffing costs. Perhaps tourism should seek to host conferences on erosion control and adapting to climate change. Encourage fiscally green energy - more windmills, a local depot for wood exchange for those that would pick it up to heat their homes. Continue high tax on fossil fuel - pension fund not purchase fossil fuel shares -city planning to higher density core- less automotive use.

Submission #3

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different?

We should absolutely use the targets on page 8. Some large countries are already on target for zero carbon emissions by 2050 – this can be seen by extrapolating their actual reductions since 1990.Obviously it can be done. We need to stop talking about when we are going to do this. We should have started in 1990. We need to start right now.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

The fee and dividend system proposed by the Green Party of PEI is a good model, and I would totally endorse this being implemented. However, the term “price on carbon” should be more accurately described as the “cost of continuing to use carbon”. The cost of not immediately reining in fossil fuel use is astronomical, and is the biggest threat that humankind has ever faced. Leaving it to “the market” is probably not going to solve the problem; the problem was created by “the market” in the first place.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

You have these very well covered in the discussion document. We all need to do everything we can, and all at once, starting right now. We spend hundreds of millions on energy each year, and most of this comes from New Brunswick. It makes economic sense, and climate sense, to create jobs on PEI by developing renewable energy here, and to use public transit and energy efficiency initiatives to save us all money.

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions?

Renewable energy and energy saving projects create large numbers of jobs per dollar. The technology exists, we just need the political will to do it. We on PEI are perfectly placed to lead the country and the world. We live in a sunny, windy place with green energy R&D centres such as Slemon Park, UPEI, and the AWTS. We have steady electrical demand, and a provincial jurisdiction. It makes sense for PEI to be, as it has in the past, the place to test and develop these new ideas.

Submission #4

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different?

  • Recommend adoption of goal to transition province to 100% renewables in all sectors by 2050

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

Recommend implementation of a point-of-sale carbon tax pricing model that addresses the following principles/concerns:

  • Revenue-neutrality (modelled on B.C.’s carbon tax)
  • Transparency (government could annually publish receipts/disbursements for each geographic area/sector)
  • Universality (recommend a lesser tax rate with no exemptions)
  • Impact on low-income earners (consider offer of a rebate for low-income earners)

Use of funds 

  • Propose that funds raised in a specific geographic area and sector be invested in the same area and sector. For example, carbon tax revenue collected at a gas pump in Charlottetown would be used in Charlottetown in the transportation sector (e.g., to reduce the retail price of public transit, increase bike lanes/walkable paths and other initiatives).

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

Transportation

  • Impose a carbon tax at point of sale in the form of “X” cents/litre at the pump 
  • Remove annual registration fee for electric/hybrid vehicles and/or increase annual registration fee for low mpg vehicles
  • Reduce/eliminate provincial sales tax for purchase of hybrid/electric vehicles
  • Eliminate requirement to register electric bikes (“e-bikes”) as a motor vehicle (as per practice in other provinces)
  • Increase electric vehicle charging infrastructure within major municipalities and along major roadways. Consider public private partnerships to lessen upfront cost
  • Reduce speed limit in downtown areas of municipalities so that cyclists/e-bike drivers/lesser-speed electric vehicles can easily travel at speed of traffic flow. A lower traffic speed should also encourage more walkers (and thus less drivers) too.
  • Permit installation of transparent, solar window film for passenger vehicles, including front wind-shield/driver window, to reduce solar gain and thus lessen a/c use and ultimately gas consumption to cool the occupant in hot weather. Other jurisdictions in Canada/USA permit such installation
  • Facilitate the installation of high-speed internet for rural areas. Some people who now commute might be able to work from home, where rural high-speed is much faster/more reliable. Encourage businesses to permit work-from-home, where appropriate, to reduce employee mileage. Available speed is 16 – 18x faster in Stratford/Montague than White Sands.

Agriculture

  • Safeguard right of landowners to plant a natural food garden/let their lawn grow naturally on their land. (Municipal regulation/local homeowner association rules may limit/prohibit homeowners from doing so in urban/suburban areas).

