Green provinces of Canada

By Erin Marchington
Ontario and British Columbia lead the peloton in the race to become Canada's greenest province.

It’s mid-summer and the air is thick. Thirteen riders form a peloton in the 10th stage of Le Tour De France, grinding their way through the French Alps. All are in pursuit of the coveted yellow jersey, cycling’s most prestigious prize. But in the mountains with 10 more stages in the tour to go, it’s still anybody’s race. The riders are close together, drafting, and there are no breakaways yet.

Canada’s provinces and territories have clearly formed a peloton in the 2012 Corporate Knights Green Provincial Report Card, with Ontario and British Columbia leading the pack and Alberta and Saskatchewan struggling to keep up. But no one has yet broken away in the race to become Canada’s greenest province or territory.

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Epilogue: Plans to adapt

Cimate change isn’t a future problem—it’s happening right now.

And we may not be able to stop it. A January 2011 study published in Nature Geoscience by the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis suggests there is little we can do to prevent drastic climate change, even in a highly unlikely “zero-emissions” scenario. If all emissions ceased today, the study still suggests a temperature increase varying between one and four degrees Celsius for the next thousand years—meaning longlasting changes of epic proportions. How we respond and adapt to climate change is therefore critical going forward.

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2011 Sustainable Cities methodology

A look behind the scenes at the methodology that was used to discover the sustainability of Canada’s cities.

Like a living organism our Sustainable Cities methodology continues to evolve. To create a measurable and comparable set of indicators from year to year the methodology retains the same five categories as it has since The Natural Step helped create it: ecological integrity, economic security, governance and empowerment, infrastructure and built environment, and social well-being. However, the total number of indicators analyzed for all categories has been reduced from 63 to 28 avoiding overlap and creating a manageable amount of data. The new indicators added include urban biodiversity monitoring, source water strategy, renewable energy initiatives, and health. Therefore comparing this year’s numbers to last year’s is not appropriate. Rather, trends are the best way to assess a city’s progress.

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