Ottawa, Aug 29 (Canadian-Media): Companies operating in areas with water stress have an urgent responsibility to track their impacts, to make informed decisions that trigger meaningful action and the cornerstone of effective water management is to know one’s impacts, media reports said.
GRI 303: Water and Effluents 2018. Image credit: Twitter Handle of Water Canada
As a response to the water crisis and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), together with leading experts in water stewardship, has developed a standard to help companies understand how they interact with water, and the impacts of these interactions on the environment and the communities.
The updated standard, GRI 303: Water and Effluents 2018, has an emphasis on water stewardship, aimed at actively managing the impacts within the context of the watersheds companies are operating in. The standard has a basis in the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6: ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.
“The lack of access to freshwater affects more than 40 per cent of the global population. In a world where some companies’ GDPs exceed that of whole countries, the business world is expected to rise to the challenge and do its part in addressing these. The aim of the revised water standard is to help companies report what matters, and where it matters, by using credible, context-based metrics,” said Bastian Buck, chief of standards at GRI.
The standard also addresses the investor perspective by introducing disclosures that will make available much-needed information to assess companies’ exposure to water risks.
The revised standard helps companies better understand their impacts on freshwater resources, particularly in areas where water stress is already high. It emphasizes collecting information on water use—from withdrawal to consumption and discharge, the associated impacts, and how they are addressed across the value chain. Supply chain impacts, for example, have so far been consistently underreported.
Companies are also expected to disclose how water is managed as a shared resource and how impacts are managed at a local level. The amount of water withdrawn and consumed by an organization and the quality of its discharges can impact the functioning of ecosystems—impacts, that can have wider social and economic consequences for local communities.
After releasing the GRI Standards in 2016, the standard on water and effluents is the first, alongside GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety, to be updated. The project working group for the standard included representatives from leading organizations in water stewardship, such as the World Resources Institute, the WWF, and the Pacific Institute. Included were also members from the mining, beverage and textile industries; specialists from responsible investing (UN PRI); as well as representatives from CDP and SASB to ensure alignment and reduce reporting burden.
“As the most used sustainability reporting framework, we see it as our responsibility to create credible and robust standards so that companies can measure and report their impacts on the people and society in a meaningful way. This information feeds into internal processes and informs decision-making—accelerating action towards sustainable development,” Buck concluded.
To train and inform reporters and other water professionals, GRI is organizing two live webinars on 19 September to present the new standard and answer questions from attendees.
#CatherineMcKenna; #Canada’slight-dutyvehicle; #vehicleemissionstandards; #transportationindustry
Ottawa, Aug 24 (Canadian-Media): Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced this week that Canada would begin consultations -- as part of its commitment made in 2014 -- on the mid-term evaluation of Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission regulations for the 2022–2025 model years, media reports said.
“Cleaner cars are good news for the planet, and they save Canadians money at the pump. This means more money in the pockets of middle-class families. We’re committed to cutting pollution across the transportation sector while maintaining a strong and competitive auto industry. This review will help us enact regulations that will protect the environment and grow the economy,” McKenna said.
These consultations will focus on a wide range of issues in the transportation industry including Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards to support innovation, a more competitive economy saving consumers money at the pump, improved health for Canadians.
Environment friendly vehicles. Image credit: Wikipedia
During these consultations, Canada would consider U.S. regulatory process to revise existing standards for vehicle fuel efficiency and the actions of California and other global jurisdictions.
Automobiles and light trucks account for about 11 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse carbon pollution.
Canada's stringent air-pollution regulations for light-duty vehicles help to improve air quality and the health of Canadians and is reported to decrease by 7 million tonnes in 2030.
Environment and Climate Change Canada also invites Canadians to submit their comments until September 28, 2018.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Saskaton, #Saskatchewan; #RalphGoodale; #NavdeepBains; #WarrenHelgason; #CanadianWaterResourcesAssociation
Ottawa, Aug 13 (Canadian-Media): Experts around the world are attending the 2018 annual conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) -- not-for-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) -- being held from Aug 12 -Aug 17 in in Saskatoon SK to discuss managing water for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change, media reports said.
