Greenhouse gas reporting will help province fight climate change
The provincial government will track and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations, doing its part to lower emissions for Islanders and communities.
As part of its efforts to green government, Prince Edward Island has joined 'The Climate Registry,' a non-profit governed by U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. The Climate Registry will provide resources and support, allowing the province to measure and report its GHG emissions. Work is underway and results are estimated to be available next fall.
"Our climate is impacted by every decision that we make as individuals and as a government. It is important that we do what we can across government to lead by example. That means completely understanding our greenhouse gas emissions and declaring our efforts to reduce them. Joining the Climate Registry is an important first step toward helping us truly understand government’s emissions profile. Then we can identify and put into action opportunities to reduce GHGs. Government is committed to engaging with Islanders, and is open to all ideas to address climate change - the defining issue of our time.”
- Brad Trivers, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change
“The Climate Registry applauds the Government of Prince Edward Island’s leadership in the fight to combat the climate crisis,” said Amy Holm, executive director of The Climate Registry. “We are delighted to welcome PEI into our diverse community of North American organizations who are not only leading by example, but realizing the environmental and economic benefits of managing their carbon footprints.”
Last year the provincial government released a five-year Climate Change Action Plan that provided a roadmap for PEI to adapt to climate change and reduce GHG emissions. The plan also outlined a commitment from government to address climate change in its own operations by implementing a greening government program that includes the development of a GHG emissions inventory for government, energy efficiency upgrades to provincial buildings, improved fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet, and a commitment to green procurement (Action #15).
Areas of focus for the second year of the Climate Change Action Plan include:
- Ensuring there are climate leaders in every department to provide a climate change lens on government decisions and operations;
- A risk assessment of underexplored topics such as the impact of climate change on health, inland infrastructure, tourism and agriculture;
- A new PEI Agri-Watershed Partnership supporting farmers working toward higher sustainable farming practices; and,
- Delivering the Carbon Capture Tree Planting program for a second-year. In 2019, 17 landowners had 70 hectares (more than 170 acres) of land planted with nearly 160,000 trees. A further 70 hectares will be planted in 2020.
- Progress updates on government’s efforts to address climate change will be routinely shared with Islanders at 2018-2019 Progress Report for the Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2023.
Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change
Government buildings and fleets produce GHG emissions by burning fossil fuels such as heating oil, gasoline, and diesel. Other jurisdictions, including the Government of Canada and at least seven other provinces/territories, measure some or all their emissions from their operations using a GHG reporting program or inventory.
Prince Edward Island’s overall province-wide GHG emissions were 1.8 megatonnes (Mt) in 2017. Emissions have been about the same since 2013, even though the population and economy have grown. Currently, PEI is 25 per cent of the way towards the target laid out in the Climate Leadership Act, 1.2 megatonnes.
PEI’s GHGs in 2017:
- Transportation – 47 per cent
- Buildings – 20 per cent
- Agriculture – 23 per cent
- Industry – 7 per cent
- Waste – 4 per cent
Last year, the Government of Prince Edward Island released a five-year Climate Change Action Plan. The action plan includes commitments in five areas, with 32 action items to be completed over a five-year period (2018-2023).
The progress report released today provides an update on activities and achievements from May 2018 – when the Climate Change Action Plan was released – to the end of March 2019. In that time, 25 actions were put into action as government worked with 15 partner organizations and more than 70 project team members.
Many of the initiatives mentioned in the progress report are funded, in part, by the Government of Canada. This funding was provided through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (Environment and Climate Change Canada), the Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise program (Natural Resources Canada), and the National Disaster Mitigation Program (Justice and Public Safety Canada).