The search for sustainable energy and protection for the
environment is an important theme in Canada's North these days.
And no wonder: it's been recently reported that in some
Northern regions, the climate is warming at a rate that is four to
five times that of the global average. In a recent interview on
Canada A.M., Derek Mueller, Assistant Professor of Geography and
Environmental Studies at Carleton University advised that the
Canadian ice shelves are melting in what he suggests is now an
irreversible process, due to climate change. This new and shocking
environmental reality is causing a variety of responses from
different regions. For example, the Minister responsible for the
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Leona
Aglukkaq, recently announced funding for new research into
long-term, clean energy initiatives in Yukon. Alternative energy
projects such as geothermal, wind, hydro and solar are some of the
ideas that will be explored. This type of energy is seen as being
key to Yukon's future, given the need for energy in growing
sectors while balancing the need to protect the environment.
The struggle to maintain this balance is also reflected in the
new NWT Greenhouse Gas Strategy released in late August this year.
The latest version covers objectives for 2011-2015, and follows
previous versions of the original strategy, which was written in
2001. This latest document addresses tactics to assist with the
control of emissions from five different sources: electricity
supply; buildings and energy efficiency; communities; industry; and
Businesses in NWT will want to pay particular attention to
recommendations in this document (which is available on the GNWT
website) with respect to electricity supply, industry and
transportation. The report highlights a number of emissions-saving
initiatives that currently serve as best-practices in the region
for emissions control, and includes ideas that might be relevant to
other businesses and regions in the North.
So often in history, significant change takes place as a result
of legislation. However while climate change issues have been
debated and rules discussed, the absence of actual regulations has
somewhat limited the legal authority for governments and businesses
to take action. Rather, the Canadian public's desire for a more
sustainable Canada has been the greater catalyst in terms of public
policy and organizational responsiveness to the issue. Up North,
however, the need for action is also based on physical and
environmental realities such as melting permafrost, collapsing ice
shelves and rising temperatures.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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