ICID. Image credit: Facebook page
The conference is being hosted by the Canadian Water Resources Association, a national not-for-profit organization with network of professionals in 80 countries consisting of members from the public, private and academic sectors who are committed to promoting responsible, innovative and effective management of water resources and has facilitated sharing of experiences and transfer of water management technology for more than six decades.
“As the globe experiences an increasingly variable climate, the need to share information regarding sustainable agricultural water management has never been greater. Saskatoon – and Canada – is pleased to host this international conference with delegates from over 40 countries sharing their technical knowledge and experience. We’re excited to showcase how Canada is contributing to meeting the challenges of feeding a growing world population and we look forward to a vibrant exchange of ideas,” said Warren Helgason, ICID Conference Co-Chair, Associate Professor of Civil, Geological and Environmental Engineering, University of Saskatchewan.
The funding of $15,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Western Diversification Program in support of this conference was announced by Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, at the conference’s opening ceremonies.
“Water is critical to agriculture in the Prairies...to realise that potential in the face of more severe floods and droughts caused by climate change, we need to better manage this precious resource. This investment is one example of what the Government of Canada is doing to enable Canadians to make better use of our exceptional water resources,” said Goodale.
The theme of the conference is “Innovative and Sustainable Agri-water Management: Adapting to a Variable and Changing Climate.”
“Through the Innovation and Skills Plan and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government of Canada is investing in innovations aimed at protecting the environment and improving the sustainability of agriculture and natural resource development. The fact that this conference is being hosted in Canada is a testament to the expertise of Canadian researchers and producers” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.
In addition to conference sessions and workshops dealing with water resource management, delegates also get the opportunity to see Saskatchewan farms and learn about Western Canada’s innovative strategies and practices related to irrigation, drainage and water security.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#OntarioLiberals; #EnvironmentandClimateChangeCanada; #CatherineMcKenna
Ottawa, Aug 1 (Canadian-Media): The Liberal government of Ontario (Ontario Liberals) has decided to impose Ottawa's carbon price framework on provinces that don't have a pricing system of their own, media reports said.
But it is not considering to price carbon pollution after Canadian industry officials told of their concerns how the tax would impact competitiveness.
Environment and Climate Change Canada have decided raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes will have the biggest impact on companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Release of new guidelines by Environment and Climate Change Canada, to lower the percentage of emissions some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax on, are being processed.
The decision to raise the cutoff point for carbon taxes impact companies that are already more efficient than the industry average, or close to the average.
Their tax bill decline significantly, with some of the most efficient would be paying no carbon tax at all.
The tax liability of the worst polluters, whose emissions far exceed the average in their industries, would shrink too, but their tax savings will be much smaller.
Back in January, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Environment Minister had set the benchmark at 70 percent of an industry's average emissions performance, meaning companies would have to pay a tax on emissions they produced in excess of that benchmark.
McKenna's office confirmed to CBC News that they've adjusted the proposal to set the benchmark at 80per cent of the industry average of emissions — and 90 percent for producers of cement, iron and steel, lime and nitrogen fertilizer.
Emissions produced beyond that point would still be subject to the tax.
Catherine McKenna. Image credit: Facebook page
That plan is scheduled to come into effect in early 2019, and will be imposed on provinces that do not have a carbon pricing system of their own. The tax is set for $20 a ton in 2019 and will rise to $50 in 2022.
The federal government says it's still talking to industries and will have more details this fall.
McKenna said today it's important to make big polluters pay, and that it will force them to reduce emissions and innovate
"But we have to do it in a smart way," she said during a visit to the Gaspésie region of Quebec. "I've always said the environment and economy go together, and we don't want to drive industry out of our country. We want to have the most energy efficient, smart industries here that create good jobs, at the same time do what we need to do to tackle emissions. And that's exactly what we're doing."
In one of his first moves as Ontario's new premier, Doug Ford announced the province would be getting out of the cap-and-trade system, and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa's carbon-tax plan.
Manitoba was reluctant to sign on to the federal government's plan until recently.
New Brunswick has an emissions reduction plan, but it has been criticized as inadequate by the federal government.
Alberta and B.C. already have a carbon tax, while Quebec is part of the cap-and-trade system Ontario plans to leave.
Nova Scotia is developing its own internal cap-and-trade system.
P.E.I. says its approach will be to lower the price of renewable energy to motivate people to do the right thing.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)