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How can Canada continue to demonstrate leadership in climate policy and urbanization?

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

A clean environment is closely tied to quality of life, local resilience and the social and economic opportunities available in cities and communities. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to transforming the way we live, work and move around our communities, Canada is committed to being a climate leader. Budget 2016 proposes to provide almost $2.9 billion over five years to address climate change including extensive support for green technologies, municipal projects and air pollution reduction.

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  • NGolabi over 3 years ago
    One aspect that Canada should look towards to promote sustainable development is to proactively plan developments to include energy efficient and carbon neutral technology. There is currently a lack in the implementation of green technologies, particularly in the field of energy. With so many renewable and clean energy options such as solar and wind, there should be a push to find a way to implement these in land planning and urban development. Green technologies not only can be implemented in energy but in main fields such as transportation and housing development. Reducing carbon emitters such as cars and large manufacturing plants and converting them into clean public transportation and plants built from sustainable materials would be a step in the right direction
  • JAredMcG over 3 years ago
    There are several ways that Canada can be a leader in climate policy and urbanization. Chiefly, adopting a development strategy that emphasizes the use of clean, public transportation over the use of cars, and the development of other green technologies that can be deployed in a highly decentralized manner. Public transportation represents the best way to tackle GHG emissions from transportation, since an effective public system would discourage the mass-use of automobiles which are highly polluting. Further, municipal projects to discourage car use and encourage other means of transportation are very important, such as the intensification of bicycle infrastructure in cities. When cities become safer for pedestrians and cyclists, more people will opt to walk and ride their bike instead of driving in cars. The inclusion of decentralized green energy in a climate plan is highly important. It not only averts the use of more polluting sources of energy such as coal or even hydro (when dams flood large areas of dense forest the carbon trapped in those trees are released over time), but also improves the efficiency of the network simply by not needing to transport the energy over long distances before use.
  • CLemieux over 3 years ago
    Canada needs to invest in more green transportation. Burning fossil fuels during our daily commute is responsible for too much pollution in our atmosphere. Moving towards reducing the amount of individual vehicles in city cores and improve cycling routes can lead to removing the amount of traffic congestion in dense, downtown environments. Investing in our railway system will help for city-to-city movement and remove congested highways. Invest in more electric charging stations instead of gas stations. Public transportation can use a green facelift by utilizing this electric energy and become 100% electric. The 21st century will be defined as the era we shift to renewable energy, and Canada is completely capable of being the leader in this revolution.
  • David Fletcher, Green Coalition over 3 years ago
    A major paradigm shift is needed in urban planning on the presumption that energy, fossil or renewable, may not be available to meet future expectations. A very sizeable proportion of climate altering emissions derive from the transport sector. While urban and transport planners are, by and large, focussed on shifting commuters from private vehicles onto public transit, they still envisage moving basically the same number of people through the same number of kilometres in the transition. Every day, commuters, in their hundreds of thousands, pass through vast spaces that they neither have nor want any intimate relationship with. Planning segregates residential neighbourhoods from areas designed for industrial and commercial workplaces and from sectors where services can be had. This has been the prevailing pattern since World War II, and it is a model reinforced by the notion that this is progress. Distant Technoparks and Megamalls have sadly become the norm. If we are looking for increased energy and emissions efficiency we must overturn the unrealistic expectations to which we have become habituated. Trading in one very damaging energy model based on carbon for one perceived as relatively benign, electricity, is insufficient. All the while we will be enabling the same disfunctional behaviour. It must be held as an axiom that the only one hundred percent efficient travel kilometre is the one not taken, even one powered by the grid. The electrical power not wasted on unnecessary transport could be going to reduce carbon consumption elsewhere. Cities need to be designed to bring people in their neighbourhoods much closer to their worplaces, services and amenities. We must anticipate a future in which local provenance will become the norm along with the return to more cohesive and secure local communities. Technologies for local manufacture and food production are now being conceived and may soon be game changers. We may be peripatetic by nature, but we also have a deeply embedded need to socially interact. Narrowing the community circle will create efficiencies in energy. But, a caveat: the local spaces we create would need be of high quality, replete with nature and a pleasure to live in.