Buildings

Use carbon tax revenues to lessen and/or remove provincial sales tax on the following: 

  • any device that is powered by renewable power (e.g., a solar hot water boiler, solar PV panels, wind turbine, solar attic fan, outdoor solar lighting, etc.); and
  • building materials to increase insulation/energy efficiency (e.g., attic/sub-floor insulation, LED lights, energy star appliances, etc.)
  • natural building materials (e.g., clay, earth, sand, straw, logs, industrial hemp, etc.)

Provide a compliance exemption within building permit regulations to permit builders to construct homes based on natural materials provided the house is structurally safe. A rammed earth home is both stronger/lasts longer than stick-frame.

Safeguard option of rural residents to live “off-grid”. This includes the option to use a composting toilet in lieu of a septic system, off-grid solar/wind power in lieu of grid-tie and/or a well in lieu of municipal water.

Request CRA to remove requirement to declare the reduction in a homeowner’s electricity bill, further to installation of grid-tied solar panels that set up for net metering, as “business income”.

Waste

  • Phase out PEI Waste Watch pick-up of compost/garden waste for rural areas/single family homes. Land owners can compost on-site.

Industry 

  • Require public companies disclose the amount of carbon tax paid each fiscal year 

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions?

  • Engage rural communities. Understand that it is often easier for rural residents to reduce their footprint where they are encouraged to do so. As a former big city resident and now rural homeowner, I suggest rural residents consume less in goods/services outside of transportation, can more easily grow food, build homes with natural/reclaimed materials, use fallen/scrap wood/solar (for heat) and use solar for electric (off-grid or grid-tied).
  • Protect low-income earners. PEI is primarily a community of low-middle income earners. Any climate change plan must be affordable. Islanders still earn a very low wage, on average, and have little room for additional spending. 
  • Review/update regulatory barriers that may impede achievement of these goals. Provide for the ability, within the regulations, for safety/compliance personnel to approve unconventional arrangements, provided they meet climate change principles and best practices of comparable jurisdictions. In addition, regulations could be updated to specifically permit: 

                -installation of composting toilets in rural areas and aeration systems for existing septic systems;
                -installation of solar window film for driver’s side window and front windshield for vehicles; and 
                -use of natural building materials to build houses, provided the house is structurally sound 

A “one-size fits all” approach can discourage innovation and adoption of new environmentally sustainable technology and best practices. PEI is a very small province and a principles-based vs. prescriptive rules-based regulatory approach would serve as a geographic competitive advantage. I moved from Toronto, ON, in part, so I could build an eco-friendly house. 

Government may lead by example, such as: 

  • Transitioning their vehicle fleet to electric/hybrid vehicles; 
  • Planting more trees on government land; 
  • Allowing parks/government land to grow naturally; reduce/eliminate manicured lawns for government land;
  • Installing green roofs on government buildings;
  • Permitting work from home arrangements to reduce the need for unnecessary commuting; and
  • Encouraging virtual meetings/conferences, where technology permits, in lieu of physical gatherings, that require staff to commute to a remote location
  • Consider phasing out gas-powered devices, where electric devices now exist and are of comparable price/performance. For instance, can we accelerate the phase out of gas-powered lawn mowers, recreational scooters and ATVs, as electric models are now available of comparable price/performance?

July 27, 2016

Submission #1

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different? 

Yes. The stated goals on page 8 seem like a good starting point.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

Yes. The carbon tax seems like a good idea. We should implement the parts of B.C's plan that proved successful.

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

Be mindful of the working poor. I served on the PEI United Way board for many years....and know of the hardships Islanders face. Many of these people don't have a "voice" in this sort of debate.

Submission #2

I think PEI should follow the recommendation of the Province's Standing Committee of 100% renewables in all sectors by 2050, if not 2040. PEI could have as a goal that all electricity consumed in PEI comes from renewable energies by 2035. This would really help PEI maintain its role as a leader in renewable energy. I think a carbon tax that is revenue neutral is a great idea and should be implemented as soon as possible. B.C.'s approach to phasing in the tax increase is a good idea and gives residents, businesses and government time to adjust to the new tax. I think the carbon tax is a great start and with its proceeds the government could help fund renewable energy projects as well as help reduce other taxes for residents and businesses. Putting more money in people's pockets will help them fund their own projects to reduce their dependency on carbon. This in turn will help PEI reach its goal of 100% renewables in all sectors by 2050. It all begins with a carbon tax.

