Imagine a Canada with fresh, pollution-free air…
Air quality: This is where we stand now…
OECD report says pollution will become biggest cause of premature death, killing an estimated 3.6 million people a year by 2050
Urban air pollution is set to become the biggest environmental cause of premature death in the coming decades, overtaking even such mass killers as poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water, according to a new report.
Both developed and developing countries will be hit, and by 2050, there could be 3.6 million premature deaths a year from exposure to particulate matter, most of them in China and India. But rich countries will suffer worse effects from exposure to ground-level ozone, because of their ageing populations – older people are more susceptible.
The warning comes in a new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is a study of the global environmental outlook until 2050. The report found four key areas that are of most concern – climate change, loss of biodiversity, water and the health impacts of pollution. MORE
Source: Pembina Institute Comments on Canada’s Proposed Reduction of Carbon Dioxide from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations (PDF)
Coal power is one of the worst global contributors to climate change, air pollution, acid rain precursors and atmospheric
In Canada, coal accounts for a significant share of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Coal plants emitted 77% of
Canada’selectricity-‐related GHGs in 2009 while producing less than one-‐fifth of the country’s national generation. Coal accounts for the majority of electricity generation in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia and is significant in both Ontario and New Brunswick.
Several provinces have taken strong leadership roles in tackling coal power. British Columbia has banned conventional coal-‐fired power and, by 2016, will require all electricity generation to have net zero emissions. Ontario, which once relied on coal for over 30% of its power, is in the midst of delivering a full phase-‐out of existing coal generation by the end of 2014, replacing much of it with renewables and conservation — the single largest emission reduction effort in Canada. Nova Scotia has placed a hard cap on emissions from the electricity sector and plans to cut coal consumption significantly while increasing renewable power to at least 40 per cent of the supply by 2020.
Practical steps you can take today to minimize you and your family’s exposure to your home’s chemicals
Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, but have you ever thought about the purity of the air that you are breathing as you sit inside your home, office or even a restaurant?
Indoor air quality is considered to be the fourth greatest pollution threat to Americans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even if you can never see, and can’t always smell, the chemicals inside your home, they are there. It comes from cleaning products, drycleaning chemicals, plastic products like computer keyboards, furniture, paint, carpeting and more….The EPA confirms that indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air. Yet, none of the products used in the “GMA” testing were in violation of any law. Fortunately for consumers, there are easy, practical steps you can take today to minimize you and your family’s exposure to your home’s chemicals. MORE
…Minimally, all governments take seriously the protection of their citizens; otherwise there is scarcely any point in having one. Yet a recent CBC report reveals that that the Harper government has virtually eliminated monitoring of the ozone layer over Canada. The government has shut down four of five very sophisticated monitoring stations leaving only a single station—at UBC in Vancouver—still gathering information about this critical aspect of our environment.
In doing so, Canada is once again demonstrating that it is becoming a rogue state. The monitoring of the ozone layer—which protects the earth from harmful radiation—is an international task requiring the co-operation of many countries. Canada, because of it enormous territory and its large share of the Arctic where the ozone layer is most threatened—is absolutely key to global monitoring. Last week, according to CBC TV’s Environmental Unit, “…five scientists from high-profile U.S. universities and NASA released a scathing critique of Canada’s cuts to its ozone monitoring, saying it is jeopardizing the world’s ability to watch for holes in the ozone layer and pollutants high in the atmosphere.” MORE
Over the next four years, coal power pollution will potentially contribute to:
• 550,000+ asthma attacks
• 1,000+ deaths
• 1,600+ emergency room visits
It will remain:
• One of our largest sources of greenhouse gases
that are destabilizing our climate
• A major cause of acid rain that destroys forests
• A major contributor to smog that chokes our air
• A major source of toxins such as mercury and lead
that are particularly harmful to children
We will all pay the bill through:
• Increased health costs
• A $412 million annual subsidy to Ontario Power
Generation to continue operating its money
losing coal plants
When air is polluted the health of people and the quality of the environment suffers. Air pollution is linked to cardiac and respiratory distress in tens of thousands of Canadians and what is estimated to be at least 5,000 premature deaths every year. Pollution Probe has earned a reputation as a leader in the fight against smog, air toxics and acid rain.
Pollution Probe’s Air Programme focuses on:
- Tougher controls on smog
- Accurate and timely reporting of emissions data
- Reducing acid gas emissions
- Improving public transit
- Advocating for cleaner vehicles and fuels