  • mgifford over 3 years ago
    Canada needs to encourage more collaboration between governments, business, NGOs & citizens. We need to not just find ways to patent new green technologies, but find ways of making solutions which can be easily built, shared and improved on by small communities of people. Small scale community solutions are a key part of the change. Last year I was impressed by the initiatives in Paris before COP21
  • Franklin Thomas over 3 years ago
    Glimpse of Canada's Future Hydrogen Economy - Awesome!! Understand that (chemically) when any compound is ignited and burned – no matter whether it is wood, paper, gasoline, propane, methane, paraffin, etc, it is the hydrogen in the compound that burns – NOT the carbon carrier (burning carbon-based compounds form toxic pollutants). Igniting HHO (burning HHO gas) releases a large amount of explosive plasma energy. A burning HHO flame will quickly reach temperatures above 6000 C and easily melt all metals including tungsten – releasing only pure water as an emission – TOTALLY ZERO POLLUTION !! Producing Hydrogen On-Demand from Water (producing Hydrogen immediately prior to utilizing it – without having to store it in a container or pressure vessel) makes it a very safe and versatile fuel. All sources of water can be utilized, even water from humidity. New methods of splitting the H2O molecule are much more energy efficient than using the old, expensive platinum anodes and cathodes. Now we are “energizing” the water molecule inside inexpensive stainless-steel “reactors”, with Resonance Frequency Voltage which energize the hydrogen atoms so that they “push” themselves apart, and free themselves from the bonding “force” of the larger Oxygen atom. These “free-floating” (HHO) Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms will remain apart as a gas until they are “ignited” by a spark or flame – resulting in the release of a large amount of energy, and the combining of the Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms BACK into pure water. The following are some good links on HHO R&D: Their truck runs 100% on water - not on gasoline: Amazing, they drove over 3,000 miles totally on water as fuel: New water-powered 5000 watt back-up generator manufactured in Canada: (It will not be long before they make a megawatt generator.) Motorbike runs on water: Powerful zero-emissions trucks: Here is a neat high tech fuel cell that makes electricity from hydrogen: "Off the Shelf" Home Fuel Cell by Panasonic - Awesome: Check out this awesome Honda hydrogen fuel cell electrical car: The General Motors Hydrogen Vehicle: Check out these three total water-powered car prototypes in action – 78 to 123 km / liter of water (water holds 3 times more hydrogen per liter than gasoline): Go to YouTube and Google and search the keywords, ‘Hydrogen Highway’ and see all the nations that have already started: ie: Hydrogen economies promise a sustainable future of unlimited wealth. New urban economic models based upon leisure time will be needed: Hydrogen Age Educational Tools – Wow! Summary: The New Golden Age of Hydrogen Power On-Demand has arrived!! Imagine heating and powering your home from only water! If there is no water line to the home, the water can be de-humidified from the air. Every home or neighborhood will produce its own utilities. Imagine: No more utility bills!! Fill up your vehicle from your garden hose – essentially free fuel!! No more waiting in lines at gas stations – in fact, no more gas stations. Think of all the other urban clutter that will “go the way of the steam engine”, such as, power transmission lines and poles, petroleum storage facilities, petroleum gas pipe lines, oil wells, oil refineries, tar sands mining, oil super tankers, deep sea drilling, and more. Electric engines use very little oil for lubrication which can be sourced from refining hemp. No more toxic oil dripping from vehicles all over our parking lots and streets and washing into our rivers. No More Vehicular Air Pollution! We can now make all of our plastics from vegetable-based sources of carbon. Think of how clean air will improve our health! BEST OF ALL: WE ENTER A NEW AGE OF UNLIMITED, ZERO-POLLUTION, TOTALLY SUSTAINABLE, FOREVER RENEWABLE ENERGY. By the Staff of The Peace Environmental Research Centre Foundation
  • Franklin Thomas over 3 years ago