July 26, 2016

Submission #1

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different?

I think quantitative targets for GHG reductions are essential if we are to measure our progress.

Question # 2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

Some form of carbon tax may be the most effective and equitable approach to reduce emissions, as the benefits of a cap and trade system may only promote involvement by a limited number of sectors, and could be expensive (relatively speaking) to administer for such a small jurisdiction.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

Public transit is a high priority personally, especially as populations migrate toward urban centers. In addition, reduced personal vehicle use would be compatible with aims to develop more vibrant communities by facilitating a better mix of services within distinct community centers accessible by transit (as opposed to vast strip development or sub-division development with workplace, retail and residential districts widely separated) and would help improve land use efficiency by reducing use of high value properties for parking.

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

Reduction of nitrous oxide emissions by agriculture would be great, and could complement efforts to reduce nutrient losses to the environment, but may be a significant challenge...in part because it will be difficult to explain and convince the public and the agricultural sector of the link between fertilizer use and NOx.

Submission #2

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different? 

The Co-operators believes strongly that quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions must be set. Reducing GHGs is the objective of climate change mitigation, and without quantifiable targets, it will be difficult to evaluate progress and continuously improve. The Co-operators corporate vision statement calls on us to be a catalyst for a sustainable society. In 2008 we began measuring our GHGs. Our Board of Directors set a long-term goal of being carbon zero by 2020. At the end of 2015, we had reduced our GHG emissions by 55% from 2010, with a goal of 75% reduction by 2018. These quantifiable targets have guided management’s actions and allowed the Board to evaluate progress. 

Our sustainability efforts have been guided by our Sustainability Policy, which is grounded in the scientific rigour of The Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, including its sustainability principles and “backcasting” approach, i.e. beginning with the end in mind. Whereas forecasting involves looking to the past to set goals for the future, backcasting involves setting goals that will lead towards one’s vision for a sustainable society. Our ongoing innovation efforts on sustainability and climate change, including setting targets, are driven by “backcasting” from our vision of a sustainable society and the sustainability principles in our policy. The Co-operators envisions a lowcarbon society, hence our goal of being carbon zero by 2020. 

We believe that PEI should set quantifiable targets that are science-based and consistent with the province’s vision for the future. Further, the targets set should ensure that they lead to the desired outcomes. For example, the first target on slide 8 of the discussion document targets use of ‘renewables.’ However, depending on how this is defined, there may be some sources of GHG emissions that are not reduced by this target (e.g., agriculture).

Question # 2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

The Co-operators advocates for carbon pricing as the most effective means of reducing GHG emissions and mitigating climate change. Various policy mechanisms are available to do so. We believe different mechanisms are appropriate in different jurisdictions, and decisions should be made considering the best available science and economic realities. 

We recommend that the government of PEI consult the evidence-based reports of Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission, which has published research such as Provincial Carbon Pricing & Competitive Pressures, Provincial Carbon Pricing & Household Fairness, and Choose Wisely: Options and Tradeoffs in Recycling Carbon Pricing Revenues. 

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

Decisions or initiatives to reduce GHG emissions should be made based on the biggest carbon reduction per dollar spent. Making decisions based on other criteria may invite criticism from citizens and stakeholders, and put the actions or initiatives at risk of public criticism.
Putting a price on carbon emissions sends a clear market signal to individuals and businesses to encourage them to adapt their practices to reduce their emissions. This taps the innovative capacity of the people of PEI. The government’s decisions on what actions or initiatives to undertake with any revenues that may result from the carbon price should be informed by evidence and chosen wisely (see report referenced above, Choose Wisely).

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

Globally, co-operatives have adopted the role of being builders of sustainability. Part of the intrinsic nature of co-operatives is making a deep positive contribution to economic, social and environmental progress worldwide. The Co-operators encourages the PEI government to engage co-operatives and other community groups in its climate change strategies to help ensure the benefits are widely distributed among its citizens.

