Canada is North America’s most committed country to fighting climate change and preserving the environment. Canada has long been an energetic partner of the global environmental protection movement. Aside from vocal support for green policies worldwide, the country has particularly been keen on pragmatically implementing green policies domestically. As a result, Canada stands as one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the contemporary world.
Canada has a vast array of green policies being implemented on federal, provincial and local levels. The environmental law is extensive and complex, having adopted international statues on the issue as well as developing pro-environment laws domestically.
Here are some of the most notable green policies and initiatives of Canada:
ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
The ecoENERGY Technology Initiative (EcoETI) is a major initiative undertaken by the Canadian government to research and develop clean energy technology. Canada invests approximately $230 million per year on EcoETI. The aim of the research program is to develop tech that would reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuel, oil sands and hydrogen use in industries. The initiative hopes to develop bio-energy solutions for common pollution-causing fuel consumption needs. EcoETI also helps communities and cities adopt or integrate clean energy alternatives.
Community Energy Systems Program
Natural Resources Canada implements the Community Energy Systems Program (CES) where the agency collects data and advises local communities how to better adopt energy-efficient systems. Currently, this program is designed to identify potential ways local communities adopt energy saving methods like combining heat and power generation, storing heat and powering up using renewable energy sources found locally. The agency also develops opportunities for local communities to become more environmentally-friendly energy consumption wise. The program is also involved in testing and developing clean energy solution for districts.
Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Programme
ETV verifies all environmental tech available for purchase in Canada. The aim of the program is to verify and license environmental claims associated with products like hybrid cars and consumer electronics with “green” labels. The verification system also applies to certain environmental programs and projects as well. ETV ensures that all environmentally friendly claims on products sold in Canada, projects and buildings are supported by empirical evidence. ETV is also considered a “support tool” for the Canadian government to make decisions regarding green policies, as the program collects data on reliability of available green technologies.
The Energy Efficiency Act (EEA)
EEA is a policy framework adopted in 1995 and implemented in 2010 to ensure energy efficiency standards for a variety of products available to Canadian consumers. The Act defines minimum performance standards for energy efficiency tests and claims. The EEA can also make current standards more stringent if necessary. The EEA was recently broadened to regulate 80 percent of all energy consumed in Canadian homes and by businesses in the country. EEA has future plans to introduce new standards for 20 unregulated products and to tighten existing requirements for 10 products.
ecoFREIGHT is a program under Transport Canada that aims to reduce the harmful environmental and health effects freight transportation can cause. The program aims to find solutions to common freight transportation related problems through developing and adopting new technology. The program has two ways to achieve its goals. The first is the Freight Technology Demonstration Fund, which provides freight transportation companies with financial assistance and cost sharing opportunities to test realistic solutions to alleviate environmental harm. The second is the Freight Technology Incentive Program, which provides funds for freight transportation companies and nonprofits to acquire emission-reducing technology.
The above are only a few of the green policies and initiatives available in Canada. Though the country has come far in terms of its peers like the United States in adopting green tech, it still has a long way to go before becoming ideally environmentally friendly.