    IT IS TIME FOR CANADA TO BUILD A NEW WORLD EXPOSITION TOTALLY SUSTAINABLE CITY !! Transforming our Human Habitat into a livable, workable, and sustainable, Urban Ecology is the greatest challenge facing Mankind today; and the Inevitable Evolution and Destiny of the Global Science of Urban Man. It is time for Canada to demonstrate to the World its ingenuity and leadership as it enters into a New Age of Urban Ecological Sustainability!! We propose that the Government of Canada present an URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM as defined in the NATIONAL PLANS OF ACTION at the HABITAT II - Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements; and that it initiate a World Exposition and Demonstration Project, such as, for example, our BOREALIS CITY Program: BOREALIS will become a permanent World Centre dedicated to the Advancement of Humankind by first demonstrating a community/village in balance with Nature. Guided by the philosophy that totally sustainable and advanced technological development can occur with a near zero negative impact on our natural ecology. These technologies now exist around the Earth - they just need to be brought together in one place and integrated: IMAGINE the economic benefits such a project would bring to Canada! Considering that Tourism will be the largest Industry on Earth, think of the millions of people who would pilgrimage to view its workings, to license its many discoveries and Patents, and to enroll in its courses. We could invite nations to finance and build their own unique Community Clusters, drawing some of the finest minds in the world to Canada. Think of the sustainable jobs that it will create. Think of the Interest and Excitement! Think of its Advertising Potential! An ideal location would be west of Edmonton towards the Super Natural Banff/Jasper National Parks? Imagine the Future - a Future that we are all uniquely empowered to pioneer: BOREALIS could not be a "pill" for all our planet's ills; but instead, an example of what we are trying to eventually achieve. It will be a beacon light, showing the World humankind's future New Millennium. It will be an effort worthy of Canadians and the Human Race; and make us a world leader in the Science of Humankind. Pioneers in Urban-Ecological Sustainability: The Peace Environmental Research Centre Foundation:
  • sghazanfar over 3 years ago
    For reducing green house gases we must increase urban Forest canopy around industrial zones. Also control invasive species which destroy our Forest canopy
  • Vivianmanasc almost 4 years ago
    -invest in bicycle infrastructure for all municipalities - Incent urban densification and infill development -Incent green space development in cities - encourage active transportation and disincent car travel -Incent family friendly development in cities. - Incent reimagining existing buildings to reduce carbon and energy use - increase energy efficiency requirements in the building code - disincent demolition of exiting buildings - increase taxes on surface parking lots. - decrease taxes on vacant buildings - reduce paper waste by sending less mail.
  • Marika Morris almost 4 years ago
    Greener building codes and financial help for green construction and retrofit would help Canada meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets and help mitigate expensive climate change-related disasters. David Suzuki has a number of suggestions pertaining to green roofs, which could be made mandatory for all new construction and could be made more financially feasible for those who wish to retrofit perhaps in terms of a combination of grants and loans: The dark-coloured asphalt with which most city roads are paved absorb heat and may contribute to the warming of cities. Light-coloured roads reflect heat. Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel, Ontario, talks about the health risks of poorly designed cities, which is most modern cities ( Urban design that encourages walking and cycling not only reduces GHG emissions but also contribute to public health, both physical and mental.
  • aflynn almost 4 years ago
    In recent years, large cities like Toronto, Mississauga, Calgary and (possibly) Fort McMurray have experienced the effects of climate change in the form of flooding, severe cold and fires. These disasters had major effects on residents, especially the most vulnerable, who were without basic infrastructure like water, heat and cooling. Disasters are particularly devastating in dense cities, where infrastructure is overextended and badly in need of repair. Canada must provide national and global leadership in emergency disaster relief management due to the effects of climate change by creating legislation that entrenches dedicated funding and multi-sectoral support for cities.
  • frankfaulkner almost 4 years ago
    By investing heavily in urban transportation infrastructure, the Government of Canada can promote greener urban development while reducing carbon emissions of today. In addition, with less vehicles on the road with better public transit systems across the country, easier movement of people will foster the alleviation of many opportunities previously inaccessible to those faced with mobility and transportation barriers. Leading projects with other levels of government targeting urban centres' transit systems has the potential to positively effect change in our growing communities across the nation. With more efficient and less polluting systems in place, Canadians of today and tomorrow are the ones who will reap the socio-economic benefits of sound, collaborative urban design and planning.