Submission #3

A carbon tax is a very sensible strategy and should be implemented. It can/should be revenue neutral in order to make it more acceptable.

Submission #4

On behalf of Fertilizer Canada and our members, thank you for the opportunity to provide input into Prince Edward Island’s (PEI) Climate Change Mitigation Strategy. 

Fertilizer Canada represents manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and sulphur fertilizers. Fertilizers are the most important crop input used by farmers, used to replenish essential soil nutrients. When used efficiently, fertilizers maximize crop yields with minimal environmental impact. The fertilizer industry plays an essential role in Canada’s economy, contributing over $12 billion annually and 12,000 jobs. 

4R Nutrient Stewardship is a leading science-based approach to sustainable agriculture. As an internationally recognized best management practice system, 4R Nutrient Stewardship implements practices to collectively optimize the source, rate, time and place of fertilizer application based on scientific principles and local knowledge. The 4R framework embraces adaptive management planning to ensure that the on-field practices contribute to the economic, environmental, and social goals of the producer each year. The four key pillars of fertilizer application are the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®.

  • The Right Source means ensuring a balanced supply of essential plant nutrients including granular or liquid fertilizers or manures.
  • The Right Rate is applying just enough fertilizer to meet the needs of the plant while accounting for nutrients already in the soil. 
  • The Right Time means applying fertilizer when the plant will get the most benefit and avoiding times when fertilizer can be lost to the environment.
  • The Right Place is applying fertilizer where the plants can easily access the fertilizer and where it is less likely to be lost to the water or air. 

PEI was the first province to sign a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fertilizer Canada. In addition, the following partners are signatories on the MOU: the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (formerly, Agriculture and Forestry); the PEI Department of Communities, Land and the Environment (formerly, Environment, Labour and Justice); the PEI Federation of Agriculture; the PEI Potato Board; and the Kensington North Watersheds Association. This represents PEI’s commitment to promote nutrient management and agricultural sustainability through research, training, and programming. 

The Canadian agricultural sector has invested considerable resources to programs where emission reduction impacts can be achieved. The Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP) has been developed to reduce regional, and ultimately global, nitrous oxide emissions through the implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. 

NERP provides a framework for farmers to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from nitrogen fertilizer in a quantifiable, credible, and verifiable way, and in return allows farmers to produce saleable carbon credits. Through its implementation, farmers can reduce their nitrous oxide emissions by 15 to 25 per cent. The practices that reduce GHG emissions also tend to increase nitrogen use efficiency and the economic return on fertilizer dollars. It is estimated that increased profits per year range from $9 to $87 per acre.

NERP was originally developed for use within Alberta’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulations, but is readily available for other regions in Canada. Through the Canadian 4R Research Network, ongoing regional research investigating nitrous oxide emission reductions from 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices support the implementation of NERP in PEI. Coupled with government support and adoption, NERP can play an important role in the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy, and establish PEI as a leader in climate-smart agriculture. 

Agriculture needs to be included in efforts to limit and reduce the negative impacts of climate change. Achieving the goals established at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) will require all sectors to contribute towards both mitigation and adoption of new practices. Innovations such as 4R Nutrient Stewardship and NERP can help achieve those objectives without compromising productivity and food security, making agriculture more sustainable, more productive, and more resilient.

Recommended Actions for PEI’s Climate Change Mitigation Strategy: 
1. Promote the implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship in PEI through recognition in the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy; 
2. Support and integrate NERP into PEI’s Climate Change Mitigation Strategy to achieve quantifiable reductions in GHG emissions; 
3. Recognize and acknowledge the voluntary actions undertaken by the fertilizer industry and farmers in adopting the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship; and
4. Work with the agriculture industry to ensure targets regarding climate change and water and soil conservation do not compromise farm productivity and food security.

Fertilizer Canada is committed to continue working with the PEI government to promote sustainable agriculture as we work to feed the growing population. Agriculture is a complex system and fertilizer inputs are only one part, but an important part, of the solution. 

 

July 25, 2016

Submission #1

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different? 
Yes, targets and regular updates/progress reports are critical. 
5, 10 and 15 year targets for total emissions, including imported energy, would be useful timelines. Goal of 50% renewables by 2030 and 100% renewables by 2050 seems sensible.

