What environmental concerns should be top-of-mind for NLers? What will climate change mean for people living in NL? What do we need to do to prepare? What are we doing to mitigate climate change?
What Might Climate Change Mean for NL?
The number of days per year with frost is estimated to decrease by nearly 12 days by mid-century. The average daily precipitation amount and the number
of days with 10 or more mm of rain will increase slightly as well. These numbers
were calculated using an average of 28 locations across the province. Some
regional variations can be expected. For example, in Northern Labrador the average temperature in winter is expected to increase by over 7ºC by mid-century.
Source: Gov NL
Between 2000 and 2017 there was an overall increase in GHG emissions. Increases occurred in several categories. While some of the increases can be attributed to the significant growth of the oil and gas industry, the increase in emissions from Road Transportation can be largely attributed to the increase in the number of larger vehicles (trucks & SUVs). Emissions related to Public Electricity & Heat Production vary significantly from year to year, so the percent change reflected here is not an indication of the trend over time. (Fugitive sources are uncontrolled or accidental emission of
vapours or gases mostly from industrial activities – mainly flaring in the off-shore.)
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Positioning NL for Climate Change
Dr. Jonas Roberts, Wood Environmental & Infrastructure Solutions
While climate models show that Newfoundland and Labrador isn’t likely to face a future of devastating droughts and heatwaves, it doesn’t mean climate change won’t impact
us. Rising sea levels and extreme precipitation can have a drastic effect if we fail to adequately adapt our infrastructure. Moreover, NL is inextricably connected to the rest of the world. Because of this, we can expect to face a variety of challenges posed by a changing global climate. There are at least two specific opportunities where we can start
Towns take Action Against Climate Change
Thanks to funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), six communities across the province are making plans to address and ultimately reduce
their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Municipal Wastewater Woes
Dr. Deatra Walsh, MNL
Towns across the province are facing pressure to comply with the new Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER), which came into effect in 2012. Under this system, towns need to register and monitor wastewater. This means many towns will need expensive system upgrades, and for municipalities with no sewage treatment at all it poses an even greater challenge.