The highest grade on the 2010 Green Provincial Report Card for the provinces was a C, achieved by British Columbia, which led the way on green certified new buildings, energy efficiency and organic food consumption. The highest grade achieved by the territories was a C+, awarded to the Northwest Territories, which led the way with the most protected land set aside, lowest water consumption, and lowest rates of cancer.
On the energy file, three provinces (Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador) are setting the green energy standard in Canada, having already achieved the Federal Government’s 2020 goal to power 90 per cent of Canada’s electricity needs from “carbon-free” sources.
On protected lands, just two of ten provinces (British Columbia at 17.5 per cent and Alberta at 12.3 per cent) and two territories (Northwest Territories at 26 per cent and Yukon Territories at 12.4 per cent) have met the 1990 Canadian Green Plan’s goal of setting aside 12 per cent of the country’s landmass for protection.
“Canada has the planet’s largest supply of green energy potential and wild landmass, and our ability to harness these riches will be the central determinant of our stature in the world this century,” says Toby Heaps, editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights.
The Green Provincial Report Card considers environmental performance across ten equally weighted categories, including greenhouse gases, organic food, green energy, cancer rates, water use, biodiversity and car dependency. The survey methodology adjusts for size of population and economy. This year, the report examines new indicators, such as the number of endangered species in each province and asthma rates, and improves the data sources for existing indicators based on feedback from last year’s report.
Overall, while total greenhouse gases increased by 25 million tonnes, or about 3.5 per cent to 739 million tonnes for the most recently reported year, while greenhouse gas intensity (megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per $billion of GDP) went down in every province and territory since last year’s report.
The Green Provincial Report, in its second year, was based on Government of Canada web sites and reports, and data from surveys carried out by independent environmental organizations including Friends of the Earth, Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, Ecojustice, and the Canadian Cancer Society.