Impending climate change means that our economy has to change drastically and quickly to avoid catastrophe, and moving to that new economy will need active leadership by government officials. For present and future generations, wide-ranging action is needed to prevent climate crises and build an economy that is based on 100% clean and renewable energy.
For the PEI Climate Action Strategy to work, it will have to be taken to heart by not only the many Islanders who are enthusiastic about clean energy, but also the silent majority who haven’t the time or inclination in their busy lives to get directly involved in discussions. 
Islanders need to trust that all government officials are working for the 'public good', and very serious about putting it into action, and publicly calling for and supporting Clean Energy Initiatives at every opportunity in government decisions and announcements. 
There must be no signs of hypocrisy when government asks citizens to be 'energy wise'. Many Islanders are very willing to do our part when called to- the small but important personal and household actions- but will get cynical when they see wasteful huge greenhouse gas emissions such as those in highway construction, or see extravagant government-sponsored functions.

Question # 2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

Yes, please consider and report pros and cons of different models, including the 'fee and dividend' proposed by http://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/

Question #3: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 
Transportation will likely require electrification and increased electrical demand.
Carbon sequestration in soil from good organic farming practices should be rewarded.

Submisstion #2

Hi, PEI is a fantastic beautiful place and has such an opportunity to get the long term plan right. What would it take to get all of PEI to electric? What about cutting a deal with Elon Musk (Tesla https://www.tesla.com/ and SolarCity http://www.solarcity.com/ ) to get all residents using electric vehicles for transport and Tesla Powerwalls https://www.tesla.com/powerwall for storage (powerwall storage creates super redundancy that would eliminate impact of most broad grid outages) and SolarCity panels on every rooftop? Tesla has a battery research deal with Dalhousie University ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/tesla-announces-5-year-lithium... ) so they really aren't far away. PEI has the potential to be the first all electric from renewable sources province - wind/solar. Step 1 - residential conversion to electric. Step 2 - commercial/agricultural conversion. Anyway, this is just off the top of my head and it would probably a lot more complicated in the implementation but you seem so close to energy self-sufficiency already - "PEI has a total peak electrical load of over 240 MW and the Island's seven wind facilities have a combined generating capacity of 203 MW" http://www.gov.pe.ca/energy/js/chart.php This also must fit in with the overall federal environment/climate ( minister of environment & climate change - https://twitter.com/cathmckenna ) strategy when it comes down to funding. Be the model for the rest of Canada. Good luck and do good work.

July 24, 2016

Submission #1

Rather than repeat the comments of others, I would like simply to acknowledge that I agree with the need to reduce greenhouse gases, and to make two other comments that I think should be considered. Firstly, in any implementation of a carbon tax or dropping of HST on household fuel, you need to remember that we live in a cold province, and people will be frightened by the possibility of not being able to heat their houses. Therefore, you need to first provide grants and technical assistance for converting home heat to solar or other renewable energy sources. Then you can implement your tax reforms without scaring people or causing actual suffering. Secondly, I would hope people would be looking at more than just greenhouse gases. Global warming is here, and we can only mitigate the damages. I would like to hear that the government is providing a significant dyking system at Lennox Island, so that it remains habitable for at least another fifty years. I know the entire island cannot be shored up with sandbags, rocks, or whatever, but Lennox Island is the land given to the Mi'kmaq by the government, and it should not be washed away without some steps being taken to prevent it.

Submission #2

This is a global tax grab. Are they going to ask the sun to cooperate with them? I dispute the claim of global warming or climate change, other than the man made weather changes produced by the USA or Chinese government's weather modification weapons. Not even the Chinese and Indian dirty coal fired generators produce enough green house gas to cause change. Man is arrogant once again in making such claims. The sun drives our weather, if only the government's would allow it. This link shows the USA patents http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/an-extensive-list-of-patents/ - Geo-engineering is defined as the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth's climate. Now, if you can even get a government servant to admit it, the government's cover story is that they are attempting to counteract the effects of global warming. That's funny, because for decades they told us that geo-engineering didn't exist, that it could not be done. I put it to you that government is not telling the truth to the people regarding geo-engineering and or climate change. The people deserve the truth. This is just a global tax scheme concocted by the elite of the world. Gore and Blood, Al Gore's business partner, formed the carbon tax exchange system that is going to be used to manage the global tax rip off.

Climate change is a natural thing and man has little influence over it as a whole. When "global warming' didn't fly with the people, Al Gore and his 'Agenda 21' cohorts changed it to 'climate change'. If you really want the truth about the green environmentalist agenda simply Google Rosa Korie author of 'Behind the Green Mask' which breaks down the treaties, methodologies, sounds like science fiction...or some conspiracy theory...but it isn't. Watch her on YouTube. Some of our federal government servants know of this, but Mr. Ghiz does know all about it or maybe he does know. At any rate, our then Premier Robert Ghiz attended the meeting with the global elite in Rio DeJaneiro back in October of 2013. It was disguised as "The Council of Atlantic Premiers leading a business and education mission to Brazil" . Where is Mr. Ghiz now and why is he there? In closing, remember this, government thinks that its citizens are just pawns in their big game, making laws, rules, and more regulation. They think the public would panic if the truth was told. I disagree and believe in full disclosure. The Brits get news of this stuff through Lord Christopher Monckton at this site. https://www.skepticalscience.com/Monckton_Myths_blog.htm.

July 17, 2016

Submission #1

I do not support carbon taxes when most people use oil and propane to heat their homes. You can only turn the heat so low and switching to other sources of heat such as heat pumps or electricity is a major cost most islanders cannot afford. Carbon tax on gasoline will only increase the costs to business and families which will result in higher prices for the consumer. Most goods are shipped to PEI. Easy to say we can reduce our driving but that is not the case for many as motor vehicles are in fact a necessity not an option and buying a hybrid or electric car is too expensive for most. Carbon taxes are going to hurt the economy and especially low and middle class income families. Unless a carbon tax is balanced with less taxes on income and revenue neutral it is a very bad idea with the HST hike coming. I will not vote for any government that thinks carbon taxes will help because I cannot allow my home to freeze in the winter and I drive as little as I can now. It just means I will have to find cuts in my budget somewhere else to offset these new carbon taxes which results in less spending in local restaurants and other businesses. In the end I will still use as much fossil fuels and the economy will shrink with spending more on fossil fuels and less on other goods.

Submission #2

Well for starters, this land, air and sea belong to our great Canadian government, you will pay rent (tax) all your life for your land. It's never really yours. So if our land, air and sea is in trouble, our great Canadian government should take some cuts on their pay check, pensions, allowances and over spending our money's to fix the problem they and their rich buds created. They will Blame it all on every single one of us making us pay for it on top of every other mess THEY make.

July 15, 2016

Submission #1

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on slide 8, or consist of something different?

Yes, GHG reduction targets must be specific and measurable. COP21 goals are probably the most universal that could be adopted. Creating goals for 2050 are effectively meaningless; action must be meaningful before the end of the decade. 

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

Yes. A carbon tax should be implemented without discrimination. Eg, no special exemptions for any industry. Revenue from a carbon tax should be directly offset by a decrease in personal and corporate income tax rates.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

a) implement a carbon tax across the economy, as to directly encourage and reward efficiency initiatives
b) improving the building code to require more robust insulation, and rough in for solar photovoltaic panels and electric car charging. Mandate that houses above a certain threshold of size have higher standards for net-zero energy usage. 
c) remove the HST exemption on heating fuel oil which penalizes non users of heating fuel oil
d) encourage the adoption of zero emission vehicles by rebating the provincial portion of HST on their purchase. 
e) encourage the adoption of residential and commercial rooftop solar photovoltaics by rebating the provincial portion of HST

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

Providing grants to perform eco retrofits for low income families, as to offset the impact on the less fortunate while still encouraging reductions in carbon emissions.

Above all else: be bold! Set the bar high!

Submission #2

Question #1: Should the CCMS include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions? If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on slide 8, or consist of something different?

I believe that it is absolutely critical that PEI adopt a CCMS that includes quantifiable targets for GHG reductions. Having clear and measurable targets for this strategy are important in being able to benchmark and analyze the success of mitigation strategies and develop actions accordingly. With regards to specific targets I believe this is an area where PEI can take a leadership role to emphasize the importance of climate change mitigation to the future of PEI and our costal neighbours. PEI has the benefit of a relatively small population and geographic area, this allows us to effect change faster internally and be more responsive to new challenges and opportunities. Therefore having more ambitious targets than those already agreed to in the agreements highlighted in slide 8 may strengthen PEI leadership on this file. I also believe that PEI must adopt the 1.5C target as our hard target to highlight the seriousness of greater temperature changes to PEI, our costal neighbours and islands around the world.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model? If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used?

Applying a price to carbon is in my view essential to properly identifying the cost of goods by factoring in the externality of GHG emissions. I also believe that carbon pricing provides an exciting opportunity to make a social shift that has wide reaching benefits beyond environmental impacts. My preferred carbon pricing mechanism is a 'Carbon Fee and Dividend' system. According to James E. Hansen the Director of the NASA Goddard Institute and Professor at Columbia University: "The fee-and-dividend approach allows the market place to select technology winners. This approach will spur innovation, stimulating the economy as price signals encourage the public to adopt energy efficiency and clean energies. All materials and services will naturally incorporate fossil fuel costs." Fees collected from this mechanism are then returned equally to the citizens of the jurisdiction, this has the benefit of reducing income inequality and raising the base standard of living while encouraging people to reduce GHG emissions. The social benefits of this strategy would mostly benefit the most vulnerable Islanders such as those living in poverty and seniors on fixed incomes. Inherently decreasing poverty will prove beneficial for health and education outcomes, work productivity, innovation and government finances.

I do however believe that the development of a carbon pricing tool should be open to partnerships with the other Atlantic provinces, or even broader groups such as NE Governors or other provinces.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions?

There are a wide range of initiatives that have positive impacts in reducing GHG emissions but I do believe that accounting of environmental impact should be a consideration in all government policy. I also believe that a price on carbon and properly accounting for the externality of carbon emissions should be the central pillar of climate change policy. A transportation strategy would also have considerable merit as transportation is the leading creator of GHGs on PEI, this could include greater access to public transit, a strategy to increase electric vehicle adoption, and environmental consideration to road design. Many other policy areas also exist to motivate innovation, efficiency and to disincentivize carbon emissions. 

Question #4: What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our GHG emissions?

I think it is important to realize the unique impacts that climate change can have on PEI's future and use that urgency to take strong actions and to become a leader on this file.

Submission #3

As you have indicated, Transportation is the largest source of green house gas emissions on PEI. As we all know that acceleration is when the most green house gas emission is produced so anything that can be done to reduce the need to slow down that speed up on our highways will help reduce green house gas emissions. The one area where I can see an opportunity to help limit the increased green house gas emissions is to basically draw the line on the expansion of reduced speed zones on our highways. 

Stop the expansion of and addition of reduced speed limits on all roads due to the ever increasing access to the roads for new house construction and business expansion. There should never be a permit issued going forward, for access to a highway unless it is in an area where the current speed limit is at the minimum rate. All future requests for access to any highway should only be by the provision of a new street. As an example if someone wants to build a new house on a road that has an 70 KM speed limit or higher, that that house can not have direct access to that road. The developer or who ever is building the house would have to put in a new road / street and build the house on that new road / street. In this way when the next person wants to build a house in this same area they would have to build off of this road / street and not the main highway. In this way the speed limit can be maintained and you will not eventually be in the position to have to put in a reduced speed zone because all of a sudden there are 15 new homes with access to the highway and safety becomes a concern. I was traveling today and did a bit of an experiment. Starting at the Coleman Corner on Rt 2 West and heading to Charlottetown, this is what 

I observed:
Total distance traveled 107.8 KM.
Total 90 KM / hr speed zone - 73.1 KM (67.8%)
Number of deceleration acceleration zones excluding traffic lights - 11 places where speed limits dropped from 90 kn/ hr than returned to 90 KM/hr 
Number of locations in between the 90 km/hr zones where speed changed between 80 , 70 , 60, and 50 KM/hr - 10
Number of traffic lights - 10
number of round about's - 1
so that is 32 locations where a driver has to accelerate during a 108 KM trip. 
that is an average of once every 3.375 KM and that is on the main highway.

I hope this gets the point across that we need to at least try and maintain speed zones and not continually expand existing residential speed zones and add new ones.

Submission #4

This is bull- start to finish. Climate change is a fact, and has been since time began. A single blast from a volcano puts up more emissions than all of PEI since it formed. 
Any number of experts can be brought and bought to say anything those with an agenda want them to. This is just a liberal cash grab and another hardship on Islanders.

July 13, 2016

Submission #1

Question #1: Should the Climate Change Mitigation Strategy include quantifiable targets for greenhouse gas reductions?  If so, should they follow one of the related targets and goals found on page 8 of the discussion document, or consist of something different?

The goals on page 8, specifically the first two, should be followed as they are necessary to achieve the third goal. The province should aim higher – with high installed wind energy capacity, great solar potential, and limited on-island thermal power generation it is logical to move even faster to reduce imports of electricity to PEI, a move which will benefit the economy in addition to the environment.

The missing target is related to transportation and home energy emissions. While there is a 35-45% reduction called for across sectors, transportation accounts for 42% of energy. This could be dramatically reduced with clear targets for walking, cycling, and public transportation, as well as investments in electric vehicles for farms, municipal governments, the logistics sector, and more.

As a small province with high energy imports, PEI is uniquely positioned to be able to act quickly and thoroughly on energy policy. There should be clear targets established for each sector, consistent with the broader goal of a 35-45% emission reduction.

Question #2: Should PEI consider implementing some kind of carbon pricing model?  If so, what model should be considered and how should proceeds be used? 

Yes, the province should implement carbon pricing. A carbon tax is the simplest and most effective method for carbon pricing, nearly universally preferred by economists, and proven to work in several jurisdictions, notably British Columbia. It is important to implement the carbon tax in conjunction with programs to assist lower income earners or high-carbon industries in a shift to lower carbon use, funded by the carbon tax. Cap and trade systems are incredibly inefficient at achieving a carbon free future.

Question #3: What actions or initiatives would reduce the most greenhouse gas emissions? 

With 42% of emissions related to transportation and the majority of the population living and working within small towns and villages (including Charlottetown), a strategy to get more islanders walking and biking is extremely important. An island-wide public transit system is very important, connecting islanders from tip-to-tip using a frequent, scheduled service.

Summerside is innovating in home energy use, making significant gains with electric heat & hot water service. This model could be emulated by the province. Halifax’s Solar City program could be immediately copied to Prince Edward Island due to its proven success. Nova Scotia’s Efficiency Nova Scotia system could be copied as well, requiring Maritime Electric to purchase energy efficiency programs as part of its fuel mix.

Question #4 What else is important for us to know about PEI in relation to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions? 

It is laudable that PEI’s GHG emissions are the second-lowest among Canadian provinces. Despite this, PEI’s 23% GHG emissions from agriculture is astonishingly high. A significant targeted program is needed to reduce or eliminate emissions in this sector. PEI’s farms are small, and markets located close to farmers (relative to other sectors). Something seems wrong here, warranting some sort of targeted intervention by government such as manure-to-energy biogas programs, electric vehicle conversions for farm vehicles (including the farmer’s truck/delivery vehicle), incentives to install solar panels on farms, incentives to increase natural light in farm buildings, increased bicycle use on farms (in place of ATVs), and other policies could provide the right incentive to decrease the contributions from this sector.

PEI could realistically be carbon-free before 2050. As an island threatened by rising sea levels, it is imperative that PEI be the leader on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Submission #2

Stop trying to be "god".....stop wasting billions of $$$$ on something we have no control over! Keeping the economy going is more important. Everyone in the world tomorrow could stop producing greenhouse gas and one erupted volcano just reversed that by a million times over! And dont forget the "cows" thats right they produce more than any of us humans are producing! This is nothing more than the "new sexy" and you all should be ashamed of yourselves the money your spending on this when we have a health care and education system that could benefit from those dollars! Shame on you all!

Published date: 
July 15, 2016
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